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GLOBSEC EU Task Force report: New European cycle - Ideas Coming from Central Europe

GLOBSEC EU Task Force aims to build a vision for a more successful and prosperous Europe through the lenses of a constructive Central (and Eastern) European perspective. In this report, the Task Force members layout their vision for the new European political cycle.

It is an obvious fact that Central Europe’s fortunes stand and fall with the European integration process. Data show that the V4 countries have grown more than the EU on average in terms of GDP, a decline of unemployment and the stabilisation of the public finances.

There is a risk that in the processes of economic convergence the Central European countries will get stuck in a middle-income trap, namely due to the lack of (mostly national-level) reforms, that could transform them from countries of cheap labour to high-productivity workforces.

At the same time, there is a feeling of divergence at the EU level, whereby the EU is perceived to represent better the needs of post-industrial, postmodern, developed societies rather than those still in the convergence process. The voice of the region often seems misheard or unheard and there seems to be an institutional distance from the countries of the “new” Europe.

Can Central Europe contribute to a big plan for EU reform? What are the foundations of the success of the European Union from the perspective of the V4 countries? Can such a vision gain support in Brussels? The answers are positive and some suggestions are provided in the sections below.