Skip to main content

EU Integration of the Visegrad Countries

Author(s): Shea, Jennifer; Stefes, Christopher

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: This paper analyzes the prospects for integration of the Visegrad countries—Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland—into the European Union. It argues that integration of the Visegrad countries will be a lengthy process that will not be concluded for at least 15 to 20 years, based on two observations. First, the transitions of these four eastern countries to democracy and capitalism, which are preconditions for EU membership, are not yet complete. Second, the admission of the Visegrad countries creates unique problems to which the EU member states have not yet found appropriate solutions. The paper argues that the Visegrad countries are not primarily responsible for the obstacles to integration; rather, the EU is making integration of the Eastern countries more difficult than it need be. Finally, the paper notes that integration is by no means an absolute necessity. The Visegrad countries should consider alternatives to European integration not only because of difficulties posed by the EU but also because the alternatives could prove more beneficial for stabilizing their democracies, economies, and the region as a whole.
Publication Date: 1996
Electronic Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 182 - 207
Type of Material: Journal Article
Series/Report no.: Volume 7;
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Public and International Affairs
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.