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The Member States of the European Union

The Member States of the European Union (2nd edn)

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne
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date: 18 October 2021

p. 2139. Estonia: Excelling at Self-Exertionlocked

p. 2139. Estonia: Excelling at Self-Exertionlocked

  • Piret Ehin


This chapter examines Estonia’s relations with the European Union. Estonia showed dedication in pursuing integration with the EU as it sought to strengthen statehood in a complex international environment. In the course of its post-communist transition, Estonia’s homegrown reforms gradually gave way to policy change and institution building driven by EU accession conditionality. The small nation’s track record as an EU member state points to continued compliance with EU law and pre-accession demands. However, legal alignment has not always been accompanied by behavioural and attitudinal change. The chapter first provides an overview of Estonia’s integration with the EU before discussing the pattern of its relations with the EU before and after accession. It then assesses the impact of EU membership on Estonia’s public opinion, political parties, political institutions, governance, and public policy.

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