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European Integration Perspectives: From Cohesion to Divergence?

Vedran Recher () and Nataša Kurnoga ()
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Vedran Recher: Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia
Nataša Kurnoga: Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Acta Oeconomica, 2017, vol. 67, issue 2, 195-214

Abstract: This paper examines the impact of EU enlargement and the global economic crisis on the relative development of the EU countries. This effect is assessed by applying multivariate analysis to the whole set of 28 European countries at three representative points in time. The cluster analysis for the years 2002, 2007, and 2012 grouped the countries according to the range of economic development indicators showing within-EU cohesion before the EU enlargement, after the enlargement wave, and after the crisis. The findings show that a decrease in the development differences after the enlargement was replaced with an increase in these differences after the crisis, thus contributing to the existing debate about the success of cohesion and future of European integration. These results are somewhat worrying for the new member states of the EU as well as for EU membership candidates and their prospective development within the integration.

Keywords: development; convergence; cohesion; European integration; multivariate analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 E60 F15 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: We gratefully acknowledge the support and helpful inputs from Jelena Budak, Marina Tkalec, and Ivan Žilić in developing the ideas presented here. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable remarks and contribution to the overall quality of the paper.
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