The MAXCAP Working Paper No. 25 “Institutional Change During the EU Accession Process – Introducing a New Dataset” by László Bruszt and Ludvig Lundstedt has been published. You can download the Working Paper here.
The Eastward enlargement of the European Union (EU) represents one of the greatest social and economic transformations in modern times. To become a member of the EU a candidate country must transpose and implement over 80,000 pages of legislation, covering more than 30 policy fields. By that, the EU aims to bring a candidate country’s economic and political system in line with other EU member states. The institutional change mandated by the EU extends both to general areas of the state, such as the judiciary and the state bureaucracy, but also to several dozens of regulatory fields. An obstacle to the deeper study of the factors that could explain cross-country and cross-policy area variation in the outcomes and the effects of such a large-scale institutional change has been the lack of comprehensive data on the reforms connected to the enlargement. To overcome this problem, the authors have created a unique dataset that relies on the yearly progress reports published by the Commission. Their database quantifies the candidate countries’ progress to fulfill EU requirements in 16 different policy fields covering all the key areas of EU-mandated institutional transformation within the economy and the state. In this paper, the authors describe the method of their data collection, provide examples for their results from three key institutional fields and offer full access to the codebook of their research.
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