Impact of EU enlargement on economic and social cohesion
Yelkenbiçer, Emel Ahu
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The aim of this thesis is to analyze the impact of each phase of enlargement on the regional policy of the EU. It mainly focuses on the socio-economic indices like the economic potential, GDP growth, inflation, euro trends, unemployment, labor market participation and its industrial distribution, education, social protection, technological performance by considering research and development expenditures, infrastructure and patents application. This research shows the general situation in various countries through special data and makes a comparison between the new and previous members. The overall assessment is that the enlargement strategy of the EU makes the regional policy ineffective. In other words, it becomes difficult to overcome regional imbalances with the admission of the new comers. In this context, enlargement is the major cause of the rise of socio-economic disparities.