European integration and assessment of entry into the European Union: The case study of the Slovak Republic
The purpose of this study was to assess the entry of a country into the European Union and the transition from a command economy to a market economy. The neo-Gramscian perspective was employed to study the case of the Slovak Republic. Within the above context, the role of media, elites and the internationalization of the state and production were examined. The study of elites included interviews, a survey of attitudes towards transition and accession among Slovak legislators, and an analysis of legislative actions prior to joining the European Union. The assessment of the role of media encompassed an analysis of reporting by a major TV station, a daily newspaper and the use of media by the administration to manufacture pro-EU sentiment. The study of internationalization of state and production consisted of the assessment of the role played by international organizations and transnational capital in spreading the rationality and legitimacy of the integration project. Although numerous aspects of transition and European Union integration have been examined previously—within the context of main stream approaches—their conclusions only served to provide justification and legitimacy without questioning the underlying assumptions driving these transformations. Examination of data for the Slovak Republic using the neo-Gramscian approach clearly supports the existence of a model in which issues of sovereignty, welfare and economic development were characterized as deterministic and without significant public debate. The study revealed a general acceptance and positive attitudes towards transition and integration, even though they clearly subordinate the country to the political and economic pressures dominating the region. The examination of the above facets using the neo-Gramscian approach revealed the unequivocal hegemonic nature of Slovakia's transition and subsequent accession to the European Union.
Area planning & development;
0999: Area planning & development
0617: Public administration
0616: International law
0616: International relations