Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

Baku

Azerbaijan is a small but energy-rich country in a strategically sensitive location. Its leaders have had many choices about pathways to the future and through consistent decisions over two decades, have created a repressive oligarchic regime that is ruled by one family. How did Azerbaijan, which started on the path to political pluralism in 1992, become a corrupt state that abuses human rights and the media? Continue reading Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

Good Match But Unlikely Marriage

Moldova and Romania have long toyed with the idea of (re)unification. The two countries, which were a single entity until Russia annexed present-day Moldova in 1812 (and then again in 1940), have much in common in the way of language, culture, and history. Both countries are predominantly Romanian speaking, have populations that are closely-related ethnically, and are successors to the premodern Romanian states. Continue reading Good Match But Unlikely Marriage

Bulgaria Needs a Reform-Oriented Government to Take Full Advantage of its EU Membership

bulgaria emerging europe

Bulgaria is still the poorest EU member state, although its GDP is now around 50 per cent of the Bloc’s average, while it was only 25 per cent back in 2000. The country has a rather dynamic and often turbulent political life, but its democracy is more pluralistic and less polarised than Hungary and Poland. In a rather competitive environment, one party – the centre-right GERB — and its leader Boyko Borissov have dominated the political scene over the last ten years. They emerged as the biggest party faction in the National Assembly after the latest parliamentary elections in March. On May 4, the third Borissov government was sworn in. Continue reading Bulgaria Needs a Reform-Oriented Government to Take Full Advantage of its EU Membership

The Competitive Edge in Central and Eastern Europe

SOFIA BULGARIA - MAY 5: View of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre in Sofia on May 5 2016. Sofia is the largest city and capital of Bulgaria.

Joining the EU has unlocked robust GDP growth and continues to aggregate positive energy in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Adhering to the common market has brought a surge in trade, positive institutional changes and improvements in the business environment. However for many countries, it has also led to a migration of the labour force, which could affect long-term economic growth prospects. Continue reading The Competitive Edge in Central and Eastern Europe

The Sharing Economy Could Bring New Business Models to CEE

Recently, there has been increased interest amongst businesses and technology companies in the concept of a “sharing economy”. However, there has been a lack of proper debate on this concept and the impact it could have in a wide range of industries and sectors, particularly in the CEE countries. Although it’s quite a recent trend in the CEE region, there are new start-ups emerging there, despite there being some barriers to entry. For a sharing economy to become mainstream in CEE Europe, all those involved need to change their mind-sets, from the idea of ownership towards more of an access approach. Continue reading The Sharing Economy Could Bring New Business Models to CEE