This article investigates trends in an unemployment compensation in eight countries, which joined the EU in 2004 in the period 1989-2004. By focusing on eligibility criteria, generosity and duration of benefits on the one hand and obligations of unemployed on the other, the paper identifies different policy mixes. Based on the ideal-type fuzzy set approach, the article finds a great variety of unemployment compensation models. There is no consolidation of this policy across the region, therefore it is hard to cluster the countries. The most stable cases were the ones which already provided the compensation before the transition started. Changes in the ideal types of the unemployment compensation were rather incremental than revolutionary. The direction of these changes can be observed by identifying new dominating combinations of policies conversing the existing institutional solutions.