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The Determinant Factors behind the Timing of a Country’s Decision to Apply for Membership to the European Union

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Title:
The Determinant Factors behind the Timing of a Country’s Decision to Apply for Membership to the European Union
Creator:
Leal, Jeanette
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
European integration ( jstor )
Opinion polls ( jstor )
Political ideologies ( jstor )
Political integration ( jstor )
Political parties ( jstor )
Political power ( jstor )
Political research ( jstor )
Politics ( jstor )
Public opinion ( jstor )
Trade policy ( jstor )
European Union
Poland
Slovakia
Slovenia
Genre:
Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Notes

Abstract:
Though extensive research has been performed on the subject of European Union (EU) membership and the negotiations and development process countries undergo, this paper seeks to delve deeper by identifying the factors that affect the timing of a country’s decision to apply for membership to the EU, specifically the cases of Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. I argue that public opinion and political parties serve as two of the primary determining factors. I also investigate the importance of perceived costs of accession in affecting public opinion and party support for accession. Though I use the particular example of the EU, my ideas can be generalized to other intergovernmental organizations as well. In order to test my theory, I use WTO trade policy reviews and US Department of State Background Notes to acquire trade data on each of my countries in order to determine the role of perceived costs in affecting public opinion and party support for accession. I rely on survey data from Central and Eastern Eurobarometer (CEEB) surveys, as well as the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey to assess the importance of public opinion and political parties respectively in affecting the timing of a country’s decision to apply for membership. The results of my analysis, while confirming the importance of a cost-analysis of EU membership in affecting public opinion and party support for accession, serve to be inconclusive with regards to the importance of public opinion and political parties in serving as determining factors behind the timing of a country’s decision to apply for membership to the EU. A joint analysis of the results indicates a greater role played by political parties in affecting the timing of a country’s decision to apply for membership to the EU, when compared to public opinion. ( en )
General Note:
Awarded Bachelor of Arts; Graduated May 3, 2011 magna cum laude. Major: Political Science
General Note:
Advisor: Petia Kostadinova
General Note:
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright Jeanette Leal. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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The Determinant Factors behind the Timing of for Membership to the European Union Jeanette Leal Advisor: Dr. Petia Kostadinova April 1, 2011 Honors Thesis

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Leal 2 Introduction: The European Union (EU) has become increasingly important in the world political sphere. Since the Treaty of Rome, many have hoped that a single Europe would have more influence in the international arena. This idea of a better more powerful Europe has gai ned even more importance since the United States came to dominate the world sphere after the Cold War (Frieden, 2004). Initially, the European Union consisted only of six members: Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. Sin ce its inception, it has grown to include twenty seven member states, with the most recent accession having taken place in 2004/ 2007. These accessions have not taken place without multiple disputes and compromises. States that initiate the accession proces s must first undertake various changes to their governing institutions and economies ; s pecifically, candidate countries are judged by the Copenhagen Criteria. As taken from the Presidency Conclusions of the Copenhagen European Council (June 21 21, 1993), existence of a Having recognized the inevitable impact of enlargement, the European Council s continue to integrate would always be kept in mind. Research regarding enlargement of the EU has generally centered on the costs and benefits to the member states and c andidate countries, with little attention being paid to political parties or the citizens themselves. In other words, analysis has been concentrated at the state level, rather than the individual level. Only recently, has the literature begun to explore pu blic attitudes concerning enlargement in the EU member states and accession countries. The importance of public opinion to the political sphere is becoming increasingly evident, as

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Leal 3 demonstrated by events in 2006, when the ratification process was put on ho ld in order to accommodate public referendums regarding accession. These events illustrate the importance of public opinion to policy making in the EU. Public opinion is continually playing an important role in the EU integration and enlargement decision m aking process, a realm previously dominated by political officials (Maier and Rittberger, 2008). Political parties have also garnered an important role in not only affecting the decisions of political officials but also the perceptions by citizens of the E U. Past research has gone in depth into EU membership and the negotiations and development process countries undergo. This paper seeks to go further by identifying th e factors EU. Looking at those countries that formed part of the 2004 enlargement, this paper pays specific attention to Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Using this paper, I seek to prove my argument that public opinion and political parties play important role s in t he accession process and serve as determining factors membership to the EU. I also argue the importance of perceived costs in affecting public opinion and party support for accessi on. I separate my paper into five sections. The first section provides an overview of the literature regarding the cost s and benefits of EU membership, public opinion toward enlargement and the factors that influence it, and political parties and their rol e in governmental decision making of the EU. The second section p rovides my hypotheses along with my theoretical argument regarding the importance of studying the enlargement process from the very beginning before application has taken place when countrie s are still pondering the idea of membership to the EU and the application of this theory to other intergovernmental organizations The third section provides an explanation of the data I use and the methods I

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Leal 4 employ to analyze this data. The fourth secti on outlines the detailed results of my analysis and which aspects of my study confirm or refute my hypotheses. The fifth section provides an overview of my study and its weaknesses and the implications of my study for future research. The goal of my study is to delve deeper into the subject of enlargement of the EU and look at the process from the perspective of member states, particularly the public and political parties, before application for membership has taken place. I ascertain whether public opinion and political parties serve as apply for membership to the EU, specifically Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. I also aim to establish the importance of a cost analysis of EU membership in affe cting public opinion and party support for accession. Literature Review: This paper seeks to determine whether public opinion and political parties each play a role in affecti ng the timing of when a country makes its decision to apply for membersh ip to the European Union (EU). L iterature for this study is drawn from research that analyzes three perspectives of the EU. The first perspective is broad and places its emphasis on the costs and benefits of EU mem bership to a country as a whole The secon d perspective analyzes public opinion of the EU among European citizens and the external and socioeconomic factors that shape their beliefs as well as the role of public opinion in the decision making process of the EU. The third perspective analyzes the importance of political parties and party politics in influencing public opinion and politicians and affecting the decision making process of the EU Costs and Benefits of Europe an Union Membership Literature regarding the effects of enlargement on the E uropean Union (EU) generally t akes one of two approaches, one which stresses the costs and disa dvantages of accession, and

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Leal 5 another one stressing its benefits These presumed effects concern those states which are already members of the EU, as well as those states which are prospective members, making their decisions to apply for membership. When co nsidering joining the EU, a country must take into account not on ly what benefits the EU can provide with the condition it is presently in, but also what the EU w ill still be able to provide once its size has increased. The more benefits a country anticipates and vice versa Research concerning the costs and benefits of EU membership plays an instrumental role in understanding the role of political parties and how they develop their positions regarding the EU. In making their decisions, p olitical parties rely not only on public preferences but also on what they interpret as being beneficial or costly of EU membership. In the realm of literature that espouses the costs of enlargement, researchers further separate themselves by either analyzing institutional and political effects or focusing on economi c effects of the costs of enlargement Within the literature sampled for this paper, Bruno De Witte (2002) stands apart in solely looking at the institutional e f f ects of enlargement. As membership in the EU increases the number of states that join the EU institutions causes the overall size of each institution to grow. For the most part, this growth in size negatively affects the efficiency of each institution. In the case of the Commission, De Witte states tha t an increase in the number of C ommissioners h inders their ability to make collective decisions. This is due in large part to the greater likelihood of conflicts and misunderstandings taking place among the larger group. With regards to the European Central Bank (ECB) 1 the change in size affects the balance between nationalism and supra nationalism within the Governing Council of the ECB. The greater the number of members in the EU, the more the quantity of governors from each national bank will 1 euro area.

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Leal 6 continue to outnumber the six member Executive Board. En largement is said to have further consequences in its effect on the administrative apparatus of the EU. At fifteen member states, De Witte states that there were already complaints about the inefficiency of meetings. An increase in member states would only serve to further hinder the decision making process. Another interesting effect mentioned by De Witte i s the increase in the number of official languages of the EU that result from an increase in the number of member states. This effect is considered nega tive because of the increase in translation costs and the possibility of a decrease in authentic dialogue taking place in official meetings. Susan Senior Nello (2002) expands further on dec ision making in the ECB when she states that an increase in members would only serve to complicate an already difficult process. Nello continues to say that an increase in complexity would also occur with the distribution of responsibility between the Eco nomic and Financial Affairs Council (Eco fin) 2 the Eurogroup 3 the ECB and the national governments. Ultimately, these issues would affect the efficiency of the ECB. With regard to economic integration, Nello notes the speed with which Central and East European countries re directed their trade toward EU member states. Though the need to focus trade away from non EU member states hurt the economies of some of the Central and East European states resulted in initial losses and rising unemployment as a result of the loss of markets (Medvec, 2009), trade improved over time after a re orientation toward Eastern and Western Europe took place. 2 The Economi c and Financial Affairs Council, better known as the Ecofin Council, forms part of the Council of the European Union. It meets once a month and is composed of the Economics and Finance ministers of the member states. Budget Ministers are also involved when budgetary issues are discussed. 3 An informal body that meets normally the day before Ecofin, this group is made up of all the member states who have adopted the euro as their official currency. It deals with issues relating to the European Monetary Union (EMU).

