Measuring Growth of Societies with GDP Alone Shows an Incomplete Picture

Recent statistics, for example, those from the Brookings Institution, prove there have been impressive reductions in the percentage of people living in poverty. Is the problem solved and should we all applaud? Well, no, as progress in improving people’s lives has been uneven at best. Often, economic growth has depended on industrial, agricultural, and economic processes that are not environmentally sustainable and which, in many cases, produce social inequity. While it was once assumed that economic growth would solve most problems, it is now clear that social and environmental improvements do not necessarily accompany sustainable economic growth.  Continue reading Measuring Growth of Societies with GDP Alone Shows an Incomplete Picture

The Eurasian Economic Union Fails to Bring Belarus Closer to Big Brother

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and members of the Belarusian Government have repeatedly and harshly criticised Moscow’s trade policy with its allies, during recent integration summits:  the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) Summit in Astana, the Forum of Regions in Minsk and in bilateral meetings with the Russian leadership. Continue reading The Eurasian Economic Union Fails to Bring Belarus Closer to Big Brother

Will European Business and Institutions Bolster the New Trends That Have Appeared in Belarus?

It’ll take at least a $1.5 worth of net foreign direct investment (FDI) to stimulate economic growth in Belarus in 2016. These words were said by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in his annual Address to the Belarusian Nation and National Assembly. A statement of this calibre would seem to be targeting European investors, given the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s decision to lift the bulk of the restrictive measures against Belarus.  Continue reading Will European Business and Institutions Bolster the New Trends That Have Appeared in Belarus?

Resignation in Ukraine: War, Revolution, Crisis — Some Things Never Change

In Ukrainian politics, a week is an age.

The last one began with President Petro Poroshenko being roiled by accusations in the Panama Papers that he set up a secret offshore company when his troops were being decimated by pro-Russian rebels. By Sunday, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had resigned, upending the ruling coalition. Continue reading Resignation in Ukraine: War, Revolution, Crisis — Some Things Never Change

The EU’s Choice: Fundamental Reform Or Disintegration

The European Union is commonly described as an economic giant, but a political dwarf.  Recent phenomena, such as the mass immigration into Europe, its anaemic economic growth and terrorist attacks – alongside the resulting radicalisation of the European political scene – may bring about the disintegration of the EU, making it a dwarf in the economic dimension as well as political. Continue reading The EU’s Choice: Fundamental Reform Or Disintegration

International Women’s Day — Let’s Take Action And Then Celebrate

Until about a quarter of a century ago, in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), which is my part of the world, every year on 8 March, female employees received flowers from the state-run trade unions. Sometimes they got a single carnation, sometimes a potted flowering plant — perhaps it was dependent on the country— but on that exact early March morning the flower was a wonderful promise of the coming spring, as well as the only token of our then-celebration of femininity. Apart from that single gesture, gender equal opportunities were never a topic of debate, although women were a huge part of the workforce behind the Iron Curtain.  Continue reading International Women’s Day — Let’s Take Action And Then Celebrate

Non-financial Reporting — Why And What For?

For the last 40 years we have been observing the changing landscape of the business world. One important change is in the way a valuation is made for a company. In the 1970s the material value of a company was over 80 per cent of its total value and the non-material value was less than 20 per cent. Now it is the other way around; non-material values such as brand, reputation and relations make up over 80 per cent of the total value of a company. (1) Continue reading Non-financial Reporting — Why And What For?

Two And a Half Years Since Croatia Joined the EU, And What Now?

Last week the Croatian Permanent Representation in Brussels organised the first gathering of Croat nationals working in the EU institutions. The first networking event, regularly organised by other perm reps as well, came 2.5 years after the country’s membership in the Union. It was a beautiful sight to see — a couple of hundred young, bright, and motivated colleagues. The overall feeling was “a bit late, could have been done earlier, but ok, the Perm Rep is getting there”. Continue reading Two And a Half Years Since Croatia Joined the EU, And What Now?