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Good Partners Make Good Relationships: The Perception of the New Member States of the EU


This paper analyses the perception of the new member states of the EU (the
2004 and 2007 entrants) by the old member states’ representatives. The
text utilizes an updated version of image theory and it is based on 24
interviews with diplomats from permanent representations of the old
member states in Brussels. It argues that the mutual perception between
the EU member states has an impact on coalition building and thus also on
the decision-making process of the EU. Although the newcomers are
perceived positively in general terms, there are several differences between
them in terms of their activities and behaviour at the EU level as well as in
the cultural area. The paper therefore divides the newcomers into groups
according to the image that is ascribed to them (the four general images
are those of a close ally, a passive ally, a distant ally, and a detached ally).


new member states, perception, image theory, images, allies

PDF Research Article (Slovak)

Author Biography

Matúš Mišík

Born in 1984, he is currently a lecturer (assistant professor) at the
Department of Political Science at Comenius University in Bratislava. His
research deals with the perception of the new EU member states and their
influence on the shaping of EU policies. He also examines the energy policy
of the Slovak Republic, the V4 region and the EU. The third area of his
professional interest is that of the relationship of the Scandinavian
countries, particularly Iceland, and the European Union. In 2013 he
published a book titled Energy Policy in the Enlarged European Union
(Institute of International Relations, Prague), and he also published articles
in Comparative European Politics and the Asia Europe Journal.