In the past 25 years Slovakia has undergone a major transformation, leaving behind the inefficiency of a planned economy while still trying to get the most from its post-communist heritage. The combination of a strong industrial background and reforms have facilitated our transition to the market economy and made Slovakia a production, service and commercial hub of Central Europe, and a preferred location for hundreds of major investors from the US, Asia and Europe, mainly in the automotive, electronics and IT/ICT sectors.
With the Latvian economy among the fastest growing in Europe, it is tempting to believe that Latvia not only has recovered from the crisis but also learnt a lesson—there are no shortcuts, fiscal and monetary policy has to be in harmony.
Almost two months have passed since the parliamentary elections of November 30, 2014, one of the most controversial elections in Moldova’s short history as an independent state. Particularly, the elections were marked by a strong geopolitical character, reflecting two strategic integration options: implementation of the Association Agreement with EU versus joining the Customs’ Union “Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan.“
When Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, they were not particularly welcomed. While the countries that entered the EU in 2004 carried something of a value-added basis, the welcome for Romania and Bulgaria was qualified by a trouble-added basis. The most serious concerns were economic backwardness, political oligarchism, minority issues, especially about the Roma, and unstable legal structures.
In a report published exactly ten years ago on “The Balkans in Europe,” the International Commission on the Balkans called for a process of constitutional change in Bosnia and Hercegovina. It argued that with the present constitutional architecture set out in the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement no longer working, there was a need for a genuine constitutional debate in the framework of an EU accession process.
The way Poland is perceived globally has changed considerably in the last few years. Firstly, because the country enjoys an uncommon, very attractive economic stability and, secondly, because of a unique Polish feature — our extraordinary human capital. The recent economic crisis has enabled Poles to demonstrate their common sense and optimism.
Historically, India shared a multifaceted relationship with the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). They developed a vibrant partnership in the areas of trade and defence during the Soviet era. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, geopolitical dynamics of the world politics drastically changed, which had transformative impact on India-CEECs relationship.
The EU integration of the Western Balkans has so far seen only one of the regional states become a member of the Union. In mid-2013 Croatia joined and became the second ex-Yugoslav republic, after Slovenia in 2004, to accede to the EU. As for the rest of the region, considering the internal dynamics of the Union and its foreign policy goals, and the overall progress of the Western Balkans in fulfilling criteria for EU entry, it seems highly unlikely that any other state will become a member before the end of this decade.
Somewhere in Romania, a few days before the Christmas of 1989, there was a 10 year old girl whose mother came home from work early one day, told her and her sister to pack a few things, and as soon as their father had come home, they all left to stay with some friends for a little while.
There has never been a time in Croatian history without challenges, especially when it comes to economy. Beginning in the nineties of the last century, Croatia had to switch from a socialist-style economy to a proper market-oriented economy during extremely demanding war times, suffering from the brutal aggression in many ways. Now, with the experience of almost two years of Croatia’s membership in the European Union, brand new challenges lie ahead.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka, the long-time president of Belarus, has recently adopted a new role: that of peacemaker in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. He was instrumental behind the agreement reached in Minsk in September 2014 that brought a halt to full-scale warfare.
In June 2009, Vladimir Putin suddenly declared that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would form a Customs Union, which would become a Eurasian Union. The apparent reason was that he had left the presidency barely one month earlier and wanted to prove his importance, which he certainly did.