TitleEuropean Union efforts to fight judicial corruption
NameTrapp, Marius Benjamin (author), Kelemen, Daniel (chair), Kaufman, Robert (co-chair), Kubik, Jan (co-chair), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Judicial corruption--Romania--Case studies,
European Union countries—Politics and government—21st century
DescriptionThis Master’s thesis addresses the EU efforts to fight judicial corruption in Romania. I argue that EU membership conditionality was relatively effective to lower the level of judicial corruption before Romania entered the EU in 2007. In addition, the EU socialization
and the domestic factors – legacy of communism, objective-material factors, and public opinion and levels of public trust – are quite influential regarding the implementation of EU initiatives and show the complexity of the Romanian case. Rather than using
merely the top-down logic of corruption indices or governance indicators, I also apply a bottom-up perspective and therefore particularly draw attention on disregarded measurement. This approach bears the benefit of capturing a range of informal practices that
are misinterpreted by the recent conceptualization of corruption. The before-after case study design and the process-tracing method allowed the analysis of pre-accession and post-accession conditionality in the context of judicial corruption. By assessing the EU
progress reports, the NIT scores and reports, the CPI and the GRECO reports, I found several remarkable developments regarding the fight against judicial corruption.Two of the key elements of EU conditionality – conditions and monitoring – have evolved significantly.
Thus, the introduction of post-accession benchmarks and the strengthening of the monitoring process represent important steps in the evolution of EU efforts to fight judicial corruption in Romania. However, the analysis shows that it is difficult to compensate
the pre-accession conditionality through post-accession monitoring mechanisms.
Although the analysis confirms that EU efforts had a significant impact to fight judicial corruption in Romania before accession, there is still room for improvements for the post-accession phase. Regarding the incentive structure, the analysis of the key documents finds evidence that this element of EU conditionality may be the main weakness. After Romania entered the EU, the EU lost its attractive accession advancement rewards
and was merely able to rely on explicit threats to induce compliance. However, the limited penalizing power of the remedial and preventive sanctions set up in the
framework of the CVM causes a fairly weak incentive structure which negatively influenced the effectiveness of post-accession conditionality.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Marius Benjamin Trapp
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.