Romania and European Union Membership
This paper looks both backward and forward. It starts by comparing the accession countries with the EU and by comparing the EU’s 2004 eastern enlargement with previous enlargements. It appears that the EU became poorer by every single enlargement. The EU’s GDP per capita decreased each time relative to GDP per capita of the six founding member states. There appear to be good economic reasons for the postponement of Roma-nia's accession until 2007. Romania did not achieve macro-economic stability as fast as the other accession countries, its welfare level was lower and its progress in establishing a market economy was slower compared to the countries that joined the EU in 2004. In addition, it has realized little progress in the fight against corrup-tion. A possible explanation for Romania’s poor economic performance in the 1990s is the partial reform paradox. The paper also looks at the EU’s prospect in view of the rejection of the draft constitutional treaty by the French and Dutch voters. It presents four options. The most likely seems that the EU will proceed on the basis of the Nice Treaty and political agreements. Further enlargements will be much more difficult to realize than in the past.
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