Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) has said that any attempt to limit its independence will cause irreversible consequences for the country’s fight against corruption. On December 6, only the intervention of activists and reformist, mainly opposition MPs who worked tirelessly overnight to remove a bill from parliament that would have stripped NABU of its independence and unseated its boss, Artem Sytnyk. Pressure from western partners also appears to have been crucial in convincing the authors of the bill, mainly MPs from parties loyal to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, from withdrawing it.
Since the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the ongoing war with Russia, Ukraine has been branded as a villain seeking foreign assistance. With National Bank reserves of 5 billion euros and a public debt equal to 80.2 per cent of GDP, Ukraine will have to repay 38 billion euros of EU loans over the next five years. As with people, help from the outside usually brings bad results if there is no incentive to take responsibility over one’s own future by reflecting on past mistakes. So what went wrong for Ukraine – and when?
Poland and Ukraine, the two largest countries in Emerging Europe, should jointly promote themselves as an outsourcing destination.
“They should create an outsourcing hub and complement one another in their offer,” Iwona Chojnowska-Haponik, director of the Foreign Investment Department at the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH), during the second Polish – Ukrainian Outsourcing Forum in Rzeszów, Poland, organised by the Pro Progressio Foundation.
Having taken over a difficult role in April 2017, Jason Pellmar, head of the Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova regional office of the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, talks to Andrew Wrobel about the opportunities offered by the three countries, and some of the challenges he may face. Continue reading Mobilising Private Sector Investment in Belarus, Moldova & Ukraine
With the first snows of the winter having already fallen across Emerging Europe, many people’s thoughts would have already turned to winter holidays, and to skiing. While for many the countries of the region are not the first to spring to mind when planning a ski trip, there are in fact a number of very good ski resorts in this part of the world. From Jasna in Slovakia to Tsakhkadzor in Armenia, many offer some superb, rugged skiing amidst fantastic scenery, usually at prices well below those in Western Europe. Not that the low cost is the only attraction. For a new breed of adventurous skier, jaded perhaps by the increasingly busy motorway pistes of France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, the search for fresh powder, for empty slopes and for new experiences is the real draw. That’s where Emerging Europe comes in, and that’s why our editor-in-chief Craig Turp, who has skied in more countries than most people have visited, decided to put together this short guide to skiing in some of the region’s top – and in some cases surprising – locations. Continue reading Skiing in Emerging Europe
The EBRD’s latest Transition Report: Sustaining Growth, issued at the end of November, has highlighted a welcome upturn in the pace of reform in emerging economies where the bank invests, four years after reporting that reforms were stalling or even being thrown into reverse. The EBRD also unveiled a new set of investment criteria for its projects, ensuring that its countries of operations are more competitive, better governed, greener, more inclusive, more resilient and more integrated. The six criteria are: reforms aimed at making economies more competitive; good governance; green transition; inclusion; resilience; integration.
Reflecting customer demand, Wizz Air has announced 15 new Polish and Ukrainian routes, which will connect Katowice with Porto, Munich, Lviv, Kharkiv, Malaga, Faro, Podgorica; Gdansk with Lviv; Warsaw with Podgorica and Poznan with Dortmund from March 2018.
The European Commission will not transfer the third and last 600 million euro tranche of the current 1.8 billion euro macro-financial assistance programme to Ukraine, approved in 2015.
World prosperity increased in 2017 and now sits at its highest level in the last decade, being 2.6 per cent higher than in 2007, according to the 11th edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index. However, the gap between the highest and lowest scores has increased and the spread between nations is growing.
Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine may soon join the European customs union and Schengen area, gaining increased access to the single market. The European Parliament passed a resolution on November 15 calling for deeper integration with the three emerging Europe states as they implement more reforms, potentially paving the way for them becoming candidate countries.
The Ukrainian economic crisis of 2014-15 was caused by a number of factors, each one coinciding and reinforcing the other. Today, the country’s economy is recovering, but it remains highly dependent on the speed and the ultimate success of several key reforms, of which judiciary reform is the most important.
There is much talk in Europe at the moment about the potential spread of separatist movements, a consequence of Catalonia’s referendum on independence. A number of maps have appeared on the internet pointing to various regions which may be next in line. The spectre of disintegrating states haunts some European Union states and is perceived (or instrumented) as a threat by others. In the eastern part of the EU, there is much talk about the case of the Silesians (some even mention the Kashubians) in Poland, the Hungarians of the Székely Land in Romania and Slovakia, Moravians in the Czech Republic, Russians in Latgale (Latvia), and the historical region of Samogitia in Lithuania.