Noncompliance in European policies as a means of local success for political parties

A focus on small wine growers in Romania
By Antoine Roger

Romanian smallholders are threatened by European Commission blueprints. However, they do not protest against Brussels officials. In order to explain their behavior, the emphasis is commonly laid on the peasants’ inability to understand where their difficulties originate. On the basis of an empirical inquiry focused on small wine growers, we take issue with that analysis and shed light on original mechanisms of political canvassing. Local leaders of the Social Democratic party and officials who are under their political control help the weakest wine growers to bypass the European norms. In the course of daily dealings, they present themselves as protectors of a social group, without inveighing directly against European policies.


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