The MAXCAP Working Paper No. 23 “Coming Together or Drifting Apart? The EU's Political Integration Capacity in Eastern Europe” by Tanja A. Börzel and Frank Schimmelfennig has been published. You can download the Working Paper here.
This paper assesses the EU’s external political integration capacity: its ability to promote democracy and governance effectiveness in non-member and new member states. Based on macro-quantitative data, the authors examine the political trajectory of Central European, Southeast European, and Post-Soviet countries. They find that democracy and governance effectiveness have improved overall in the past 20 years. However, Eastern Europeans have been moving on distinct sub-regional paths and unable to catch up with the old member states. The analysis of the EU impact shows a robust effect of EU accession conditionality. By contrast, the authors do not find a systematic effect of conditionality in the absence of membership incentives. Once countries become members, the EU’s political integration capacity weakens. Finally, the authors observe that the EU has a stronger effect on governance effectiveness than on democracy as such.
It is the objective of the MAXCAP Working Paper Series to disseminate the research results of the research consortium to a wide audience, including the academia as well as the general public. Thus, all Working Papers can be downloaded free of charge from our website.