Towards European Union Eastern enlargement : progress and problems in pre-accession
Pautola, Niina (11.07.1997)
Bank of Finland
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite onhttps://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:bof-201408113151
Since the Copenhagen and Essen Summits in June 1993 and December 1994, there has been a consensus on eastern enlargement.Central and Eastern European countries have been shown the green light in terms of accession.However, questions of when and how remain open for discussion.The main elements of the accession strategy appear in the Europe Agreements on economic cooperation, the White Paper on approximation of laws, the Phare programme of economic aid to the associated countries and structured dialogue. At the moment, the aspirant members are not ready to take on the complex set of rules ranging from minimum social and environmental standards in the single market to the application of competition law. In respect to transition development, markets already finction reasonably well in most CEECs.However, in several areas of economic activity, effective and transparent corporate governance and appropriate standards for conducting business still have a long way to go.This applies, in particular, to enterprise restructuring, strengthening of financial institutions, commercialisation of infrastructure and environmental protection. Furthermore, many changes in legal structures are still required. Regrading to macroeconomic stabilisation, progress towards stability continues, growth remains relatively strong and inflation has declined.Nevertheless, increasing trade deficits, real exchange rate appreciation and signs of a deterioration in international competitiveness may lower growth.In addition, expectations concerning wage increases, further liberalisation of administered prices, money supply growth caused by high interest rates, and growth of credits to enterprises are to fuell inflation in the future. From the EU's point of view, the official framework for admission to the EU involves, among others, the Commission preparing an opinion (avis) on the applicant's ability to acceppt the body of EU law (aquis communautaire).Furthermore, the Commission must prepare a report on the EU's financial framework covering the early years of the next century and likely effects of enlargement.Finally, before enlargement can take place, the Intergovernmental Conference must succeed in streamlining EU decision-making and institutions, extending EU responsibility for joint foreign and defence policies and improving cooperation in home affairs matters. The EU has grown to fifteen members through four enlargements. Monetary integration is currently scheduled for 1999 and given the amount of effort made, there seems no way turning back.Monetary union is considered a logical extension of the single market and therefore, enlargement cannot be pursued at the expense of monetary union.Only after monetary union has started functioning, concrete actions can be taken in terms of enlargement. Keywords: Integration, Central and Eastern Europe, the Europe Agreements, The European Union, the European Monetary Union, eastern enlargement.
Uudelleenjulkaistu pdf-muodossa 2002 (Idäntalouksien yksikön sarja)Reprint in PDF format 2002 (Unit for Eastern European Economies series)