Ingi Iusmen
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Drivers of change, policy entrepreneurship and the institutionalization of children’s rights
in Children’s rights, Eastern enlargement and the EU human rights regime
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This chapter provides insights into the analytical frameworks explaining the feedback effects triggered by the EU intervention in child rights in Romania, and the institutionalisation of this policy area at the EU level. Kingdon’s (1984) model of multiple streams coupling accounts for agenda-setting processes, via policy entrepreneurship, which led to the emergence of an EU child rights policy as part of EU internal policy. It is argued, therefore, that policy feedback occurred due to the opening of a window of opportunity which allowed EU entrepreneurs to push certain human rights issues, such as children’s rights, high up on the EU’s policy agenda. In line with the Europeanization scholarship, it is claimed that the EU has started to import its own EU-topia, which was initially intended only for external consumption. Historical institutionalist elements, such as path-dependency, lock-ins, institutional development and self-reinforcing institutions, are employed to explain the feedback effects on the EU enlargement policy. Path-dependency and lock-ins illustrate how and why the protection of the rights of the child is now an entrenched EU accession condition, which was initially developed in relation to Romania’s accession agenda.

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