The transformation process after 1989 and the change from communist to a democratic system opened up the possibility for the Europeanisation of the two countries. Similar factors as in the old EU member states influenced their Europeanisation, yet Europeanisation of the candidate countries differs substantially from the Europeanisation of member states because of their communist past, of EU conditionality and the extensive pre-accession strategy.
The political and economic transformation resulted in a backlash in the area of gender equality. Therefore, a misfit between the national and the EU level became apparent. This thesis ties in with the Europeanisation research which sees a misfit between the national and the EU level as a necessary pre-condition for change, but not as a sufficient one. Therefore, it emphasises the importance of domestic influences.
The dissertation looks at Europeanisation through projects; this is an interplay between top-down influences and bottom-up approaches. The EU offers the funds and the possibilities, but the implementation is dependent on the domestic structures within the candidate countries. To facilitate the realisation of these projects, seven Agency and Opportunity Structures are singled out as important.
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