The Unfinished Business of the Fifth Enlargement

There is a new comparative report by the European Policies Initiative under the project “The Unfinished Business of the Fifth Enlargement”.

The report finds that the “unfinished business” in the new member states from Eastern Europe concerns mainly the policy areas of national competence (political systems, social, educational, health reforms and sustainable economic development) that have been relatively neglected by decision-makers in the pre-accession period for the sake of the accession agenda.

The report further claims that the deficiencies in the political domain have predetermined a framework of very fragile political systems where fragmented political parties with short-term political lives are unable to commit to long-term and consistent reforms.

An interesting claim is that the membership leverage is very limited with regard to its impact on the “unfinished business” of the transition agenda in the post accession period. In this sense the only potentially effective membership leverage on the NMS can be the Euro area accession.

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