The Economies of the BELL Countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) after Their EU Accession

Emilia Georgieva


The acronym BELL stands for the 4 EU member countries from Central and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) which are well known for their fiscal stability and low indebtedness. Being a representative of one of them (Bulgaria) the author of this article aims to follow the dynamics of their economic development after their accession to the EU. The special points of reference used are the compulsory convergence criteria each country wishing to join the Eurozone has to meet. Particular attention has been paid to the role of the exchange rate regime and the impact of the world economic crisis on the cycle model and the “corridor” marking the fluctuations of each of the interpreted macroeconomic indicators. The BELL’s economic development has been opposed to that of the PIIGS countries, albeit only in terms of budget deficit (-) or surplus (+) and consolidated general debt as a percentage of GDP. The author has examined the role the European funds and programmes play for the economies of the BELL countries, some major benefits of their EU membership for their citizens and businesses, as well as the specific characteristics of the social activity aimed to overcome the effects of the crisis.
A variety of research methods have been used in the process, such as the scientific abstraction method (analysis, synthesis, induction and deduction), historic and systemic and logical methods, empirical and comparative analysis.

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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