It goes without saying that the state visit that US president, Donald Trump, paid to Poland and his meeting with the leaders of the Three Seas Initiative (TSI) countries was a great success. This achievement has not only shown the ability and perseverance of the Polish diplomatic structure, but also underlines the interest of the new American administration in the Central European region, which was doubted by some commentators and analysts. Continue reading How Will Trump’s Visit Affect Polish Politics?
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
Since Poland’s conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government was elected in October 2015, it has systematically moved to consolidate its power. The country’s public media have lost their independent voice. The powers of the supreme court have been curtailed. Managers of enterprises have been replaced. Human rights, especially for women, have been constantly undermined. Continue reading Poland’s Drift Away From Democracy
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
On 2 February 2017, the inhabitants of Georgian capital, Tbilisi, saw the city’s two landmarks — the Bridge of Peace and the TV tower lit up in the colours of the EU flag, marking the day when the European Parliament adopted a visa-free regime for Georgia. Continue reading EU Visa-Liberalisation Strengthens Georgia’s Pro-Western Path
Brexit negotiations started in Brussels on June 19, almost exactly a year after the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Continue reading Impact of Brexit on EU-CEE Not Overstated
A recent public opinion poll confirms that Moldovan society is highly divided as regards its approach to the EU and Russia. 52 per cent, of those surveyed, would choose integration with the Moscow-backed Eurasian Economic Union as its preferred foreign partner, while 48 per cent favours European integration. Continue reading Moldova Falls Victim to Politicising
Universities are among the oldest organisations in the Western world. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088, Oxford and Cambridge not long thereafter. Some forty European universities that continue to operate today were founded before 1500. Dozens of American universities have been in existence longer than the United States. Continue reading Hungary’s Nationalist Assault on Free Enquiry
The way companies approach expansion strategy is changing. I recently met with the head of Expansion, of a fast growth technology company, and learnt more about his thought process when deciding which country to go next. Continue reading Switched on Heads of Expansion Are Developing their Own Business Rankings, Adjusted to Their Companies’ Realities
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
We are now potentially only weeks away from the triggering of Article 50. This all-important section of the Lisbon Treaty sets out the process by which a member country can leave the EU. No country has ever left the EU before and some experts are predicting a ten-year timeframe to negotiate a new trade deal: In this case, the UK Government has its work cut out for it if it is to complete Brexit negotiations within the two years stipulated by Article 50. Continue reading The Voice of European Business Must Be Heard Loud and Clear by Brexit Negotiators
Brexit means that Poland’s right-wing government is losing its most important EU ally and the opposition warns that the country could end up marginalised on the European periphery. However, the ruling party argues that Warsaw is a leader in debates on the EU’s future and is calling for a re-think of the trajectory of the European project. However, the future status of Poles, living in the UK, could complicate its plans to ensure an amicable Brexit settlement. Continue reading How Will Poland Approach the Brexit Negotiations?