Attila Ágh’s study has been published in Journal of Comparaitve Politics Volume 7, Number 2, July 2014 4-33. pp
The last decade of the EU membership has been a lost decade in East-Central Europe in many ways, first of all for the young generation, which has become a lost generation to a great extent, but also for the new twin paradigm of EU as the performance democracy and the sustainable social progress. The Ten Years’ Anniversary of the EU membership gives a good occasion to analyse and evaluate the performance of ECE in the EU. However, it does not give too much reason for the celebration, since it has been very controversial in the terms of economic, social and political developments. This period has to be discussed in the larger framework of systemic change (the Quarter-Century perspective), but with special regard to the EU membership period (the Ten Years perspective). This paper conceptually follows my recent paper (Ágh 2014), dealing with the general framework on NMS developments both in the Quarter-Century and Ten Years perspectives. This new paper concentrates, however, on the socio-political aspect of the Europeanization and Democratization in East-Central Europe (V4+ as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia). The contributors to the Bertelsmann country reports (BTI, Bertelsmann Transformation Index and SGI, Sustainable Governance Indicators) have discussed the topic of ECE democratization with its general-regional and nation-specific features within the CEPSA (Central European Political Science Association) several times. Moreover, the big international ranking institutions like the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Freedom House (and many others) have also evaluated and documented these democratic developments. They have also concluded that the ECE democracy has been in decline, especially in the last years. Thus, this analysis of Europeanization and Democratization in ECE can be based on the large documentation of these databases, and also on the cooperation of the ECE experts within the CEPSA and elsewhere. Key words: East-Central Europe; triple crisis; decline of democracy; good governance; global competitiveness.