CSE and CIS
The path taken by Romania and Bulgaria over the past 25 years differs from that of both Central Europe, which embraced free-market capitalism more enthusiastically, and the Western Balkans, much of which was set back by internecine war. Today, both are EU member states, but both struggle to shake off the legacy of communism and a troubled transition.
Bulgaria’s admission into the EU was somewhat conditional – Bulgaria had not met all the requirements, but the Union’s officials hoped that the admission to the community will provide an impulse to quickly fix the situation. Today, Bulgaria fares better economically than before 2007, but the biggest issues remain unresolved.
Public-private partnership investment projects are still few and far between in Poland, and most tenders called for projects to be launched under this formula end up in a fiasco. Without incentive from the government and without some fairly uncomplicated changes to legislation, things are going to stay this way.
Until recently Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were seen as the countries with the best governing standards, the most solid banking systems, the most open to foreign investors and with generally predictable politics. There used to be a pretty easy split between the good and bad halves of central Europe but today it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell them apart.