PODCAST | New Europe: Past Successes and Uncertain Prospects

Co-hosted by the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs and SDN

Since the collapse of socialism, the New Member States (NMS) of the European Union have performed much better in socio-economic terms than other transition economies. However, the NMS were not a homogenous group of countries. Some of them were catching up with the western countries fast while others were converging very slowly. The NMS differed also in terms of their resilience to major shocks such as the global financial crisis. While discussing causes of these differences, Dr Rzońca will refer to two types of institutions: propelling and stabilizing ones.

In spite of successes in the last 26 years, convergence of the NMS to the west has not been accomplished yet. In fact, this convergence slowed down after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, even though economic growth in the western countries was stubbornly sluggish in recent years. Dr Rzońca will discuss possible links between this slowdown and unconventional monetary policy conducted by major central banks. He will also discuss other challenges for the convergence, such as population ageing in the NMS, and Brexit.


Dr Andrzej Rzońca graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics, where he is now an adjunct professor and the Chair of International Comparative Studies. He holds the Kronenberg Foundation award in economics and the award of Committee on Financial Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences for outstanding scholarly achievement. He is the President of the Association of Polish Economists. Dr Rzonca is visiting Australia as a guest of the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs


IMAGE: Nicolas Raymond