Transition and reorientation towards Western Europe have been the two decisive challenges for the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) since 1989. Whereas in the early 1990s the transition from the central planning system to a market economy was the main goal of economic policies, the requirements for closer integration with the Western European countries have since then increasingly gained in importance. How do the two processes overlap? What requirements remain to be met before the candidate countries can join the European Union?
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