The proposal is for a Summer School of six days' duration, which would run under the general heading of "Competitiveness and the EU Enlargement". Three main topics are foreseen for discussion during the Summer School: Exchange Rates and Financial Markets; Industrial Policy and Competitiveness; and Representation and EU Institutions.
Within this general framework, it is envisaged that the impact on the existing EU Member countries and institutions deserve as much scrutiny as that on the accession countries themselves.
From a general point of view the impact of the accession to the EU of a large number of new member states is first and foremost a question of competitiveness. For those accession countries which cannot acquire and maintain a sufficient degree of competitiveness, full membership of the EU is likely to carry with it unpleasant implications for employment and welfare; for those which are more fortunate, to the contrary, accession is an unrivalled opportunity for development and growth. Taking competitiveness as a focus then, a number of important factors immediately come into view. Exchange rate policy has traditionally been regarded as a key factor in competitiveness and one of the aims of the Summer School will be to clarify how far this traditional emphasis is justified and what types of policy, and what financial market developments, are implied as optimal from this point of view. At the same time it is clear that certain types of exchange rate policy at least have important implications for monetary policy in the existing Union, especially in the EU-12.
The "new economic geography" literature provides a starting point for considering the leverage of industrial policy (and the optimal types of policy) in relation to fostering centres of industrial competitiveness in the Enlargement countries; its counterpart is the question of adjustment in the existing member countries of the EU to the situation created by the competition from the East.
The competitiveness of the accession countries can be affected by EU policies in a number of ways, as can the adjustment paths of countries affected by the accession. How those policies will be formed and implemented inevitably will reflect, inter alia, the political leverage of the accession countries. The Nice Summit made progress in assigning voting weights and raising the issue of how far qualified majority voting could extend, but this is far from being the end of the issue even at the formal level. Clearly, once again, the counter-party to the political leverage of the accession countries is a diminution in the decision power of existing EU members.
The Summer School aims to ventilate these issues through inviting relevant experts in the respective areas to address seminar papers to them. The Working Paper series of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies would be available for the circulation of these papers to a wider audience (RSCAS papers are posted on the web as well as being made available in printed form).