Central and Eastern Europe Think Tank Summit Report
James G McGann, University of Pennsylvania
Alexander Basescu, The University of Edinburgh
Emma Harris, University of Pennsylvania
Alisa Wadsworth, University of Pennsylvania
23 September, 2020
The diversity of the Central and Eastern European region, in terms of geopolitical contestation, political systems, economic systems, and societal fragmentation, has led to great variance in COVID-19 responses.
While fiscal packages of 5-10% of national GDPs have helped prevent major job loss, the regional economy is expected to contract 5% because of the decreased demand for export, meaning increased demand for domestic markets and internal trade will warrant new policy advice.
Technology has helped many governments, think tanks, and organizations endure quarantines and lockdown, meaning research into artificial intelligence and the implementation of secure and affordable access to technology across civil society and the private sector are also useful areas for think tanks to strategize on.
The majority of Balkan states have received fiscal assistance from the IMF, helping maintain growth in major regional sectors like agriculture and IT, suggesting that further international investment packages and even EU accession would be helpful in preventing long term economic losses.
COVID-19 has been the ultimate stress test for all economic, political, and social systems, demonstrating the need to improve transparency, create economic safeguards against shocks, democratize bureaucracies, and improve welfare systems.
Since October 29, 2020
Date Posted: 29 October 2020
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