43rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Peripheries, Centres, and Spatial Development in the New Europe", 27th - 30th August 2003, Jyväskylä, Finland
Already within the current EU15, differences in national and regional economic specialisation are considerable. After the enlargement of the European Union in 2004, the diversity in the EU will increase statistically. In reality, the on-going economic integration in Europe already has effects on relative and absolute wealth positions as well as on structural change. Since years we may observe an ongoing debate, how international trade within the enlarged EU will affect different countries. Besides that, differences in regional specialisation between current and new as well as within individual member states may influence the strategy of national and European regional policy. Until recently, the data base for calculating the relevant indicators and providing an international comparison was weak. Recently, new sectoral and regional data became available in Eurostat's Regio database for most current and various new EU member states on NUTS 2 level, commonly using the new European System of National Accounts (ESA95). Based on these new data the paper will present results from various indicators on the differences in regional specialisation in the current as well as in the new member states.