Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald
Chapter 16: On the threshold of the 2004 EU enlargement
Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell1 On the threshold of the accession of ten new member states to the European Union, this contribution reviews, in a selective manner, the enlargement process and explores some of the challenges involved in the imminent widening of the European Union. There can be no doubt that enlargement is a major achievement in the history of European integration. In fact, a few years ago, it could not be taken for granted that the accession process would be completed as smoothly as this now appears to be the case. While accession to the European Union is a fundamental accomplishment, it is clearly not the end of the integration process. In the area of economic and monetary policies, accession marks in fact, in many respects, the beginning of integration. It is therefore obvious that the prospective monetary integration of the new member states is increasingly moving into focus, as enlargement is coming closer. The communication of the ECB and the Eurosystem on this issue has been frequent and encompassing (see for example Padoa-Schioppa, 2003).2 Most recently, the ‘Policy position of the Governing Council of the ECB on exchange rate issues relating to the acceding countries’, released in December 2003, has consolidated into a single comprehensive policy text the previous positions of the Eurosystem on the matter. This position paper, which is available at the ECB website in all oﬃcial Community languages, lays out the key issues for markets and the public at large, both in the euro area and...
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