Enlargement of the European Union towards the East – Effects on Prosperity and Employment
AbstractThe essay informs the reader about the conclusions and summary of the study entitled Enlargement of the European Union towards the East – the Impact on Prosperity and Employment in Europe; the essay has been commissioned at a session of the analytical unit Mezinarodni politika of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Its objective is an attempt to introduce a scientific rationale into the discussion on the effects of the enlargement of the European Union towards the East, characterized within and outside the European Union by a number of irrational concerns and expectations.
The enlargement of the European Union towards the East differs from enlargement so far insofar that the difference in the economic standard between the European Union and the applicants for accession is basically bigger. A specific problem lies in the fact that since 1990 these countries have had to transform their economic systems into a market economy but the intensity of integration of the European Union has greatly increased over the past few years. That is why a too hasty accession of applicant countries (lacking institutional reforms of the European Union and inadequate preparation of the Central and East European countries for accession) could have a damaging impact on the integration process. Although the more advanced transforming countries have been relatively successful in building a functioning market economy, the establishment of institutions, structural reforms and the implementation of the acquis communautaire will still need some more time.
In their study the authors arrived at the following conclusions: 1) Enlargement towards the East will have no dramatic consequences for the present member states of the European Union. 2) The adaptation of future members has already been essentially accomplished. 3) Increasing the financial burden of the present European Union member states by 0,1–0,2 % of GDP will be more than offset by efficiency and growth. 4) The migration pressure expected in the short term can be halted by provisional measures.
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