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At this moment, we are only a few weeks away from the introduction of the Euro coins and bills as legal tender; a very visible step forward towards European integration. At the same time, the European Union and the Candidate Countries are preparing themselves for the next and biggest enlargement. Thus, a more diverse Europe will simultaneously become more deeply integrated.
The success of this on-going integration process depends on a more equitable distribution of prosperity. Continued under-development and poverty in the European periphery would threaten its stability, with negative repercussions in the core regions of Europe. Therefore, promoting rapid growth in the European periphery is crucial, and the European Union is officially committed to this goal. The examples of non-performing regions and countries, however, suggest some reservations regarding the feasibility of deliberate growth-promoting policies.
In order to identify the relevant factors that allow rapid growth and its equitable distribution in the periphery, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, in cooperation with the Franziska- und Otto-Bennemann-Stiftung, invited some twenty-five experts to the international seminar "Cohesive Growth in the Enlarging Euroland: Patterns, Problems and Policies", held in Berlin in June 2001.
In this volume, we are publishing the main written contributions to the conference. The compilation starts with a summarising essay and an introduction to the theoretical and historical background of the discussion on cohesive growth. Then, we present brief reviews of the experiences of the cohesion countries Portugal, Greece and Ireland and those of two poor regions, namely Southern Italy and Eastern Germany. Finally, a series of issues central to real and nominal convergence are debated, including the importance and effects of capital inflows, the combined effects of wage, price and exchange rate regimes on competitiveness, and the required trade policy framework.
On behalf of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, we would like to thank all participants at the conference for their contributions. We hope that this volume will contribute to the discussion among experts and policy makers on the adequate policies for future cohesive growth in Europe.
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© Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | technical support | net edition fes-library | März 2002