“The EU New Member States as Agenda Setters in the Enlarged European Union”


Project Goal
The project aims at creating a picture of the coalition potential among new member states on certain policy areas thus fostering the relationship between think-tanks and decision-makers in these countries, increasing their capacity to work together and to deal with issues and challenges that are similar.

Project Overview
The project focuses on the new member states because their interests within the EU are not always well defined, and thus worth examining and describing. It is believed that those countries share certain pre-conditions which make their situation in the EU similar, let it be geographical considerations (countries are at the periphery of the EU, which influences to large degree their foreign policy behaviour), the fact that they are still not integrated into all the core EU policies (such as Schengen, Euro, they hardly participate in other EU avant-guard initiatives), they are relatively new members of the European Union, still relatively poor vis-à-vis the EU-15 (which might influence their strategies towards EU budget), and they struggle with legacy of the transformation process which still resonate strongly in their societies.

The project will research and assess whether the structural pre-conditions expressed by these factors could lead to a strong alignment concerning some policy areas and to sharing policy visions that can result in a joint positions, proposals, initiatives and stances at the EU level.

Project Status
In progress

A comparative policy report, based on the ten country reports with the aim to highlight the project’s findings. Ten country reports were developed for each of the following new member states: Bulgaria, the Check Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. You can download all the reports here.

Public launch of the reports in April 2009
On 28 April 2009, EuPI has announced publicly the findings of the report, presenting the comparative and the ten country reports at a press conference in Sofia at the EC Representation in the country. The press conference was with the participation of Georgi Stoychev, Executive Director of OSI-Sofia, Assya Kavrakova, Program Director of the European Policies program of OSI-Sofia and EuPI, Zinaida Zlatanova, Head of the EC Representation in Bulgaria, Ivan Krastev, Chair of the Board of the Center for Liberal Strategies and external reviewer of the comparative report, and Marin Lessenski, policy analyst with EuPI, OSI-Sofia.

Here you can view photos of the press conference, find a presentation in the Bulgarian language  of the comparative report as well as an audio recording of the press conference. You can download all the reports here.



Presentation in  Prague on December 17, 2009

The findings of EuPI’s project “The ten new EU member states as agenda setters in the enlarged European Union” were presented on December 17, 2009 at an event in Prague. The event took place at the Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic and was organized by EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy. The project “The ten new EU member states as agenda setters in the enlarged European Union” was implemented by EuPI in cooperation with EUROPEUM.

The event featured Assya Kavrakova, Director of EuPI and the European Policies Program of the Open Society Institute – Sofia and David Kral, director of EUROPEUM, who presented an overview of the work of EuPI and EUROPEUM. Marin Lessenski presented the comparative report “Not Your Grandfather’s Eastern Bloc” and Věra Řiháčková presented the report on the Czech Republic. The event was moderated by Vladimír Bartovic, senior research fellow with EUROPEUM.

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You can find the  program of the event here. 

The findings of the report have been featured in the European Voice with an op-ed by Marin Lessenski (30 April 2009, "Impressionists as dentists"), the EU Observer (1 May 2009, "EU still 'digesting' 2004 enlargement five years on") and Policy Pointers.

Main Partner
EUROPEUM Institute – Prague, Czech Republic

Open Society Institute – Sofia

Contact Persons

Assya Kavrakova

Marin Lessenski

Authors of the country reports
Bulgaria:  Marin Lessenski, EuPI, Open Society Institute – Sofia
Czech Republic:  Věra Řiháčková, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy
Estonia:   Viljar Veebel, University of Tartu
Hungary:  Zoltan Pogatsa, West Hungarian University
Latvia:   Dace Akule, Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
Lithuania:   Tomas Janeliūnas, Vilnius University, Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Center of Eastern Geopolitical Studies, Živilė Dambrauskaitė, Center of Eastern Geopolitical Studies
Poland: Piotr Maciej Kaczyński, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
Romania: Cristian Ghinea, Romanian Centre for European Policies (CRPE)
Slovakia: Vladimír Bartovic, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy
Slovenia: Urban Boljka, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

Author of the comparative report
Marin Lessenski, EuPI, Open Society Institute – Sofia

External reviewer of the comparative report
Ivan Krastev, Center for Liberal Strategies

Project team
Assya Kavrakova, EuPI, Open Society Institute – Sofia
David Král, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy
Marin Lessenski, EuPI, Open Society Institute – Sofia

Copy editor of the reports
Samantha Chaitkin


2008 European Policies Initiative

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