The book “Life in Post-Communist Eastern Europe After EU Membership” is a valuable attempt to present how the reality of millions of people living in Central and Eastern Europe has changed. Above all its uniqueness resides in the fact that it illuminates the complexity of the transformation in the new EU member states after the 1st of May 2004. We will find here the answers to the questions of how the legacy of real socialism, the fear of hegemonic dependency and the “homo sovieticus” mentality influenced the social attitudes of the CEE Countries. These key issues as well as many others are deliberated upon in this highly interesting and necessary book. Aleksander Kwaśniewski President of Poland 1995 – 2005 in the foreword of the book.
This book examines how membership of the European Union has affected life in the ten former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe that are now members of the European Union. It attempts to answer some fundamental questions. Was the reward of EU membership worth the sacrifices made? How have the new member states fared? Has the promise of EU membership, on which so many expectations were based, been realised? Or have the new member states traded a Socialist Commonwealth with Moscow pulling the strings for an over-centralised Brussels bureaucracy that lacks transparency and accountability? How has a shared communist past influenced the countries’ post-socialist and post-accession trajectory? How have the populations of post-communist Europe fared? Have some done better than others? Are these divergences confined to the political, economic or social spheres, or to more than one? If there have been disappointments, how have the populations reacted to these? By taking stock of debates within domestic elites, popular opinion, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and external actors, this book seeks to answer these crucial questions.
Life in Post-Communist Eastern Europe After EU Membership was published in hardback in 2012. A paperback edition was released in 2015.