Coronavirus: why central and eastern European countries seem to be running out of luck

Central and eastern European countries emerged as unlikely champions of Europe’s first wave. Their total death rates have been far lower than in larger and richer western European countries.

Central and eastern European countries emerged as unlikely champions of Europe’s first wave. Their total death rates have been far lower than in larger and richer western European countries. This was unexpected since the region’s health systems are underfunded and understaffed compared to the west. The early success of central and eastern European countries in containing COVID-19 now appears to be a double-edged sword. Read more

Policy Brief: Tracking Policy Responses to COVID-19: Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions

Policy Brief: Tracking Policy Responses to COVID-19: Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions by Daly et al.

Governments have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by adopting a wide range of policy measures with different effects on infection rates and deaths, but also varying socio-economic consequences. The Oxford Supertracker at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention (DSPI) aims to provide a global online directory of relevant policy trackers that have been developed to monitor policies and individual preferences in respect to Covid-19 across countries.

Trackers vary widely in terms of policy fields, country coverage, types of authors and users. The Supertracker provides an online directory that brings together data sources on (1) deaths and cases of Covid-19, (2) policies to prevent the spread of Covid-19, (3) preferences and behavioural responses of individuals, and (4) policies seeking to mitigate or compensate for the consequences of Covid-19. Read more

Book: Mitigating the COVID-19 effect Emergency economic policy-making in Central Europe by Podvršič et al.

Book: Mitigating the COVID-19 effect Emergency economic policy-making in Central Europe by Podvršič et al.

This paper analyses the economic policy-making in the first phase of the epidemic in five Central Europe countries, Austria, Czechia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia, whose economic structure is characterized by strong export orientation. The focus is on the participatory character of the governments’ COVID-19 packages, on their design, and targets. Read more

Report: The Social and Economic Effects of COVID-19 on Children in North Macedonia by Petreski et al.

Report: The Social and Economic Effects of COVID-19 on Children in North Macedonia by Petreski, M., Petreski, B., Tomovska-Misoska, A., Gerovska Mitev, M., Parnardzieva-Zmejkova, M., Dimkovski, V. and Morgan, N.

The pandemic caused by the global spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 (hereafter: the pandemic or Covid-19) is harming social, educational and health wellbeing of children, with the most vulnerable being hit the hardest. Children are being impacted directly, through school, extracurricular and childcare facilities closures, social distancing and confinement, which puts a heavy burden on their educational, cognitive and emotional development, with the risk of increasing their anxiety and stress levels. Children are also being impacted indirectly, through the reduction of household incomes, which reduces their material and social wellbeing, impairs access to social and healthcare, while also exposing the hardest hit to risks malnutrition. Read more

Technical report: EU Candidate Countries’ & Potential Candidates’ Economic Quarterly (CCEQ) by the European Commission

Technical report: EU Candidate Countries’ & Potential Candidates’ Economic Quarterly (CCEQ) by the European Commission

An overview of economic developments in candidate and pre-candidate countries.

The disruptive effects of the COVID-19crisisontheWestern Balkaneconomies became visible already in the first quarter of 2020, with annual GDP growth decelerating notably to 2.5%from 4.3%in the preceding quarter. The slowdownwas largely driven bya deepening recession in Albania anda decelerationin Serbiaand in North Macedonia. Private consumption remained the key growth driverbutinvestment showed a mixed performance, with year-on-year declines registered in some of the countries. The region’scurrent account deficit stood at6%of GDP, the highest level in the last 5 years, suggesting that external positions in many economies remain vulnerable. Read more

Journal article: The Social Exclusion of Persons with Disabilities from Tertiary Education: Targeting Barriers depending on the Type of Disability based on the Findings of a Qualitative Study by Nikolajević

Journal article: THE SOCIAL EXCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES FROM TERTIARY EDUCATION – TARGETING BARRIERS DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF DISABILITY BASED ON THE FINDINGS OF A QUALITATIVE STUDY by Nikolajević

In this paper, we primarily dealt with the low representation of persons with disabilities in the tertiary education system and targeted specific barriers that keep people with disabilities outside the tertiary education process. The mentioned problem was approached from the perspective of social exclusion and one of the main tasks of the conducted research was to gain insight into the types of barriers that affect persons with different types of disabilities depending on their student status. Read more

Book: The European Union and the Paradox of Enlargement. The Complex Accession of the Western Balkans by Sekulic

Book: The European Union and the Paradox of Enlargement. The Complex Accession of the Western Balkans by T. Sekulic, University of Milano-Bicocca Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology, Palgrave Macmillan 2020

This book sheds light on the contradictions underlying the European Union enlargement process, specifically to the Western Balkans, challenging the common assumption that the integration of an extended European space might be possible without mutual transformation of the institutions and agencies involved. Sekulic maps the institutional dimension of the accession process, and analyses how the conditionality principle shapes and constrains the space for negotiation within the EU. Combining ethnographic research with the discourse analysis of the European Commission’s reports and documents from 2008 to 2019 concerning the Western Balkan countries, the book also explores the perceptions and agency of the individuals involved in this process. The European Union and the Paradox of Enlargement will be of interest to students and scholars of European integration, the sociology of Europe and the EU, and Eastern European and Western Balkan studies. Read more

Report: From BiH to Austria via Slovenia: migration and posting of 3rd country nationals

The report focuses on the specific regional labour mobility patterns between Bosnia and Her zegovina (BiH) as a third country, Slovenia as a sending country, and Austria as a receiving country.

Report: From Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria via Slovenia: migration and posting of third country nationals in the EU by S. Danaj, L. Geyer, S. Cukut Krilić, K. Toplak, & M. Vah Jevšnik

In this new study conducted in the frame of the project Con3Post– Posting of Third Country Nationals. Mapping the trend in the construction sector, our colleagues Sonila Danaj and Leonard Geyer in collaboration with the colleagues Sanja Cukut Krilić, Kristina Toplak & Mojca Vah Jevšnik of the ZRC SAZU – Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Slovenia investigate the main characteristics of the trend of posting third country nationals to work in the EU construction sector. The report focuses on the specific regional labour mobility patterns between Bosnia and Her zegovina (BiH) as a third country, Slovenia as a sending country, and Austria as a receiving country. Read more

Balkan Barometer 2020: Covid-19 impact assessment by RCC

Balkan Barometer 2020: Covid-19 impact assessment by RCC

Following the annual issue of the Balkan Barometer survey, the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) initiated additional analysis to observe more closely sentiments and perceptions of the general public and the business community in the context of recent developments deriving from COVID-19. In this respect, RCC engaged in data collection and data processing as a basis for snap-shot analysis of the attitudes, experiences and perceptions on the recent developments in six economies. Read more