Summary: This opinion survey covers the core areas of business and the economy, health, diet and the environment. Opinion leaders and decision makers in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic are confident that membership of the EU will bring material benefits to the countries that have just joined the EU but are worried about an increase in red tape. Many respondents canvassed in the survey were pessimistic about the ability of the EU to achieve the Lisbon targets, but most were confident that competitiveness would improve. Amongst the early winners were expected to be computer and IT services, as well as agriculture and food businesses. Boasting low costs and high levels of education in their countries, Central and East European software programming, e-business services and call centres are attracting investment from Western companies. A key strategic asset of these countries in terms of competing for this type of investment with the likes of China and India in the global marketplace is their location inside the EUu0092s single market.
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