The Economic Goals of the Enlargement and the Challenges to the 27 EU Countries

  • P. Guerrieri

The common approach of European citizens to the entry of new member countries into the European Union has profoundly changed in recent years, with the prevalence of reactions of growing disillusionment if not open hostility. The same negative result of the referendums on the constitutional treaty in France and Holland in 2005 was mainly attributed to the difficulties and fears related to the recent process of enlargement of the Union from 15 to 25 countries. In many important European countries such as France, Austria, and Germany only a minority of citizens now continue to be in favour of further enlargement of the Union. This sentiment of refusal was above all fuelled by the widespread perception that the enlargement has asymmetrically favoured the new countries that have been able to exploit the low costs and their economic/social backwardness, thus transforming the process into a zero-sum game for the 15 countries.

In my contribution I would like to rebut this widespread argument by sustaining that the enlargement has actually produced very positive results overall for all the member countries even if asymmetrically distributed within Europe. The widespread anxieties and fears thus to a great extent appear unfounded and determined by other causes. Those related to the disappointing performance of many European countries in the first part of the present decade, which is reflected in extremely low growth and high unemployment, should be mentioned first. These are negative trends that preceded the enlargement and which were then unduly attributed to it.


Foreign Direct Investment Member Country Direct Foreign Investment Inflow Economic Goal Constitutional Treaty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Guerrieri
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity “La Sapienza” of RomeRomeItaly

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