This book examines how membership of the European Union has affected life in the ten former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe that are now members of the European Union. It attempts to answer some fundamental questions: Was the reward of EU membership worth the sacrifices made? How have the new member states fared? Has the promise of EU membership, on which so many expectations were based, been realised? Or have the new member states traded a Socialist Commonwealth with Moscow pulling the strings for an over-centralised Brussels bureaucracy that lacks transparency and accountability? How has a shared communist past influenced the countries' post-socialist and post-accession trajectory? How have the populations of post-communist Europe fared? Have some done better than others? Are these divergences confined to the political, economic or social spheres, or to more than one? If there have been disappointments, how have the populations reacted to these? By taking stock of debates within domestic elites, popular opinion, non-governmental organisations, civil society, and external actors, this book seeks to answer these crucial questions.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd