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
Chapter 24: Economic and social cohesion in an enlarged European Union
24. Economic and social cohesion in an enlarged European Union Vasco Cal The second report on economic and social cohesion, which was adopted by the European Commission on 31 January 2001, marks the beginning of the debate on the cohesion policy after 2006. The ﬁrst report, which was adopted in 1996, gave rise to the Agenda 2000 proposals and the Berlin summit decisions on the ﬁnancial perspective for 2000–2006. In the second report, the Commission analyses the situation and regional disparities in a Europe of 27 member states, and the contribution of Community policies – among them the structural policies – to cohesion. The main conclusions of the report are as follows: 1. Compared with the present situation, regional disparities will more than double in an enlarged European Union: ● ● almost the entire population of 105 million people in the applicant countries will be living in regions with a per capita GDP of less than 75 per cent of a Community average that will itself be more than 18 per cent down on the present level; the standard of living in the least-developed regions of the enlarged European Union will be equivalent to about 31 per cent of the Community average, compared with 61 per cent at present. 2. There will be three groups of member states in the enlarged European Union: ● ● a group comprising the majority of the current applicant countries, which will have a per capita GDP (expressed in PPP) of 40 per cent of the Community average; a group...
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