ABSTRACT. The paper discusses the advantages (associated benefits) and disadvantages (potential and realized costs) of entering the EU and the EMU for country members, accession and potential for accession countries. The benefits from integration are multidimensional: political, economical and cultural, while the EU entrance is not considered to be without costs; for example, expenses related to the adoption of all EU norms and standards by enterprises, threatens to domestic producers' market position, and reduced autonomy in countries' decision making process. The benefits for entering the EMU are mainly connected with the five Maastricht criteria (low interest rates, low inflation, stable monetary policy, stable exchange rate policy when we utilize one common monetary policy and one currency, strict budgetary policy - limited debt/GDP and deficit/ GDP ratios), while EMU participation is related with costs for improvement of legislature, costs of compliance with European principles, and costs for total modernization of the industrial potential. The authors come to the conclusion that realized and/or perceived benefits from EMU and EU membership depend mainly on special characteristics of each country member.



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