The Impact of Europeanization on New Democracies Such as Hungarian One – Case Study Example

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The paper “ The Impact of Europeanization on New Democracies Such as Hungarian One” is an  intriguing example of a case study on politics. Europeanization as a concept does not have a single agreeable definition. Various authors have defined the term differently; I will look at the various definitions. Europeanization can be the change of policies within a nation and beyond as a result of integration (Maria, Thomas & Caporaso, 2001, p. 1). These policy changes have the aim of creating uniformity in the structures that govern member countries so as to allow them to share common ground on issues.

According to Olsen, (2002, pp. 923-924), Europeanization means exporting forms of political organization. The term also describes changes occurring out of Europe aimed at unifying countries politically. Schmidt (2002, p. 896) defines Europeanization as the result of influence from the European Union member states, their politics, and national policies. Radaelli (2003, p. 30) defines Europeanization as a process that involves construction, diffusion, and institutionalization of rules; both formal and informal, procedures, policies and ways of doing things as first outlined and consolidated in the European Union Process of policymaking and then transferred to the domestic level, identities, political structures, and public policies.

This paper will discuss Europeanization as a change in domestic policies and institutions due to direct influence by the European Union. 2)IntroductionHungary’ s interaction with the European Union can be traced back to 1988 when they signed a trade and cooperation agreement. Hungary was at this time heading towards the end of the communist era, which ended in 1989 (Buller, Jim & Andrew, 2002). In 1990, Hungary got into diplomatic relations with the EU through the Dublin European Council Initiative.

The initiative paved the way for association agreements between the two countries. Hungary and two other countries; the Czechoslovakia republic and Poland first signed three European agreements in December 1991. The European agreement was effected in 1994 (Balcerowicz, 1994, p. 102). After the agreement, there was a need for western type political structures. The Hungarian government pursued a lot of changes in its national policies especially because it had a communist background. The changes were aimed at getting Hungary accepted into the European Union (Pridham, 2005, pp. 32-33).

Transitions were made in politics where multiparty systems were reintroduced. Legal provisions were also made so as to facilitate the establishment of a functional market economy. After 15 years of negotiations which involved political, economic and environmental policy changes, the accession process was concluded in December 2002. Hungary joined the European Union on 1st May 2004 (Grabbe, 2002, p. 13). Hungary’ s acceptance to the European Union marked the beginning of conformity to all rules set by the Union for their member countries. Hungary together with other new members of the EU formed the Central and East European members (Haughton, 2007).

The EU required these CEE countries to implement policy changes in their political, Justice and Home affairs. The countries had to uphold democracy and human rights through reforms in state administration. Hungary had to make post-accession reforms in their economic, social and environmental policies as required by the EU (Boerzel, Tanja & Risse, 2003, p. 34). Their post-accession journey has been slowed by a number of challenges. First, Hungary’ s economy is not very big. One of the reasons for its long quest to join the EU was to expand and strengthen its economy (Fink-Hafner, 2007, p. 82).

Secondly, Hungary’ s civil servants lacked the necessary skills needed in implementing proposed changes in various policies. Thirdly, the country lacked mechanisms; both formal and informal that were needed for policymaking. The elites lacked the necessary language skills which were needed for adequate communication. Fourthly, the Hungarian government has faced stability problems due to frequently changing governments, therefore, causing electoral volatility and unsettled political systems (Tavits, 2008, p. 27). The ruling party Fidesz under the leadership of President Pal Schmitt has been accused of corruption and mismanagement of funds.

Such issues have slowed the progress of the country because of low investor confidence (European Parliament, 2012).


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