Intermarium – the old and a new idea for Poland

Poland's Intermarium – the old and a new idea for Poland. (CC By NC ND D. Reinchardt)

Latvian minimum wages will raise.

Investments are up in Hungary.

The World Bank will help Bulgaria get more financing from EU.

Lithuania

Emigrating in times of economic turbulences is typical for Lithuanians. They’ve done it for ages. So if the pace of emigration is stabilizing, one can be sure good times are coming. Lithuanians are happy because their young citizens are backing home from UK, Ireland and Norway. The Lithuania Tribune shows data from Swedbank Personal Finance Institute. In 2014 approx. 38,000 people emigrated. The same number left the country in 2013. But in 2014 about 26,000 people returned and it was 18% more than in 2013. The data also shows that in 2015 the emigration would slightly fall.

Lithuania has an estimated population of 3 million (as of 2013). Between 1990 and 2011 approx. 670,000 Lithuanians emigrated and only 110,000 returned home.

(Source: Lithuanian Tribune)

Hungary

Investments are up in Hungary. The investment volume in Q2’2015 was 5,7% higher than in Q2’2014. Quarterly (Q1/Q2) it was up 1,7%. The value of investments is approx. HUF 1,286.8bn. But the devil is in the detail. Analysis shows 44,8% of growth in logistics investments, 10,1% and 0,5% of growth in machinery equipment and vehicles sector. The range of investments in logistics results from the huge public program run by the government of Victor Orban. The program is a bone of contention between the officials and the experts who state that in the long run it would cause damages to the economy. Let us remember that in 2015 the cost of the program was  HUF 270bn (approx. EUR 869m) and in 2010 HUF 59,1bn (EUR 190m).

Other sectors rather do not benefit by investments. Investments in manufacturing fell by 7.1%, farm investments fell by 28.8% and those tied to real estate were down 1.8%.

(Source: Politics.HU)

Poland

A very interesting analysis by Wojciech Jakóbik (wjakobik.com) who brings back the idea of Intermarium. It’s the old conception from the beginning of 20th century, created by Jozef Pilsudski (the ‘First Marshal of Poland’) and his advisors. Pilsudski claimed the CEE federation should be built under Poland’s aegis. But this idea was not continued. Now, almost hundred years later, Jakóbik propose to plant the idea into energy sector.

The new shade of Intermarium would consist cooperation between Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States in the field of energy, with the activities undertaken inside and outside EU. Jakóbik claims that the CEE countries should:

– boost the European Commission in ruling the right policy towards Russia,

– shape the common environmental and climate policy and slow down the ambitious plans of the Western European countries in that area,

– support projects like The North-South Gas Corridor of Visegrad Group (the project is supposed to start 2018-202),

– boost energy integration between the CEE countries belonging to the EU and the Ukraine, Moldavia, Albania, Serbia and the Montenegro.

Jakóbik writes that the Intermarium can work provided the cooperation would bring business results for all the countries in the region. So Polish president Andrzej Duda should start acting now and – at first – establish Polish-Ukrainian working groups, that would negotiate the possibilities of trading LNG from Świnoujście and more.

Latvia

Latvian minimum wages will raise. Starting from 2016 the lowest paid workers would earn EUR 370 per month. Now it’s EUR 360. During parliamentary debates Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK supported the idea of EUR 380 and the Union of Greens and Farmers wanted to maintain the current status.

(Source: Leta.lv)

Bulgaria

The World Bank will help Bulgaria get more financing from EU. Bulgaria signed its first agreement with the World Bank in 2012. The World Bank consulted some projects in the field of innovation, agriculture and infrastructure. Now, as Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev says, The World Bank not only would be a consultant but also a strategic partner in drafting long-term planned reforms. The government and the officials from the World Bank signed a memorandum of understanding, partnership and support in the absorption of EU structural and investment funds for 2014-2020.

Bulgaria is a member of EU since 2007. Nevertheless its political system is quite unstable and the corruption is very high.

 

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