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The extraordinary dynamics of the process of
European integration in the second half of the Nineties has brought
forward the need for numerous adjustments, different in depth and
in scope, in the associated Central and Eastern European Countries
(CEECs) having applied for membership of the European Union. For
some countries these processes have developed more rapidly than
expected and the adjustments in question have been more or less
prom-pted by the aspiration not to lag behind in the overall
process of approximation of-Central and Eastern Europe to the EU.
The environment is dynamic: the process of integration develops in
parallel to, and sometimes even coincides with, the process of
political and economic transformation typical of the transition to
a democratic society with a functioning market economy. Thus, in
the desire to reach as soon as possible the goal - full membership
of the Union -it is particularly difficult, but also very
important, to bear in mind the useful lessons of the past and the
experience gained over previous EU enlargements.
The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to
some typical challenges relating to the negotiations for EU
membership, both in the short and in the medium term perspective.
This could be a contribution to the development of the various
elements of Bulgaria's preparation for accession negotiations.
Emphasis is laid on the model of negotiations, on the various
underlying principles, on the indispensable preparation for their
conducting, on some organisational and other aspects of their
successful development. In this respect, significant reflection is
devoted to the lessons to be drawn from the fourth enlargement of the Union.
The negotiations for accession to the European Union
will take place in a given context which would undoubtedly
influence their dynamics and predetermine their successful
completion. The context will have both external and internal
dimensions, the first connected with the changes in and the
readiness of the European Union itself, and the second with the
preparation of the candidate country concerned. For the purposes of
this paper, attention is mainly drawn to the internal adjustments
needed by CEECs, rather than on the processes within the Union
which have already been discussed in numerous publications.
The historical lessons, the theoretical and
practical background described in the first part of the paper and
the recommendations on Bulgaria's preparation in the second part
are based on an analysis of existing studies, monographs, documents
and materials devoted to these problems, as well as on some
practical observations arrived at in the course of this
The clear prospect of opening accession negotiations
with Bulgaria in the foreseeable future makes it particularly
necessary to refine the overall preparation of the country in order
to ensure the indispensable conditions for the conduct of the
negotiations. Thus, the conclusions offered below should be
regarded as practical recommendations for a more successful
preparation of Bulgaria for membership of the Union. The collected
material could also be used as reference for some typical problems
and for the approaches used to solve them.