The Eurozone crisis has exposed the discrepancy between the political positions of central and peripheral states where the largest EU Member States are favoured. Reflected in reinforcing the role of the strongest EU Member States, this phenomenon gives rise to two- or multi-speed Europe. Another phenomenon rooted in the crisis of the single currency refers to the diversifi cation of the status of the EU borderland. This is of particular importance to a relatively stronger position of less dynamically developing areas of the Eurozone as compared to the countries outside it. Such a tendency significantly impacts on the cohesion policy. It was detrimental to the power of the Central European states to negotiate the scope of this policy for the period after 2013.
Establishing the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) with a common currency, i.e. the Euro means the consolidation of all integration processes within the European Union. The currency integration was accompanied by the process of financial and economic integration to make the entire zone more coherent economically and organisationally. However, the current financial crisis has demonstrated a number of disadvantages and imperfections of the Eurozone and the whole EMU in terms of economic integration and convergence. This phenomenon has been triggered by moving away from the initial assumptions behind creating the EMU known as an optimum currency area (OCA). Thus, the previous actions taken by the EMU countries to save the integration of the Eurozone seem to be very difficult and now the EMU states and the entire EU should take comprehensive and daring actions in line with the convergence and OCA rules.
The European Union’s Eastern policy has been modified continually in the 21st century because the European Neighbourhood Policy, the framework for its activities towards its neighbours, is an ineffective tool. Faced with the low efficient activities, the EU authorities and the individual Member States have been coming up with new initiatives aimed at making the operations more productive. This is exemplified by the Black Sea Synergy and the Eastern Partnership projects managed by the Eastern neighbours and the Union for the Mediterranean pertaining to the states of the Southern neighbourhood. The Eastern Partnership is becoming an increasingly recognisable sign of the EU’s activities in Eastern Europe. The Partnership is a young policy, still under implementation. Its eff ective implementation requires all of the 27 EU Member States and the 6 states embraced by the policy to cooperate. During its Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2011, Poland strove to make the Eastern Partnership the main objective of the East European and South Caucasian policy. As it turned out, certain international events precluded the EaP from becoming the key issue under the Polish Presidency, and the state of the affairs behind the Eastern border of the EU also seems to indicate that this initiative is waning for perceiving it as a project of a little impact.
The author examines the signifi cance of the nominal convergence criteria for the new EU Member States from Central and Eastern Europe in 2004-2012 and the extent to which they managed to satisfy these criteria then. In their accession treaties, these countries agreed to adopt a common currency although no specific time was precisely defined. In order to participate in and benefit from functioning in the euro area, the so-called criteria indicated in the Treaty of Maastricht need to be permanently satisfied. At first, this should contribute to a smooth introducing of the euro and later to an effective functioning of the entire economic and monetary union. The study on the degree of compliance with the nominal convergence criteria by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Hungary indicates that these countries are not ready to join the euro area now for none of them meets all of the membership conditions.
This paper is an attempt to answer the question of whether economic convergence occurs across the regions of the Central and Eastern European EU Member States. Here, convergence is analysed in terms of sigma convergence and absolute beta convergence and the calculations are based on the Eurostat database for 1995-2009. This study shows that the diversification of regional GDPs per capita across the Central and Eastern European EU Member States is, unfortunately, increasing over the period. However, the calculations on the regional convergence across this group of states show that convergence is proceeding, which may hide growing divergence among these countries.
The Common Agricultural Policy has been reformed considerably since its creation. All of the successive reforms have involved an increasing shift from strongly supported sectoral interventions towards market-oriented policies of sustainable rural development. The CAP scenario for 2014-2020 indicates that the past principles favouring unequal distribution of funds will continue to guide the distribution of assistance under the major CAP tool, i.e. direct subsidy payments. As a result, the new Member States will still receive less funding to implement the redefined CAP objectives while making up for the level of agricultural development. Also, modification of the system involves some additional administrative burden that can weaken the competitiveness of agriculture in the EU. Referring to these issues, this paper evaluates the future CAP for the significance of the proposed changes for economic convergence in the EU’s agricultural sector.
Regarded as a form of Europeanisation, cultural convergence is discussed in this paper as a system of values to be applied while deciding on how to execute EU Cohesion Policy. At the same time, this notion justifies any integration processes in Europe and complements traditional concepts of economic growth and development. Cultural convergence also refers to accumulated social virtues, administrative rationality, processes of innovation, and the creation of innovative regions. Moreover, this concept is a prerequisite for successful regional economies in the European Union. Hence, cultural convergence plays a key role in building a strategy and implementing Cohesion Policy. However, the ideas to standardise certain processes or to implement Europeanisation may make people anxious for fear of losing their specific culture and eliminating tradition perceived as a hindrance to economic development and growth.
The article examines a concept of a new federation state constituted by all members of the Nordic dimension. The new united political body would have one government, one parliament, one currency, common institutions for fields such as: foreign and internal policy, international security, higher education, research and science, labour market, and infrastructure. The common areas would be complemented with individually managed sectors, all together serving to increase competitiveness and security of the Nordic region.
The paper presents the results of the latest research by the World Bank on the development of the knowledge-based economy (KBE) in the selected countries, including the EU Members from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The paper is also an attempt to study the level of development of the KBE in those countries in relation to the other EU Member States.
The aim of this paper is to analyse the determinants behind the crisis in Spain that made it deeper and longer than in the previous instances and which reflected some significant obstacles to emerging from the recession. The experience of over the past four years allows some lessons to be drawn on the external sector, the real estate market, fiscal policy and the labour market. These lessons point in particular to the need to avoid complacency in economic policy management in boom periods and urgent adapting the structure of goods and factor markets and the behaviour of economic agents in Spain to the requirements imposed by participation in the Monetary Union.