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Leal 7 With regards to the distribution of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 4 and Structural Funds 5 to the new member states, the Berlin Agreement of 1999 6 was meant to introduce reforms to these programs in order to make enlargement possible. The reforms however were not acceptable to the applicant countries at the time (Nello, 2002) The expansion of the EU to include poorer, less developed countries requires substantial payments to these weaker nations. The excess of funds and subsidies needed for these new member states consequently deprives older member states of needed funds (Medv ec, 2009) It is t he EU to ensure that enlargement does not consume an excessive amount of the EU budget. In expanding further on the effects of enlargement on economic integration research states the removal of border controls by the Schengen Ag reement of 1990 had the possibility of resulting in an exacerbation of social and regional inequalities T he EU needs to put policies in place to prevent newer, less established member states from being taken advantage of. T he disparities in wealth betwee n Western and Eastern Europe have caused much movement in workers from the eastern states to the western states. S erious economic hardship has b een imposed on older member states as a result of this influx of workers West European farmers have also been affected by the availability of cheaper agricultural products from Central and Eastern Europe which has fo rced them to lower their prices and resulted in much economic hardship (Medvec, 2009) 4 The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), though originally focused on agricultural productivity, has since its creation in 1957 shifted its emphasis to better protecting the environment and providing subsidies to rural farmers, as well as becoming m ore demand driven, keeping consumers and their concerns in mind. Its controversy lies in its huge cost to the EU. 5 Structural Funds allow the EU to encourage overall development and reduce existing economic disparities between regions by providing aid to r educe social and economic problems. 6 According to the OECD Glossary of Terms, the Berlin Agreement of 1999, also known as Agenda 2000, is a CAP reform package meant for strengthening growth, competitiveness and employment, for modernizing key policies, a nd for extending the EU's borders through enlargement.

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Leal 8 For the most part, much less research has been done with reg ards to the benefits of accession, and therefore the literature is limited in comparison to that which argues against enlargement. One study ( Svetli and Trtnik, 1999 ) discusses the costs of accession only as far as to discount them. This article states that research shows many of the supposed co s ts to be unfounded. Some of the many costs addressed are those regarding the redistribution of structural funds, the re pricing of agricultural products, increased rates of unemployment in the older member states due to the movement of labor from Eastern Europe to Western Europe, and the movement of production by Western companies to the lower cost countries. Svetli and Trtnik state that many of these supposed costs had yet to be realized when they were in the process of performing their research. C andidate countries see EU membership as an opportunity to stabilize their democratic systems of government. N ot enlarging is the real cost that should concern the EU. In not expanding to encompass the other parts of E urope, the EU would be risking instability and conflict that could escalate to levels of war. Enlargement is the solution the EU needs for peace and prosperity in Europe. W hile the benefits of enlargement may not be great, it is important to note that many of the benefits have already taken place. An example of such is the increase in trade that has occurred between Central and East European countries and West European countries. As illustrated in a study by Richard E. Baldwin, Joseph F. Francois and Ric hard Portes (1997), the EU can prevent futur e conflict through enlargement, while not enlarging could be very dangerous to those countries denied membership, both economically and politically in the sense that these countries might revert to bad forms of g overnment and policy making. Membership is also cited to result in a large increase in real income for new member states. While this increase in income would not be apparent immediately, it would come to realize itself

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Leal 9 in the long run. Studies assert the v ast importance that lies simply in the possibility of membership for prospective states. Those countries having the possibility of joining the EU have been driven to progress and improve themselves in order to meet the criteria established for EU membershi p. D elaying accession negotiations could actually serve to adversely affect the societies and economies of candidate countries; specifically, those countries of Central and Eastern Europe. While the article referenced is said to underest imate the costs of enlargement, it is still important in that it contributes to the literature on some of the aspects of enlargement that are consistently ignored and/or understudied by other researchers (Baldwin, Francois and Portes, 1997) In contrast to the costs and be nefits portrayed thus far, De Witte noted in his study the lack of change that would actually result in some institutions With regard to voting power in the Council of Ministers, a larger Council of Ministers might not likely experience the collective act ion problem asserted by others. This is due to the fact that as it stands the Council rarely votes, but when it does, the Commission and the Council president do everything possible to accommodate all members. In the case of the European Court of Justice ( ECJ), the greater number of judges has not affected its function, mainly because of the structure of the ECJ and because of the changes introduced by the Treaty of Nice 7 Unlike the Commission, judges in the ECJ can form smaller groups to decide cases of l ess political importance. The Nice Treaty allowed for more types of cases to go instead to the European Court of First Instance and for new judicial bodies to be created to hear appeals for cases deemed to be of lesser importance to the growth and developm ent of the EU Therefore, the ECJ is only responsible for handling the more importance cases. 7 Signed February 26, 2001, this treaty sought to expand on previous treaties and advance the process of European integration by reforming various institutional structures of the EU and allowing for the enlargement of the EU to 27 members.

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Leal 10 While the literature discussed focuses mainly on the costs and benefits of membership to the EU in general, it is important to note the meaning of these same cos ts and benefits to candidate countries making their decision to apply for membership to the EU. Research has shown the costs to consist of institutional difficulties, translation costs, and economic costs, while the benefits of membership prove to be limit ed. Some studies have attested to a lack of change that would occur with increased membership to the EU. Though some of the costs described by researchers would not affect candidate countries until years after membership, they are still important to states making their decisions to apply for membership to the EU. When deciding whether or not to apply for membership, states need to take into account the effects that will impact their nations in the short run, as well as in the long run. It is important for g overnment officials to have foresight when making decisions that would impact the nation as a whole. Though all the costs mentioned are noteworthy, economic costs stand out as having the most implications for prospective member states Of particular intere st is trade. Trade can affect a nation both economically and politically; economically in that states use trade to gain revenue and politically because trade can also be used as a tool for developing relationships with other countries. These factors affect not only decision makers, but also public opinion and political parties. In addition to other factors, public opinion and political parties are shaped by their analysis of the perceived costs and benefits of membership. It is therefore important to make n ote of these costs and benefits. Public Opinion toward Enlargement and the F actors that Influence it With in the realm of literature that delves into the factors that influence changes in public opinion some researchers evaluate interactions between E uropean Union ( EU ) member states and EU non member stat es and the effects these have in influencing public attitude regarding the

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Leal 11 EU. Other researchers study the influence of a European identity as well as the relationship between social trust, political c onfidence, and satisfaction with democracy. Public opinion toward enlargement is important not only because it acts independently in influencing government al decisions, but also because it is one of the key factors affecting the decision making and actions of political parties. It is therefore useful to understand the factors that help alter and develop public opinion toward enlargement A study by Karp and Bowl er (2006) explain s the relationship between attitudes toward deepening and broadening of the EU, as well as the driving force behind those attitudes. T he importance of the reluctance of those Europeans who neither support nor oppose European integratio n in surveys is demonstrated as being unrelated to instrumental self interest and EU performance. Instrumental self interest is essentially the most powerful predictor in explaining public opinion toward EU enlargement. Domestic political attitudes as well as perceptions of a cultural threat are considered to be strong predictors of public attitudes toward EU membership. Essentially, citizens who view domestic political institutions in a favorable light and do not perceive a threat to their culture or their nation from integration are shown to be more likely to support EU membership (Elgn & Tillman, 2007). Research by Jones and van der Bijl (2004) uses a transaction affinities approach to explain public approach for EU enlargement. Employing the results of Eurobarometer data from 1996 2002, they find that trading relationships between old and new members states, as well as the distance between national capitals affects public opinion. The more interaction between the states and the more information an indivi dual has available to them, the more likely they will be to provide responses in surveys. Historical relationships between the nations also affect aggregate public opinion. Public opinion, though also impacted by political parties, is motivated by other fa ctors as demonstrated above (Ray,

