Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations
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Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations

Beyond Accession in Central and Eastern Europe

Edited by Agnes Batory, Andrew Cartwright and Diane Stone

Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations takes a policy studies perspective in considering post-communist EU member states’ experiences since accession. The book analyses policy transfer processes and expands the new and growing sub-field of policy failure by interrogating the binary ideas of ‘failure’ and ‘success’ in the context of the Central Eastern European (CEE) transition, democratic consolidation and European Union membership.
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Chapter 7: Euroregions: Institutional transfer and reinterpreted norms in Central and Eastern Europe

Sara Svensson


A new type of institution that appeared in post-communist Europe in the 1990s was the “Euroregion,” an association between local or regional authorities located close to a national border in two or more European countries. Most Euroregions in Central and Eastern Europe were modeled closely upon Western European examples, but the chapter argues that the motivations of the stakeholders at national and local government levels have become more important for the understanding and impact of these institutions than the original policy ideas behind the transferred institution, potentially leading to counter-productive effects in certain areas, such as the creation of nationality-transcending European identities. Whether the transfer (and translation) of this particular institution is judged as “failure,” “conflicted success” or “precarious success” is to some degree “in the eye of the beholder,” whether that be a transnational actor or a local agent.

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