Romania and the European Union

How the weak vanquished the strong

By Tom Gallagher

Romania and the European Union


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8745-5
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: February 2016
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / EU & European institutions, International institutions, Politics, Politics & government, EU (European Union), POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, Romania


According to Tom Gallagher, Romania's predatory rulers, the heirs of the sinister communist dictator Ceausescu, have inflicted a humiliating defeat on the European Union. He argues convincingly that Brussels was tricked into offering full membership to this Balkan country in return for substantial reforms which its rulers then refused to carry out. This book unmasks the failure of the EU to match its visionary promises of transforming Romania with the shabby reality. Benefiting from access to internal reports and leading figures involved in a decade of negotiations, it shows how Eurocrats were outwitted by unscrupulous local politicians who turned the EU's multi-level decision-making processes into a laughing-stock. The EU's famous 'soft power' turned out to be a mirage, as it was unable to summon up the willpower to insist that this key Balkan state embraced its standards of behaviour in the political and economic realms.

The book, now available in paperback, unravels policy failures in the areas of justice, administrative and agricultural reform and shows how Romania moved backwards politically during the years of negotiations.


'A chilling account of how Romania's wily ex-communist elite outwitted naive and impatient EU leaders.', Edward Lucas, Central and Eastern Europe correspondent for *The Economist*|'Timely, seminal and thought-provoking, this book, roots in an impressive understanding of Romanian political reality, is indeispensable reading for experts and laymen alike.'

- Dr. Lavinia Stand, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada|'By tackling head-on the issue of corruption in ROmania, Gallagher highlights the glaring gulf between word and deed in respect of the government's programme of reform and the EU's lack of robustness and consistency in holding Romania to account.'

- Dennis Deletant, University College, London


1. The EU discovers Romania
2. Crafty natives lead the Eurocrats astray
3. The futility of EU funding
4. Labour of Sisyphus: administrative reform in Romania
5. Justice clings to its chains: 1989-2004
6. NATO, the EU and Romania's strategy of duplicity
7. The EU at its most incoherent: April-December 2004
8. The EU regains and loses the initiative: 2005-7
9. Corruption and anti-corruption
10. The expiry of reform after 2007


Tom Gallagher is Emeritus Professor of Politics at University of Bradford

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