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Transition Report 2012: Integration Across Borders

The Transition Report charts the progress of the transition to market economies and macroeconomic performance of the EBRD region.

Entitled Integration Across Borders, this year’s Transition Report analyses the importance of economic integration, focusing specifically on the changing financial landscape in the Eurozone single currency bloc and the creation of new pan-European institutions. The report also looks at the role of trade integration, assessing the impact of the Eurasian Economic Union and drawing lessons from other regional trading groups.

Chapter 1 of the report, Progress in structural reforms, looks at the changing pace of reform over the last year.  For the first time, the Transition Report also analyses the progress of reforms in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED), to which the EBRD is currently extending its remit. The chapter looks specifically at the impact of the global economic crisis and whether reforms have slowed down and if the impetus for reform has been lost. It concludes that while the pace fo reform has slowed down there has been no wholesale reversal. However, it issues a stark warning: “There is no sign of the major reform drive needed to boost growth rates towards their long-term potential.”

Chapter 2, Impact of the Eurozone crisis, looks at the effects of the continuing turmoil in the single currency bloc on the economies across the EBRD region, including SEMED. The report says: “Possible further deterioration of the turmoil in the euro area poses the largest risks to already-slower projected growth in the region for 2012 and 2013.”

Chapter 3, Towards a Pan-European Banking Architecture, assesses the role of the Eurozone-based banking union and asks whether this major new development will address the deficiencies of previous national based regulatory models. This section also assesses the status of non-Eurozone countries with respect to the new system and concludes: “Non-eurozone countries should be allowed to opt into both the supervisory mechanism and the ESM (European Stability Mechanism)”.

Chapter 4, Regional Trade Integration and Eurasian Economic Union, considers the various benefits of trade integration benefits and the extent to which they are likely to apply in the new customs union. The analysis draws on the early evidence on the impact of the customs union on trade, non-tariff barriers and export structure and also looks at the experiences of other longer-established trading blocs.  The report sees benefits from the Union. The structure of exports from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia also suggests that regional economic integration has the potential to act as a springboard for exports to the rest of the world. Higher-value-added goods first exported within the regional bloc are likely to later be exported to other destinations.


Last updated 7 November 2012

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Access to eurozone banking union must be opened up, says EBRD Chief Economist, Erik Berglof. Transition Report ‘Integration Across Borders’ also looks at Eurasian Economic Union