The choices for Europe: national preferences in new and old member states

Nat Copsey, Tim Haughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on the existing body of literature that deals with national preference formation and building on the role played by vulnerability and deficits in shaping policy choices at the European level, this article provides a synthetic framework to explain the stances of the Older Member States (OMS) and New Member States (NMS). We subsequently apply the model to NMS, focusing largely, although not exclusively, on Poland. We argue that although many of the policy preferences can be explained by the framework, the size of states, especially with regard to ambition and capacity, and the nature of the country's post-communist transition appear significant for the NMS and need to be incorporated into future theory-building. We conclude by highlighting areas in need of further empirical research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-286
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jan 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Older Member States
  • Poland
  • policy preferences
  • post-communist transition
  • New Member States
  • European Union


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