Emerging Europe / Jurica Novak
There is no doubt that 2019 is a special year for Central Europe. Thirty years ago, events in this part of the world kicked off changes that swept the region, resulting in dramatic economic and political transformations. Fifteen years later eight of the region’s countries – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia – joined the European Union. Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia soon followed.
Since the transition to a market economy, the CE region has established a record of growth and economic progress that few other regions have matched before or since. This has enabled CE countries to partially close the economic gap to Western Europe and their populations, allowing a significant rise in living standards. Undoubtedly, the region has a lot to celebrate in 2019. However, this double anniversary could also offer an opportunity to think forward and reflect on how the CE countries could jump on the next S curve in the coming period.