Tereza Novotna


The article examines the so-called Eastern enlargement of the European Union from the point of view of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Although they joined the EU at the same time, the experience of both states is diverse. The author argues that the chief obstacles on the “way back to Europe” were not so much the implementation of the acquis, but internal political weakness and unsatisfactory public discourse on the merits of joining the the EU. Slovakia, with its incorporation into the second wave of candidate countries due to its unacceptable political situation during Meciar’s government, is used as the best exemplar of the political weakness. The Czech Republic illustrates, with its initial sense of exceptionalism that turned into nationalistic-populist rhetoric of political parties’ leaders and eventually mounted into relatively low level of “yes-votes” in the closing referendum, represents the poor public discourse. Methodologically, the author analyses discursive interactions and institutional capacity using an actor-centered approach.


Article Keywords

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Czechoslovakia, EU, accession, public discourse

Research Articles
Article Copyright
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Material published in the JCER is done so under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence, with copyright remaining with the author.
  • Articles published online in the JCER cannot be published in another journal without explicit approval of the JCER editor.
  • Authors can 'self-archive' their articles in digital form on their personal homepages, funder repositories or their institutions' archives provided that they link back to the original source on the JCER website. Authors can archive pre-print, post-print or the publisher's version of their work.
  • Authors agree that submitted articles to the JCER will be submitted to various abstracting, indexing and archiving services as selected by the JCER.
Further information about archiving and copyright are contained within the JCER Open Access Policy.