Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Romania and European Union Enlargement

van der Hoek, M. Peter (2006): Romania and European Union Enlargement. Published in: Journal of European Economy , Vol. 5, No. 3 (September 2006): pp. 278-289.

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This paper looks at the position of Romania in the run-up to European Union membership. It starts by comparing the EU’s 2004 Eastern enlargement with previous enlargements. It ap-pears that the EU became poorer by every single enlargement. The EU’s GDP per capita decreased each time relative to GDP per capita of the six founding member states (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). Also, there appear to be good economic reasons for the postponement of Romania's accession until 2007 (or 2008). Romania did not achieve macro-economic stability as fast as the other countries in the region, its welfare level is lower and its progress in establishing a market economy is slower compared to the countries that joined the EU in 2004. In addition, it has realized little progress in the fight against corruption. Finally, the paper looks at the situation created by the rejection of the draft constitu-tional treaty by the French and Dutch voters in 2004. It presents five options. The most likely seems that the EU will proceed on the basis of the Nice Treaty and political agreements. Fur-ther enlargements will be much more difficult to realize than in the past. This does not apply to Bulgaria and Romania, as they will join the EU in 2007 or 2008. It does apply, however, to Turkey and the former Yugoslav republics.

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