Publications of Batory, A.

Batory A. Hungary’s EU Refugee Relocation Quota Referendum. In: Smith J, editor. The Palgrave Handbook of European Referendums. Palgrave ; 2021.

A free lunch from the EU? Public perceptions of corruption in cohesion policy expenditure in post-communist EU member states

Under the EU’s cohesion policy, post-communist member states in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are amongst the largest recipients of European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds. This article focuses on popular narratives of corruption and abuse in the allocation of the funds in the ‘new’ member states. Specifically, it aims to investigate how citizens perceive and evaluate the origins and motivations of the EU for providing the funds, the abuse affecting these resources, and who they blame for the misuse, relying on focus group discussions in Hungary, Romania and Slovenia. Popular narratives indicate that citizens perceive cohesion policy implementation as intertwined with grand corruption. While national political elites are considered as the main culprit, EU institutions are also seen as failing in their duties. These findings are significant because perceived EU inaction against grand corruption undermines notions of European solidarity and damages the EU’s credibility and legitimacy.

Corruption in East Central Europe: Has EU Membership Helped?

In the context of Eastern Europe, this chapter discusses whether joining the European Union has helped or hindered the growth of corruption in post-communist states. Charges of misusing EU subsidies have been leveled in countries such as Croatia and the Czech Republic. She outlines the legacy of corruption during the dark days of Soviet occupation, such as clientelistic political structures under the nomenclatura system, which persisted in the form of shadowy networks that hamper democratic reforms in the region. She also discusses new forms that have arisen in the post-accession era such as transnational criminal groups and the opportunities for graft embedded in the transition to privatization. Adherence to the EU’s legal rules was often more evident on paper than in practice. Corruption varies throughout the region: in addition to the east-west divide that distinguishes the region from low-corruption countries in Western Europe, there is also a north-south divide that places the continent’s most corrupt states in the Balkans, where state capture by corrupt officials is evident.

The use and abuse of participatory governance by populist governments

Populists claim that they alone represent the voice of the people against a corrupt elite. We argue that populist governments augment this claim by appropriating and manipulating the language and methods of participatory governance. Advancing an analytical framework on content, process, effect, resource efficiency and communication dimensions, we illustrate these arguments with the National Consultations in Hungary in 2010–18. Our conclusion for the case study is that these exercises were deeply flawed for securing popular input into policy-making. The implication for scholarship is that participatory governance enthusiasts need to be more aware not just of the uses, but also the abuses, of public input, while scholars of populism should pay more attention to the actual policies and practices populist actors employ to gain or maintain power.

Regulating Collaboration: The Legal Framework of Collaborative Governance in Ten European Countries

Many scholars have considered when and why collaboration between government agencies and societal actors occurs. This article argues that a simple but largely overlooked answer to these questions is that a formal legal or administrative requirement to do so is in place. Therefore, the objective is to substantiate whether there are legal requirements to collaborate and in what type of source and context this obligation applies in ten European countries. The main finding is that collaboration is underpinned by an extensive range of legal requirements in Europe, although imposing these requirements is generally not the main objective.

The fuzzy concept of collaborative governance: A systematic review of the state of the art

This article contributes to the consolidation and synthesis of scholarship on collaborative governance by expanding our knowledge of how the term is used in the academic literature and policy documents in a range of European countries. It adds value to existing reviews of the field by conducting a systematic literature review on a corpus of over 700 article abstracts and a traditional literature review identifying five key analytical dimensions. The article also provides an exploratory analysis of grey literature hitherto outside the purview of researchers and considers the linguistic and cultural connotations that alter the meaning of the term when translated into new contexts in ten EU countries. Findings indicate heterogeneity and fuzziness in the way the concept is used. The article argues that explicit positions with respect to five main analytical dimensions and taking into account national connotations that the term carries across political systems would inject more clarity into the academic discourse. This, in turn, will help policymakers to make informed use of the concept, especially in multi-national policy-making arenas.

Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations: Beyond Accession in Central and Eastern Europe

'Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations’ takes a policy studies perspective for considering the EU’s post-communist member states’ experiences since accession. The volume analyses policy transfer processes and expands the new and growing sub-field of policy failure by interrogating the binary ideas of ‘failure’ and ‘success’ in the context of the Central Eastern European (CEE) transition, democratic consolidation and European Union membership. Contributions in the volume consider the extent to which external models have had real traction in the political economies and societies of the CEE countries. The volume also considers the ways external models were adapted, transformed or sometimes abandoned in response to unexpected difficulties in implementation. It is therefore a book about set-backs, real or perceived policy failures, as well as innovations and unexpected outcomes in a number of important policy areas in the ‘new’ member states of the EU.

Referendums in the 'new' member states: Politicisation after a decade of support

In 2003, nine of the ten countries joining the European Union (EU) in the following year held referendums on the question of accession, all resulting in a clear, strong popular endorsement of joining the Union – albeit in many cases with very low participation. In the decade since then, however, the landscape has changed. A series of crises, from the financial and economic crisis of 2007-08 to the ongoing migration crisis undermined confidence in the EU’s effectiveness in tackling problems the bloc is facing. CEE parties use the EU as scapegoat for unpopular policies, claim to stand up for ‘the national interest’ in Brussels, and/or mobilise national (or nationalistic) sentiment against what is portrayed as homogenizing tendencies or forced ‘supranationalisation’. How these dynamics play out in the context of referendums is the subject of this chapter.

