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Convergence and Transition of the Eastern Partnership Countries towards the European Union



Objective: This article aims to present the convergence analysis results for the Eastern Partnership EaP countries and the twenty-eight members of the European Union (EU).

Research Design & Methods: The relationships between the selected macroeconomic variables and per capita GDP growth rate are econometrically tested to support this research. We analyse the convergence during the period of 2004-2017, but also include two sub-periods: 2004-2008 and 2009-2013.

Findings: The empirical findings support the economic convergence hypothesis. The results show that the recent financial crisis negatively affected the absolute and conditional convergence process, when economic variables are included in the analysis. The negative effects of the crisis on conditional convergence with economic and socio-political variables are not identified.

Implications & Recommendations: Poorer countries in the analysed group should do more to open their economies to attract investment, as gross fixed capital formation and economic openness have a positive impact on per capita growth, while general government debt, unemployment and inflation should be stabilised in the examined sample of countries.

Contribution & Value Added: The contribution of this article is reflected in the fact that it examines a geographic and economic area that has been under examined. The analyses on the Eastern Partnership countries convergence process towards the European Union are almost nonexistent. Economic literature on convergence has focused on the EU Member States, while the analyses on the Eastern Partnership countries convergence process towards the EU are almost nonexistent.



beta convergence, Eastern Partnership, European Union, transition, financial crisis, economic growth

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