Poster Paper: The Last Decade of Economic Growth and Social Development in the New EU Member Countries

Friday, November 8, 2013
West End Ballroom A (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Jana Stavkova, Mendel University and Ladislav Kabat, School of Economics and Management
New EU member states (Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuanian, Cyprus and  Malta) have achieved in the last decade significant economic growth. Compared to the results of the "old" EU member states they reached a cumulative annual growth over the studied period of 15%  to 35%. Majority of these countries have successfully joined the EU economic area and successfully aligns  with the requirements of the competitive market environment.

Relatively successful economic growth raises questions about what is the impact of economic growth on social development in these countries, how are the results distributed in society and how are the results  of economic growth available to the citizens of these countries in the form of health and medical services, education and social services for the elderly and for marginalized groups. Attention is paid to regional aspects of the distribution of the results of economic growth by analyzing the values of the gross domestic product per capita.

The paper presents the results of the research work of a wider team of authors, analyzing the income situation of the population on the basis of statistical outputs of the European Union  project - Statistics on Income and Living Conditions - EU-SILC, which was implemented in 2005 and is obligatory for all member countries. Particular attention is paid to the issue of income differentiation in society and income situation of the particularly vulnerable groups. Research results identified in this category, especially families with young children, people with lower education and citizens unprepared to accept the labor market requirements. In this paper we analyze also some adverse effects of economic growth, such as industrial accidents and occupational diseases, housing problems and the availability and quality of  health services.
Attention is also given a comprehensive assessment of the potential of social network. For evaluation of the income situation of the population we use various indicators of inequality and examine the evidences supporting their application and justification.

The experience of recent years shows that many citizens of the new member states are nostalgically recalling their memories of the previous political system and selectively appreciate its services, which in some countries consequently supports the conservative political forces. The finding of our paper contains not only the scientific analysis of the income situation of the selected population, but also some messages to the current political leaders and governmental authorities.