As things look today, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will, except for Bulgaria and Romania, all have joined the European Union in another two years’ time. The forthcoming accession round will be the most far-reaching in the EU’s history. Never before have so many countries joined at the same time and never before has there been so wide a gap between the established and the new member states in their economic development levels. Both because the accession countries lag so far behind in terms of per capita incomes and because the role of agriculture is still signifi cant in their economies, there would need to be a considerable fl ow of support from the Structural Funds and the Common Agricultural Policy into Eastern Europe if the new entrants were treated by the same standards as existing member states.
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