The role of Central Europe in the German economy. The political consequences
Recent publications allow us to conclude that the economic relations between Germany and Central Europe have come to the ‘end of history’, and nothing new will happen. However, a deeper analysis of these relationships reveals interesting new trends. Since joining the European Union the states of Central Europe have not settled for maintaining the average level of economic development, but have continued to narrow the distance between them and Western Europe, something which the global financial crisis did not prevent. Their improved economic situation also affected their relations with Germany. The latest results from the Visegrád Group states show them to be Germany’s most important trading partner, and their balance of trade in goods is in a state of equilibrium, while many euro area countries have recorded high trade deficits with Germany. The aim of this report is to display the trends in trade and investment between Germany and Central Europe, based on the example of the Visegrád Group. The author will also attempt to answer the question of whether the advancing economic cooperation between Germany and the V4 countries will lead to the further modernisation of those countries’ economies, or whether it will run the risk of leaving them in the ‘middle income trap’.