Special arrangements were made by the European Union for decision-making on the possible accession of Romania and Bulgaria. A regime of extra procedures was added to the arrangements used for the Eastern European countries which joined the Union in 2004. This paper examines how the process worked out in the Romanian justice sector, which had been identified as a key area for reform to meet minimum EU requirements. We examine the discourses at policy and program levels and in three selected projects, including at design stage, interim report stage, and final report stage. Our discourse analysis of project documents pays special attention to the key structuring device used in the EU's project and program planning: the "logical framework" or "project matrix". Intended as a key discipline on project design, implementation and evaluation, its inherent limitations and typical biases in usage can lead to major divergences between project and design. A technocratic language of planning can then in various ways serve as a cover that justifies whatever happened. We examine the language use and associated behaviour, as a contribution to the understanding both of Romanian accession in the face of sceptical European public opinion and of a methodology in worldwide use.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISS Working Papers - General Series
ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Rem, D., & Gasper, D. (2008). Romania's accession process into the European Union: discourses at policy-, program-, and project-levels in the justice sector. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 463, pp. 1–46). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/18730