Estonia Would Be Fifth Poorer Outside EU, Study Finds ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonia, Latvia and Poland are the three nations who have benefited most from joining the European Union, and Estonia's GDP would be 20 percent lower had it not joined 10 years ago.

The study, which was released in April, by three EU academics found that all nations have benefited except for Greece.

On average, GDP had increased 12 percent due to membership.

Latvia has won the most from the union, as GDP per capita would only be half had it voted against becoming a member.

Estonia's economy received a huge boost and began to grow faster than expected already in 1997, when signing an association agreement with the EU, Postimees reported today.

A group of 15 Estonian experts predicted in 2001 that Estonia's GDP would grow between 5 and 6 percent if it joined the EU, and only 4 percent a year between 2004 and 2010 had it opted to stay out. Economic growth turned out to be between 7 and 10 percent annually during the period.