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

The EU Is Encouraging Belarus to Join the World Trade Organisation

Belarus is the European Union’s 46th trade partner and its 3rd trading partner among the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. At the same time, the EU is the second trade partner for Belarus after Russia and accounts for above one quarter of its total trade. Interestingly, Belarus has the least stabilised contractual relations with the EU, among the Commonwealth of Independent States, as the bilateral Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that was concluded in 1995, has not been ratified by the EU for political reasons. On top of that, Belarus is not a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) yet. Continue reading The EU Is Encouraging Belarus to Join the World Trade Organisation

The Right to Water: Who Can Change Today’s Situation?

In November 2016, Slovenia amended its constitution to make access to drinkable water a fundamental right for all citizens and to stop it being commercialised, thus becoming the first European Union country to include the right to water in its principal document. Only 15 other countries across the world have done this, before Slovenia, according to Rampedre (the online Permanent World Report on the Right to Water). Continue reading The Right to Water: Who Can Change Today’s Situation?

The Belarusian Economy: The Challenges of Stalled Reforms

Belarus stands out as a special case in transition blending. On one hand, there are the signs of relative prosperity, the socially oriented policies and the buds of entrepreneurship and then, on the other hand, its remnants of the Communist past. Belarus has embarked on a transition path of its own, different from what is happening in other countries but still delivering a particular path to economic transformation. Continue reading The Belarusian Economy: The Challenges of Stalled Reforms

Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

The global economic environment continues to be challenging. The ‘wounds’ inflicted by the global financial crisis of 2008 have not yet healed completely and world economic growth remains rather subdued. This particularly applies to the advanced countries and especially to the Euro Zone, which is the most important trading partner for the Eastern European countries.  Continue reading Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

The Deep Roots of Currency Crises in the Former Soviet Union

Since the end of the 1980s, when the centrally planned Soviet economic system entered the final phase of its agony, at least five rounds of region-wide macroeconomic turbulence (which led to currency crashes) have been recorded. These include: the collapse of the Soviet monetary system (1989-1993), monetary instability and high/hyperinflation in the newly established successor states of the former Soviet Union (FSU) (1992-1995), the Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) financial crisis of 1998-1999, fallout from the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 and the most recent crisis of 2014-2016. Furthermore, some countries have experienced individual currency crises, such as Belarus in 2000 and 2011.  Continue reading The Deep Roots of Currency Crises in the Former Soviet Union

The Netherlands’ Objection to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement could be Costly to Europe

Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, recently announced that his country is unlikely to give the green light to the EU Association’s agreement with Ukraine, following an improvised civic campaign against the deal. The Dutch government is faced with a difficult choice between sacrificing a treaty with immense geopolitical significance and defending it to its own political detriment, thus adding more fuel to the Euro-sceptic fire in the country. Continue reading The Netherlands’ Objection to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement could be Costly to Europe

Changing Perspectives and Showing That True Romania is a Vibrant Innovative Country

When I meet a foreigner for the first time, the moment I start a conversation about Romania, it seems as if we are discussing a topic where each of us has a completely different view. This proves that there is a significant gap between how people see Romania and what the actual reality is. That makes me determined to show people that Romania means culture, talent and technology.  Continue reading Changing Perspectives and Showing That True Romania is a Vibrant Innovative Country