Is Southern Europe Suffering Euro-Area Stress - and should the new Member States Worry?

Chatham House, London

Overview

Italy and Portugal face major challenges in growth, competitiveness and fiscal policy. Greece has serious budgetary problems, and its underlying competitiveness is debatable. There is a question mark over Spain; once its housing market slows, will the country experience medium-term difficulties?

How much have these stresses got to do with the constraints imposed by monetary union, and worries about admitting Southern European countries - Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece - to the euro area? Is there a risk any might leave? Will the European Union's New Member States suffer from the same problems when facing the economic and policy requirements for convergence under the euro? What action is necessary to ensure that Southern European countries' convergence toward average EU living standards proves more sustainable than has been the case in some current members?

This workshop sought to examine in depth the southern European members of the monetary union and discuss whether the EU's new member states may suffer from the same problems when facing the economic and policy requirements for convergence under the euro. Presentations made at the workshop are available below.

Event Documents