Gergő Medve-Bálint and his colleagues have recently published an article entitled "North and South, East and West: Is It Possible to Bridge the Gap?" in Governance and Politics in the Post-Crisis European Union edited by Coman, Ramona, Amandine Crespy, és Vivien Ann Schmidt (Cambridge University Press)
With successive enlargement rounds, significant economic gaps have emerged between Europe’s founding member states (the core) and its peripheries in the West (Ireland), South and East. Over time, the EU has devised various strategies to bridge the gaps between the poorer and the richer member states. While initially, the focus was on the economic dimension, since the Eastern enlargement catching up has been interpreted more broadly as including economic, administrative and political factors. The balance of these policies is mixed: Ireland has successfully caught up with and surpassed the richest EU countries and Southern and Eastern Europe have also caught up somewhat, but in their case the economic gap compared to the richer members has remained significant. Importantly, the capability of peripheral states to foster development lags far behind those of the core members. The economic and financial crisis in 2008 has also demonstrated the drawbacks of the credit-based developmental model in the South and FDI-dependency in the East. Although there is an increasing need for European solidarity, it is being challenged by recent political developments both in the core and the periphery.
Makszin, Kristin, Gergő Medve-Bálint, and Dorothee Bohle (2020): „North and South, East and West: Is It Possible to Bridge the Gap?” In Governance and Politics in the Post-Crisis European Union, ed. Ramona Coman, Amandine Crespy, és Vivien A. Schmidt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.