Membership in the European Union implies costs as well as benefits, and all member governments believe the benefits outweigh the costs. Benefits can vary from the quite narrow, such as a particular project involving EU Structural and Development Funds, to more profound, such as contributing to the stabilization and democratization of post-communist regimes. By costs we do not simply mean the revenue transfer to the EU budget that has sometimes set the scene for budget rebate arguments during European Council summits, but also the trade-offs in autonomous policy development, especially in the area of the Single Market. But the notion of cost—benefit analysis to measure the utility of membership in the EU completely misses another dimension, which is the domestic adjustment or adaptation of political and institutional practices, conventions, understandings, or ‘ways of doing things’ (Radaelli, 2003), to the policy and practices of the EU, labelled as Europeanization throughout this book. However, as much as we have documented (and put into an explanatory framework) the changes that membership in the EU has instigated in the member states, it nevertheless remains the fact that Europeanization has not produced any seismic shifts in the operation of national policy-making and institutions.
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