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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

The Policies and Politics of Integration: The Czech Republic and the European Union

This analysis examines the Czech Republic during its transitions to democracy and capitalism and how they reflect upon its chances for integration in the European Union. Due to a number of historical, economic, and political factors the Czechs find themselves the front runner among the post-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe for accession. Despite this early lead, the Czechs have a number of policy roadblocks and entrenched interests to overcome before membership can occur. These barriers come from within the Czech Republic itself as well as the European Union. In light of communists returning to power all over the region and an unpredictable Russian neighbor, this report will argue that integration processes between east and west need to be accelerated, that both Czechs and the EU member states must focus on deepening policies that decisively encourage membership before the window of opportunity for positive change possibly closes.

--Author's foreword.