The aim of this paper is to study and to highlight the applicative and interpretive limits of the GDP per capita indicators, when regional economics of the new member countries (EU13), particularly the process of integration of their regions into EU economy is examined in terms of the beta and sigma convergence. The growth of gross domestic product has long been pursued as the main objective of the economic activities of countries and regions. Its growth is seen as almost a guarantee of the proper functioning of the economy. The governments of individual countries, in the event of a decline in GDP, take measures for its recovery. Small attention, however, is given to the fact, whether such an economic development copes with the parameters of sustainable economic growth. Also, little attention is paid to the study of how the previous growth is reflected in the standard of living of the population and households in respective countries and regions.
In the time of accession to the EU, Hungary drops to the second part of the programming period 2000-2006. The Central-Hungarian region (which includes the capital and Pest County) was classified as a less developed region, similarly to all of the six ‚rural‘ regions and thus the area received the highest amount of the supporting sources. In the programming period 2007–2013, the Central-Hungarian region belonged to the transitional regions and so it received continuously decreasing subsidies. In the case of Budapest, the value of GDP per capita refers to the development, but based on the measurement, Pest County was supposed to belong to the transitional areas. Between the years 2014–2020, the whole area of the Central-Hungarian region was getting to the level of a developed region. It means that this area is not entitled to get Cohesion sources anymore. On the 30th of October 2015, Pest County Assembly made a decision about Pest County’s disruption and declared its intent to create a separated region. As long as the government stood for the idea and it met with a warm response in Brussels, Pest County could operate as an independent region from 2018. Our study will draw attention to the huge territorial differences between the capital and its agglomeration and the surrounding areas.
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