When the European integration process started in the 1950s, one of its aims was to bring the strength of the participating nations’ economies more closely into line. Overall, the last six decades have seen both an absolute and a relative rise in the per capita incomes of the erstwhile poorer countries. However, the convergence process in individual countries has been neither even nor continuous. Indeed, largely due to the economic crisis that broke in 2008 this trend has been reversed and the same economies are now diverging again. Recent figures show that the crisis-stricken countries of southern Europe have fallen a good way behind. Nor is convergence likely to resume in the near future. Bringing Europe’s economies closer together again will require economic policy reforms on the part of individual countries, whereby the EU also has at its disposal instruments which could make an important contribution.
Europe is Drifting Apart
Is this the End of Convergence in the Real Economy?
- Henry Goecke ·
- IW-Trends ·
- 25 Dec 2013