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Thursday 25 January 2018, 14h30 - 17h


Narrowing the gaps: 30 years after the transition started and 14 years after enlargement – where are we on convergence?
Conference organised by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)


The ETUI is organising a conference to openly debate effects of transition and EU integration on the Central and Eastern European countries and what this means in terms of upwards convergence for the region.


The Central and Eastern European countries have gone through an intense economic transition over the past 30 years and joined the European Union 14 years ago with the aspiration to have an upwards convergence with the then EU-15. Research is showing that while convergence has clearly occurred, this has not benefitted all regions and groups in society equally.


In addition recent research has concluded that the economic models on which the CEE countries have built their convergence could become a trap for future developments in the region. Against this backdrop, the conference will assess if current economic models and policies are responding the regions aspiration for upwards convergence, and if not what then needs to be done about it. Questions to be addressed are : what economic structure are relevant for the future development of the region? How can collective bargaining contribute to this? What is the role of the European institutions in ensuring upwards convergence? etc.


The conference is coinciding with the retirement of ETUI Senior researcher and Head of Unit "Economic, employment and social policies" Martin Myant, whose research agenda has strongly contributed to the thinking about the effects of transition and EU integration on the CEE countries. A drink will be held in his honour at the end of the conference.


You can download the draft programme here.


Venue: European Economic and Social Committee, Rue Van Maerlant 2, 1040 Brussels, Room VM3


Please register before 22 January here. For security reasons you will be requested to present your ID or passport at the entrance of the building.