This study aims to assess the impact of institutions on the process of economic growth and convergence of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Institutions are examined in terms of the three institutional indicators: the Heritage Foundation index of economic freedom, the Fraser Institute index of economic freedom, and the World Bank worldwide governance indicator. The analysis covers the EU28 countries and the 1993-2012 period. The results show that institutions played an important role in explaining the economic growth of the EU countries and were among the most important factors that accelerated the convergence of the CEE countries towards Western Europe.
This paper investigates the impact of specialization, diversifi cation, and competition externalities on the regional growth of employment in the high-tech industries of the European Economic Area (EEA). A dynamic panel dataset of two-digit NACE rev 1.1. industries in the EEA regions is used in this analysis. It is found that regional growth is positively related to specialization externalities and negatively to local competition, while diversification has no impact on growth.
This paper examines the selected aspects of the development strategies of the Baltic States as seen from the perspective of their Nordic neighbours. The strategies in question were developed with the significant support of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway. The idea of regional cooperation, involving all five Nordic and three Baltic states (NB8), is presented as a crucial process for strengthening social, political and economic security in the region and as a relevant convergence activity for the EU structures.
This paper surveys the main issues discussed in the literature about the impact of international trade on convergence. Many studies indicate that international trade is probably the most venerable tenet of classical and neoclassical economics, having an impact on convergence. In this paper, there are brief overviews of the influence of international trade on factor price equalization, the empirical literature about international trade and growth, and the implications of international trade for growth and convergence or divergence. Of course, the review of the literature included in this paper does not exhaust all the issues.
The aim of this paper is to show Poland’s involvement in the Eastern Partnership initiative. The Eastern Partnership has both its proponents and opponents; and specialists often describe it as “an unknown and brilliant or well-known and unsuccessful project”. Among the countries of Central Europe, Poland has attached a special importance to relations with its Eastern neighbours since the 1990s. Poland’s foreign policy was primarily focused on integration into NATO and the EU in that decade, but good relations with its neighbouring countries, in particular in the East, also featured among its priorities. Poland is one of the biggest driving forces behind the EU policy towards Eastern neighbourhood. Warsaw has long supported the integration of its Eastern neighbours into the EU and NATO, and in 2008, it was one of the initiators of the Eastern Partnership, a EU’s policy towards Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Poland provides political and financial support to the Eastern Partnership countries on their road to the EU through establishing a political association, free trade and visa-free travel between the EU and the partner countries.
The author of the study focuses on the analysis and evaluation of the international competitiveness of the Polish economy since its accession to the European Union. Adopting a macroeconomic approach, the study covers the following areas: general competitiveness, price & cost competitiveness, non-price competitiveness and external competitiveness. On the basis of statistical, analytical and descriptive methods, the author concludes that in the period 2004-2012 the general competitiveness of the Polish economy improved, but the least progress was made in non-price competitiveness.
Poland’s education reforms are an interesting case study of the Europeanisation process the country has undergone since joining the EU in 2004. The EU has made education the centre-piece of a European-wide knowledge economy strategy and Poland has maximised its policy transition, which has resulted in increasing youth attainment and significant improvement in international achievement tests. As Poland has recognised the EU’s education and skill templates as significant models and has applied their standards into deep reforms in education system, it has altered not only its governance structures so that they could correspond with those of the EU, but also the traditional and national distinctive elements of its education system. Confidence in the EU and the uncritical adoption of the EU’s neoliberal approach to education that consecutive Polish governments have accepted may need reassessing.
The paper presents discussions on competitiveness at the regional level. The focus is on export activities. The analysis includes the comparisons of the situation of Poland’s regions as regards: volume, structure, quality and geographical patterns of exports. Several taxonomic methods are used, including cluster analysis. We contribute to a discussion on many aspects of regional diversities in Poland.
The Greek sovereign debt crisis has drawn the spotlight on Greek governments’ severe mismanagement of the country’s public finances, especially in the late 2000s, and its grave consequences not only for Greece but for the Eurozone as a whole. However, while fiscal excesses, inter alia, undoubtedly exacerbated the country’s underlying structural weaknesses, the prime culprit responsible for the depth and duration of the ensuing recession was a chronic neglect, on the part of government, of structural and administrative reforms consistent with the letter and spirit of Single Market requirements and prescriptions. Hence, sustainable recovery will probably take longer than is generally acknowledged.
The trade of the CEE countries with Russia was shaped after 2004 in the new conditions related to the accession of those countries to the EU. The trade relations were also influenced by other factors related to the economic cycle, situation on the fuel markets, developing integration in the area of the former USSR and accession of Russia to the WTO. This paper aims at indicating the major trends in the trade with Russia which emerged after the CEE countries joined the EU. The data on the trade of the CEE countries after 2004 indicates that Russia has become increasingly significant for their exports and imports. The annual average growth in the trade with Russia was definitely higher for most of the CEE countries than the change in their trade with the countries from outside the EU and total trade. Admittedly, the change rate of the CEE exports to the Russian market is clearly faster than the import growth. Those trends in the trade of the CEE countries allow us to forecast that the role of Russia in their foreign trade will be increasingly significant.
This paper is an attempt to characterise Vladimir Putin’s new integration project – the Eurasian Economic Union – and most of all its importance for the relations between the Russian Federation and the European Union. The study explores the differences between the European model of integration and the one exhorted by Moscow as well as the potential disadvantageous consequences of the creation of the EEU for the overall security of Central-European states.
As an indirect reaction to the events of 9/11, the European Neighbourhood Policy has brought with it the increased securitisation of the external border in both practical and symbolic terms, profoundly changing the nature of crossborder co-operation (CBC). While the pre-9/11 conflict resolution discourse with a powerful regional development rationale aspired to remove borders as ‘scars of history’, since then there has been a shift to reinforcing both ‘European’ values and security policies by means of conditional co-operation across more strictly controlled external borders. This has led to contradictory bordering practices that are reflected in a competition between co-operation and security-oriented agendas. These bordering practices will be exemplified here by a focus on civil society networks of cross-border co-operation between the EU and Russian civil society organisations which have been crucial for bridging political differences and promoting mutual understanding between the two sides.
High prices of energy carriers, changing energy consumption trends, the economic crisis and the political situation in the countries and regions of energy producers have all resulted in the problems of energy coming into discussion. Nowadays, energy dependence and climate change are the two issues considered to be the basic problems faced by contemporary societies. These two issues result in a transfer of decisions in specific areas that is moved to the supranational level. These activities are also an important aspect of the theory of international integration. According to this theory, the objective of integration is to provide a better and most effective way of meeting the needs of societies.
After the presidential election, the ruling Georgian Dream coalition will have to continue difficult internal reforms, face a resilient critique from opposition parties and manage the complex relationship with Russia. This paper analyzes the challenges which the Georgian government will have to overcome on its way towards the Association Agreement with the EU. The investigations in this paper refer to the Georgian authorities’ statements and actions as well as their economic and social contexts. The conclusion is that Georgia’s closer rapprochement with Russia will be blocked due to the issues of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. At the same time, Georgia’s integration with the EU will be a difficult process because of internal and external impediments, including Russian pressure.
This paper investigates the development of pension schemes, consequences of Bismarck’s pension system, its positive aspects and feasibility, development of the Latvian state pension system before 1940, its current state based on intergenerational solidarity and proposes new approaches to the self-contributed capital personal pension system.