How Far Is Eastern Europe from Brussels?


Ratna Sahay ; Carlos A. Végh Gramont ; Stanley Fischer

Publication Date:

April 1, 1998

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


The current destination of Central and Eastern European countries—explicitly for some, implicitly for all—is Brussels. The concept of the distance from Brussels is multi-dimensional. One simple measure, not without theoretical and empirical justification, is physical distance. This paper’s focus, however, lies more in the distances in time and economic space. The paper first compares income gaps between Central and Eastern European and European Union (EU) countries, then evaluates recent economic performance in Central and Eastern Europe in light of EU standards. Finally; addresses the question of how long it will take the Central and Eastern European countries to close the income gap with EU countries.


Working Paper No. 1998/053



This paper was presented at the Kiel Week Conference held in Kiel, June 26-27, 1996, and at a conference on "The European Union and Central and Eastern Europe" held in Liechtenstein on July 4-6, 1996.


Publication Date:

April 1, 1998



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