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Transition triumphs and traps - Assessing Poland's recent economic journey, and where it goes next

During last month's EBRD annual meeting in Warsaw, Bankwatch Mail convened a discussion about the state of the Polish economy between a financial journalist and a sociologist – both residents of the Polish capital – to hear their views on some of the pressing economic issues of the day, as well as the ongoing Polish 'transition' process. With the 25th anniversary of the end of communist rule in Poland a few months away now (today in fact marks a quarter of a century since the first Polish elections under communism), what have been the achievements and the lessons to be learned from the last two and half decades?


Transition triumphs and traps - Assessing Poland's recent economic journey, and where it goes next

During last month's EBRD annual meeting in Warsaw, Bankwatch Mail convened a discussion about the state of the Polish economy between a financial journalist and a sociologist – both residents of the Polish capital – to hear their views on some of the pressing economic issues of the day, as well as the ongoing Polish 'transition' process. With the 25th anniversary of the end of communist rule in Poland a few months away now (today in fact marks a quarter of a century since the first Polish elections under communism), what have been the achievements and the lessons to be learned from the last two and half decades?

EU funds draft spending plans reveal flaws in environmental mainstreaming in central and eastern Europe

While the EU regulations for the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 themselves contain many important provisions on integrating environmental protection and fostering sustainable development, the draft Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes presented by national governments do not fully exploit the potential to build a green, sustainable economy with the help of the EU budget.

CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth campaigners across the central and eastern Europe region have reviewed the draft documents, detecting a number of problematic issues – both regarding the funding priorities and the process of EU funds programming itself.

Nuclear shadows - transparency failings persist with Ukrainian safety project

Twenty years of limited – if not downright poor – transitional progress has demonstrated the inability of European and global institutions to effectively impact development processes in Ukraine.

EBRD transition role in the spotlight again

New analysis from CEE Bankwatch Network of how the EBRD conducts its financing and economic advisory activities finds serious deficiencies in the bank's overall 'market-oriented' approach and catalogues a range of startling EBRD interventions in central and eastern Europe (CEE) and further afield that should prompt deeper examination of the bank's promotional mantra “We invest in changing lives”.

Heavy on the process - EBRD review of governance policies may disappoint many

The EBRD's board of directors is expected, on the eve of the bank's annual meeting in Warsaw, to approve new 'good governance' policies that will have significant bearing on the institution's future activities. The EBRD's Environmental and Social Policy, its Public Information Policy and the Rules of Procedure for the EBRD Project Complaints Mechanism have been the feature of multi-stakeholder consultations across the EBRD's regions of operation in 2013 and into 2014.

Tapping central and eastern Europe's green potential 25 years on

Environmental writer Roger Manser explains how the warnings of his 1993 book were ignored, and why ambitious green financing action is still a big need in central and eastern Europe.

Stuck in the market? 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall: what now for the EBRD?

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Harsh, embedded economic realities such as widespread, high unemployment across central and eastern Europe, as well as the discernible trend of democratic retrenchment in several EBRD recipient countries, are resulting in very mixed feelings about the transition process in this year of important anniversaries. This new analysis of how the EBRD conducts its financing and economic advisory activities finds serious deficiencies in the bank's overall 'market-oriented' approach and catalogues a range of startling EBRD interventions.

Does European financing facilitate the implementation of the Espoo convention in nuclear-energy related activities? Experience from Ukraine.

Public finance can play a role in ensuring nuclear safety and the transparency and accountability of government decisions related to nuclear energy by encouraging governments to fully apply Espoo procedures at earlier stages of the programme or plan and to provide more information about loan conditionalities. However, only a limited positive effect has been seen in Ukraine due in part to a lack of transparency by the financial institutions and to the selective application of convention requirements.

More for pigs than people: experience with Danosha's expansion in Ukraine

In 2013 the EBRD approved a loan of EUR 35 million to Danosha, a Ukrainian industrial pig farming company. Categorised as ‘B’ by the bank, the project didn't require an Environmental Impact Assessment or public participation. Yet experience shows that Danosha’s activities are associated with adverse environmental and social impacts, and the situation has been worsened by the fact that the company does not publish any information about its impacts on the environment, public health and safety at its farms.

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