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Perspectives Review: Europeanization via Discursive Practice – Articulation of EU Norms in the Domestic Policy Debate on Territorial Reforms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (by Senka

Original article by: Senka Neuman Stanivuković, Ph.D. candidate in Rijksuniversiteit in Groningen Review by: Jana Kotasová, PR assistant at IIR

Have you ever wondered how the territorial reforms differed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia? Did you know that there was an interesting political debate about regionalism at the end of the 1990s? And do you want to know how all this preceded the accession to the EU?

First, we are familiarized with the poststructuralist reading of Europeanization in order to set the ground for the main topic: how the EU norms affect domestic policy within countries and how they are adopted. As a case study, Stanivuković describes the political debates in the Czech Republic and Slovakia at the end of the 1990s. As they proceeded they focused on territorial reforms and considered the steps needed in order to become an EU member.

More precisely, Stanivuković claims that in the Czech Republic ‘the regionalization debate was hijacked by economic considerations and framed around already existing ideological cleavages between the conservative ODS led by Klaus and the central-left Social Democrats (ČSSD) led by Miloš Zeman.‘ It differs in many ways from the practice in Slovakia where ‘the reform was framed as a democratic response to Mečiar’s undemocratic rule and it was everything but quiet and peripheral.‘ Conclusion? Clearly, different approaches to regionalism exist in both countries.

The topic of EU norms and their implementation is worth understanding. If you want to learn more about this debate and how it evolved in the late 1990s before the Czech Republic and Slovakia entered the European Union, do not miss this article!

Read the whole article in the latest issue of Perspectives (Vol. 21, No. 1, 2013) in your library or order one online today!

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