Abstract

The article explores why politics across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has been unstable since the accession of ten countries in the region in the European Union (EU) beginning in 2004. Since this expansion, the region saw increasing riots and mass demonstration, the shift of centrist parties to radicalized groups, dramatic drop in voter turnout and dissatisfaction with democracy and a lack of trust in its institutions, as revealed by opinion polls. The author believes that both external and domestic influences contribute to democratic stability in Europe. She argues that it is EU pressures for macroeconomic convergence that cause political imbalances in many countries in CEE, but EU accession also contributed to democratic stability in the candidate states.