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While scholars open 'the black box' of the pre-accession negotiation process and scrutinize the phenomenon of EU conditionality, they often give more attention to explaining reactions of applicant country's government to the EU pressures, while neglecting to research the impact and consequences that government reactions may have on the level of public support for the EU membership. The thesis' research fills the gap by investigating government strategies and public reactions in the pre-accession process on the cases of Slovakia and Croatia. The thesis finds that in the pre-accession process both the government and the public act rationally - weighing cost and benefits of EU reward and compliance with EU rules. The main conclusion brought from the findings is that the government adoption of EU rules will not negatively affect public support for the EU membership if the public approves government strategies and perceives that EU membership as the ultimate prize is higher than the costs of EU conditionality (vice versa). The analysis should be useful to anyone interested into influence of EU conditionality in the pre-accession process.