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.
In theory, public procurement procedures across the EU should be similar. Yet, the reality shows that there are many details resulting from local legal systems and business culture that may significantly change the practical application of the regulations. The Certificate of Absence of Conviction that needs to be presented by UK companies in Polish tenders is an excellent example.
Romania has strongly entered a new phase of economic growth, supported by a significant growth in GDP and rising expectations of capital market development since the initial public offerings of its strategic energy companies. This strongly-emerging statute has managed to capture considerable attention and Romania is keen to transform it into its long-term engine for development.
Once upon a time the mandarins of trade and investment focused on just that: the barometer was export and import and the balance between the two. Based on monthly stats we became euphoric or simultaneously depressed. In the UK, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ruled the roost and we were very transactional.
Over the weekend, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk was elected President of the European Council, one of the top joins within the European Union. An impressive victory for the pro-European Tusk, this event is also much less than it seems, given the events of the past half-year.