The Visegrad states in the enlarged EU: winners in the European division of labor? (Abstract)
The article focuses on the changing trade patterns of the Visegrad-countries (V4): Czech Republic, Hungary Poland and Slovakia in the course of transition and integration into the European Union. The statistical analysis and a gravity model of V4 trade relations reveal that these countries have been successfully integrated into the EU Common Market. However, the degree of integration with the other members varies substantially. For the whole V4 group Germany is the by far dominant partner among the former EU-15 countries. Furthermore, the Visegrad partners are highly integrated among themselves, forming an integration area of its own. The product mix of V4 trade also reflects the countries’ successful integration into inter¬national value-added chains. Apparently, V4 enterprises do no longer play the role of mere workbenches for labour-intensive standardized products. Instead, the analysis shows that the technology content of V4 trade has increased significantly, indicating the participation in advanced European production networks.