• Tomas Razauskas, Borisas Melnikas Vilnius Gediminas Technical University


Fast expansion of European Union (hereafter – EU), which occurs in a quite short time just confirms, that EU as a formation of the member states helps them to reach additional positive economic effect.
The EU always meets new challenges for economic evolution as it is expanded both in geographical and integration point of view, and as it has uneven economic and social level of development, different demographic situation. One of the above-mentioned challenge - how to reach closer cohesion of economic development.
It is not easy to seek this, especially if you know how very different economies of EU member states are. For instance, the size of production of Germany which generates the largest part of EU economy is the same as twenty smallest member states all together. Obviously, the EU economic development mostly depends and will depend on the biggest countries’ economic growth and that is because they will have influence on development of smaller member states.
In order to seek a closer cohesion between members states in the EU one of the measures are creation of structural funds. The question: do these instruments allow to reach the said aims?
According to the financial perspective for 2000-2006 approximately 90 pc of the whole EU support was accorded to EU-15; approximately 60 pc provided in financial perspective for 2007-2013. In this case emerge ambiguous situation: on the one part, insufficient concentration of EU financial support for less developed regions impede sustainable development, in the other part, citizens of the new member states get more financial support from EU budget than they pay for it.
It is important to underline, that EU financial support and participating in the common market has changed two main economic rates: GDP growth and inflation. The new member countries also should not forget abilities to absorb this structural support. In this regard the old member states dominate over the new ones. For that reason one of the future challenges for the new member states - to reach the same level.
Nevertheless, it is important to understand, that structural support is not the main reason of successful economic growth of the EU member states and EU itself. The common market is a main factor which promotes economic growth. That is why another challenge for the new member states - fully integrate their economies into European economic and monetary union.
EU is unique union of states, which gives particular benefit for the member states and worldwide performs a notably role. Therefore trying to analyze economic processes inside EU it is important to evaluate the main factors outside EU which make the largest influence.
To respond to changeable development processes of economy mostly suitable tools are the instruments of monetary and fiscal policies.
It should be noted that implementation of fiscal policy on the EU level is restricted. The EU budget must be always balanced and implemented without consideration of business cycles. The policy on taxation is harmonized only on indirect taxes. The instruments of direct taxes and expenditures of national budget let for the member states to compete with each other in EU, and it is to be expected that the new member states will use these measures.
The main centralized instrument to respond adequately into business cycles on the EU level is a monetary policy implemented by the European Central Bank. Nevertheless, not all the new member states have joined the euro zone. It gives them more flexibility in control their economy, but at the same time obliges to maintain stability of national currency.






Economics of the European Union