DP1242 | Is a European Hard Core Credible? A Statistical Analysis

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The paper analyses the proposal to create a hard core of EU countries committed to deeper and faster integration by studying the economic structure of the proposed grouping. It is divided into two parts. The first examines the relative weight and structural characteristics of the five potential candidates for early membership of the hard core in comparison with the whole EU, Japan and the United States. The second uses principal component and cluster analyses to investigate whether these five countries represent a homogenous grouping vis-à-vis the other EU members.