The European Union and Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe examines the influence of the EU on the party politics of the eight post-communist countries that joined the Union in 2004, as well as that of Bulgaria and Romania, from the 1990s and through the first 18 months of EU membership. For much of the decade after the end of communist rule, popular support for EU membership was generally strong, if abstract, in nature and EU influence did not provide the basis for much political conflict or substantive party competition. It was mostly assumed that strengthening European integration would help consolidate the newly emerged party systems and reinforce post-communist democracy. As EU membership became a more practical and immediate prospect however, currents of Euroscepticism grew and after accession in May 2004 there was extensive government instability throughout the region. As well as conducting a multi-facetted examination of the influence of the EU on parties, party systems, public opinion and voting patterns, this volume also confronts the broad question of whether EU membership will indeed act to consolidate democratic party government in Central and Eastern Europe or produce new tendencies of Euroscepticism that strengthen extremism and undermine democratic stability.
Lewis, Paul G., Zdenka Mansfeldová (eds.). 2006. The European Union and Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. 272 s. ISBN 0-230-00183-1.