Economic Convergence and Divergence in Europe Growth and Regional Development in an Enlarged European Union
Growth and Regional Development in an Enlarged European Union
Edited by Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell and Peter Mooslechner
14. Real nominal convergence ˇ Tina Zumer and Uros Cufer ˇ ˇ The debate on real and nominal convergence attracts much attention with the accession countries approaching membership of the EU. It is straightforward to talk about nominal convergence criteria, but it is rather unclear what real convergence criteria are. The former were set out in the Treaty of Maastricht, but nothing has been speciﬁed about the latter. In EMU the common monetary policy is concerned with the developments in the euro area as a whole and cannot promote the catching-up process of any particular country. Therefore a country’s compliance with real economic convergence criteria is important for the ECB’s policy of maintaining price stability. It is in the interest of Slovenia to fully integrate into EU and EMU as soon as possible. Although no speciﬁc additional criteria have been set out for Slovenia’s participation in the EU, the criteria for participating in EMU are of particular interest if monetary integration, ﬁrst in the form of ERM II, is to follow immediately upon EU membership. For this step the achievement of nominal and real convergence is a necessary precondition. The problem all the accession countries are facing is how to balance the two. They may be seen as a trade-oﬀ, but they go hand in hand. There is the potential danger that the candidate countries might, in order to fulﬁl the nominal convergence criteria, grow at a lower rate than they potentially could and that they might thus not catch...
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