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47th OeNB Economics Conference, in cooperation with SUERF, Bank of Finland, Sveriges Riksbank and Norges Bank

The EU’s “Northern” Enlargement 25 Years on: A Comparative Stocktaking and Outlook

May 7th and 8th, 2020, Vienna Marriott Hotel, Parkring 12a, 1010 Vienna


Following EU accession negotiations and referendums, Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU in 1995, while Norway decided not to join but to remain associated with the EU through the EEA. In this conferecne we want to take the occasion of the 25th anniversary of these events to take stock and discuss outlooks comparing the different countire’s experiences.

  • What were expectations from EU/EEA accession during the negotiations and how do they compare to actual outcomes? How did public opinion on the EU develop over time?
  • What were economic effects of participation in the single market (competition, productivity, prices, output, employment/unemployment)? What were effects on labor markets (free movement of labor, union power, wages)?
  • How did monetary policy – given the different frameworks of euro participation versus inflation targeting with floating exchange rates – react?
  • What effect did EU/euro/EEA accession have on the countries’ respective financial systems (banks, capital markets, regulation, supervision)? How did the countries cope with the global financial crisis? What difference did EU/euro versus non-EU/euro membership make? How did this compare with pre-EMU financial crisis experiences?
  • To what extent was economic policy governance in the various countries materially affected by EU/EEA accession? Do EU governance frameworks actually make a difference, and in what respects? How did fiscal policies develop? What effect did EU fiscal rules have, were they a constraint, were they helpful?
  • What are main challenges and opportunities of the EU/EEA from the four countries’ perspective? What should be priorities for the - further development of European cooperation in general and the EU in particular? What could the EU learn from the countries’ experience in economic policy making?

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