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Revisiting the role of domestic politics: politicisation and European Cohesion Policy performance in Central and Eastern Europe

Surubaru, Neculai-Cristian



This article evaluates the influence of domestic political factors on the performance of Cohesion Policy (CP) in new member states. It argues that domestic levels of politicisation, within Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) can mediate the outcome-driven performance of the policy. Empirically this is probed against original empirical evidence from two cases studies: Bulgaria and Romania. Evidence was found to suggest that politicisation can affect the management and implementation of EU funds delivery. More specifically, political patronage damaged managerial continuity and the development of expertise in the specialised institutions managing CP. In addition, political clientelism was associated with some of the problems found in the selection of EU funded projects and, more pre-eminently, with regard to the allocation of public procurement contracts. The article discusses the wider theoretical implications of its findings and the impact of politicisation on the implementation of EU policies in CEECs.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 8, 2017
Publication Date 2017
Deposit Date Feb 16, 2023
Journal East European Politics
Print ISSN 2159-9165
Electronic ISSN 2159-9173
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Issue 1
Pages 106-125
Keywords Politicisation, Central and Eastern Europe, Cohesion Policy, structural funds, Bulgaria, Romania