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Last update: 12 05 2010

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Professor: Smaller states must be smart in the EU

Prof. Timothy Haughton is a British academic with a particular interest in Czech and Slovak Republics, party politics in Central and Eastern Europe and the interaction between domestic and European sources of political change. In Bratislava he gave a lecture on national preference formation of new EU member states.

He identifies some communalities features in preference formation given some common characteristics like that the NMS suffer from underlying economic dependencies. “All of these states are very open in terms of the economy; they are highly dependent on the trade with the EU. That helps shape the attitude that tends to be supportive of general liberalization and economic cooperation within Europe. Another kind of common factor which is important for these three countries is geography,” he says.

“Some of these deep underlying vulnerabilities can play some kind of a role, which is intimately linked to questions of size for example. There are some commonalities, which we can see in all three states that I was talking about. But when we look at Poland, it is quite exceptional in some respects, so maybe it is more helpful to think about these things excluding Poland and then I think we can see many more communalities.”

Video: Tim Haughton on European issues in Slovak politics

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“Smart states within the EU realize that to get anything done, you need allies and in any policy area that might involve a significant amount of money is not a bad idea to have a net contributor member state involved, because it then gives the impression that - yes it is going to cost some money, but this is going to be money well spent. Because most of the net contributors do not necessarily object to the amount of money that is to be spent at the EU level, what they care about most is that the money is well spent.”

Video: Haughton on how to form alliances in the EU

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Video: Haughton on Sarkozy´s criticism of Visegrad for coordination before EU summits

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Video: Haughton on "EU Presidency effect" in new member states

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