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Leal 12 2003). It is important to note that public opinion and political parties are mutually influential. Political parties often influence the direction of public opinion. In fact, public opinion is shown to react to party polit ics, rather than influence it In the same way, political parties are also positions and their techniques based upon what the public wants (Tavits, 2008). With regards to the literature that stresses cultural and European identity, Beus (2001) demonstrates the importa nce of a European identity. H is research expresses the benefits and importance of a European identity to European integration. He claims th at a European identity have a greater incentive to pay attention to government and all the costs, mistakes, and/or failures associated with it. Essentially, public officials will be held more accountable for their actions, likely resulting in better government decisions. Accountability to the public can serve as reasoning behind the timing and why a country would choose to apply for membership to the EU. A re lated study by Zmerli and Newton (2008) echoes th e same idea of the relationship between public approval and better governance. In their study, Zmerli and Newton show a significant correlation between social trust, political confidence, and satisfaction wi th democracy. Using social capital theory, they state the more trust that exists between individuals, the more likely individuals will be to participate in community and civic affairs, since they will perceive fewer risks and more rewards. Such participat ion is what builds the social institutions upon which strong stable democracies are based. In a similar sense, trust allows individuals to better be able to work together for a greater cause, such as but not limited to, membership in the

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Leal 13 EU. Without trust and participation, social institutions, like political parties are less able to work together successfully. Political Parties and their Role in Governmental Decision Making in the European Union The third perspective explored in this paper studies the role of political parties and party politics in influencing public opinion and government officials when making decisions to apply for membership to the European Union (EU). Research on this topic has shown that while the f uture of the EU still lies in the hands of the political leadership of Europe, the role of political parties in affecting decision making continues to be instrumental and continues to grow Political parties and public opinion are said to have evolved from developing political systems (Wi lgden and Feld, 1976). In fact, p olitical parties are shown to play a very important role in shaping public opini on (Ray, 2003 ) It is important to understand the significance of political parties in affecting decision making in the EU, though more specifi cally for this paper, in the Central and Eastern European countries, in order to better comprehend the enlargement process. Historically, research on European integration depicted a process that was protected from public opinion by intergovernmental nego tiations and by an elite agreement on integration. However, with the expansion of EU policymaking, as time passed the issue of European integration became more controversial and salient and th erefore, more noticeable and important to the public at large ( Ray, 2003). Contrary to popular beliefs that held that post communist voters become disenchanted after initial election cycles, r esearch has shown that people tend to vote more in elections they consider to be more important (Pacek, Pop Eleches, & Tucker, 2005). Elites could no longer make decisions without turning to the public. It is in times such as these that political parties have gained importance. This is especially true of Euroskeptic 8 parties. 8 Two types of E uroskepticism exist, hard and soft. Hard Euroskepticism is defined as being opposition to the entire idea of the EU and European integration whereas soft Euroskepticism is merely opposition to aspects of the EU and

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Leal 14 Euroskepticism has been proven to have an influence on the process of integration (Pacek, Pop Eleches, & Tucker, 2005). Even small Euroskeptic parties can serve to have a net effect of increasing overall support for European integration. This is because the existence of such parties pushes many people to rally together in support of the EU (Ray, 2003). The importance of E uroskeptic political parties lie in the role they can play in delaying accession within the accession countries by influencing the public at large into action. Research has shown that there is more support for Euroskepticism in Central and Eastern Europe than there is in Western Europe. This is likely due to the hesitance among voters in the candidate countries regarding whether the EU will provide their country with benefits as opposed to costs. For many, the EU is considered a symbol of democracy and the free market and therefore joining the EU would be guaranteeing the reconfiguration of their post communist systems (Bielasiak, 2002). EU membership would also symbolize the ultimate guarantee of a free market economy and the continuation of economic reforms (Tucke r Pacek, & Berinsky, 2002). Some studies analyze ideological positions and their influence in determining a political n for integration in the European Union. Those parties considered to oppose European integration tend to be traditionalist/authoritarian/nationalist, as well as fall on the extreme left of the political spectrum. Political ideology is therefore considered an important pre cursor of support for European integration. The same analysis applies in the West and in Central and Eastern Europe. The difference between these two societies is that in Central and Eastern Europe, internal party conflicts arise because o f the constraints and choices involved in EU membership rather than ideological pressures, as in the West (Marks, Hooghe, Nelson, & Edwards, 2008). its policy areas. Generally speaking, the majority of Euroskeptical political parties in the EU tend to be soft rather than hard Euroskeptic.

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Leal 15 Political parties matter in many ways. They help mediate between public opinion and elite actions in repr esentative systems and help select key members in EU institutions. They also help determine the shape and content of politics at the domestic level. Domestic and European politics are entangled in such a way that in determining the way domestic politics pl ay out, political parties also help establish the way European politics play out. The issue of European integration is said to rely on the structure of party competition and domestic politics. Political parties aid in mobilizing sentiment for the different issues at stake and in structuring competition, as well as agenda setting (Taggart & Szczerbiak, 2002). In other words, political parties play important roles at various levels in the political system; they affect public opinion, they affect the decision making of politicians, and they affect t he process of which issues are considered critical as opposed to others. Hypotheses: While rather in depth research h as been done on the subjects of the costs and benefits of membership to the European Union (EU), public opinion regarding the EU and political parties and their role in the decision making process of the EU, little attention has been paid as to what cision to apply for membership. Researchers have concentrated t heir focus on the accession process and the perceptions of countries and citizens alike of the EU after application for membership has already taken place In order to truly understand the entire enlargement process, it is important to look at it from the very beginning when nations are still pondering the idea of membershi p. Having ignored for the most part the determining factors that drive a country to apply for membership to the EU and affect the timing of its application little is known about the true role s public opinion and political parties play in this process.

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Leal 16 As demonstrated previously, the costs and benefits of EU membership are instrumental in affecting public opinion and political parties. In shaping their opinions and positions regarding mem bership to the EU, the public and political parties rely on a cost analysis, among other things. This cost analysis allows them to fully understand the situation and develop their ideas. Though all the perceived costs of membership are seen as equally impo rtant, economic costs, specifically trade, stand above the others. Trade is seen as particularly important due to both its economic and political implications. In order to properly comprehend the significance of public opinion and political parties in affe membership to the EU, it is important to understand the factors that shape these. I argue that the perceived costs of accession play a role in affecting public opinion and party support for accession. The literature on the subject of public opinion and EU enlargements describes the various factors that concern citizens regarding enlargement, be it the economic costs or their cultural identity. While it could be argued that public opinion is inconsequent ial to the functioning of the EU, research has demonstrated its importance. Public opinion is becoming increasingly important in the decision making process ( Beus 2001; Maier and Ritterberger 2008; Zmerli and Newton 2008). The EU relies on public opinion f or the purpose of developing its legitimacy (Karp and Bowler 2006). While countries and their citizens might still contemplate the idea of the EU and whether membership is beneficial once they are already in the accession process, their thoughts really on ly relate so far as negotiations are involved. They are no longer deciding whether they want to join, but rather the benefits they would like to receive with membership. Public opinion, though still important in many respects, no longer really plays the pi votal role it can play pre application. Before application has taken place, countries spend their time deciding

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Leal 17 whether they would like to apply to the EU at all. I argue that it is before application for membership to the EU has taken place that public op inion truly plays a crucial role in the decision making process. It is then that the public can be instrumental in either delaying or speeding up the process of application. Though it can be a sserted that public opinion only plays a superficial role if at all in decision making in the EU I argue the contrary. The importance of public opinion to the political sphere is becoming increasingly evident, as demonstrated by events in 2006, when the ratification process was put on hold in order to accommodate publ ic referendums regarding accession. Public opinion is continually playing an important role in the EU integration and enlargement decision making process, a realm previously dominated by political officials (Maier and Rittberger, 2008). Another factor tha t can also be considered of great consequence to the timing of a As demonstrated in the literature, political parties play a hand in guiding and influencing public opinion (Ray, 200 3). They are also instrumental in shaping both domestic and European politics (Taggart and Szczerbiak, 2002). These things considered, i t is important to realize the ever present role political parties continue to play in government at all levels. As previously mentioned, countries take many factors into consideration when determining whether EU membership is for them. For the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the prospect of EU membership was and is considered to be one of th e most effective ways of consolidating the Western ideals of democracy and a fre e market Membership is also seen as a window to the West and all it has to offer. Though both of these statements can be considered true, there is another side to the issue. W ith every benefit the EU might be able to offer, there tends to be a cost of some sort. Weighing all of these matters during the application contemplation process can be rather difficult for

