The paper focuses on the selected issues of transformation and integration processes and crisis in the Central and Eastern European countries. It should be emphasized that economic transformation, as well as European integration, taking place in this region during the eighties and nineties, are among the most spectacular processes not only in Europe but also in the world. From today’s perspective, there are some new questions about the future shape of European integration, taking into account, among others, “Brexit” and crises (of migration, identity etc.) faced by the European Union. Undoubtedly the impact of the crises on the EU and its policies will have far-reaching effects. For this reason, there are questions such as: what will the EU be as an international organization, what will be its foreign policy. Problems mentioned in the article are the introduction to the volume of the Yearbook of the Institute of Central and Eastern Europe with the same title as the article. Individual articles have been prepared by researchers from many scientific centers in Poland.
The paper presents an analysis of the efficiency and outcomes of privatization policies in post-communist countries from the perspective of the degree of meeting the privatization goals set by the respective governments. These goals have covered a wide range of systemic, microeconomic, social and political issues and their meeting required creation of a strategy which would resolve a set of dilemmas of structural, implementation, and technical nature. In practice, there were four models of privatization policy according to the way the goals had been set and the dilemmas answered. None of these policies were efficient enough to meet all the privatization goals fully – mainly because of vested interests which were extracting rent from the state-controlled sector. However, the degree of success varies significantly among groups of countries, the CEE states being the leaders of ownership transformation, although even in this group some important unfinished agenda still exists and even trends towards expansion of ownership functions of the state can be seen.
The beginning of the economic transformation process in Central and Eastern European countries was a result of the collapse of socialism. In the early 1990s international structures of economic cooperation with the dominant role of the former Soviet Union collapsed. In most countries of Central and Eastern Europe economic reforms were introduced and formed on the model of the programme referred to as the Washington Consensus, which suggested the solution alluding to the assumptions of neoliberal policies. To assess these phenomena, the paper attempts to answer two questions: what was the process of economic transformation in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and how the rate of economic reforms resulted in their economic growth and development. The analysis includes 21 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The results of the study indicate that in the years 1991-2014 there was a systematic progress of transformation in countries of Central and Eastern Europe. In most cases, reforms and liberalization were carried out much faster in countries with systems of new political forces. Also, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients between GDP per capita and the rate of economic transformation indicate that the economic transformation had a significant impact on economic growth in CEE21 countries. All correlation coefficients are positive, which means that higher ranks of a rate of economic transformation correspond to higher ranks of economic development measured by GDP per capita.
The article analyzes the process of deepening of socio-economic disparities in the modern world, with special emphasis on the situation in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE). It consists of the introduction, three parts and conclusions. The first part discusses the inequality as a global pattern that can bring very negative consequences for future development; second – includes, based on foreign literature, the presentation of basic issues of concept that is little known in Poland of inclusive development; third – the results of analysis of changes in socio-economic disparities and differences in profits and assets in 11 CEE countries. The article shows that both worldwide as and in Poland and other CEE countries there is an urgent need to implement into practice the principles of inclusive development.
In this article we use the modified Mauro (2002) theoretical framework to study the empirical relationship between corruption and the rate of economic growth in post-communist countries in the presence of governance quality measures. Our empirical study is based on panel data for 29 countries during the period 1993-2013. Our estimation results unambiguously show that perception is negatively related to the the rate of economic growth. Our method tackles both significant collinearity found in the sample and allows to speak about this conclusion in casuality terms.
The aim of the paper is to analyze structural changes in Central European economies in 2000-2014 and to assess their impact on economic growth dynamics. Structural changes are one of the crucial factors contributing to an increase in labour productivity and economic growth. Depending on the patterns of workforce migrations and the rate of technological progress, their impact can be either positive or negative. In the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary those changes meant decreasing shares of agriculture and industry in the creation of value-added accompanied by an increase of the service sector’s share in the economy. In Poland the changes were less significant, and included growth of the industry sector at the expense of the services. Existing economy structure determines sectoral specialization of production. Central European economies share significant comparative advantage in manufacturing, but prevalent industries are low-tech and of diminishing role in the world economy. Only Hungary has some comparative advantage in high-tech industries. The highest growth of labour productivity was achieved in manufacturing, it also had the largest contribution to the increase in total non-agricultural labour productivity. In 2002-2007 an increase in productivity occurring in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary was mainly due to technological progress while in Poland – due to workforce migration from agricultural sector to manufacturing and services. After 2008 the role of technological progress was less significant as it contributed to increased labour productivity only in Slovakia. Intersectoral migrations improved labour productivity in Poland and Hungary.
