A forced European integration? EU membership conditionality and its effect on the institutional development of Slovakia and Hungary within the period of 1992-2014
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The core aim of this thesis is to measure the effects of conditionality, through a comparative analysis of two case-studies, Slovakia and Hungary, over the period of 1992-2014. In order to do so, the theory of rational choice institutionalism shall be applied, in which the key tasks of the Slovakian and Hungarian institutions shall be measured according to certain ‘key criteria’. The effects of conditionality on these institutions will be analysed during and after accession, in order to assess whether it is necessary to alter the current model of EU conditionality and to analyse whether other EU procedures immediately following the accession procedure need to be subject to improvement. It is asserted that although the end conditions of conditionality seem to be leading to a higher standard of political, institutional, and administrative development, EU conditionality also has clear negative consequences. EU conditionality seemed to have negatively influenced key tasks of Slovakian institutions, whereas the EU positively affected the key tasks of the Hungarian institutions. Improving the monitoring process during accession and a restructure of EU punitive measures after accession seem to be points of improvements for possible future enlargement waves, in order to avert these negative influences in the future.