The fifth EU enlargement in 2004 and 2007 enlarged not only the internal European market. In 2008, the euro zone will compass 15 out of 27 EU member countries, and the Schengen area is being expanded to include 22 member countries. The new member countries have already been able to benefit noticeably from their participation in the internal market, despite not yet fully integrated labour markets. The majority of the new member countries have grown faster than previously and have substantially increased their trade with the old member countries. As expected, the new member countries have benefited much more clearly from the most recent enlargement than the old member countries. Nevertheless, many problems remain yet to be solved: the income gap needs to be closed, the competitive position of the new member countries needs to be reinforced, and their economies need to be stabilised macroeconomically. This includes notably the reduction of the high current account deficits, a curbing of inflation, and in some cases a budget stabilisation.
Fünfte EU-Erweiterung Osterweiterung MOEL Erfahrungen
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