Opportunistic sub-regionalism: the dialectics of EU- Central-Eastern European relations

Claudia Maria Bedea*, Victor Osei Kwadwo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over the past three decades, the Visegrad Four (V4) shifted from normative conformity with the West to pursue a counter-hegemonic strategy in relation to the EU. Explaining the ‘why’s’ behind the non-conformity stance, the paper adopts discourse analysis to explain the rise of modern-day sub-regionalism within the political borders of the EU. The European migration crisis catalyzed a discursive clash between members of the V4 on one hand and actors within the European Institutions on the other. This has led to an identity redefinition within the V4, igniting a process of sub-regional reaffirmation. Other than being a complementary sub-regional grouping, the paper finds and coins a new category of sub-regionalism, ‘opportunistic sub-regionalism’ to explain the dialectic relationship between the EU and V4. We find that this alternative form of sub-regionalist grouping is linked to observable attempts at achieving a level of sub-regional actorship to influence decision making in the EU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-402
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of European Integration
Issue number4
Early online date5 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2021


  • art
  • conditionality
  • crisis
  • european union
  • europeanisation
  • migration
  • sub-regionalism
  • union
  • visegrad four
  • ART
  • Europeanisation
  • European Union
  • Visegrad Four

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