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Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Carlos A. Végh Gramont, and Mr. Stanley Fischer
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.
Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Carlos A. Végh Gramont, and Mr. Stanley Fischer

-dimensional. One simple measure, not without theoretical and empirical justification, is physical distance. But, of course, the distances in which we are most interested are time and economic space. We present three different concepts of distance from Brussels: income gaps between CEE and EU countries, relative macroeconomic performance, and CEE’s progress in adopting market-based systems. We find that, while income gaps remain large, the richer CEE countries are not far from the low-income EU countries. Recent macroeconomic performance in CEE has been quite impressive and

Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Carlos A. Végh Gramont, and Mr. Stanley Fischer

to economic performance and growth potential. We present three different concepts of distance from Brussels: income gaps between CEE and EU countries, relative macroeconomic performance, and CEE’s progress in adopting market-based systems. We find that, while income gaps are still large, the richer CEE countries are not far from the low-income EU countries. Recent macroeconomic performance in CEE has been quite impressive and several important indicators are, by and large, close to the Maastricht criteria. Structural transformation towards a market-based system