bneGREEN: Raising EU green targets will cost an extra €195bn

Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh May 14, 2022

The European Commission is considering raising its renewable energy target for 2030 to 45% in new green plans to be published later in May.

EBRD expects 30% GDP contraction in Ukraine in 2022, lowers emerging Europe projections

Clare Nuttall in Marrakesh May 10, 2022

The EBRD has cut its 2022 emerging Europe growth forecasts again, reflecting a sharp downgrade for Ukraine and the regional fallout from the war and sanctions.

Bulgaria considers vetoing EU’s embargo on Russian oil imports

Denitsa Koseva May 9, 2022

Bulgaria want to delay implementation of the ban on Russian oil imports planned by the EU so that its sole refinery, Lukoil Bulgaria, gets time to adjust to process other type of oil.

Former Bulgarian PM launches new party to woo pro-Russian voters

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 6, 2022

Sacked for his pro-Russian stance, Stefan Yanev says his Bulgarian Rise party will “defend Bulgaria’s dignity”.

Where the 11 Southeast European states stand on the Ukraine war

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2022

Southeast Europe is split over the issues of sanctions on Russia and military aid to Ukraine, with some states firmly in the western camp, some staying neutral and others internally torn.

Construction of Alexandroupolis LNG terminal launched to help reduce Balkans’ dependence on Russian gas

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 3, 2022

Greece is set to become a major gas supplier for the Balkans region, as investments aimed at achieving independence from Russian gas accelerate across Europe.

Bulgaria’s president, government in open conflict over military aid for Ukraine

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 2, 2022

The war in Ukraine drew a clear line in Bulgarian political life, with President Rumen Radev positioning himself firmly on Moscow’s side and opposing the government’s plans to approve military aid to Ukraine.

BOOK REVIEW: How the handling of migration from the eastern EU states pushed the UK towards Brexit

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 29, 2022

“Here to Stay: Eastern Europeans in Britain” tells the story of the half million citizens of the new EU member states who have moved to the UK since the early 21st century.

Emerging Europe growth to fall to an average of 3% this year, says wiiw

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

Russian GDP forecast to fall by 9-15% this year, while Ukraine's economy could collapse by 38-45%.

Shame and anger in Bulgaria as PM urges citizens to donate salaries to buy weapons for Ukraine

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 26, 2022

Kiril Petrov appeals to citizens to donate directly after failing to persuade his coalition partners to back military aid to Ukraine.

Top Bulgarian politicians to visit Kyiv amid row over military aid

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 25, 2022

Ruling coalition is divided over whether Bulgaria should provide military aid to Ukraine.

Ukraine conflict will trigger recessions across CEE, says Capital Economics

bne IntelliNews April 21, 2022

Russian GDP forecast to slump 12% in 2022, while Ukraine's GDP will halve. Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Baltic states will have two quarters of negative growth.

Outcry in North Macedonia over Bulgarian cultural centre named for Nazi collaborator

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 19, 2022

North Macedonia’s opposition and Jewish community call on EU to condemn Bulgaria for naming cultural centre after Nazi collaborator amid efforts by the two countries to resolve differences and unblock Skopje’s EU path.

Bulgaria’s inflation hits 14-year peak of 12.4% y/y in March

bne IntelliNews April 19, 2022

Government considers cutting taxes on bread, fruit and vegetables after high energy prices and the war in Ukraine pushed up inflation.

Bulgaria’s parliament closes specialised court, prosecution amid fierce opposition

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 17, 2022

Closure of specialised prosecution and court seen as a step towards restoration of the rule of law in the EU’s most corrupt country.

Bulgaria’s BSP threatens to quit ruling coalition over possible military aid to Ukraine

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 13, 2022

The pro-Russian BSP has fiercely opposed any suggestions that Sofia might provide military equipment to Ukraine since the start of the war, arguing the country must remain neutral.

Bulgaria to develop AI research centre in partnership with Google, AWS

bne IntelliNews April 11, 2022

INSAIT will aim to nurture state-of-the-art advances in AI and computing through open research, aiming to foster a competitive high-tech economic environment in the country.

Bulgaria’s ruling coalition divided over nomination for central bank governor

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 11, 2022

Bulgaria’s four-party ruling coalition is facing its biggest challenge since taking power after two of its members backed rival candidates to become the new central bank governor.

Bulgarian PM says Russian spies created rift with North Macedonia to stall EU enlargement

bne IntelliNews March 31, 2022

EU officials fear the slow enlargement process is leading to democratic backsliding in the Western Balkans, and creating opportunities for Russia and China to increase their influence.

EBRD slashes 2022 growth forecasts but only nations embroiled in war to enter recession

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 31, 2022

Ukraine's economy forecast to contract by 20% and projections worsen across emerging Europe — except for Eurasian oil and gas producers Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.