EU enlargement and party systems in central Europe

Lewis, Paul G. (2005). EU enlargement and party systems in central Europe. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 21(2) pp. 171–199.



Membership of the European Union will undoubtedly have a major effect on the course of political developments in the countries of Central Europe, although it is difficult to predict any particular consequences for the region's party systems. Its impact on CE party systems is, nevertheless, likely to be stronger than in Western Europe owing to their being more fluid and less well consolidated. An initial survey of parliamentary elections held prior to enlargement suggests that the direct impact of enlargement issues was indeed limited, with the exception of Poland where anti-EU parties were successful in the 2001 election. Early observations lend weight to the view that the influence of enlargement on CE party politics is likely to strengthen, but its impact on party systems may be more indirect than direct in nature.

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