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European Economic Integration and South-East Europe

European Economic Integration and South-East Europe

Challenges and Prospects

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

With both transition dynamics and the EU integration process having shifted to the south-east of Europe, a region fairly marginalized in the literature, this book fills a gap by taking stock of where South-East Europe’s economies and institutions stood in 2004. The authors evaluate the potential for investment and growth within the South-East European region, including the role of trade and FDI, and discuss the challenges associated with unemployment, poverty and ‘brain drain’. The book also provides insights into the particular monetary and exchange rate policies applied, including cases of ‘euroization’, and finally makes an assessment, against this background, of the European perspective of the countries of South-East Europe.


Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Gru_nwald

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald South-East Europe promises to be the next major focal region of European integration dynamics and modernization efforts. While not much research has been devoted to it so far, South-East Europe is now among the fastestgrowing regions on the continent and possesses large potential yet to be tapped for further expansion. South-East Europe as we understand it and as it is generally defined in contemporary political geography comprises the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro. Since Central Europe joined the EU in May 2004, the focus of the integration process has clearly shifted south-east. Apart from Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia, which are the candidates for the next accession rounds, all other countries of the region now have an accession perspective. Moreover, the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe has been assisting the difficult catching-up process of this region through various initiatives for years. Austria is a neighbour and intimately linked to South-East Europe by the Danube, by geography and by history. Today, economic links play a prime role, with trade volumes developing on a dynamic trajectory and Austrian investors being in the forefront of the microeconomic re-integration process of the region with the rest of Europe. This book contains contributions made to the Oesterreichische Nationalbank’s first Conference on European Economic Integration, which took place in November 2004. This event continued the tradition of our East–West Conferences, but with a...