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Twelve countries of Central and Eastern Europe
are preparing for accession to the European Union.
The informal economy in these countries is a
phenomenon, which may bring challenges to the process of European
integration because of the insufficient knowledge about its
possible implications for an enlarged union. How large is the
informal economy in Central and Eastern Europe? What are its
sources? In what direction is it evolving? How is it different from
the informal activities in EU member states? Does it represent an
obstacle to further European integration? Or maybe it can serve as
a bridge between accession countries and member states?
The network "Toward European
Integration", launched by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the World Bank, has
brought together scholars and policy analysts from different
countries in a first attempt to cooperate in finding answers to
these and related questions.