Register  |  Login  |  Inquiries  |  Sitemap |  
Advanced Search
Journal of Economic Integration 2014 June;29(2) :210-243.
EU Eastern Enlargement: Economic Effects on New Members 2000~2012

Miroslav N. Jovanović Jelena Damnjanović 

University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Novi Sad School of Business, Novi Sad, Serbia
Corresponding Author: Miroslav N. Jovanović ,Email:
Copyright ©2014 Journal of Economic Integration
The European Union (EU) has a splendid record concerning enlargement. Judging by the increasing number of EU member countries, enlargement has been the most successful EU policy ever. The economic side of its eastern enlargement is, however, a hybrid bag of effects for the EU’s eastern countries because membership in the EU is not a tide that lifts all boats. This article, as a statistical primer, provides consistent data for the period 2000~2012. Majority of data is from Eurostat, where the data on eastern EU member countries are scattered around in various parts of Eurostat database. In the effort to present the data in a consolidated and straightfoward way to reveal the real economic effects on enlargement on the new EU member countries, we took the task to cherry-pick the relevant data. It shows that economic growth, expansion of trade, and increase in foreign direct investment to the east of the EU are obvious gains for the new eastern EU countries. That said, it entails costs. The size of domestic and foreign debts have been accelerated to finance their successes. Our concern is that this debt burden stands a chance of suffocating the newly acquired economic vigour especially at a time when one is anxious about the future of the eurozone and the EU.

JEL Classification
F13: Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
F15: Economic Integration
F50: General
Keywords: Enlargement | Old and New EU Countries | Debt | Mixed Blessing
1. Baldwin, R. (1995), “A domino theory of regionalism’ in Expanding Membership of the European Union (eds R. Baldwin, P. Haaparanta and J. Kiander)”, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 25-48.
2. Kemp, M. and H. Wan (1976), “An elementary proposal concerning the formation of customs unions”, Journal of International Economics, p. 95-97.
3. Jovanović, M. (2013), The Economics of European Integration. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
4. Jovanović, M. (2013), “Was European integration nice while it lasted”, Journal of Economic Integration, p. 1-36.
5. Lipsey, R.G., and M. Smith (2011), “Multilateral versus regional trading arrangements: substitutes or complements?”, in (ed. M. Jovanović) International Handbook on the Economics of Integration: General Issues and Regional Groups. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, p. 90-120.
6. Mansfield, E. and E. Reinhardt (2003), “Multilateral determinants of regionalism: the effects of GATT/WTO on the formation of preferential trading arrangements”, International Organisation, p. 829-862.
7. Viner, J. (1950), The Customs Union Issue. London: Stevens and Sons.
Editorial Office
Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, 209, Neungdong-Ro, Gwangjin-Gu,
Seoul, 05006, Korea
TEL : +82-2-3408-3338    FAX : +82-2-6935-2492   E-mail :
Browse Articles |  Current Issue |  For Authors and Reviewers |  About
Copyright© by Center for Economic Integration.      Developed in M2PI