The next enlargement will be an event of unprecedented political and institutional importance for the European Union. The development gap between the present and future members will also make this an original economic experiment. But trade is already largely liberalised, as investors have anticipated membership. The consequences of enlargement are therefore likely to have less to do with massive competition in a few industries than complex changes in integrating markets. Simulations carried out using the mirage model indicate that belonging to a vast single market will provide substantial gains for the new members which will also benefit from joining the Common Agricultural Policy.
international trade models and databases; european enlargement; growth; mirage; regional integration; CAP; CEECs
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