Europe's newest members challenge the old by Carl Bildt
In a piece in The Financial Times I have tried to draw attention to the transformation of the European economy that is now driven also by the reform competition after the entry of the new members from Central Europe and the Baltic area.
They represent only 5 % of the economy of the EU, but I would guess that we are soon in a situation where 50 % of business decision in Europe are, the one way or the other, driven or influenced by them.
The competitive pressures are now increasing faster in the European economy than anywhere else in the world. This is a result of the fact that we are affected not only by the accelerating process of globalisation, but also by the profound effects of the enlargement of the integrated European market.
And we are starting to see the results - the manufacturning sector in Europe is changing fast, and it is visibly competitive on the global markets.