Voters prepare to punish their ruling parties in European Parliament elections

bne IntelliNews May 22, 2019

Following domestic political scandals in several Central and Southeast European member states, many voters just want to give their ruling parties a kicking in this week's EU-wide vote.

Romania’s 5% Q1 growth sends mixed messages

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 15, 2019

Romania’s GDP rose in 1Q19 at the fastest rate in the past five quarters, but besides the positive sentiment this generated, the figure also consolidates concerns related to the sustainability of the wage-led growth.

COMMENT: Technology can reduce the global plastic pollution problem

Calin Corjan in Montreal May 13, 2019

Annual global production of plastics has increased dramatically, from 15mn metric tons in 1964 to over 350mn metric tons now, however, a new technology can break down polymers and effectively recycle them

Romania and China sign deal on nuclear power plant expansion

bne IntelliNews May 9, 2019

New units at Cernavoda NPP to help Romania boost energy security and cut emissions by reducing reliance on coal power.

Falling smartphone sales drag down home electronics sector in Romania

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 9, 2019

Sales of electro-IT goods down 1.7% in 1Q19, finds GfK study, despite "crazy growth" of phablet sales as Romanians switch to larger-screen mobile devices.

Consumption the main growth driver in Romania as retail sales soar in 1Q19

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 7, 2019

Romania's average retail sales index was up 8.4% y/y in 1Q19, the highest annual growth rate in the past five quarters and no surprise after the net average wage rose by 14% y/y in January-February.

COMMENT: Chinese engagement in CESEE: paper dragons and false inevitabilities?

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna, Marcus How of Vienneast in Vienna May 3, 2019

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is no less than an attempt by the Chinese to reshape the international order, but it has acted as a strategic opportunist and has no clear development plan.

Poland leads CEE charge against “centralised” and “multi-speed” EU

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 2, 2019

Warsaw wants the EU to devolve more powers to national governments and opposes deeper integration of some – mostly Western – member states in specific policy areas.

UiPath raises $568mn in new funding round sending valuation to $7bn

bne IntelliNews May 1, 2019

Bucharest-born tech unicorn brings in new investors in funding round led by hedge fund Coatue that makes it one of the world's most valuable AI enterprise software companies.

Arming and rearming: Military spending grows across CEE and SEE in 2018

bne IntelliNews April 29, 2019

Russia’s expenditure falls for a second year, even though Moscow fears are driving defence outlays elsewhere. Turkey committed a league-topping 24% more while Iran spent 9.5% less on its armed forces as US tightened economic noose.

COMMENT: CEE Fintech Atlas: Old narratives are changing, innovations may flow now from East to West

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna April 25, 2019

After nearly three decades since the end of the socialist experiment many countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have made enormous progress, but they are still catching up to their western peers. But not in fintech.

COLCHIS: Media Sustainability in Eurasia: What does the Data Say?

Ashwed Patil of Keshif April 25, 2019

Southeast Europe enjoys a largely free and vibrant press, but an index developed by consultant Keshif shows that the press is coming under pressure and diversity and quality are slipping.

Romanian MPs pass controversial changes to criminal legislation

Carmen Simion in Bucharest April 24, 2019

Changes to the criminal codes have been widely criticised for weakening the rule of law and Romania’s anti-corruption fight, sparking mass protests in the country and criticism from the EU and Romania’s foreign partners.