Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald
EU enlargement in 2004 - A time to revisit transition challenges
EU enlargement in 2004 – a time to revisit transition challenges Klaus Liebscher The OeNB’s East–West Conference 2003, on which this book is based, looks back at an impressive history. The ﬁrst OeNB seminar focusing explicitly on the transition economies in Central and Eastern Europe took place in October 1989, not long after the opening of the iron curtain. Since 1995 the conference has been an established annual event, serving as an international forum in which leading experts from government and international organizations, central and commercial banks as well as universities and research institutes discuss questions related to the transition process and to EU enlargement. Previous conferences dealt with all the major topics relevant for European integration and enlargement: the restructuring of the banking system, ﬁnancial crises, the convergence progress, regulatory aspects of transition and other structural challenges, the quest for an adequate policy mix and the challenges of transition in general. The range of topics is, however, not just impressive because of its broad coverage, it also reﬂects the evolution of the transformation process. Some of the earlier conference topics, as for example the regulatory aspects of transition or issues related to institution building, have lost importance over recent years, given the successful completion of the major transition steps in these areas. At the same time, we have also seen the focus shift from purely transition-related topics toward a more global perspective and a more horizontal approach to speciﬁc topics. The most recent conferences proved especially rewarding...