From conditionality to Europeanization in Central and Eastern Europe : administrative performance and capacity in cohesion policy

Bachtler, John and Mendez, Carlos and Oraže, Hildegard (2014) From conditionality to Europeanization in Central and Eastern Europe : administrative performance and capacity in cohesion policy. European Planning Studies, 22 (4). pp. 735-757. ISSN 0965-4313

Full text not available in this repository.Request a copy from the Strathclyde author

Abstract

This article assesses the role of administrative capacity in explaining the performance of eight Central and Eastern European countries (EU8) in managing and implementing Cohesion policy over the 2004-08 period. Drawing on a conceptual framework from the Europeanization literature, it explores whether pre-accession administrative adjustment to comply with the acquis continued in the post-accession period, against a backdrop of critical assessments about the state of administrative capacity for managing Cohesion policy. We conclude that administrative capacity was developed faster and more substantially than commentators predicted at the time of accession. The findings have important implications for our understanding of the post-accession compliance record of the EU8, challenging the contention that they fall within a ‘world of dead letters’. We argue that administrative capacity, as a rationalist mediating factor of Europeanization, has been underestimated and that insufficient attention has been given to the dynamics of capacity evolution and the role of learning.