Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Economic and Political Re-Integration in an Enlarged EU: Implications for Regional stability - EPRIEE, Final Report, EUR 23136

Project ID: HPSE-CT-2001-00066


From a trade perspective, much of the integration process has already taken place. The Europe Agreements of 1997 were very important in this regard, removing tariffs and quotas on all areas of trade between the European Union (EU) and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs), with the exception of agriculture. The tariff reform that remains to be done for accession countries is therefore: 1) removal of agricultural tariffs and 2) adoption of the Common External Tariff for trade with third countries outside the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
Arguably more important, however, is the general accession of the CEECs to the EU's Single Market. This is a complicated series of agreements dealing with the huge raft of regulations and standards that countries impose on industry for means of health, safety and consumer protection. One school of thought suggests that regulations and standards may in practice be imposing significant costs on companies engaging in trade, by forcing them to alter the specifications of the goods they produce in order to enter new markets. Membership of the Single Market is potentially of particular value to the CEECs, as these are mostly small economies which have inherited relatively monopolistic industrial structures and can potentially gain greatly from integration into a far more competitive single European market. Edwards (2004a/EPRIEE-09) uses a computable general equilibrium model to simulate the impact of accession on the CEECs and the EU-15.

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