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Leal 18 politicians and citizens alike. Th is is where political parties s tep in. Political parties help to not only inform the public, but also to develop their ideologies and positions regarding different political issues such as but not limited to, integration (Marks, Hooghe, Nelson, & Edwards, 2008). I argue that political parties essentially served as important determining factors in the timing of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe decisions to apply for membership to the EU. These ideas can be generalized to other intergovernmental organizations as well. The con cepts of public opinion and political parties are not ideas that are limited solely to the EU; rather they are present in many parts of the world and involved in the creation and functioning of most intergovernmental organizations. Public opinion and polit ical parties can be very vocal when the issues at hand are significant and/or controversial. The joining of an intergovernmental organization is certainly something that would be considered contentious for many groups and might likely drive these groups to prevent or push for the authorization of membership to the organization This paper uses the example of the European Union to demonstrate this theory. My exact hypotheses are therefore: H1: The perceived costs of accession affect public opinio n and party support for accession. H2 : Public opinion is a determining factor behind the timing of Poland, Slovakia, and H3 : Political parties are a determining factor behind the timing o f Poland, Slovakia, and

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Leal 19 Data and Methods: For the purposes of this paper, I limit my study to the countries of Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The reason I choose these three countries in particular is because from the ten countries that joined the EU in 2004, these three countries are the only on es that were at least one year apart from one another in their dates for EU membership applications. I attempt to prove my first hypothesis regarding the effect of the perceived costs of accession on public opinion and party support for accession by operat ionalizing trade, one of the costs of accession. I do this by looking at the trading partners for Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia in the years preceding and following accession for each country. I acquire this information from the World Trade (WTO) trade policy reviews for each country (Poland in 2000, Slovakia in 1995, and Slovenia in 2002), as well as from the B ackground N otes provided for each country by the Office of Electronic Information and Publications of the Bureau of Public Affairs o f the United States (US) Department of State. B ackground N otes, updated frequently, provide information current to 2011. The trade policy reviews are undertaken by the General Council of the WTO, who meets as the Trade Policy Review Body. The frequency of I attempt to prove my second hypothesis regarding public opinion and its effect on the y for membership to the European Union (EU) by analyzing the aggregate data of Central and Eastern Eurobarometer (CEEB) surveys from 1990 1996 The CEEB was a survey performed annually by the European Commission on the general public from 1990 1997 These surveys capture changes in politics and economics as well as public attitudes. I limit my study only to the years 1990 1996 because the purpose of my research is to understand the determin ing factors behind the timing of Poland,

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Leal 20 cision to apply for membership. Though public opinion continues to retain its importance in the political sphere after application for membership has already taken place, my focus is on the role of public opinion before these countries officially applied f or membership to the EU. The data used for each country differs based upon the year of that I only indicate survey data for Poland until 1994 with the exception of the first question, where I include data until 1995 I do this in order to provide results that are closer to the date of its application for membership. Without including data from 1995, I would be limited to results ending in 1992, which would likely hinder the reliability of my analysis. Poland also diff ers from the other two cases in that the CEEB started to be administered there in 1990, as opposed to 1992. Slovakia applied for membership on June 27, 1995 and so survey data for this country is only indicated up until 1995. Slovenia applied for membershi p on June 10, 1996 and so survey data for this country is included up until 1996. Fieldwork for each CEEB survey wa s done from October November of each year. For example survey data for 1993 was acquired in November of that year. Though each of these cou ntries applied for membership before October of their respective years, I still include su rvey data for their application years because I assume public opinion remained stable and relatively similar to the months preceding when the surveys were actually ta ken and therefore is representative of public opinion before the se countries officially applied for membership I acquired my data for the CEEB surveys from GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Science s. Through its extensive research programs, GESIS provides service in data, specialized information, and methodology. For the purposes of what I analyzed, I looked at s elect questions from each survey that pertain to the question I attempt to answer with this study Since the CEEB

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Leal 21 varies in what it asks r espondents in each survey, I was li mited in the number of questions I could use. My study looks at the changes in public opinion over time, and therefore relies on t he same questions and topics being present in all the surveys Consequently, f or my analysi s, I chose to include those questions rela ting to my study that were present in some form in either all years or most. This left me with two possibilities (See Appendix 1a) The first question asks respondents whether they are for or against EU membership. This question was only asked in 1990 1992 and 1995 1996. The second question asked respondents whether they held a positive, negative, or neutral image of the EU. This que stion was present in all surveys. The extent of my analysis is a compilation of all the aggregate data for each of the three countries I am focusing on In my study, I look for absolute levels of support, in other words, the percentage (%) of respondents i n favor of EU membership. The internal validity of the public opinion portion of my study is affected since I have no control over whether individuals respond to the survey questions accurately. The pool of respondents being questioned should however still provide sufficient evidence for what I seek to prove. I attempt to prove my third hypothesis regarding political parties and their effect on the EU by analyzing data fr om the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey This survey was carried out between September 2002 and April 2003 and was completed by 238 academics that specialize in either political parties or European integration. This survey provides data on party positioning with regards to European integration, ideology, and policy issues for national partie s in various European countries. A similar s urvey conducted in 1999 is limited only to parties of Western Europe and is therefore irrelevant to the goal of this paper. Fro m the available surveys that remain, t he 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey is the earliest survey administered and is therefore

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Leal 22 the most applicable to my research. Though a survey completed in the 1990s might be considered to be better suited in terms of accu racy for what I seek to prove the 2002 survey works just as well. Research on the stabilization of party systems shows that new party systems can stabilize rather quickly depending on such factors as levels of fractionalization and party turnover. Low levels of fractionalization and low levels of party turnover allow parties in power to further establish themselves. Studies looking at the stances of some of the parties us ed in my paper indicate that in the present day, these parties have maintained similar beliefs to their early 1990s forms (Toole, 2000 ; Rohrschneider and Whitefield, 2007 ). Though I lack information on all the parties in my analysis, the research studies I reference can be generalized to other East European countries. Therefore, I can still rely on this data to ascertain whether the positioning and ideology of political parties are what affected the timing apply for membersh ip to the EU For the purposes of wha t I analyzed, I looked at two questions that relate to the inquiry I make in this paper. The first asks respondents to describe the general positioning of party leadership on European integration for the given parties o ver the course of 2002 and the second question I look at asks respondents to determine the broad ideology of the given parties from extreme left to extreme right. These questions relate to my study so far as describing the political positioning and beliefs for the given parties that pertain to the countries I am studying. In conjunction with the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey I also reference the European Journal of Political Research as well as the Norwegian Social Sciences Data Services (NSD) fo r data on the parties that were in power at the time of application. NSD is a large data archive and resource center that provides services in data analysis and data gathering, in addition to services regarding methodology, ethics, and privacy. I reference the European Journal of Political

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Leal 23 Research for the elections results for Poland and Slovakia and I reference NSD for the election results for Slovenia. I use these election results to determine the majority party in parliament and the party in power for president and prime minister at the time of Poland, Slovakia, and Drawing on this information, I am able to proper ly utilize the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey, limiting my focus and only to those parties that were in power during the target time periods I am study ing Essentially, my analysis should show that the parties in power at the time of application were pro i ntegration with center right ideologies. The internal validity of the political party aspect of my study is affected since I have no control over how accurately individuals respond to the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey questions. Limits exist on the exten This survey was administered to 636 academic and was completed by 238 of them, resulting in a 37 percent response rate. The reliability of this study has been examined and the validity has be en compared to other data and expert surveys. Analyses show this study to therefore be a reasonably valid and reliable source of information ( Hooghe, Bakker, Brigevich, de Vries, Edwards, Marks, Rovny, & Steenbergen, 2010). Findings: My analysis of the trade data presented in the WTO trade policy reviews and the US Department of State Background Notes indicates which regions Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia traded with before their accession into the European Union (EU). Of note is the imp ortance of international trade to each of economic growth. Following the collapse of the C omecon (Council for Mutual Economic Aid) 9 trading bloc in 1991, Poland re oriented its trade toward other Central and East European countries, as well as countries in the EU. As early as 9 An organization founded in 1949 to coordinate the economic development of the Eastern European countries under Soviet influence. Though often considered the Soviet alternative to the Marshall Plan, this organization did not provide financial aid.