The accession of Central and Eastern European countries to the European Union meant the beginning of their operation at a much wider market. This resulted in processes of deep transformations reflected in different economic areas. One of such areas is labour market. The key role of the market stems from the fact that it reflects all phenomena and processes that take place in the economy. Therefore, an analysis of labour markets in Central and Eastern European countries after their accession to the EU is an important research task. The goal of the author was the analysis and assessment of the major changes on the labour markets of the CEE countries and labour market policies implemented. Additionally, the research was to give the answer to the question: whether the theoretical effects of the integration process occurred in the economic reality of the member states of Central and Eastern Europe and led to the improvement in the situation on their labour markets. The analysis was to provide a basis to verify the hypothesis that in the period under scrutiny the economic integration with the European Union did not contribute to the improvements of the functioning of labour markets in different CEE countries equally. Using such research methods as a method of statistical data analysis, the method of inference and description a few conclusions were drawn. Essentially, they confirm the claim that the positive effects of economic integration in the field of labour markets in the new member countries of the CEE have not yet been fully achieved.
The paper presents the analysis of the impact of the development and stability of the financial sector on economic growth. The study covers 26 EU countries and the 1993-2013 period. We include four financial sector variables: domestic credit to private sector, non-performing loans, market capitalization and number of listed companies. Main elements of novelty are: testing a nonlinear relationship between financial sector development and economic growth, the inclusion of a moving panel with 5-year overlapping sub-periods, and the robustness analysis for various subgroups of countries. Our results demonstrate that domestic credit and market capitalization of listed companies both have a nonlinear impact on economic growth reflected by a downward sloping parabola. Non-performing loans exhibit a clear negative influence on GDP dynamics.
Ukrainian crisis, a de facto Russo-Ukrainian armed conflict raging since 2014, resulted in the shift of perception in Eastern Europe’s, and Europe’s in general, security. In addition, the statement that the Ukrainian conflict is the end of the post-Cold-War international order may be risked. This international order was based upon a peaceful coexistence of states, integrity of boarders, and international legal regulations for states’ functioning. The objective of the present paper is an attempt at offering answers to the following research questions: Will Russia’s revisionist policy result in NATO’s revitalization? Is NATO thinking strategically as far as Eastern Europe is concerned? Does a rationale for a change of Eastern Europe’s security condition (the grey zone of security) exist? Will Russian Federation succeed in revising the USA-dominated post-Cold-War international order by means of Ukrainian conflict among others?
The article discusses the security problem of the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) seen from the Nordic perspective. New geopolitical circumstances of Eastern Europe, changed after 2010, forced the Nordic states to reformulate their defense strategies. One of its results is modified cooperation plans with the Baltic states as closest neighbours. The methodology applied in the article is based primarily on the qualitative analysis of the documents, reports, statements provided by institutions like inter alia: Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut/ Swedish Defence Research Agency, EESRI – East European Security Research Initiative and NATO.
The following article is an attempt to try and answer the question of how the Ukrainian crisis has affected migration processes in the post-Soviet region. We shall try to analyse the transformation of directions and magnitude of migration streams and to outline new assumptions of the Russian migration policy. We will also summarize Ukraine’s social situation, affected by the hybrid war in the east of the country, the occupation of Crimea and an overall difficult economic situation.
