IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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

Listed author(s):
  • Kaminski, Bartlomiej
  • DEC
Registered author(s):

    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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1314.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 30 Jun 1994
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1314
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    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)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    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)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.