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

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

[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 large percentage increase in EU structural funds' outlays, it should also foster more rapid and sustained grow in CEECs and in the rest of the EU, so that these additional transfers would soon be self-financing. [fre] L'élargissement prochain de l'Union européenne (UE) aux Pays d'Europe centrale et orientale (PECO) constituera une expérience à bien des égards inédite : changement d'échelle sans équivalent depuis l'adhésion, en 1972, du Danemark, de l'Irlande et du Royaume-Uni, cet élargissement concerne des pays dont les économies, anciennement planifiées, sont en cours de transformation structurelle et d'ouverture internationale, et dont les niveaux de richesse sont très en deçà de ceux des membres actuels de l'UE. En outre l'adhésion des PECO est envisagée dans un contexte d'évolutions majeures du processus d'intégration européenne — Marché unique, perspectives d'unification monétaire, etc. — et d'incertitudes quant aux orientations futures de l'« acquis communautaire ». Réalisée pour la Délégation pour l'Union européenne du Sénat, l'étude prospective dont cet article présente une synthèse limitée aux aspects macroéconomiques, s'efforce de tirer de quelques expériences antérieures d'intégration économique régionale, comparables par certains aspects — l'adhésion de l'Espagne à la Communauté européenne en 1986, l'unification allemande en 1990 et l'adhésion du Mexique à l'Accord nord-américain de libre-échange (ALENA) en 1994 — des enseignements concernant les modalités de l'intégration et les politiques économiques susceptibles de favoriser la convergence et le rattrapage des PECO. Outre les orientations des politiques macroéconomiques et de change ^tes nouveaux adhérents, il apparaît que deux aspects conditionnent fortement la réussite du processus d'intégration : l'ouverture commerciale et le financement. Les scénarios retenus montrent que l'élargissement aura des conséquences macroéconomiques favorables, modestes pour les membres actuels de l'UE mais substantielles pour les nouveaux adhérents. Toutefois, les bénéfices qu'en tireront les différentes parties prenantes au processus seront d'autant plus importants que l'intégration commerciale s'accompagnera d'une extension aux PECO des transferts dans le cadre de la politique de cohésion. Certes les dépenses budgétaires communautaires au titre des fonds structurels devraient être alors sensiblement accrues ; mais le surcroît de croissance qu'engendrerait alors l'intégration des PECO dans l'ensemble de l'UE devrait permettre à ces transferts d'être rapidement autofinancés.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): 57 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 135-180

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_1996_num_57_1_1424
Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.1996.1424
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