IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sustainable and equitable convergence and integration in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe


  • István P. Székely


The transformation of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European (CESEE) economies from centrally planned toward open market economies has been inherently linked with their Integration into the European Union. The widely held desire to join the EU was a major Driver of economic reform. Such reforms not only improved the efficiency of resource allocation but also made EU membership a plausible outcome, which in turn attracted FDI and accelerated integration. EU accession crowned this process and unleashed historically unprecedented private and public capital flows. The positive climate that such rapid growth and convergence created temporarily masked the deep-seated problems that weak institutions and slow social learning had created, while the excessive capital inflow led to resource misallocation in the economy. The financial and economic crisis that hit the CESEE region in 2008 thus revealed deeply rooted problems, which these countries now need to face during their journey toward the frontier of development. Reform reversals have become widespread, in some cases touching the very foundations of a modern market economy. This article argues that the speed, sustainability and equity of future convergence in the region will crucially depend on renewed reform efforts. Reforms will also allow these countries to fully benefit from the continued deepening of European integration, further accelerating convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • István P. Székely, 2018. "Sustainable and equitable convergence and integration in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q3-18, pages 24-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2018:i:q3-18:b:2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marta Bisztray, 2016. "The effect of FDI on local suppliers: Evidence from Audi in Hungary," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1622, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    EU integration; convergence; reform reversals;

    JEL classification:

    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2018:i:q3-18:b:2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Markus Eller). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.