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Elargir l'Union européenne aux pays d'Europe centrale et orientale


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  • Sandrine Cazes
  • Bruno Coquet
  • Jacky Fayolle
  • Jacques Le
  • Frédéric Lerais


[eng] The forthcoming enlargement of the European Union (EU) to Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) will, in many respects, constitute an unprecedented move : no such an increase in size has taken place since Denmark, Ireland and the UK joined in 1972 ; moreover, CEECs' economies all used to be centrally planned and are currently engaged in a painful and complex process of structural transformation and opening up to the world economy ; and their current living standards are well below EU ones. In addition, CEECs are to join the EU in a context of major changes in the process of European integration — the completion of the Single market, the prospects of monetary unification, etc. — , as well as of uncertainties concerning the future directions in which European economic integration will evolve. This paper summarizes the macroeconomic aspects of a larger, prospective study sponsored by the French Senate's Delegation for the European Union. It first draws on earlier and somewhat comparable experiences of regional economic integration — Spain joining the European Community in 1986, the German unification in 1990, and Mexico joining the North-American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) in 1994 — to try and derive some lessons regarding the specific modes of integration and the economic policies that may favor CEECs' convergence and catch-up. It appears that, in addition to newcomers' macroeconomic and exchange-rate policies, two dimensions are essential to the success of the integration process : trade openness and financing. The scenarios we have selected show that EU enlargement will have beneficial macroeconomic consequences, relatively modest for current members but quite substantial for newcomers. However, these various benefits will be all the more important as developments in trade are accompanied by an extension to CEECs of the transfer mechanisms currently operated in the framework of EU cohesion policies. Although this would entail a fairly larg

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Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): n° 57 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 135-180

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_p1996_57n1_0135

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Cited by:
  1. French-German Economic Forum, 1999. "Reduction of Working Time," Working Papers 1999-13, CEPII research center.


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