Environmental Economics & Policies; Economic Theory & Research; Gender and Law; Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems
Europe and Central Asia
Summary: There is widespread consensus among the authors of this report that the benefits accruing to the 10 Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) joining the European Union-Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia--will outweigh the costs, especially in the long run. At the same time, pressures may intensify for certain economic, social, and political groups. This report seeks to identify such groups so that measures can be designed to ease the accession process. More generally, accession will require policy adjustments on the parts of both the CEECs and the EU. The first ten chapters focus on the challenges facing the accession countries, particularly the likely consequences of EU integration for specific economic, social, and political groups, including identification of the potential beneficiaries f accession and the groups at risk. Chapter 11 discusses the challenges facing the EU as it integrates the CEECs. The report concludes with a study of the lessons for the CEEC candidates from Portugal's accession experience. This experience is relevant because Portugal, like the CEECs, saw integration with the EU as the appropriate next step following the emergence of a democratic political system; and joined the EU more recently than many EU members when its level of economic development was relatively comparable to that existing in many of the CEECs today.
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