Brexit negotiations started in Brussels on June 19, almost exactly a year after the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Continue reading Impact of Brexit on EU-CEE Not Overstated
A recent public opinion poll confirms that Moldovan society is highly divided as regards its approach to the EU and Russia. 52 per cent, of those surveyed, would choose integration with the Moscow-backed Eurasian Economic Union as its preferred foreign partner, while 48 per cent favours European integration. Continue reading Moldova Falls Victim to Politicising
Macedonia has a new coalition government comprised of SDSM (the former communist party) and two ethnic Albanian junior coalition partners: DUI (a party founded by the members of the local KLA) and DR-DPA (a coalition itself of smaller parties, led by the mayor of Struga). Continue reading Macedonia’s Controversial Coalition Government
Only six months after winning the parliamentary elections, Romania’s Social Democratic Party is in turmoil following an attempt by the party’s leader, Liviu Dragnea, to remove the current Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu. With the party set for a key parliamentary vote on whether to keep the Prime Minister in power, it seems that both Grindeanu and Dragnea’s political futures now hang in the balance. Continue reading Political In-fighting Must Be Resolved
The five scenarios Jean Claude Juncker recently presented, concerning the future of the EU, are still provoking lively conversation in all corners of the European continent. Seen from Bucharest, the future, as described by the Commission’s White Paper, looks both simple and complicated. Continue reading Juncker’s “More, Together” Offers Romania a Better Future
Despite several turbulent years, Ukraine’s economy is now showing real promise. The country recently received its latest tranche of IMF funding and is making a huge effort to stamp out corruption. With a large base of highly skilled technology professionals and a highly-developed information technology sector, Ukraine’s economy has all the ingredients required to create Europe’s next big technology hub. Continue reading Ukraine’s Tech Sector Is Booming but Needs Awareness and Confidence
Bulgaria is still the poorest EU member state, although its GDP is now around 50 per cent of the Bloc’s average, while it was only 25 per cent back in 2000. The country has a rather dynamic and often turbulent political life, but its democracy is more pluralistic and less polarised than Hungary and Poland. In a rather competitive environment, one party – the centre-right GERB — and its leader Boyko Borissov have dominated the political scene over the last ten years. They emerged as the biggest party faction in the National Assembly after the latest parliamentary elections in March. On May 4, the third Borissov government was sworn in. Continue reading Bulgaria Needs a Reform-Oriented Government to Take Full Advantage of its EU Membership
Universities are among the oldest organisations in the Western world. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088, Oxford and Cambridge not long thereafter. Some forty European universities that continue to operate today were founded before 1500. Dozens of American universities have been in existence longer than the United States. Continue reading Hungary’s Nationalist Assault on Free Enquiry
The way companies approach expansion strategy is changing. I recently met with the head of Expansion, of a fast growth technology company, and learnt more about his thought process when deciding which country to go next. Continue reading Switched on Heads of Expansion Are Developing their Own Business Rankings, Adjusted to Their Companies’ Realities
A unique confluence of demographic, historical and cultural factors is changing the balance of power between Central and Eastern European companies and the women who work for them. As increasing automation drives up the relative demand for skills that have traditionally been seen as female, employers are moving from just paying lip service to inclusion, to actively competing to attract and retain talented women. Continue reading Winning the Fight for Female Talent in Central and Eastern Europe
In recent years, the narrative around the EU has all too often been one of divergence: from the economic shockwaves that led to ongoing speculation about Greece’s future in the Eurozone, to the UK’s decision to leave the bloc. However, when it comes to measures of social progress, far from divergence, we are seeing a very different story — one of convergence between nations. Analysis by the Social Progress Index offers hope to nation states, of a promising future for the 500 million people living within the EU. Just as importantly, to candidate nations, the prize of EU membership offers the potential for improvements in the social conditions of their citizens.
In some countries, when their leaders have egregiously over-stepped their authority to shield themselves from accountability, citizens have taken to the streets with some success.