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Author(s): András INOTAI

Journal: Eastern Journal of European Studies
ISSN 2068-651X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2011;
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This issue of the journal has been devoted to the analysis of experience with the unprecedented enlargement in the history of European integration. Several considerations seemed to justify this approach. First, after more than seven years of membership of the Central and Northeastern European countries, it could rightly be supposed that sufficient experience could be accumulated for a balanced assessment of positive and negative impacts of accession. Second, and similarly, five years of membership of Bulgaria and Romania offer a satisfactory basis for a first medium-term retrospection. Third, the last years of membership were overshadowed by the global financial and macroeconomic crisis. This situation can be interpreted as a real test of the quality of adjustment and the chance to make use of the potential advantages of full-fledged membership. Finally, such a complex process that has produced manifest and still hidden changes in the previous decades-long economic, political and institutional map of the European integration generated not only "enlargement fatigue" in "old" member states but also an "accession fatigue" in the "new" ones. The latter can be easily understood if we take into account that, within a period half a generation, the new member countries had to face three unique challenges, namely the political and economic transformation, preparation for and adjustment to the EU rules and the impact of the global crisis.
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