IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The significance of the"Europe agreements"for Central European industrial exports


  • Kaminski, Bartlomiej
  • DEC


In 1991 and 1992, the European Union (EU) and the economies in transition of Central and Southern Europe - the CEE-5 (Bulgaria, the former Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania) - signed the European Association Agreements. The Agreements established a new framework for their mutual economic relationship, including the transition to a free trade regime for industrial products. The importance of the"Europe Agreements"has been underscored by the rapidly shifting trade patterns between the CEE-5 countries and OECD markets, and by the emergence of the EU as their major trading partner. The author examines the significance of the trade concessions granted by the EU to the CEE-5 countries (1) by analyzing the incidence of EU trade barriers on imports from the CEE-5 before and after implementation of the Agreements and (2) by identifying trade flows of groups of industrial products subject to different concessions.He focuses on trade liberalizing measures for industrial products for which a free trade regime should be in place no later than five years after the Agreements are in force. (Excluded are textiles and clothing, discussed in the Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations.) Overall, the industrial product trade provisions of the Agreements, which affect about 80 percent of CEE-5 exports to the EU, significantly improve those countries'access to EU markets. In 1992, the first year they were in force in Hungary, Poland, and the former Czechoslovakia, the Agreements freed slightly less than 50 percent of total exports to the EU from import duties and nontariff barriers (NTB's). In terms of the 1992 composition of exports, this"free trade"share in total exports increases over five years to about 80 percent for the former Czechoslovakia, 60 percent for Hungary, and 70 percent for Poland. Although there are significant differences in the composition of exports from CEE-5 economies affected by EU trade liberalizing measures, these are the result of varying shares of sensitive (especially agricultural) products across countries, not dissimilar of concessions from the EU. The EU's negotiation approach, as revealed in the Agreements, was to minimize the adverse effects of opening up"sensitive"sectors: the time and the pace of transition tends to be longer and slower for groups of products with higher NTB-coverage ratios and higher average tariffs. Whether by design or not, the variation in products identified in various provisions assures a more equitable treatment of CEE-5 countries, judging from their industrial export patterns in 1990-92.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaminski, Bartlomiej & DEC, 1994. "The significance of the"Europe agreements"for Central European industrial exports," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1314, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1314

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Trela, I. & Whalley, J., 1989. "Unravelling The Threads Of The Mfa," Papers 448, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    2. Erzan, Refik & Holmes, Christopher & Safadi, Raed, 1992. "How changes in the former CMEA area may affect international trade in manufactures," Policy Research Working Paper Series 973, The World Bank.
    3. Wang, Zhen Kun & Winters, L. Alan, 1993. "EC Imports from Eastern Europe: Iron and Steel," CEPR Discussion Papers 825, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Tovias, Alfred*Laird, Sam, 1991. "Whither Hungary and the European communities?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 584, The World Bank.
    5. Kaminski, Bartlomiej & Yeats, Alexander, 1993. "OECD trade barriers faced by the successor states of the Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1175, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jože P. Damijan & Matija Rojec & Maja Ferjančič, 2011. "The Growing Export Performance of Transition Economies: EU Market Access versus Supply Capacity Factors," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(4), pages 489-509, December.
    2. Hoekman, Bernard & Djankov, Simeon, 1996. "Intra-industry trade, foreign direct investment, and the reorientation of Eastern European exports," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1652, The World Bank.


    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:wbk:wbrwps:1314. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). 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.