CSE and CIS
The “spectre” of mass Romanian migration to western Europe has haunted British tabloids in particular in recent years, often in direct contradiction to the facts – recent reports say there has been no surge of migrants. One aspect to which some of the articles have drawn attention is how Romania might be used as a gateway to the EU for migrants from Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries. Others have raised concerns that Romania’s citizenship laws are not only an open door to the EU, but barely mask irredentist ambitions to retake territory lost during World War II.
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.
Romania attracts little interest now on the international scene, although it is still undergoing a turbulent transition. I do not really know how to deal with this country. The recent resumption of growth does not necessarily mean the end of its problems.
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.