Greece in the European Union: Policy lessons from two decades of membership

Elisabeth Oltheten, George Pinteris, Theodore Sougiannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the first two decades of Greece's experience as a member of the European Union (EU). In evaluating the Greek experience within the EU, we derive three fundamental policy lessons that apply both to similar small peripheral countries now entering the EU and to the EU itself in terms of facilitating their integration in a large economic area. First, small peripheral countries that enter the EU must address the structural deficiencies of their economies before entry in order to minimize the impact of increased competition after the removal of trade protection, and follow domestic policies that maintain and promote their comparative advantage within the EU. Second, the Convergence Criteria have proven to be a successful mechanism for countries with a poor historical policy record to achieve macroeconomic stability, as shown by the case of Greece. Third, common EU policies can be very helpful in facilitating structural reforms in small peripheral economies. However, these policies must be continuously evaluated and improved so that their effectiveness is maximized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-806
Number of pages33
JournalQuarterly Review of Economics and Finance
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003


  • Convergence Criteria
  • European Economic Community (EEC)
  • European Monetary System (EMS)
  • European Union

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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