EU-CEE Is Still Growing at a Healthy Rate

Prague emerging europe

A host of flash estimate GDP data released by Eurostat and national statistics offices on August 16th showed that the economies of EU-CEE had another highly impressive quarter of growth in April-June. In seasonally-adjusted terms, growth strengthened in relation to Q1 from already elevated levels in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland and Bulgaria. In Romania and Slovakia momentum was unchanged relative to the previous three months, while in Lithuania and Hungary it slowed slightly. Data for the other EU-CEE economies—Slovenia, Estonia and Croatia—are not yet available. Continue reading EU-CEE Is Still Growing at a Healthy Rate

2018 Elections — Vital Decisions for Hungary’s Future

Victor Orban energing europe

In 2010, when Viktor Orban took over Hungary’s government, he seemed like a typical mainstream-conservative European politician. But as soon as he announced his ‘voting booth revolution,’ we, who knew him, were aware that this would be the start of a new era in Hungary. Within a year, Orban’s one-party government rammed a new basic law through Parliament that tailored the constitution for his party’s interests. Indeed, his changes proved to be revolutionary. He established the first 21st-century populist state within the European Union. Continue reading 2018 Elections — Vital Decisions for Hungary’s Future

Can Armenia Keep a Foot in Both Camps?

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Geography and history are political tyrants and nowhere more so than for in Armenia. For all the emphasis, nowadays, on the potential of regional trade, Armenia is boxed into a situation that offers little or no openings. History, distant and none too distant, rules our alliances with Turkey or Azerbaijan and Russia’s brutal show of force in Georgia, in 2008, casts a sombre shadow on Tbilisi’s room for manoeuvre. Continue reading Can Armenia Keep a Foot in Both Camps?

How Will Trump’s Visit Affect Polish Politics?

Donald trump

It goes without saying that the state visit that US president, Donald Trump, paid to Poland and his meeting with the leaders of the Three Seas Initiative (TSI) countries was a great success. This achievement has not only shown the ability and perseverance of the Polish diplomatic structure, but also underlines the interest of the new American administration in the Central European region, which was doubted by some commentators and analysts. Continue reading How Will Trump’s Visit Affect Polish Politics?

Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

Baku

Azerbaijan is a small but energy-rich country in a strategically sensitive location. Its leaders have had many choices about pathways to the future and through consistent decisions over two decades, have created a repressive oligarchic regime that is ruled by one family. How did Azerbaijan, which started on the path to political pluralism in 1992, become a corrupt state that abuses human rights and the media? Continue reading Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

PiS Uses Media Control to Bring Poland to Heel

Jaroslaw kaczynski pis emerging europe

The crisis created by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party is nearing a boiling point. Having taken control of the Constitutional Tribunal last year, PiS is pushing new legislation through parliament that will place the rest of the judiciary firmly under the political control of the party’s majority in parliament. The European Commission is urgently examining whether it should an initiate an Article 7 proceeding against Poland for violations of fundamental rights. Continue reading PiS Uses Media Control to Bring Poland to Heel