The EU15 countriesu0092 real GDP per capita levels adjusted for purchasing power converged in 1960u00962001. Convergence occurred in two spells, in 1960u009673 and 1986u00962001, with an interim period of stagnation. In this paper, we analyse both s and b convergence and discuss the impact of EU membership, trade and investment. We also analyse how seven accession countries fit into the historical picture of the EU15 area. The CEE countries are well positioned to catch up with the incumbent EU countries. After the mid-1990s, an increase in productivity and high investment rates have supported economic growth in the accession countries. Still, the experience of the EU15 countries shows that convergence cannot be taken for granted.