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The EU enlargement and economic growth in the CEE new member countries


  • Ryszard Rapacki
  • Mariusz Próchniak


This paper analyses whether EU enlargement contributed to economic growth and real convergence in the ten new member countries from Central and Eastern. In this paper, we aim to check whether the EU enlargement contributed to economic growth of ten new member countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE-10), including their real convergence towards the EU-15 development level. To this end, we econometrically test the relationships between selected macroeconomic variables linked to the EU enlargement and the rate of economic growth of the CEE-10 countries over the period 1996-2007. The variables comprise: (i) the progress of market or structural reforms, (ii) economic freedom, (iii) foreign aid, and (iv) the FDI inflow. In the first part of the study, we test the convergence hypothesis (both beta and sigma) for the CEE-10 group towards the EU-15 countries. In the subsequent parts, we build an econometric model and carry out the correlation and regression analyses, with a view to find out the possible effect of the EU membership on economic growth of the CEE countries. The last part of the paper develops possible scenarios of the real convergence of the CEE countries towards the EU-15. Our results indicate that the EU enlargement significantly contributed to economic growth of the CEE-10 countries and their catching up with the EU-15 development level. This conclusion has been supported by both the convergence analysis and the econometric test of economic growth determinants. According to our projections, the actual process of real convergence between individual CEE-10 economies and the EU-15 may take between 8 and 33 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Ryszard Rapacki & Mariusz Próchniak, 2009. "The EU enlargement and economic growth in the CEE new member countries," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 367, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0367

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rapacki, Ryszard, 2008. "Regional Integration and Development Asymmetries," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 93-114.
    2. Zbigniew Matkowski & Mariusz Próchniak, 2007. "Economic Convergence Between the CEE-8 and the European Union," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 59-76, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ryszard Rapacki & Mariusz Próchniak, 2010. "Economic Growth Paths in the CEE Countries and in Selected Emerging Economies, 1993-2007," Research in Economics and Business: Central and Eastern Europe, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, vol. 2(1).
    2. Vassilis Monastiriotis & Dimitris Kallioras & George Petrakos, 2014. "The regional impact of EU association agreements: lessons for the ENP from the CEE experience," Europe in Question Discussion Paper Series of the London School of Economics (LEQs) 0, London School of Economics / European Institute.
    3. Iwasaki, Ichiro & Kumo, Kazuhiro, 2016. "Decline and Growth in Transition Economies: A Meta-Analysis," CEI Working Paper Series 2016-9, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Mehmet Demiral, 2016. "Has EU Accession Caused Structural Change in New Entrants? Intersectoral Linkage Analyses on Bulgaria and Romania," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 671-681.
    5. Iulia-Oana Stefan, 2015. "The Place Of Bucharest Stock Exchange Amongst The Capital Markets From Central And Eastern Europe," Annals of University of Craiova - Economic Sciences Series, University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 2(43), pages 281-292.
    6. Milada Anna Vachudova, 2014. "JCMS Special Issue 2014: Eastern Enlargement Ten Years On: Transcending the East-West Divide? Guest Editors: Rachel A. Epstein and Wade Jacoby," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 122-138, January.
    7. repec:rfa:aefjnl:v:4:y:2017:i:5:p:31-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Moshammer, Edmund & Pierluigi, Beatrice & Masuch, Klaus, 2016. "Institutions, public debt and growth in Europe," Working Paper Series 1963, European Central Bank.
    9. Jan Babecky & Tomas Havranek, 2013. "Structural Reforms and Growth in Transition: A Meta-Analysis," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1057, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    10. Jan Babecky & Tomas Havranek, 2013. "Structural Reforms and Economic Growth: A Meta-Analysis," Working Papers 2013/08, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    11. Jan Babecky & Tomas Havranek, 2014. "Structural reforms and growth in transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 22(1), pages 13-42, January.
    12. Kowalik Paweł, 2014. "Horizontal Fiscal Imbalance In The United States," Folia Oeconomica Stetinensia, De Gruyter Open, vol. 14(2), pages 140-151, December.
    13. Katja Mann, 2015. "The EU, a Growth Engine? The Impact of European Integration on Economic Growth in Central Eastern Europe," FIW Working Paper series 136, FIW.
    14. Mariusz Próchniak, 2011. "Determinants of economic growth in Central and Eastern Europe: the global crisis perspective," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 449-468, May.
    15. repec:ipf:psejou:v:41:y:2017:i:2:p:159-205 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Basarab Gogoneaţă, 2010. "The Long-Run Relationship Between Commerce And Sustainable Development In Baltic And Central And Eastern European Countries," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(27), pages 36-51, February.
    17. Masuch, Klaus & Moshammer, Edmund & Pierluigi, Beatrice, 2016. "Institutions and Growth in Europe," CEPS Papers 11482, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    18. repec:eee:ecmode:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:45-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Ryszard Rapacki & Mariusz Próchniak, 2014. "The Impact of EU Membership on Economic Growth and Real Convergence of the Central and Eastern European Countries," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 39.
    20. Karsten Staehr, 2010. "Income convergence and inflation in Central and Eastern Europe : does the sun always rise in the East," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2010-04, Bank of Estonia, revised 22 Mar 2010.

    More about this item


    Growth; Financial Integration; Trade; The EU Enlargement and Economic Growth In the CEE New Member Countries; Economic Papers;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


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