As part of its EU strategy, the Swiss government commissioned several research projects covering the most important aspects of economic integration. Given the interesting results and the wealth of methods used in these studies we decided to organize a conference on the topic of 'The Economic Impact of EU Membership on Entrants: New Methods and Issues". The idea was to use the work on Switzerland as a case study for discussing modern approaches on how to assess the economic effects of joining an integration zone. This seemed to us to be a topic of considerable interest for the rising number of prospective EU-member countries. The response was very favourable with many eminent scholars agreeing to contribute. The conference took place in Lausanne, Switzerland in October 1999 and the papers submitted together with the discussions are published in this volume. We would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and to thank the University of Lausanne for providing the venue facilities for the conference. Many persons helped in the preparation of the conference and this volume but we would like to especially mention Marc Surchat who provided substantial input for the conference and Walter Brodmann who very efficiently reviewed and finalized the manuscript. The Editors RICHARD E. BALDWIN AND A YMO BRUNETTI THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EU MEMBERSHIP ON ENTRANTS: NEW METHODS AND ISSUES INTRODUCTION What a transformation Europe has witnessed in the past 15 years.