The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Ratna Sahay, Carlos Végh Gramont, and Stanley Fischer
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
The current destination of Central and Eastern European countries—explicitly for some, implicitly for all—is Brussels. The concept of the distance from Brussels is multi-dimensional. One simple measure, not without theoretical and empirical justification, is physical distance. This paper’s focus, however, lies more in the distances in time and economic space. The paper first compares income gaps between Central and Eastern European and European Union (EU) countries, then evaluates recent economic performance in Central and Eastern Europe in light of EU standards. Finally; addresses the question of how long it will take the Central and Eastern European countries to close the income gap with EU countries.