The economic crisis and complicated political situation in Ukraine affected negatively the economic relations of that country with foreign states. The value of trade decreased and there has been a withdrawal of capital in the form of foreign direct investment. In this period similar changes have been observed also in Polish-Ukrainian economic relations. The aim of this study is to analyse the changes in the Polish-Ukrainian economic relations and identify main factors affecting these changes. It was an unfavourable economic situation in Ukraine that had the biggest influence on economic cooperation with foreign countries. A strong decline in GDP was observed in the years 2014-2015 and other economic indicators deteriorated. There was also a strong depreciation of the Ukrainian currency. Additionally, the unstable political situation in Ukraine had a negative impact on the economic situation and economic relations with foreign countries. In the period under scrutiny, there were also significant changes in the agreements governing the relations of Ukraine with foreign countries. Political and economic relations with Russia seriously deteriorated and it should be remembered that before 2014 Russia was the main trading partner of Ukraine. At the same time relations with the European Union improved after the signing of an association agreement. The worsening of the economic situation and the unstable political situation led to a significant drop in a Polish trade turnover with Ukraine. As a consequence, it has reduced the role of Ukraine as a trading partner of Poland. Despite the unfavourable trends in bilateral trade, Poland maintained its position among the main trade partners of Ukraine. The stabilization of political and economic situation and consistent reforms are necessary conditions for the development of Polish-Ukrainian economic cooperation. The full implementation of the association agreement of Ukraine with the European Union could be also a factor which would allow to assess positively the prospects for the development of the cooperation.
The main aim of this article is to characterize the enormous economic, social and political problems in Greece resulting from the two crises: the economic crisis and the crisis of the influx of migrants. The article presents the causes and consequences of the Greek economic crisis, with particular emphasis on the problem of unemployment, which affected not only Greek citizens but also foreigners living in this country. It was also pointed to the direct relationship between rising unemployment in Greece and changing social and political attitude towards incoming migrants. The author tried to depict what kind of efforts and reforms have been taken by Greek governments in the field of migration policy and what steps have been implemented to limit the influx of migrants into Greece. Much attention was devoted to the presentation of an extremely difficult situation of Greece regarding the refugee crisis in 2015, when Greece received over 840 thousand immigrants. It was presented that Greece, weakened by the economic crisis, is unable to financially or organizationally manage the successive waves of incoming foreigners. Greece was once again forced to seek help in solving this problem within the system of the European Union.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and war in Eastern Ukraine have influenced Lithuania’s perception of security in the region significantly. An issue of internal stability and integration of society in Lithuania has become more important. Need for harmonized policy towards national and ethnic minorities was recognized, otherwise social divisions can be used by Russia as an instrument of Russia’s hybrid war against the Baltic states. The contemporary discourse of nationality in Lithuania focuses on: 1) issue of integration of ethnic and national minorities in Lithuanian society; 2) advancement of their linguistic competence and 3) improvement of their social and economic situation. Therefore some efforts in the field of development of Lithuanian language, encouragement of civic attitude and sense of solidarity, as well as informative policy to prevent the negative influence from Russia, support for youth organizations, promotion of tolerance and averting of ethnic discrimination should be expected. New integration strategy does not change Lithuania’s point of view towards national and ethnic minorities seriously. It should be regarded more as a concretization or update of national policy in the context of contemporary challenges.
The article concerns eastern policy of Poland in 2005-2007, i.e. a period governed by the political party of Law and Justice (PiS) and President Lech Kaczynski. In fact, it covers the years 2005-2007. Its aim is to present the main objectives and directions of eastern policy in Poland at that time. The paper consists of three parts: an introduction, an analysis of Polish eastern policy in the 2005-2007 period and a conclusion. For any government after 1989 eastern policy was one of the priority issues of foreign affairs. It was also the case during the rule of Law and Justice and President Kaczynski. The change of government in Poland in 2005 led also to a change in the implementation of eastern policy. One of the conclusions presented in the paper is that PiS government caused departure from Russia-centered perception of eastern policy, with the aim to develop equal relations with other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The instrument to achieve this goal was to be an effective and rational energy policy, in which the main role was played by Polish President Lech Kaczynski. The policy was to serve as a basis for cooperation between the countries exporting, shipping and importing energy resources. It was also one of few areas on which there was a relative consensus among stakeholders. In other words, that government in Poland aimed to make eastern policy as practical as possible. It also wanted to give it a more economical dimension. As a result, Polish eastern policy was becoming gradually more real, focusing on national interests of Poland.
