In this paper we examine the impact of self-imposed governmental constraints (by tripartite arrangements) and the timing of reforms (window of opportunity) on the successful implementation of large-scale reforms (fiscal stabilisation policy) in seven Central and Eastern European Countries. By analysing different sources and conducting interviews with experts and members of the tripartite councils, we consider the impact of tripartite structures on the government decision-making process in Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. Our findings indicate that the early and continuously stabilising countries secured their policy-making by factors other than tripartite bargaining. In those countries that took a second, later approach to fiscal stabilisation, with a more confrontational style and stronger trade unions, tripartite bargaining proved to be a successful instrument.
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