Structural Reforms for Growth and Cohesion
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Structural Reforms for Growth and Cohesion

Lessons and Challenges for CESEE Countries and a Modern Europe

Edited by Ewald Nowotny, Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald and Helene Schuberth

Effective and well-designed structural reforms are key to shaping Europe’s future in the context of the formidable challenges facing the continent today. This book examines the achievements and failures of past structural policies so that future ones can be adapted to address remaining and newly emerging challenges with greater success. Highlighting the social aspects and distributional effects of reforms that go beyond liberalization and deregulation, the book covers key issues facing future Europe, particularly those arising from technological innovation.
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Chapter 17: Reviving convergence: making EU member states fit for joining the euro area

Lúcio Vinhas de Souza, Oliver Dreute, Vladimir Isaila and Jan-Martin Frie


There has been real upward convergence between non-euro area member states of the European Union (EU) and the euro area in the last decade. However, this positive trend is slowing down and in some cases reversing. Discussions of required reforms often do not go beyond macroeconomic considerations surrounding the Copenhagen criteria for euro area accession. However, increasing institutional quality and efficiency is crucial for these member states’ accession to the euro area and long-term resilience. EU funds absorption rates, economic resilience during shocks, investment rates and general economic efficiency, among others, are all highly impacted by the effectiveness and quality of public and private institutions. And here, these member states are some of the poorest performers in the Union, and have seen little progress in the past decade. Current instruments such as the Structural Reform Support Service that provides technical assistance for public institutional reform have had successes in member state reform processes. Building upon and integrating these instruments in a future euro area accession platform could prove invaluable.

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