Estonia is in the last month of its EU presidency. Having called itself the ‘digital presidency’ it is not surprising that many of the themes of this past month are digital: progression on the taxation of the digital economy and the free movement of data, approval of an ecommerce VAT package, and an agreement on further steps to develop 5G networks across Europe.
“If we’re too tough, we’re unlikable. If we’re too soft, we’re not cut out for the big leagues. If we work too hard, we’re neglecting our families. If we put family first, we’re not serious about work. If we have a career but no children, there’s something wrong with us, and vice versa. If we want to compete for a higher office, we’re too ambitious.” So writes Hillary Rodham Clinton in her new book analysing What Happened in the 2016 presidential election. Continue reading Women, to Tractors!
Poland’s government has made no secret over the past 12 months of its plans to change media rules in a such way that could force some foreign owners out of the country. Despite criticism from both the European Union and human rights groups including Amnesty, Poland’s Deputy Culture Minister Paweł Lewandowski said as recently as August 2017 that while the new law (which he is helping to draft) would stop short of ‘re-Polonizing’ the nation’s media, it would nevertheless impose rules limiting ownership on groups whose cross-platform holdings and market share are deemed ‘dominant.’
Since leaving office Toomas Ilves, president of Estonia from 2006-16 and driver of the Baltic state’s world-leading initiatives in e-government and cyber security, has become a roving advocate for digital government. Early in November he told the 2017 edition of the Microsoft Summit that those countries wanting to emulate Estonia need to “mind the gap” between the pace of digitalisation in the private and public sectors.
Mixed messages in the world of Slovakian business. While according to the latest figures published by the Business Alliance of Slovakia (PAS) the country’s business environment rating has fallen to 49.6 points (less than half its original starting value), in better news the World Economic Forum’s 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) ranks Slovakia 59th, up six places on last year. Slovakia has alas dropped six places, from 33rd to 39th, in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report.
Half way through its term, how economically successful has Poland’s government been? Continue reading The Polish Government’s Mid-Term Report: Must Do Better
The leader of Albania’s Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, has accused the country’s new government of being “the result of drug money,” going on to say that prime minister Edi Rama had killed, via June 25th’s elections, an agreement made jointly with the Democrats to enact constitutional and electoral reform. Continue reading Albania’s Economy Booms Despite Political Infighting
Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, demands that the European Union refund 400 million euros, which is half the cost of Hungary’s border defence measures, in return for “protecting all the citizens of Europe from the flood of illegal migrants.” Continue reading Hungary Today: Potential and Challenge
In Q2 2017, Latvia was the second fastest growing economy amongst 21 EU member states, and after Romania. According to Eurostat’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted data, published in mid-August, the country’s GDP expanded by 4.8 per cent year-on-year. Continue reading Latvia Urged Not to Increase Expenditure As Economy Grows
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a hybrid that does not work,” Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, one of two constitutional and legal entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), said in May 2017. He is convinced that a referendum on the independence of this region will eventually take place. Continue reading Bosnia and Herzegovina: Focussing on Stability and Business Climate
On 30 June 2017, BET, the main index at the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB), closed at 7,855 points, thus reaching 18.87 per cent growth in the first half of the year. At the same time, the average daily value of transactions increased by more than 30 per cent to €9.68 million and market capitalisation of all companies listed exceeded €37 billion. Continue reading Romanian Upgrade to Emerging Market is on the Cards
Nine out of ten inhabitants of the city of Gdynia are happy with their lives, according to the latest Social Diagnosis, which measures the objective and subjective quality of life in Poland. Continue reading Gdynia: Combining Quality of Life With Business Potential