The Czech Republic's Economic Prospects for Early EU Entry
The Czech Republic (CR) is regarded as one of the "first wave" countries likely to join the European Union (EU) as early as 2004. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 several Eastern and Central European countries have swiftly moved away from the visible hand of state-controlled economies and towards the “invisible hand” of market-driven economies. As a result, by 1998 six countries including the CR were invited to join the EU in accession negotiations, a major achievement as well as testimony to the EU's commitment to enlargement. Hence, membership for the CR and others is simply a matter of time. This paper argues to the extent the CR can successfully meet the convergence criteria as identified in the Maastrictht Treaty, the more compelling the case for early, rather than later, entry.
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