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Europeanisation in the New Member States: The Post-enlargement Experience of Hungary

Boglárka Koller

Europeanisation belongs to the 'magic' concepts of contemporary integration theories According to Radaelli Europeanization refers to "Processes of construction, diffusion and institutionalisation of formal and informal rules, procedures, policy paradigms, styles, 'ways of doing things' and shared beliefs and norms which are first defined and consolidated in the making of EU decisions and then incorporated in the logic of domestic discourse, identities, political structures and public policies". (2003: 30). Other authors have given definitions of different nature (Ladrech 1994; Börzel 1999; Risse et. al. 2001; Héritier et al); and differentiated the top-down and bottom-up directions of it. This paper seeks to provide a conceptual analysis of Europeanisation and develop a suitable theoretical interpretation of the concept. The main argument of the paper is that Europeanisation is suitable for describing the complex processes that are derived from the EU membership including various directions (top-down, bottom-up, horizontal etc.) In this paper, Hungary's ten years of post-enlargement experience is used to demonstrate Europeanisation in the polity, politics and policy-making in national and EU levels. It is argued that Hungary is an interesting case while apart from top-down processes, unique bottom-up Europeanisation cases can be identified.(This paper is connected to Krisztina Arató's paper that uses the same theoretical framework but focuses mainly on political institutions.)

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