Enlarged Europe, shrinking relations? the impacts of Hungary's EU membership on the development of bilateral relations between New Zealand and Hungary
Thesis DisciplineEuropean Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The background to this study lies in the discrepancy between the special economic and foreign-political importance of the EU for New Zealand and New Zealand’s low foreignpolitical interaction and visibility in the 12 new EU Member States. This explorative study is the first of its kind to investigate from New Zealand’s viewpoint whether any potential connection points or areas of common interest may exist between New Zealand and Hungary as one of the new EU Member States which might foster directly or indirectly New Zealand’s national interests in the European Union (EU). Owing to the broad nature of such an inquiry, the study encompasses the political, diplomatic, commercial, scientific, and cultural interactions of the two countries from the 1970s until 2007. The theoretical framework of the study builds on Small State Theory, its limitations for the special setting of the thesis topic, however, suggested a necessity to incorporate the Theory on the Role of Ethnic Networks in International Trade. The explorative nature of the research topic required a qualitative research design, based on interviews, questionnaires, and case studies in New Zealand and Hungary in the years 2005 and 2007. Research results were compared with macro-level statistics and official analyses where available to support and enhance analytic validity. The thesis concludes that a solely trade focused foreign policy would not bring the advantages desired by New Zealand. Instead, the research suggests various alternative areas and ways to serve cost effectively New Zealand’s foreign political goals not just in Hungary but also in the Central and Eastern European region in general.