Defying the Commission: Creative compliance and respect for the rule of law in the EU

This article investigates how and to what extent member states comply with EU obligations in terms of process and outcome. The aim is to demonstrate how norm-conform behaviour unfolds, or fails to unfold, in an interaction between member state and the European Commission. The empirical focus is on recent rule of law crises in France, Hungary and Romania. The argument is that member states engage in symbolic and/or creative compliance, designed to create the appearance of norm-conform behavior without giving up their original objectives. The cases illustrate that creative and symbolic compliance strategies may be successfully employed by member states because they enable the Commission to disengage from conflicts it judges too costly and yet maintain credibility, and are conditioned by the visibility of failure to change facts on the ground. The implication is that, at times, not only is compliance symbolic, but to some extent also enforcement.

Consistency and diversity? The EU's rotating trio Council Presidency after the Lisbon Treaty

The Lisbon Treaty introduced significant changes to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). The new Treaty combines a permanent chair with the principle of rotation based on three member states collaborating during an 18-month period, without specifying the responsibilities of trio groups. This left wide scope for the first post-Lisbon trio to establish new working mechanisms. By discussing the joint Presidency of Spain, Belgium and Hungary, this article interprets the trio model and its combination with the permanent chair model as an attempt to re-adjust the balance between consistency and diversity. Rotation remains a key instrument for ensuring the representation of the diversity of member states in an enlarged Union. At the same time, the EU’s ever more complex policy agenda and a greater need for collective leadership motivate the search for new forms of cooperation to enhance policy consistency over consecutive Presidency terms.

Batory A. Post-accession malaise? EU conditionality, domestic politics and anti-corruption policy in Hungary. In: Moroff H, Schmidt-Pfister D, editors. Fighting Corruption in Eastern Europe. A Multilevel Perspective. New York: Routledge; 2012. p. 57-71.

Programme Monitoring Committees in cohesion policy: Overseeing the distribution of structural funds in Hungary and Slovakia

Under European Union (EU) law, Monitoring Committees (MCs) are charged with overseeing the implementation of Operational Programmes in cohesion policy. Despite their potential to influence the process of fund disbursement, relatively little is known about the Committees’ operation and their impact in the new member states. This article is an empirical study of how three MCs actually work in Hungary and Slovakia. We find that whilst these bodies have relatively limited oversight capacities and are characterised by a primary concern with procedural compliance with EU requirements, they have an important role in providing significant opportunities for learning, information exchange, expert input and networking.

Political cycles and organisational life cycles: Delegation to anti-corruption agencies in Central Europe

A large number of ‘independent’ anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) sprung up around the world in past decades. Yet, little comparative work has been done to explain the diversity of their organizational forms or development trajectories. Using insights from regulatory theory and the regulation of government literature, this paper argues that the formal powers and independence ACAs are granted crucially depend on whether external and/or domestic impetuses for setting them up can counterbalance governments’ incentives for no action, or only symbolic action. The ACAs’ initial mandate influences, but does not determine how they fare in later life: support or obstruction from ruling governments, their own ability to use strategic resources, and leadership shape the extent to which the agencies are able to carry out their tasks in practice. These arguments are examined through comparison of three ACAs in the EU’s ‘new’ member states – Latvia, Poland and Slovenia.

Why do anti-corruption laws fail in Central Eastern Europe? A target compliance perspective

The Central Eastern European member states of the European Union have introduced a host of anti-corruption measures in the past two decades, yet corruption is still prevalent. Rather than asking what is wrong with the letter of the law, which has traditionally been the focus of analysis, this article identifies some of the reasons why those whose behavior the law seeks to change fail to act as expected. Drawing on theoretical insights from implementation studies and using Hungary as an illustrative example, the article finds that both incentives and normative judgments are skewed towards non-compliance with anti-bribery laws. The main policy implications are that anti-corruption interventions should pay more attention to raising awareness among target groups, take existing social norms into account, and rely on positive incentives as well as, or rather than, increasing penalties.

The Power of the Purse: Supranational Entrepreneurship, Financial Incentives, and European Higher Education Policy

This article shows how the European Commission cultivates policy shifts toward a particular idea of a common European Higher Education Area by using its considerable financial leverage. By making European Union (EU) funding dependent on grant recipients meeting certain strategically selected conditions, the Commission creates new incentive structures for domestic actors, in this case higher education institutions (HEIs), with two important consequences. First, the Commission turns universities into agents for its policies: Universities lobby governments to pass legislation, which would allow them to conform to Commission requirements. Second, HEIs try to comply with the Commission’s requirements even in the absence of compatible national frameworks, thereby leapfrogging policy decisions on the national level. Describing this as a “soft” mechanism for achieving convergence, as Open Method of Coordination accounts posit, overlooks the fundamentally non-negotiable nature of the process from the participants’ perspective and considerably underestimates the Commission’s real influence. We examine this argument through a case study of an EU-funded higher education program, Erasmus Mundus.

