EU influence in encouraging and promoting democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe has been extensive, though in a wide rather than deep sense. But, as shown by the enlargement process up to 2004, accession dynamics are the crucial force driving governments in the region to meet the EU's political conditionality. Despite the latter's deficiencies, it has by and large contributed towards democratic consolidation in the new member states notwithstanding some negative aspects of accession. The clear lesson for further enlargement in post-Communist Europe is that EU pressure and promise over integration will be decisive in new candidate states, even though their capacity to achieve the political conditions is more problematic. It follows too that any lessening of EU commitment is likely to undermine democratization efforts there.