Frank Schimmelfennig, Ulrich Sedelmeier
Governance by Conditionality: EU Rule Transfer to the Candidate Countries of Central and Eastern Europe

Journal of European Public Policy, 2004: 11, issue 4, pp. 661-679

In the process of the EU’s eastern enlargement, the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) have undergone a major process of external governance. What are the main characteristics of the mode of EU external governance in this region, and under which conditions is it most effective for the transfer of EU rules to the CEECs? The article presents findings of a collaborative international research project including comparative case studies of EU rule transfer in a great variety of policy areas and CEECs. They show that rule transfer is best explained by an external incentives model of governance; its effectiveness varies with the credibility of EU conditionality and the domestic costs of rule adoption. The impact of these conditions, however, depends on two contexts of conditionality: democratic conditionality and acquis conditionality.