Since it came to power, Law and Justice has wasted little time in introducing sweeping reforms to state institutions which have widely been described as undemocratic both at home and abroad. Two measures are particularly problematic. Firstly, the appointment of five new judges to the Country’s Constitutional Tribunal, an act the Tribunal itself deemed partially unconstitutional. This was followed by package of measures making it very difficult for the Tribunal to rule against any future government legislation – laws can only be blocked by a two-thirds majority of at least 13 out of the 15 judges.
Continue reading The European Commission Should Be Wary Of Intervening In Polish Domestic Politics
Montenegro has experienced an unprecedented wave of protests against the government in recent weeks. Initially focused on the governments bid to join NATO the heavy-handed government response have shifted the focus to the government itself and the dominance of Milo Đukanović over Montenegrin politics for nearly 25 years. Continue reading An Invitation To NATO Might Help The Montenegrin Opposition And Push For Democratisation
What will the world be like in, say, 25-50 years? Let’s take a look, based on current trends, augmented by just a tiny bit of a visionary’s foresight. Continue reading With Fewer Immigrants And Unspoiled Climate Eastern Europe Will Attract Future Meritocrats
Vision + leadership = EU growth. At a time when people, including those appointed to lead Europe seem to be floundering and asking whether the EU project is unraveling, or we’re at the end of free movement and Grexits even Brexits prevail, it is time to stop, take stock and reflect. Europe is as big as we make it, so we better pitch high. EU exports should not be the UK selling to Poland, but rather the UK and Poland selling to India or China – a new partnership driven order. Offshoring and outsourcing are part of yesterday’s paradigm which risks loss of control and added value – beware. PrimeTime Poland – London Calling time for a 2016 wake up call. Continue reading PrimeTime Poland — London Calling
Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, political elites in Central and Eastern Europe believed that their countries could be successful if they became more like Western Europe. This is no longer the case. The victory of Law and Justice (PiS) in Poland means that now three prime ministers in the Visegrad countries believe these differences between the East and the West are not there to overcome – but to build upon. The Visegrad countries now represent an alternative approach to democracy: more majoritarian, nationalistic and conservative, less European. Continue reading A New Division Between Eastern And Western Europe?
The European Union has suspended for four months the restrictive measures against many Belarusian companies and individuals. In coordination with the EU, the United States has also provided a six-month long reprieve from sanctions for nine Belarusian companies. Continue reading The Next Four Months Crucial For the Belarus-EU Relations
Although the outcome of Poland’s parliamentary election was determined by domestic issues, the right-wing opposition’s apparent victory could herald a substantial shift in the country’s foreign policy, with major implications for its relations with the rest of Europe. Continue reading Poland’s New Government Will Re-calibrate Its Relationships With the EU Powers And the East
The year 2015 may be considered a very favourable one for the Romanian economy. According to the 2015 Spring European Commission’s forecast, the macroeconomic indicators should remain stable or improve (economic growth at 2.8 per cent, public deficit 1.25 per cent of GDP, public debt at around 40 per cent of GDP). Moreover, in April, the National Bank’s Governor Mugur Isărescu announced that Romania fulfilled all the Maastricht nominal convergence criteria and ten of eleven criteria of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure, recalling the commitment made by the Romanian Government to join the euro area on January 1, 2019. Continue reading Is Romania Still Likely To Adopt the Euro In January 2019?
Armenia, located at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, has often been a victim of centrifugal forces from the centres of gravity it is surrounded by. Roman and Persian armies frequently met on Armenian highlands in fierce battles already in the first centuries of the new era. Having had one of the most tragic pages in the nation’s history in 1915 when almost 1.5 million Armenians were massacred by Ottomans, Armenia was left with no choice but to join the emerging new Russian-led empire of the 20th century — the Soviet Union. Continue reading Europe Needs To Be More Proactive In Embracing Armenia
The West cannot protect Ukraine militarily, but it could partially compensate Russia’s targeted subversion of the Ukrainian business and investment climate through a well-publicised and liberally operating guarantee fund aimed at insuring FDI against political risks. This would concern mainly Ukrainian regions threatened by military destruction (as has occurred in the combat zones), arbitrary expropriation (as has occurred in Crimea) and coercive measures enforced by the threat of force (as has occurred in the separatist-controlled Donbas areas). The local impact, model function and signal effect of increasing foreign investment in Ukraine’s hinterlands would accelerate the country’s modernisation and integration into the global economy. Continue reading Could the West At Least Help Ukraine To Insure FDI Against Political Risks?
In the middle of 2015, Poland met the economic criteria set in the Maastricht Treaty allowing an EU country to join the Eurozone. Continue reading Is There Room For a Truly Rational Discussion About the Euro in Poland?
Romania is currently on a solid economic growth path. The steep fall of GDP encountered during between 2009 and 2010 has already been surpassed. The National Commission for Prognosis, in its recently published autumn forecast, estimated that for the next five years the economy will increase around 4 per cent per annum.
Continue reading Romania Is Set To Grow But a Number Of Issues Need Fixing