Despite or Because? – Some Lessons of German Unification for EU Enlargement
The former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt holds that despite the huge transfers from West to East Germany the East German economy does not take off as it was widely expected. We argue it is not despite these transfers but because of them. Building on the common features of the extension of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 and the enlargement of the EU, we argue that the German unification experience holds some lessons to the benefit of both, the EU-15 and the accession countries.
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