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After conditionality: post-accession compliance with EU law in East Central Europe

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The European Union's pre-accession conditionality was very effective in prompting the alignment of the post-communist candidate countries with EU law. As the conditional membership incentive was the main factor driving alignment, the changing incentive structure after accession suggests that – ceteris paribus – post-accession compliance with EU law will deteriorate. Data on infringements of EU law allow us a first insight into whether this negative scenario has materialized. The data suggest that, far from constituting an ‘eastern problem’, virtually all of the new member states outperformed virtually all of the old members during the first four years of membership. To explain this unexpectedly good performance, further research should focus on two factors, both related to the experience of pre-accession conditionality: a greater susceptibility of the new member states to shaming and an institutional investment in legislative capacity.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/21731/

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