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Leal 24 1996, the EU accounted for 70% of trade with Poland. Before officially becoming a member of the EU, Poland cultivated trade and regional integration through the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) 10 Though Poland still trades with members of CEFTA, the majority of its trade is oriented toward the EU specifically, 80% of its exports and 60% of its imports. Germany in particular My analysis shows t hat prior to accession, Poland had already begun to establish trading relationships with its current trading partners. Therefore, membership to the EU did not result in trading losses for Poland. Like Poland Slovakia also re oriented its trade after the fall of the Comecon trading bloc toward Western Europe and other Central and East European states. Prior to this re orientation, Slovakia trade d primarily with Russia and other Central and East European countries. exports to Western Europe incre ased from 19% of its total exports in 1989 to 71% in 1994. Slovakia still maintains the same trading partners in the present largest trading partner, accounting for 20.1% of exports and 16.8% of imports in 2009 followed by the C zech Republic which accounts for imports Like Poland, my analysis shows that Slovakia had already begun to establish its trading relationship with EU member states prior to accession. Therefore, no real trading losses took place upon application and membership to the EU provide Slovenia experiences similar results to both Poland and Slovakia. Considered one of the most successful republics of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia was faced with a loss of mark ets following the breakdown of Yugoslavia and the fall of the Comecon trading bloc. In order to make up for these losses, Slovenia redirected its trade toward member states and associated 10 This agreement became effective July 1994. According to the OECD, it makes possible the gradual establishment of a free trade area and a gradual reduction of certain trade barriers.

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Leal 25 countries of the EU. The liberalization of trade has allowed the cou ntry to experience a steady economic growth averaging approximately 4% per year. Slovenia was a founding member of the WTO, as well as a member of CEFTA. Presently, about three quarters of its trade is said to be with the EU, its largest trading partners consisting of Germany (31% of exports and 21 % of imports) Italy (14% of exports and 17% of imports) Austria (7% of exports and 8% of imports) and France (6% of exports and 11% of imports) Croatia also serves as a large trading partner, making up for 8% 11 Like both Poland and Slovakia, Slovenia had already begun to develop its trading relationships with its current trading partners prior to accession. Therefore, no trading losses resulted from application and membership to the EU. The results from my analysis of the CEEB survey data are presented in Figures 1 through 6. Results for each year available are provided in order to illustrate changes over time. The results for the first question are separated into graphs by country in Fig ures 1 through 3 Slovakia is limited to two years of survey data, whereas three years of survey data were available for Poland and Slovenia. The results for Poland for 1990, 1992, and 1995 are shown in Figure 1 As stated previously, I include 1995 in ord date as possible. As demonstrated, the percentage of people voting in favor of the EU appears to show an increasing trend from 1991 to 1992 and also in 1995. However, the percentage of people opp osing membership to the EU also appears to show an increasing trend from 4% in 1991 to 7% in 1992 remaining stable in 1995. A decrease in the difference between the percentage of people found to be in favor of membership to the EU and th e percentage of p eople found to be opposed to membership to the EU from 75 in 1991 to 73 in 1992 demonstrates a convergence though minimal, of opinion among the Polish public. I use the data in 1995 in order to show an 11 Exact numbers were not available for the individual percentages of exports and imports between Slovenia and Croatia.

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Leal 26 ongoing trend in my results that I assume continued t hrough 1994, the year Poland applied for membership to the EU. The ongoing trend is demonstrated for the percentages of people that were either in favor or opposed to membership in the EU, whereas it is absent for the difference between the percentage of p eople found to be in favor of membership to the EU and the percentage of people found to be opposed to membership to the EU. The assumptions I make on the trends of public opinion in between surveys are dependent on the fact that public opinion was not affected in a way that altered it significantly. Research has shown that though voters may seemingly change their loyalties from election to election, their volatility is merely a response to the stability or lack thereof in their party system (Tavits, 200 8). As stated previously in this paper, studies have shown that new party systems can stabilize quickly and have been shown to do so in East European countries (Toole, 2000). The results for Slovakia for 1992 and 1995 are shown in Figure 2 Simi lar to Poland, the percentage of people voting in favor of the EU appears to show an increasing trend (86% in 1992 to 88% in 1995) Also like Poland the percentage of people opposing membership to the EU also appears to show an increasing trend, with 7% i n 1992 to 12% in 1995 A decrease in the difference between the percentage of people found to be in favor of membership to the EU and the percentage of people found to be opposed t o membership to the EU from 79 in 1992 to 76 in 1995 demonstrates a converg ence, though mini mal, of opinion among the Slovak public. I n my analysis, I assume an ongoing trend occurs between 1992 and 1995, though data for the years in for membership to the EU. The results for Slovenia for 1992, 1995, and 1996 are shown in Figure 3. Unlike Poland and Slovakia, the percentage of people voting in favor of the EU appears to show a decreasing

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Leal 27 trend (92% in 1992 to 79% in 1995 to 47% in 1996). Similar to Poland and Slovakia, the percentage of people opposing membership to the EU also appears to show an increasing trend between 1992 and 1995, with 4% in 1992 to 21% in 1995. This trend reverses in 1996 with a decrease in the percentage of people who oppose membersh ip to the EU to 15 %. A decrease in the difference between the percentage of people found to be in favor of membership to the EU and the percentage of people found to be opposed t o membership to the EU from 88 in 1992 to 58 in 1995 to 32 in 1996 demons trat es a convergence of opinion among the Slo vene public. In my analysis, I assume an ongoing trend occurs between 1992 and 1995, though data for the years in between is not available, leading up to the date of Slov en the EU. The reliability of the results for Slovenia in 1996 begs to be questioned due simply to the lack of responses. Based on the data available, only 62% of respondents provided answers. This amount is not as representative as the data available for 1992 and 1995 and is therefore not as reliable a source of information. Resul ts of my analysis for the first question both support and refute my hypoth esis (H2 ). In the case of Poland, thoug h support for membership increases over time, opposition to membership also increases. The difference between the percentage of people who favor or oppose membership, though it de creases from 1992 to 1995, experiences an in crease from 1992 to 1995. This in dicates that while a convergence of opinion took pl ace from 1991 to 1992, a divergence took place from 1992 to 1995. The same trends are visible for Slovakia, with the exception that a break in the trend does not take place for the difference between the p ercentage of people who favor or oppose membership. Slovenia differs from the other two countries in that it sees a decreasing trend in support for membership over time and experiences both an increase and a decrease in opposition for membership. The resul ts for Poland and Slovakia contradict

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Leal 28 each other in that as support for EU membership increases, opposition does as well. It must be noted however that the amount of support for EU membership is much greater in comparison to the amount of opposition. Slove nia differs from these two countries in that public opinion results for that country do not contradict each other from 1992 to 1995. results is the decrease in opposition present from 1995 to 1996. In order for these results to have supported my hypothesis (H2 ), there needed to be an increase in support and a decrease in opposition for membership over time Poland and Slovakia each exper ience this with the exception of an increase in opposition, rather than a decrease. Sloveni a refutes my hypothesis (H2 ) in demonstrating a decrease in support and an inconclusive increase and decrease in opposition. In order to appreciate these results as being truly representative of public opinion, it is important to see an established trend o ver a long period of time, something that is not present in the available data. The results for the second question I use from the CEEB surveys are separat ed into three graphs (Figures 4 6) demonstrating the percentages of people that viewed the EU with a positi ve, negative, or neutral image. Results in each graph are grouped by country and show the yearly trends. Figure 4 illustrates the percentage of respondents who indicated they had a positive image of the EU. Poland shows an increasing trend from 1990 to 1991 and then a decreasing trend from 1991 to 1993 and then an increasing trend again from 1993 to 1994. Slovakia shows an increasing trend from 1992 to 1993 and then a decreasing trend from 1993 to 1995. Slov enia shows a decreasing trend from 1992 to 1993 and then an increasing trend from 1993 to 1995 and then a decreasing trend again from 1995 to 199 6 I consider respondents who indicate a positive image of the EU as being those respondents in favor of member ship to the EU.

