Chapter 28: Europe - towards economic stability and prosperity?
28. Europe – towards economic stability and prosperity? Brigita Schmögnerová Europe’s position in the world economy in 2020 will very much depend on developments in the EU: (1) EU enlargement; (2) the process of catchingup within the EU and vis-à-vis the US as well as developments in non-EU European economies, in particular the Russian Federation and perhaps some other European CIS countries; (3) the expansion of the euro zone and the performance of the euro. 1. THE EU IN 2020 What might the EU look like in 2020? By 2020, the EU can be expected to have changed substantially in terms of geographical frontiers. Today’s EU is on the verge of historic enlargement into former Communist central and Eastern Europe. ● ● The current wave of accession looks set to happen in 2004, enlarging today’s 15-member EU to a 25-member entity. Bulgaria and Romania could join in 2007, as long as – according to the European Commission – the ongoing reforms to implement the acquis, to tackle corruption and to improve the public administration and the judiciary system continue. As regards Turkey, another aspiring member, the European Commission’s most recent Progress Report assessment was that the political criteria to open accession negotiations with the EU have not been fully met. Concerns focus on the independence of the judiciary, continuous allegations of torture and ill treatment in prisons and the status of religious and ethnic minorities. However, the growing commitments of the Turkish government to comply with the Copenhagen political criteria and Turkish pressure...
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