Expanding Membership of the European Union

The debate about the expansion of the regional integration of Europe is set to dominate the EU's policy agenda in the coming years. While the countries of Central and Eastern Europe may aspire to EU membership only in the longer term, Austria, Finland and Sweden have all recently achieved membership status. This volume, derived from the proceedings of a conference run jointly by CEPR and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, examines the discussion surrounding both actual and possible future expansion of the EU. The contributors address the key issues in the debate, including: the implications of expansion of the EU for the global trading system; the pressure any imminent expansion might put on the EU to reform its political and decision-making processes; the theoretical motivation behind the clamour for entry to the EU; the economic consequences of membership for new entrants; and the effect on the location of economic activity and on migration in a larger EU. Using new trade theory, game theory, empirical assessment and simulation to report new results and insights, the contributors not only shed light on the consequences of Austria, Finland and Sweden joining the EU, but also discuss and evaluate the possible membership of Central European ex-socialist countries. This is an important book not only for students and scholars interested in regional integration, but also for policy-makers in the new EU member countries and in applicant countries. Many of the issues addressed in this volume are relevant to the EU's 1996 inter-governmental conference.