Implications of the Eu Enlargement on
the Foreign Trade Activity of the Eastern and Central European
Countries which Recently Joined the Union
Senior Lecturer Constanţa-Aurelia CHIŢIBA, PhD1
Professor Octavian-Liviu OLARU, PhD2
1Christian University „Dimitrie Cantemir”, Bucharest
International Economic Relations Faculty. firstname.lastname@example.org
2Christian University „Dimitrie Cantemir”, Bucharest
International Economic Relations Faculty. email@example.com
Abstract: The EU-27 is by far the largest exporter of good s worldwide: in 200 7, goods worth EUR 1 240 billion
were exported , against EUR 848 billion by the United States and EUR 889 billion by China. The United States imported
slightly more than the EU-27 (EUR 1 472 billion and EUR 1 426billion respectively), more than double the value of total
imports registered by China (EUR 698 billion).
Under the influence o f a lo t of general and specific factors, the foreign trade of Central and Eastern European
(CEE) countries which recently j oined the European Union has been constantly growing till the second part of 2008 year,
registering higher yearly growth rates than the total of EU-27.
In the last years, for the foreign trade of all the ten new EU members CEE states it appears like a common trace
the deeply process of growing the importance of the intra EU commercial relat ionship within the total international
economic relationship of these countries. Between the new EU members, the most important weight of the intra EU
commerce in their total foreign trade is registered by the Check Republic (83%), Slovakia (80%), Latvia (76%), Poland
(75%), and Estonia (75%).
In business environment, institutional, and logistics performance, the EU accession countries stand out a s the best
performers. Most new EU member states are in fact catching up to OECD countries on some measures of logistics
performance, and all rank in the top 50 with the exception of Lithuania (ranked 58th).
Key words: exports, imports, accession, integration share.
The European Union’s trade grew strongly between 2002 and 2007, both with the upswing in
world trade taking place after 20 03 and with the growing participation of the new Member States on
the international stage, some of which simultaneously witnessed rapid internal economic d evelopment.
Although its international trade in goods grew by 6.8% in exports and by 8.75% in imports, between
2002 and 2007, the European Union (27) has actually lost weight in world trade, given that the
growing reciprocal exchanges of goods between the older EU-15 and those Member States that joined
during the course of the 2004 and 2007 enlargements have been “internalized”. What used to be extra-
European Union trade has now become part of intra-European Union trade.
In 2007, the European Union continues to be the most important exporter at world level and
the second importer, just behind the United States. Goods with a total value of EUR 1 240 billion were
dispatched outside the EU-27, against imported products worth EUR 1 425 billion.
Accordingly, the European Union’s trade balance was in deficit by EUR 185 billion, slightly
reduced compared to a year earlier (EUR 193 billion) but substantially more than in 2005, when the
deficit amounted to EUR 127 billion. T he main factor that made the deficit grow compared to the
latter year is the value of energy imports.
Germany confirmed again its reputation as exporting nation with a share of over one quarter
(27.4%) of all EU exports in 2007. It is followed at a considerable distance by Italy and France with
shares of 11.5% and 11.4% respectively. Together these three countries were responsible for more
than half of all EU-27 exports.
With a share of 21% in 2007, and corresponding to a value of EUR 261.7 billion, the United
States remained by far the main destination country of EU-27 exports. Switzerland (EUR
92.8 billion) and Russia (EUR 89.1 billion) both accounted for a 7% share, followed by China with
6%. Together, those four countries are responsible for over 40% of all extra-EU shipments.