The paper raises the issue of the presence and uniqueness of RSA among political youth opposition in PRL in the 1980s. The very phenomenon of political oppositional activity among youth on such a large scale was undoubtedly unique to Poland when compared with other countries of the Eastern Bloc. In the period between 1980 and 1990, at least 400 organizations, movements, circles and groups were created. RSA’s originality consisted in formulating a political program that encouraged the Polish society to emancipate both from communist enslavement and capitalist system fostered by the Solidarity political opposition. The uniqueness of this formation came also from its acting both as a political opposition movement as well as a youth subculture which enabled it to survive the break-up of the whole current of the political opposition in the Polish youth millieu that took place in 1990.
The EU’s Eastern Partnership is frequently perceived as an inefficient policy. One may even risk saying it has become obsolete. Is it true that the EaP has not lived up to its expectations? Are we dealing with insecurity with regards to the EaP’s future and objectives? Will Russia’s actions towards EaP’s countries contribute to the policy’s objectives becoming unachievable? Will the EU, facing crises (especially the migration crisis) and the prospect of Brexit itself, be able to consider the position EaP’s countries are in? Will Poland, supported by V4 states, be able to convince EU countries to become actively invested in the affairs in the East? Seven years after the introduction of the EaP, its achievements, objectives and possibilities need to be revisited. Such a need has become even more pressing due to the EaP summit planned to take place in 2017 (to be held in Brussels or Tallinn – the location has not been fixed yet). A change of both the approach and narration as far as the EaP and countries it encompasses is necessary.
The author of the article analyses the resources of the communist special services of the Polish People’s Republic. The aim of the work is to capture the changes in the eastern policy of the Holy See after the election of John Paul II to the papacy. The author shows how this policy underwent corrections in the context of the political changes in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The author’s research shows how important for the disintegration of the USSR was the change of the Eastern policy of the Vatican since 1978, and the extent to which the Soviet authorities perceived John Paul II as a political threat to the functioning of the Soviet system. The author points out the first phase of the eastern policy of John Paul II: the opening for the Catholics in the East, gestures made towards the faithful rite Greek Catholics and the Catholics in Lithuania, then attempts to prepare the visit of John Paul II or Cardinal Agostino Casaroli to the communist Lithuania in connection with the occasion of the jubilee of the 500th anniversary of St. Kazimierz’s death. The research shows the extent to which differences were marked in the approach to the eastern policy of the Holy See, John Paul II and the Vatican secretary of state Casaroli. Research shows that an important turning point in the Eastern policy of the Vatican were documents concerning the fight against the so-called “Liberation theology” prepared by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The same study confirms that Pope JPII was surrounded by collaborators of the communist secret services whose intention was to inform the authorities of communist Poland about the activity of the Pope. Thus, this channel of knowledge about the plans in the Eastern policy of the Vatican was used by the Kremlin. Documents attest to the close Vatican-American cooperation in the fight against communism and the Soviet Union as an empire. The author raises a number of research questions concerning the Eastern policy of the Vatican, which require further investigation.
The article analyzes and assesses the competence of local government bodies and the rights and obligations of citizens forming local and regional communities during states of emergency. In the first part of the paper we present a brief historical outline and characterize the notion of states of emergency in Poland. The introduction of a state of emergency is a special event in a democratic state ruled by law. Especially if they are unitary states with a decentralized system. This is due to the fact that the introduction of states of emergency modifies the actions of the authorities and public administration in the direction of centralization and is followed by the protection of rights and freedoms of human and citizen. The second part of the article examines the powers of local government units during states of emergency. The subordination of local government units in an emergency is the negation of decentralization of power and public administration in the performance of their duties. Limited is also the independence of local government units, mostly political, but also in the organizational, economic and financial aspects. In emergency situations the structure of decentralization of the authority and public administration structure is replaced with deconcentralization. During martial law and states of emergency units of local government are subordinate to the government administration, and the state of natural disaster may be further subordination between local government units. The last part of the article analyzes the restrictions on freedom and human and civil rights during states of emergency. Restrictions on the rights and freedoms of man and citizen in emergency restrictions apply to personal or real ones. Acceptable directory in / on restrictions is contained respectively in the laws about the state of natural disaster, a state of emergency and martial law.