¿Cómo alcanzarán los nuevos miembros al resto?

De los diez nuevos estados miembros de la UE, ocho han experimentado una transformación cuya velocidad y alcance no tiene precedentes. Donde sea que se mire a los países poscomunistas que están a punto de ingresar a la UE, en los ámbitos monetario, de mercados, de estructura de propiedad, los sectores financieros, el comercio exterior, la protección del medioambiente y la educación, uno ve instituciones que han sido reconstruidas desde cero.

En muchos de los países en transición, la inflación se pudo bajar desde niveles altísimos (251% en Polonia en 1989) y ahora todos ellos tienen monedas completamente convertibles. La empresa privada domina la producción y el empleo, mientras que constituía sólo el 23.1% del PGB de Polonia en 1989 y apenas el 4% en la República Checa y Eslovaquia.

De manera similar, tras el colapso del Consejo de Ayuda Económica Mutua (COMECON) en 1991, los países en transición rápidamente reorientaron su comercio exterior hacia Occidente. Las oportunidades en el área de la educación se han multiplicado, la contaminación del aire y agua se ha reducido drásticamente y la expectativa de vida ha aumentado casi hasta los niveles de Europa Occidental en toda la región.

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