The role of EU pre-accession assistance in the establishment of national coordination structures for EU funding: the case of Croatia

Eleftherios Antonopoulos, John Bachtler

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Coordination at the national level is an essential part of the EU policy process. This article analyses the effects of EU pre-accession programmes on the development of national-level structures for the coordination of EU funds in Croatia. The article is based on an in-depth case study of the Croatian coordination structures for EU funding, using a three-step analytical framework of adaptation. The empirical research focuses on the role and influence of the Croatian Central State Office for Development Strategy and Coordination of EU Funds (CODEF). The main finding was that preaccession assistance played a decisive role in the establishment and early support of national coordination structures. However, holistic reform in the state sector was not achieved and the new institutions were often challenged by domestic opposition structures. The research provides useful insights for the literature on Europeanization in accession countries, and for EU pre-accession policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-202
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Contemporary European Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • administrative capacity
  • coordination
  • Croatia
  • Europeanization
  • IPA
  • pre-accession aid
  • European Union

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