A Positive and Modern View of Entrepreneurship

Across 62 economies around the world, more than two-thirds of the adult population believe that entrepreneurs are well-regarded and enjoy high status within their societies. At the same time, Europe has the lowest belief in entrepreneurship as a good career choice — 58 per cent. Positive perceptions about entrepreneurship as a career choice range from 40 percent among the Finns and Swiss, to 78 per cent for the Netherlands. Continue reading A Positive and Modern View of Entrepreneurship

Prepare for a New Europe

In his autobiographical and excellent overview of culture and society in Europe at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, ‘The World of Yesterday’, the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig showed how quickly the categories and concepts that describe the world around us can become obsolete. The lead up to World War I and the 1920s were separated by a mere decade, but when viewed in retrospect, these two decades seem to have little in common. For Zweig, writing in 1940, that entire bygone world was nothing more than an implausible legend. Continue reading Prepare for a New Europe

Will a Two-speed European Union Side-line the Visegrad Four?

During the summit marking the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, in December 2016, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, called for a move forward with a two-speed Europe and also for the creation of a different orbit for those EU Member States who do not wish to take part in all facets of EU integration. If implemented, this approach will have far-reaching consequences for the CEE region, especially for the countries of the Visegrad group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia), which could effectively be side-lined in a two-speed Europe. Continue reading Will a Two-speed European Union Side-line the Visegrad Four?

Ukraine’s Economy in 2017 — When Dreams of Growth Meet Geopolitical Reality

Those who follow the ups and downs of Ukraine’s economy cannot help but ask one obvious question — what is the “cause” behind all this “effect”? While the obvious disconnect between the economic data and market performance is sometimes baffling, we need to listen closely to the sources that matter more, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US Department of State, etc. and less to those that matter less — the Ukrainian Ministries of Economy, Finance, and the Central Bank, etc.).  Continue reading Ukraine’s Economy in 2017 — When Dreams of Growth Meet Geopolitical Reality

Poland: Is it Ready, and is it Time to Adopt the Euro?

When it joined the European Union in 2004, Poland was obliged to adopt the Euro (providing the country meets the Maastricht criteria) in the same manner as the other nine new member states and the three which entered the Block in 2007 and 2013 — at some undefined point in the future. Since then, the Baltic countries, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta have all changed their national currencies, but Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia have not yet done so. Continue reading Poland: Is it Ready, and is it Time to Adopt the Euro?

The CEE Region Is Making Advances in Prioritising Waste-to-Energy Projects

The European Commission has been preparing a technical communication that focusses on waste-to-energy (WtE). It aims to explore the opportunities this offers, particularly with regard to the synergies between resource and energy efficiency. The communication was scheduled to be published at the end of 2016 together with the reviewed Renewable Energy Directive. Continue reading The CEE Region Is Making Advances in Prioritising Waste-to-Energy Projects

After 25 Years of Restructuring, the Romanian Power Sector Is at a Crossroad

In November 2016, the Romanian Ministry of Economy posted a preliminary draft of the energy sector 2016-2030 for public consultation, with a year 2050 perspective. It tackles all energy resources such as crude oil, natural gas, coal, biomass and energetic waste, and includes special sections for electricity.  This is, therefore, the occasion for a review of the Romanian power sector and its evolution over the past 25 years. Continue reading After 25 Years of Restructuring, the Romanian Power Sector Is at a Crossroad

Central and Eastern European Consumers Are Joining the Global Trends for Change

Nowadays, consumers are more demanding than ever before, when it comes to products, services and brands and they are using digital tools to articulate and fulfil their needs. The 2017 consumer is harder to characterise, not least because their identity is multidimensional and in flux, with shoppers more likely to have a hand in defining themselves and their needs. Continue reading Central and Eastern European Consumers Are Joining the Global Trends for Change

Falling into Old Ways in 2017? Ukraine’s Struggle for Functioning Economic Institutions

The turning of the calendar to a new year is a natural point to reappraise the legacy of the year just passed; searching for clues as to what will come and what must be avoided in the future. Such an exercise is particularly useful in the case of Ukraine, which has a large milestone coming up. February 2017 marks three years since (now) former President Yanukovych fled to Russia with large quantities of Ukraine’s treasury, a signature event which also sparked three years of tangible economic reform and political change.  Continue reading Falling into Old Ways in 2017? Ukraine’s Struggle for Functioning Economic Institutions

Breaking With Imitations of the Past

As I look forward into 2017, I see great developmental opportunities for Poland. There is an opportunity for an investment boom whose range and significance will propel the Polish economy into the future, breaking with imitations of the past. We have laid a solid groundwork for fostering sovereign savings and encouraging solidarity in the consumption of growth fruits, whilst improving public finances at the same time. But looking at foreign circumstances, we must remember one thing: today, in the globalisation era, the only certainty is uncertainty. Continue reading Breaking With Imitations of the Past