Industrial Competitiveness and Restructuring in Enlarged Europe: How Accession Countries Catch Up and Integrate in the European Union
After a decade of preparation, a group of eight transition countries joined the European Union in May 2004. The manufacturing sector in these countries was characterized by old technology, low efficiency, and distorted structures dominated by heavy and extractive industries - thus the impact of accession on individual industries was uncertain and many observers had serious concerns about the ability of the manufacturing sector to survive competition in the enlarged market. This book analyses the factors influencing changes in industrial competitiveness in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in the pre-accession period. It demonstrates how industrial restructuring, government policies, trade specialization, and networking contribute to the catching up process and the integration of accession countries in the EU market. The book uses original datasets and enterprise surveys to provide empirical evidence on how some industries have expanded their share of the EU market and caught up with their competitors from the more advanced older member states. The book ends with a discussion of the policy implications of the process of enlargement for the accession countries, the EU and the older member states.
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