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Leal 29 Figure 5 illustrates the percentage of respondents who indicated they had a negative image of the EU. Poland shows an increasing trend from 1990 to 199 3 and then a decreasing trend from 199 3 to 199 4 Slovakia shows a de creasing trend from 1992 to 1993 and then a n in creasing trend from 1993 to 199 4 and then a decreasing trend once more from 1994 to 1995 Slovenia shows an in creasing trend from 1992 to 1993 and then a de creasing trend from 1993 to 1995 and then a n in creasing trend again from 1995 to 199 6 I consider respondents who indicate a negative image of the EU as being those respondents opposed to membership to the EU. Figure 6 illustrates the percentage of respondents who indicated they had a neutral image of the EU. Poland shows an in creasing trend from 1990 to 1993 and then a decreasing trend from 1993 to 1994. Slovakia shows an increasing trend from 1992 to 1993 and then a decreasing trend from 1993 to 1995. Slovenia shows a decreasing trend from 1992 to 1993 and then an increasing t rend from 1993 to 1994 and then a decreasing trend again from 1994 to 1996. I consider respondents who indicate a neutral image of the EU as being those respondents who are either indifferent to the topic of membership to the EU or who lack enough knowledg e to be able to fully make a proper judgment Results of my analysis for the second question are inconclusive with regards to supporti ng or refuting my hypothesis (H2 ). In the instance of Poland, my results seemingly support my hypothesis (H2 ) I say seemi ngly because this support is conditional. Though the amount of people with a positive image of the EU increased from 199 3 to 199 4 and the amount of people who viewed the EU with a negative image decreased from 199 3 to 199 4 these trends were not present in the years prior. For example, in the years leading up to 1994, there was a decrease in the amount of people who viewed the EU with a positive image and an increase in the number of people who viewed the EU with a negative image. The survey data for 1994 w as

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Leal 30 acquired in November of that year, after Poland had officially applied for membership of the EU. There is no definite way of knowing whether the Polish pu blic had already started having a positive image of the EU before the application was submitted, or whether the increase in the application for membership rather than a cause Slovenia differs from Poland in that it see mingly refutes my hypothesis (H2 ). Once again, this refutation is conditional. Though the amount of people with a positive image of the EU decreased from 1995 to 1996 and the amount of people who viewed the EU with a negative image increased from 1995 to 1996, these trends were not present in the years prior. For example, in the years leading up to 1996, there was an increase in the amount of people who viewed the EU with a positive image and a decrease in the number of people who viewed the EU with a negative image. Once again, the survey d ata for 1996 was acquired in November of that year, after Slovenia had officially applied for membership of the EU. There is no definite way of knowing whether the Slovenian public had already started to have negative image of the EU before the application was submitted, or whether the increase in the amount of people who believed the EU to have a negative image was simply a result of Slovenia membership, rather than a cause. Slovakia provides inconclusive results. Though it experiences a decrease in the amount of people who view the EU with a positive image from 1993 to 1995, it also experiences a decrease in the amount of people who view the EU with a negative image from 1994 to 1995. These results essentially contradict one another and neither support nor refute my hypothesis (H2 ) The results of the share of people who view the EU with a neutral image in each country generally support my hypothesis (H2 ) since each country experiences a decrease in the time

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Leal 31 period leading up to their a pplication dates. Poland is the exception because its decrease only begins in 1993 and in the years prior to that date it experiences an increasing trend. The reason why these results aid in proving my hypothesis (H2 ) is because a decrease in neutrality am ong public opinion demonstrates more people developed a definite opinion of positive or negative rather than the indifferent opinion of neutrality. In other words, this demonstrates the presence of a definite opinion, rather than the absence of one. Of men tion is the fact that a difference exists among the number of people who view the EU with either a positive or neutral image in comparison to the amount who view the EU with a negative image ; the di fference being that a far fewer amount of people view the EU with a negative image. Consequently, this means that a greater amount of people are either indifferent to or support the EU rather than oppose it. In a sense, that aspect of the re sults supports my hypothesis (H2 ) because based on the public opinion tha t these results represent, it is implied that a strong opposition to the EU was not present in any of these countries when they made their decision to apply for membership to the EU and therefore did not take part in delaying applications for membership T he results from my analysis of the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey data are presented in Tables 1 through 3 with each table dedicated to each country. For each country, I provide information on the party in power (at the time of application for membership) as prime minister and president, as well as the majority party in parliament. Slovenia stands apart in that no political party is indicated for president, since the individual who served in the capacity of president from 1991 to 2002, had no party affiliation. The third column in each regarding E uropean integration and the fourth column indicates the results for question 14 of the

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Leal 32 survey that asks fo political ideology on the left right spectrum (See Appendix 1b). to seven. Therefore, those numbers closer to seven indicate parties are more in favor of European integration, whereas numbers closer to one indicate the contrary. Data results for Poland indicate that the Alliance of Democratic Left (SLD), the majority party in parliament at the time of averaged a 6.88 for its position on European integration, (PSL) the party in power as prime minister, is shown to have a 4.13, which indicates it is mostly neutral and though very minimally, still somewhat in favor of European integration. The Coalition Electoral Action Solidarity of the Right (AWSP), the party in power as president, is shown to have a 5.38, which indicates it is in favor of European integration. Data results for Slovakia show Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (LS HZDS) averaged a 7.0 for its position on European integration, which indicates that it is strongly in favor of European integration. Data results for Slovenia show that the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS) party averaged a 6.6 for its position on European integration, which indicates that it is also strongly in favor of European integration. The results from this question support my hypothesis (H2) because each of the parties in power application for membership supported EU integration or at the very least was not opposed to it and would not have delayed application for membership to the EU. For question scale from zero to ten, zero indicating the extreme left, and ten indicating the extreme right. Data results for Poland show the SLD to have a score of 4.13, indicating it is a mildly leftist party. The PSL is classified to have a 4.38, also indicating it is mi ldly leftist. In contrast, the AWSP is

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Leal 33 shown to have a 7.75, indicating this party has rightist beliefs. Data results for Slovakia show the LS HZDS to have a 4.38, which indicates this party is mildly leftist. Data results for Slovenia show the LDS to have a 4.2, which indicates this party is also mildly leftist. As demonstrated by the literature on political parties and their role in governmental decision making, those parties that oppose European integration tend to fall on the extreme left of the politic al spectrum (Marks, Hooghe, Nelson, & Edwards, 2008). The results for question 14 with the exception of the AWSP, partially contradict this statement since most of the parties in power at the time of membership are classified to be mildly leftist. It is only a partial contradiction since this statement asserts that parties in opposition of European integration fall on the extreme left. The Polish AWSP affirms this statement since it falls on the right side of the political spectrum and supports European integration. Consequently, based on past research, the results of ques tion 14 refute my hypothesis (H3 ) for the most part. These results however also contradict the results for question 1. Therefore, I must deem the data from the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey as fail ing to support my hypothesis (H3 ) as a result of being inconclusive as a whole Though my analysis of the CEEB survey data and the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey data produce d inconclusive results that fail to truly support my second and third hypotheses (H2 and H3), the results still matter for convey ing the importance of a cost analysis of membership to the EU by the public and political parties and proving my first hypothesi s (H1). As demonstrated by my analysis of the WTO trade policy reviews and the US Department of State Background Notes, there were no proven trade losses to Poland, Slovakia, or Slovenia, as a result of application and membership to the EU. Each of these c ountries had already developed trading relationships with the EU and its associated countries prior to accession. Thus, accession did not

