CDDRL Working Papers
In addition to domestic political and economic restructuring, most of the former state-socialist countries opted to establish political and economic relations with "the West" as a step to make the transition to liberal democracy and a market economy irreversible in the immediate term, and to acquire a new "home" in the international system in the long run. Consequently, they sought membership in almost all "Western" international organizations and, most important, in the European Union (EU), which made an explicit link between membership and the adoption of a certain set of norms and values. Accordingly, the EU began to play an important role in the transitions of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by helping these countries meet its membership criteria. Important, then, becomes the question about the effects of this international cooperation on the democratization process in CEE. This paper focuses on the impact the EU has had on CEE applicant parties.