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From Accession to Cohesion: Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain and Lessons for the Next Accession


  • Kazimierz Laski

    () (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Roman Römisch

    () (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)


This study presents a concise analysis of the macroeconomic developments in four cohesion countries (CCs) Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, from 1960 to 2000. Special attention is being paid to the economic performance of these countries after their accession to the European Union (EU). The aim is to find out whether the new EU Accession Countries (ACs) from Central and Eastern Europe can learn from the experience of the CCs concerning future benefits and disadvantages resulting from accession.The study is divided into five major parts. The first part is devoted to methodological questions. In the second part the developments of major macroeconomic indicators for each CC for the period 1960 to 2000 are tracked and set in relation to each other. In doing this, we concentrate on the influence of exogenous demand factors (or injections) and so-called leakages that together determine the level of economic activity. Exogenous demand injections are private investment, government expenditures (for consumption and investment) and exports, whereas leakages contain private savings, net taxes (taxes net of subsidies and transfers) as well as imports. The third part deals in detail with the role that FDI and EU transfers played in the four CCs with respect to their influence on private investment, net exports and hence on economic growth as well as on the CCs' trade performance and external position. The fourth part focuses on the patterns of income catching-up of the four CCs in relation to the EU average; attention is drawn to the differences in growth records depending on whether GDP is measured in national currency terms or at purchasing power standards (PPS). The fifth part contains brief general remarks on the growth strategy of the ACs

Suggested Citation

  • Kazimierz Laski & Roman Römisch, 2003. "From Accession to Cohesion: Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain and Lessons for the Next Accession," wiiw Research Reports 298, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  • Handle: RePEc:wii:rpaper:rr:298

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    Cited by:

    1. Leon Podkaminer, 2013. "Development Patterns of Central and East European Countries (in the course of transition and following EU accession)," wiiw Research Reports 388, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    2. Mehrotra, Aaron N. & Peltonen, Tuomas, 2005. "Socio-economic development and fiscal policy: lessons from the cohesion countries for the new member states," Working Paper Series 467, European Central Bank.

    More about this item


    cohesion countries; development before and after EU accession; FDI; external position; convergence of cohesion countries and lessons for new entrants;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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