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Possible economic effects of EU convergence instruments on Western Balkan countries

Kandžija, Vinko; Tomljanović, Marko; Kandžija; Tomislav
Possible economic effects of EU convergence instruments on Western Balkan countries // Absorption capacity of EU pre-accession programs in the Western Balkan countries / Kandžija, Vinko (ur.).
Nica: Cemafi International, 2014. str. 142-153

Possible economic effects of EU convergence instruments on Western Balkan countries

Kandžija, Vinko ; Tomljanović, Marko ; Kandžija ; Tomislav

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Poglavlja u knjigama, znanstveni

Absorption capacity of EU pre-accession programs in the Western Balkan countries

Kandžija, Vinko

Cemafi International



Raspon stranica


Ključne riječi
EU, Western Balkan, structural funds, pre-accession funds, economic growth, cost, benefits

After a very unstable period in the 90th - s, Western Balkans countries begun the process of establishing democracy and the rule of law, and expressed a desire for faster integration into the EU. Full membership in the EU is a key goal and aspiration of Western Balkans countries, which represents a path towards prosperity and stability. However, towards full integration there are various economic and political problems. To help Western Balkan countries in solving these problems, EU created special financial instruments. EU funds are allocated in specific projects, and each country is responsible for their own progress. In their accession process, Western Balkans countries had to make some adjustments in terms of regional cooperation, and then sign the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA). SAA increased macroeconomic stability in the region and opened the way for countries towards EU membership. Furthermore, to overcome the difficulties of transition, until the year 2006, to the Western Balkan countries were available pre-accession funds ((ISPA, PHARE and SAPARD, when they where replaced with unique IPA programme in the year of 2007. The purpose of the pre-accession programs was to help these countries in adjusting legal and political acquis and strengthen their economies in order to be able to cope with competition within the Union. The biggest problem is the unwillingness of countries in the creation of quality programs to allocate approved funds. By leveraging resources of the EU, the countries of the Western Balkans lay the foundation for future integration into the EU, whose (long- term) benefits are undetectable, and associated costs with transition process are short-term. As most important costs can be specified payments to the common budget (up to 1.24% of GDP), the elimination of tariffs and loss of coordinated acts of VAT. The most significant aspect of the association is related to the launch of reforms in all areas of economic and social activity, which will ultimately achieve economic growth and political stability. The Western Balkan countries that meet the criteria, will become active participants in shaping EU policies, which will continue to have a positive impact on the stability of the entire region. Using the Structural Funds, the countries will modernize and become more efficient and cheaper. Funding opportunities from the EU Structural Funds, with increased foreign investment, will accelerate the economic growth of new member states. Successful restructuring of the company in the long run will generate income and increase the competitiveness and standards of employees. Consumers will benefit from EU membership through lower prices for goods and services, and greater protection and security. Membership in the EU will not have the same effects on all sectors of society, and some groups will benefit more than others. This particularly refers to young people with entrepreneurial skills, qualified individuals for the challenges of a flexible labour market, and groups that deal with related issues.

Izvorni jezik

Znanstvena područja


Projekt / tema
081-0811403-1405 - Razvoj gospodarske konkurentnosti Hrvatske u procesu priključivanja EU (Vinko Kandžija, )

Ekonomski fakultet, Rijeka