Re-visiting the Partnership Principle in cohesion policy: The role of civil society organisations in Structural Funds monitoring

This article investigates the horizontal dimension of partnership arrangements in cohesion policy in three EU Member States: Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. The focus is on the practice of the monitoring committees (MCs), the primary institutional expression of partnership in the distribution of Structural Funds. The main findings are that in each country NGO participation in the MCs remained contentious, the working of the committees was rather formalistic, and the bodies' purpose and role conceptions were ambiguous. The implication is that partnership as currently practised does not live up either to normative expectations suggested by the EU regulation of the committees or to the expectations of civil society partner organizations themselves.

Post-accession malaise? EU conditionality, domestic politics and anti-corruption policy in Hungary

Corruption in the then candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe was a major concern for the European Union (EU) before its 2004 enlargement. This concern and its expression in the conditionality of membership constituted strong incentives for the candidate countries' governments to control corruption – or more precisely to take control measures that could be communicated to the European Union. A common assumption in the literature is that with the removal by accession of these incentives anti-corruption efforts would not be maintained at their pre-accession level. But is this really the case? Or have other influences from international organisations, domestic politics or civil society taken over to provide impetus for further corruption control interventions? This article considers these questions with respect to Hungary and finds that while some of the post-2004 measures have been a response to the country's international commitments, there have also been important domestic sources of reform. The results are, however, limited: despite the country's relatively smooth path to the European Union, membership of all the major international legal instruments and three major reform packages since 2000, corruption seems no less prevalent than it was a decade before.

Batory A. Hungary. Gagatek W, editor. Florence: European University Institute; 2010.

The Dog that Did Not Bark? Assessing the Impact of the EU on Party Politics in Hungary

The literature on the impact of the EU on parties and party systems has not resolved the debate on how we should measure the scale or significance of changes in domestic politics, and indeed what sort of changes should be seen as EU-induced. Applied to the Hungarian case, existing indicators suggest that while, given the need to contest European elections, some inevitable adaptation occurred on the level of the parties, on the level of the party system the impact of European integration has been rather limited. Although an EU connection is detectable in a number of important political developments in recent times, these EU-related factors at most added to the cumulative impact of a range of other influences. A broader implication is that research strategies that start from an assumption of the existence of a link between changes in domestic politics and European integration may well overstate the case for Europeanization.

Batory A. The European Parliament election in Hungary, June 7 2009. Vol 25. EPERN European election briefing ed. Sussex: Sussex European Institute; 2009.
Sitter N, Batory A. Protectionism, Populism, or Participation? Agrarian Parties and the European Question in Western and East Central Europe. In: Taggart P, Szczerbiak A, editors. Opposing Europe? : the comparative party politics of Euroscepticism. Vol 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2008. p. 52-75.
Batory A. Euroscepticism in the Hungarian party system : Voices from the Wilderness? In: Taggart P, Szczerbiak A, editors. Opposing Europe? : The comparative party politics of Euroscepticism. Vol 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2008. p. 263-76.

Volby do Evropského parlamentu 2004

The 2004 Elections to the European Parliament : Parties and Voting Behaviour in Cross-national Comparison.

A 2004. évi európai parlamenti választások : pártok és szavazói magatartás nemzetközi összehasonlításban

The 2004 Elections to the European Parliament : Parties and Voting Behaviour in Cross-national Comparison.

Batory A. Hungary. In: Kaźmierkiewicz P, editor. EU accession prospects for Turkey and Ukraine : debates in new member states. Warszawa: Institute of Public Affairs; 2006. p. 97-117.
Batory A, Husz D. Az első magyarországi európai parlamenti választások. In: Hegedűs I, editor. A magyarok bemenetele : Tagállamként a bővülő Európai Unióban. Budapest: Demokrácia Kutatások Magyar Központja Alapítvány; 2006. p. 181-214.

Az első magyarországi európai parlamenti választások

The first European elections in Hungary.

Book review : Germany and East-Central Europe : Political, Economic and Socio-Cultural Relations in the Era of EU Enlargement

This article reviews the book "Germany and East-Central Europe : Political, Economic and Socio-Cultural Relations in the Era of EU Enlargement" by Steve Wood.

Batory A. Hungary. In: Lodge J, editor. The 2004 elections to the European Parliament. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; 2005. p. 138-45.

Cleavages, competition and coalition-building : Agrarian parties and the European question in Western and East Central Europe

The central argument in this article is that Europeanisation of party politics 2013 the translation of issues related to European integration into domestic party politics 2013 is driven by the dynamics of long- and short-term party strategy. Variations in the patterns of Euroscepticism found in agrarian parties across Europe is therefore explained in terms of three central variables: the agrarian parties' long-term policy goals linked to identity and interest; their position in the party systems and the mainstream left- and right-wing parties' stance on European integration; and their long- and short-term electoral strategies and office-related incentives.