Source: Prime Time Russia
Doctor Joachim Zweynert, from the Hamburg Institute of International Economics, spoke to RT about the transition performance of Bulgaria and Romania in relation to the issue of EU conditionality.
“When the transition process started in the early 1990s, people, and especially social scientists, expected the countries in the region would quickly turn into democracies with market economies,” Doctor Zweynert told RT. “What we see today, 20 years after the process started, is a great divergence in both political and economic systems.”
Zweynert said that there are many factors behind such an outcome.
“One explanation is that there are different cultural and historical legacies, such as Orthodox Christianity on the one hand and Protestantism and Catholicism on the other hand,” Zweynert explained. “We look at Bulgaria and Romania as a sword of natural experiment, as they are the only two countries in this Orthodox group that were exposed to EU conditionality. What we can observe is that these two countries have significantly improved their transition performance after they were exposed to the EU conditionality.”