Policy Research
The European Institute undertakes research focusing on the wider policy areas related to EU accession and the enlargement process in general. Below you can see a list of our policy activities to date. Please check this page regularly for updates and new information. The Impact of the Kosovo Crisis on Bulgaria’s Perspectives for Beginning of the Negotiations for Membership in the EU The paper outlines the negative effects of the Kosovo crisis on Bulgaria, and in particular on the country’s ability to meet the Copenhagen economic criteria for EU membership and the prospect for a decision to open accession negotiations. The crisis also created opportunities to alleviate the negative effects of Kosovo on Bulgaria, especially through giving more weight to the political arguments in favour of opening accession negotiations. On the accession of Österreich, Sweden and Finland, however, there were no problems. Full text in Bulgarian Bulgaria 2001: Analysis of the Implementation and the Perspectives in Front of the Government’s Programme in the Field of the European Integration The paper reviews the achievements and challenges of the implementation of the Government’s Programme Bulgaria 2001 in April 1999. It asserts that accession to the EU can not be perceived as a one-off foreign policy act, but is the result of both domestic and international policy actions. In this respect the progress achieved can be understood by looking at the economic, social and political developments, as well as the external environment. The report was presented at a round table organised by the Centre for Economic Development (CED). Full text in Bulgarian Review of Bulgaria’s Compliance with the Copenhagen Economic Criteria for Membership in the European Union EI has undertaken to produce an annual review of Bulgaria’s progress in meeting the Copenhagen Economic Criteria for EU membership. The conclusions of the European Council in Copenhagen (1993) defined the criteria for EU membership. The economic part of the criteria is formulated in the implementation of two general conditions: 1) the presence of a functioning market economy and 2) capability in the medium term to withstand the competitive pressure of market forces in the EU. During the last two and a half years, Bulgaria has undertaken serious economic reforms, which have been underpinned by the implementation of radical steps towards lliberalisation, macroeconomic stabilization, market restructuring, and harmonization of the legislation and institutions with those of the EU. Summary of the 2000 Report in English Full text of 2001 Report in Bulgarian Summary of 2001 Report in English Full text of 2002 Report in Bulgarian Full text of 2002 Report in English Comments towards the discussion of the CEPS Working Document “A System for Post-war South East Europe” The paper presents a summary of the views and discussions of a number of Bulgarian policy institutes, reflecting in some detail comments that the authors feel are important in order to enhance the comprehensiveness of the CEPS Working Document “A System for Post-war South East Europe”. They are based on a perspective from Bulgaria and reflect the authors’ understanding of what is in the best interest of Bulgaria in relation to a radical effort at the reconstruction, development and integration of South East Europe. The comments should not be perceived to reflect the views of the Bulgarian government or any other interested party. Full Report in English Ljubljana Declaration in English A Comprehensive Trade Policy Plan for the Western Balkans: A Bold Initiative to Bring More Stability and Prosperity To South Eastern Europe This report aims to contribute to the ongoing debate on trade liberalization in South East Europe by formulating comprehensive proposals for the effective integration of the countries of the Western Balkans into European and world trade agreements. Free trade will facilitate the competitive development of regional economies and thus contribute to achieving peace and sustainable economic growth in South East Europe. The report is focused on the countries of the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and the FR Yugoslavia. It also takes into consideration the countries from South East Europe (SEE), that are currently negotiating EU membership – Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia because of the impact their accession might have on the prospect for free trade in SEE. Trade flows and trade policies are a crucial aspect of economic progress in general. They play a central role in stimulating economic growth, integration, regional economic cooperation and political stability. Thus, trade liberalisation needs to be at the heart of reform and adjustment in the Western Balkans, especially given that all these countries are small economies without significant domestic markets. Here we propose a radical plan in three stages. The first stage includes asymmetric liberalisation of the EU trade policies towards the countries of the Western Balkans and the removal of trade barriers of regional export to the EU. In the second stage this will be followed by the inclusion of the Western Balkans in CEFTA, thus further liberalising intra-regional trade and trade with Central European countries. The third stage provides for free trade agreements between the region and EFTA and Turkey. Full report in English Executive summary in English Bulgaria’s Trade Policy and Foreign Trade Regime in the Light of Its Application to Join the European Union (and update) The paper reviews Bulgarian trade policy and foreign trade regime in the light of the country’s application for EU membership. After the beginning of the transition process in 19990 the foreign trade regime of Bulgaria underwent substantive systemic changes. The state withdrew from direct control over foreign trade and as a result the foreign trade regime was significantly liberalized on the basis of international principles and rules of trade embodied in the GATT. Favourable conditions were created to successfully complete the accession of Bulgaria to the GATT, later to the WTO as well as to conclude free trade area agreements with the European Communities and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and ensure the granting of most-favoured nation (MFN) treatment on a permanent basis on the part of the USA. A qualitative new phase started in fact after the decision of the EC to commence negotiations with Bulgaria on a Europe Association Agreement (EAA), which was initialed in December 1992, signed in March 1993 and entered into force in February 1995. Full text in English Full text of updated report in English (April 2000) From Bulgarian Lev to Euro? What is the Best Way From Bulgarian Lev to Euro: Which is the Best Way is a study sponsored by the European Institute. The authors of the book Nikolay Nenovsky, Kalin Hristov and Boris Petrov work at the Bulgarian National Bank and the Department of Finance of the University of National and World Economy. The main issue treated by the book is the choice of the best monetary regime scenario for Bulgaria in the context of the requirements for joining the European single economic and monetary union. In addition to the standard procedure of joining the European Monetary Union, which implies restoration of the full-fledged central bank, the authors of the book explore three more monetary regime scenarios for Bulgaria. These are: accession through currency board retention, euroization and setting up a regional Balkan monetary union. The book studies the pros and cons of the four monetary regime scenarios. Based on three criteria – economic, strategic and political - the efficiency of each scenario has been analyzed. Full text of the book in Bulgarian (in ZIP format) The Future of Europe This document is a Position paper of the Bulgarian nongovernmental organisation on The Future of Europe. It was prepared by the European institute with the kind assistance and support of: The Open Society Foundation – Sofia, the Institute for Market Economy, the Atlantic Club, the Centre for Liberal Strategies, the Centre for Social Practices, the Centre for Economic Development, the European Policy Forum, the Centre for the Study of Democracy, the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation, the Open Society Club – Varna, and others. Full text in English The 1996 - 1997 Financial Crisis in Bulgaria The main objective of the paper is to identify the initial conditions and vulnerabilities that led to the 1996-1997 crisis, as well as to outline the key developments and characteristics of the dual banking and currency crisis. In addition, it analyzes the crisis resolution policies implemented by the authorities. The paper was presented in April 2002 at the International Seminar on Comparative Experiences in Confronting Banking Sector Problems in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia, organized by the IMF, WB, EBRD and NBP. Full text in English
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