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Leal 34 cause these relationships to form, nor did it produce any visible trade losses for Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. As mentioned previously in this paper, t rade is important because it can affect a nation both economically and politically; economically in that states use trade to gain revenue and politically because trade can also be used as a tool for developing relations hips with other countries. Trade played and continues to play a central role in helping Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia achieve and maintain sustained economic growth. With that said, perceived trade losses would likely deter the public and political partie s from supporting and allowing EU membership. There having been little to no perceived trade losses for Poland, Slovakia, and Sloven ia due to trade relationships already having been established with the EU the public and political parties were not pushed toward opposing EU membership for trade reasoning. Were there to have been extensive perceived trade losses, the results might have been the contrary. My analysis therefore supports my hypothesis (H1). In relating the results of my analysis for my second and third hypotheses (H2 and H3) to each other, one can notice a relationship between the two. For Poland, in the time period immediately preceding its application for membership, I note overall public support for EU membership. Based on party positioning, the political parties in power at the time of application are shown to support European integration. For Slovakia, in the time period immediately preceding its application for membership, I note overall public support for EU membership. Based on party pos itioning, the political party in power at the time of application is shown to support European integration. Slovenia differs from Poland and Slovakia in that public support for EU membership is inconclusive. Based solely on the second question I test regar ding whether respondents held positive, negative, or neutral images of the EU, the Slovene public can be described as having been against EU membership. The factor present most often when analyzing

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Leal 35 the data for Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia together appea rs to be the incidence of pro EU political parties in power at the time of application for membership to the EU, followed by public support. What this reveals is that rather than mattering equally, political parties might have played a greater role than p ublic opinion apply for membership to the EU and might therefore serve as a greater determining factor. Conclusion : An abundance of research is devoted to the accession process states undergo as candidate countries, which consists of the variety of changes states must undertake to their governing institutions and economies in order to g ain membership to the European Union (EU) (European Council, 1993) Researchers have concentra ted their focus on the accession process and the perceptions of countries and citizens alike of the EU after application for membership has already taken place. L ittle attention however, is paid to the period preceding application for membership, specific ally for membership. Though the negotiations process is vital a part of understanding enlargement, it only begins to scratch the surface. In order to fully comprehend the enlargement p rocess, it is important to look at it from th e beginning, when states are still contemplating the idea of membership. Having ignored for the most part the determining factors that affect the timing of a known about the true roles public opinion and political parties play in affecting this process. The aims of my research were to explore this topic and determine what factors play a role hip to the EU ; the cases of Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia in particular. I argued that public opinion and political parties serve as two of the primary determining factors I also investigated the importance of perceived

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Leal 36 costs of accession in affecting pu blic opinion and party support for accession. Though I use the particular example of the EU, my ideas can be generalized to other intergovernmental organizations as well. Public opinion and political parties can play substantial roles in preventing or push ing for the authorization of membership for their country to an intergovernmental organization. In order to test my theory I used WTO trade policy reviews and US Department of State Background Notes to acquire trade data on each of my countries in order to determine the role of perceived costs in affecting public opinion and party support for accession (H1) I relied on survey data from the CEEB, as well as the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey to assess the importance of public opinion and political parties For my second hypothesis (H2) I look as absolute levels of support in favor of EU membership. For my third hypothesis (H3), I used the European integration. The results of my analysis were mixed. Though I succeeded in supporting my first hypothesis, I failed to acquire conclusive support for either my second or third hypothese s. Of note is the relationship between the results for my second and third hypothese s. Aspects of my data analysis for my second hypotheses regarding public opinion indicate the absence of a strong public opposition to European integration, while data analysis for my third hypothesis indicates the presence of political parties in governme nt that were generally in support of European integration. These results support each other in that past research indicates it is the presence of Euroskeptic parties that sparks strong public support and/or opposition for European integration. Having been unable to prove my second hypothesis, I further confirm the importance of the role

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Leal 37 of political parties and the idea that though public opinion can be a strong potent force in the political sphere, at times it requires the assistance and support of other p olitical actors such as, but not limited to, political parties. The joint analysis of my results further indicates the greater role played by political parties membership to the EU when compared to public opinion While the results of my data analyses fail to wholly support two of my three hypotheses the importance of this study is still evident. This study serves a purpose in further confirming and contributing to other research and, as evide nced by my analysis of the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey, this study also serves to negate past research. Not only will this study essentially be contributing to the research already available on the effects of public opinion and political parties on the decision making process in the EU, but it will also contribute to the limited research available apply for membership to the EU. Weaknesses are present in this study a nd must be mentioned. First of all, I must acknowledge the lack of detailed numbers provided with respect to trading partners for each country. Analysis of the monetary amount might likely have conveyed a clearer picture with respect to the losses and lack thereof experienced by each country. I must also recognize the limited amount of data that was available for the study of my second hypothesis. Though an analysis of more questions that demonstrated stronger trends over a greater period of time would have been more useful for the purposes my study, such resources were not available. The CEEB was limited in the number of questions that were present in all years, as well as the number of times the survey itself was actually administered. A similar situation exists with the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey. As mentioned previously, this survey was not administered before nor shortly

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Leal 38 after each country I studied applied for membership to the EU. This study also had a limited pool of respondents. Even so, as resea rch shows, this study is still reasonably valid and reliable. Another weakness of this study is the limited number of questions I could reference regarding political parties and their ideologies and positions regarding European integration. While the weakn esses inherent in my study are unfortunate, they are out of my control. The EU continues to play an increasingly important role in the world. The influence it exerts is felt by nations everywhere. Each of its actions affects not only its member sta tes, but also all the nations with which the EU interacts. For these reasons, it is important that researchers continue to study the EU and the different elements that have affected its development and allow it to function and grow into the future Future research can build off of this study by possibly membership to the EU Researchers might also consider exploring other avenues that delve deeper into the specific roles of public opinion and political parties.

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Leal 39 References Baldwin, R. E., Francois, J. F., Portes, R., Rodrik, D., & Szekely, I. P. (1997). The Costs and Benefits of Eastern Enlargement: The Impact on the EU and Central Europe [Electronic version]. Economic Policy 12 (24), 125 176. Bielasiak, J. (2002, December). Determinants of Public Opinion Differences on EU Accessi on in Poland. Europe Asia Studies 54 (8), 1241 1266. doi:10.1080/0966813022000025871 Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. (2011, February 18). Background Note: Poland. In U.S. Department of State Diplomacy in Action Retrieved March 31, 2011, from htt p://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2875.htm Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. (2011, January 24). Background Note: Slovakia. In U.S. Department of State Diplomacy in Action Retrieved March 31, 2011, from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3430.htm Burea u of European and Eurasian Affairs. (2010, November 24). Background Note: Slovenia. In U.S. Department of State Diplomacy in Action Retrieved March 31, 2011, from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3407.htm Civitas. (2010, August 8). Common Agricultural Po licy. In EU Facts Retrieved February 2, 2011, from http://www.civitas.org.uk/eufacts/FSPOL/AG3.htm Civitas. (2010, October 1). Treaty of Nice. In EU Facts Retrieved February 2, 2011, from http://www.civitas.org.uk/eufacts/FSTREAT/TR5.htm Comecon. (2011 ). In Encyclopdia Britannica Retrieved March 29, 2011, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/399860/Comecon Council of the European Union. (n.d.). ECOFIN Council. In Economic and Financial Affairs Retrieved February 2, 2011, from http://www.consilium.europa.eu/showpage.aspx?id=250 =e n de Beus, J. (2001). Quasi National European Identity and European Democracy [Electronic version]. Law and Philosophy 20 (3), 283 311. De Witte, B. (2002). Anticipating the Institutional Consequences of Expanded Membership of the European Union [Electronic version]. International Political Science Review 23 (3), 234 248. doi:10.1177/0192512102023003002 Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development. (2006). The Common Agricultural Policy E xplained Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/capexplained/cap_en.pdf

