As EU enlargement draws closer, it is important that the public, in particular in the Member States and in the candidate countries, is well informed of the aspects and implications of accession. This is the reason why the European Commission is developing a communications strategy for enlargement aimed at helping the people of Europe understand the rationale for enlargement, as well as the benefits it will bring and the challenges it poses. The Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs is taking part in this strategy by bringing in its economic expertise and by providing analytical arguments.
This document presents 42 questions and answers which cover key economic issues underlying the integration process associated with enlargement. We chose to focus on five themes mostly relevant at the EU level: general economic questions, economic and monetary union, employment and labour markets, agriculture, structural funds and budget.
The integration of candidate countries into the EU will generate adjustments which need to be well understood and foreseen. For the candidate countries, the challenge is to adapt in the most beneficial way to the economic context of a highly developed integrated area with common rights and obligations. At the same time, the economies of present Member States will also be influenced, although to a relatively lesser extent, and the whole EU will have a broader dimension.