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European Union incentives and regional interest representation in Central and East European countries

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Abstract:

The article argues that the EU regional policy model implied by the Structural Funds has provided incentives for the mobilisation of local and regional interests in Central and Eastern Europe. However, the strength and impact of empowerment depends on whether local or regional interest groups (1) existed as organised political actors rooted in regional communities or identities, (2) formed broader pro-regional advocacy coalitions with other political actors and (3) participated in government. Examples from Bulgaria (weak mobilisation), the Czech Republic (limited mobilisation) and Serbia/Vojvodina (significant mobilisation) are given to illustrate the importance of domestic political actors, their resources and political strategies for explaining how the opportunity structure of enlargement is being instrumentalised in Central and East European countries.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/ap.2009.31

Affiliations: Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Oettingenstr. 67, 80539, München, Germany

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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