Table of Contents

The Economic Potential of a Larger Europe

The Economic Potential of a Larger Europe

Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald

The Economic Potential of a Larger Europe gives insights into past, present and future issues related to the ongoing EU enlargement process. Providing a unique forum for debate and a multiplicity of views and experiences from both high-profile academics and those who engage with enlargement on an implementation level, this book covers a wide range of topics that are key to a successful transition and integration process and thus to the provision of a prosperous growth environment within a larger Europe. Special attention is paid to monetary integration, notably entry into ERM II, on which representatives of the national central banks involved present their views.


Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald 2004 saw the completion of the fifth EU enlargement since 1972 as eight Central and Eastern European countries and two Mediterranean islands became members of the European Union (EU). This was an unprecedented event in EU history, both with respect to the number of countries and the number of citizens newly integrated into the EU at one go. Enormous, ongoing political and institutional efforts have paved the way for this development that was all but inconceivable 15 years ago. Mirroring this process, a wide range of economic questions have emerged. Some are fundamental ones, mainly related with the transition process as such. Others have a clear link to the macroeconomic policy framework set up by the old EU member states. Several questions have been solved in the meantime; privatization, for instance, is no longer a major issue. But at the same time new challenges have appeared on the horizon, reflecting different adjustment speeds across sectors, a lack of macroeconomic policy coordination or newly arising conflicts of interest. Right from the beginning of the transformation process, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) has closely followed issues on Central and Eastern Europe that were perceived as important from a central banker’s view. Austria’s historical links and its geographical situation may have been the first incentives to do this. Nowadays economic considerations prevail, as trade relations, foreign direct investment (FDI) patterns, and developments in financial markets, especially the banking sector, clearly...