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Leal 40 Elgn, ., & Tillman, E. (2007, September). Exposure to European Union Policies and Support for Membership in the Candidate Countries [Electronic vers ion]. Political Research Quarterly 60 (3), 391 400. doi:10.1177/106591290730568 European Central Bank. (n.d.). The European Central Bank. In European Central Bank: Eurosystem Retrieved February 3, 2011, from http://www.ecb.int/ecb/html/index.en.html European Commission. (2010, October 19). Structural Funds Regulations 2007 2013. In Regional Policy Inforegio Retrieved February 2, 2011, from http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/official/regulation/newregl0713_en. htm European Commissio n. (2008, January 11). Treaty of Nice: A Comprehensive Guide. In Summaries of EU Legislation Retrieved February 3, 2011, from http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/institutional_affairs/treaties/nice_treaty/nice_treat y_introduction_en.htm European Counci l (1993). "European Council of Copenhagen (June). Conclusions of the Presidency." Bulletin of the European Communities 12 1993. Frieden, J. A. (2004). One Europe, One Vote? The Political Economy of European Union Representation in International Organizat ions. European Union Politics 5 (2), 261 276. doi:10.1177/1465116504042441 Hooghe, L., Bakker, R., Brigevich, A., de Vries, C., Edwards, E., Marks, G., Rovny, J., & Steenbergen, M. (2010). Reliability and Validity of Measuring Party Positions: The Chapel Hill Expert Surveys of 2002 and 2006 [Electronic Version]. European Journal of Political Research, (4): 684 703. doi: 10.1111/j.1475 6765.2009.01912.x Institute for Macroeconomic Analysis and Develop. (2009, December 17). Trade in Slovenia. In Slovenia Partner Retrieved March 31, 2011, from http://www.sloveniapartner.eu/en/facts figures/trade/ Jasiewicz, K. (1994), POLAND. European Journal of Political Research, 26: 397 408. doi: 10.1111/j.1475 6765.1994.tb00463.x Jones, E., & van der Bijl, N. (2004) Public Opinion and Enlargement: A Gravity Approach [Electronic version]. European Union Politics 5 (3), 331 351. doi:10.1177/1465116504045156 Karp, J. A., & Bowler, S. (2006). Broadening and deepening or broadening versus deepening: The question of enla European Journal of Political Research 45 369 390. Maier, J., & Rittberger, B. (2008). Shifting Europe's Boundaries: Mass Media, Public Opinion and the Enlargement of the EU. European Union Politics 9 (2), 243 267. doi:10.1177/1465116508089087

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Leal 41 Malova, D. (1995), SLOVAKIA. European Journal of Political Research, 28: 463 472. doi: 10.1111/j.1475 6765.1995.tb00514.x Marks, G., Hooghe, L., Nelson, M., & Edwards, E. (2006, March). Party Competi tion and European Integration in the East and West : Different Structure, Same Causality. Comprative Political Studies 39 (2), 155 175. doi:10.1177/0010414005281932 Medvec, S. E. (2009). The European Union and Expansion to the East: Aspects of Accession, Problems, and Prospects for the Future [Electronic version]. International Social Science Review 84 (1/2), 66 83. Negotiations (2005). In Enlargement Archives Retrieved October 10, 2010, from http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/archives/enlargement_process/f uture_prospects/negotiati ons/eu10_bulgaria_romania/index_en.htm#dates_of_application_for_eu_membership Nello, S. S. (2002). Preparing for Enlargement in the European Union: The Tensions between Economic and Political Integration [Electronic version]. International Political Science Review 23 (3), 291 317. doi: 10.1177/0192512102023003005 Norwegian Social Sciences Data Services (NSD) (2011). Slovenia. In European Election Database Retrieved March 3, 2011, from http://www.nsd.uib.no/european_election _database/country/slovenia/introduction.html Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2001, September 25). Berlin Agreement. In Glossary of Statistical Terms Retrieved February 12, 2011, from http://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.as p?ID=196 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2001, September 25). Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). In Glossary of Statistical Terms Retrieved March 29, 2011, from http://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=305 Pacek, A., Pop Eleches G., & Tucker J. A. (2005) Surprisingly Rational Turnout Story in Post the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, 1 4 September, Wash ington, DC Ray, L. (2003, November). When Parties Matter: The Conditional Influence of Party Positions on Voter Opinions about European Integration. The Journal of Politics 65 (4), 978 994. doi:10.1111/1468 2508.t01 1 00121 Rohrschneider R. & White field S. (2007, November). Representation in New Democracies: Party Stances on European Integration in Post Communist Eastern Europe [Electronic version]. The Journal of Politics 69 ( 4 ), 1133 1146

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Leal 42 rgement: Is Enthusiasm Waning? [Electronic version] Eastern European Economics 37 (4), 70 96. Szczerbiak, A. & The P arty P olitics of Euroscepticism in EU M ember and C andidate S um for Political Research Joint Sessions of Workshops, 21 27 March, Turin. Tavits, M. (2008, July). On the linkage between electoral volatility and party system instability in Central and Eastern Europe European Journal of Political Research, 47 (5), 535 555 doi: 10.1111/j.1475 6765.2008.00782.x Toole, J. (2000, October). Government Formation and Party System Stabilization in East Central Europe Party Politics 6 (4), 441 461. doi: 10.1177/1354068800006004003 Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). (2000, Ju ne 26). Poland: June 2000. In World Trade Organization Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/tp136_e.htm Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). (1995, November 29). Slovakia: November 1995. In World Trade Organization Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/tp19_e.htm Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). (2002, May 15). Slovenia: May 2002. In World Trade Organization Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/ tp192_e.htm Tucker, J., Pacek, A., & Berinsky, A. (2002, July). Transitional Winners and Losers: Attitudes toward EU Membership in Post Communist Countries [Electronic version]. American Journal of Political Science 46 (3), 557 571. Wilgden, J. K. & Feld W. J ( 1976 ). Evaluative and Cognitive Factors in the Pred iction of European Unification. Comparative Political Studies 9(3): 309 34. doi: 10.1177/001041407600900304 Zmerli, S., & Newton, K. (2008). Social Trust and Attitudes Toward Democracy. Public Opi nion Quarterly 72 (4), 706 724. doi:10.1093/poq/nfn054

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Leal 43 Appendix 1 a Questions used from the Central and Eastern Eurobarometer surveys Q. If (our country) were to join the European Community in the future, would you feel strongly in favour, somewhat in favour, somewhat opposed or strongly opposed? 12 Q. As you might know, 12 states of "Western" Europe together form the The nam e "European Community" was changed to year Would you say that your impressions of the aims and activities of the European Community/Union are generally positive, negative, or neutral? 13 Appendix 1b Questions used from the 2002 Chapel Hill expert survey Q.1. First, how would you describe the general position on European integration that the course of 2002? For each party row, please circle the number that corresponds best to your view. Circle only one number. Q.14. First, we would like you to classify the parties in terms of their broad ideology On the scale below, 0 indicates that a party is at the extreme left of the ideological spectrum, 10 indicates that it is at the extreme right and 5 means that it is at the center For each party, please circle the ideological position that best describes a 12 This is one variation of the wording, found in the 1991 survey, for the first question I analyze in my study. Data results were reduced from four points (strongly in favor, somewhat in favor, somewhat opposed, s trongly opposed) to two points (in favor, opposed). 13 This is one variation of the wording, found in the 1995 survey, for the second question I analyze in my study.

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Leal 44 Figure 1 79 80 93 4 7 7 75 73 86 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1991 1992 1995 Poland %For %Against %Difference

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Leal 45 Fi gure 2 86 88 7 12 79 76 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1992 1995 Slovakia %For %Against %Difference

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Leal 46 Figure 3 92 79 47 4 21 15 88 58 32 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1992 1995 1996 Slovenia %For %Against %Difference

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Leal 47 Figure 4 51 56 48 34 45 37 44 30 42 37 37 31 50 35 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Poland Slovakia Slovenia Percentage (%) Positive Image of the European Union 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 Year:

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Leal 48 Figure 5 2 3 5 6 7 9 5 15 7 7 7 6 5 13 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Poland Slovakia Slovenia Percentage (%) Negative Image of the European Union 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 Year:

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Leal 49 Figure 6 27 29 31 34 45 32 39 39 23 37 42 35 18 13 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Poland Slovakia Slovenia Percentage (%) Neutral Image of the European Union 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 Year:

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Leal 50 Table 1 Poland Party Name Description Party p osition on Broad Political European integration Ideology Alliance of Democratic Left (SLD) Majority party in parliament from1993 6.88 4.13 Polish People's Party (PSL) Party in power as prime m inister from 1993 4.13 4.38 Coalition Electoral Action Solidarity of the Right (AWSP) Party in power as president from 1990 5.38 7.75 Table 2 Slovakia Party Name Description Party p osition on Broad Political European integration Ideology People's Party Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (LS HZDS) Majority party in parliament from 1994 and party in power as prime minister from 1994 and president from 1993 7.0 4.38 Table 3 Slovenia 14 Party Name Description Party p osition on Broad Political E uropean integration Ideology Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS) Majority party in parliament from 1992 and party in power as prime minister from 1992 6.6 4.2 14 The president of Slovenia, in power from 1991 2002, was not affiliated wi th any political party.


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