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A Revanchist Russia versus an Uncertain West: An Appreciation of the Situation since the 2014 Ukrainian Crisis
An aggressive Russia, a divided and unsettled Europe, and a distracted and unpredictable United States have created an unprecedented and perilous confluence of events that could undermine the European security architecture and the liberal-democratic order. Ultimately, it is conceivable that the Western allies and Russia could achieve through dialogue some kind of constructive modus vivendi whereby Russia becomes a less paranoid power that respects the independence of its former empire. A long shot to begin with, such a rapprochement is less achievable if Europe and the United States appear disorganized and vulnerable. more »
 
Hidden Economy in Southeast Europe: Building Regional Momentum to Mitigate its Negative Effects
According to the authors of the policy brief, not declaring in full or partially economic activities in SEE remains widespread in virtually all areas of government – permissions and licenses, labour contracts, social security, taxes and custom duties. It signals a persistent gap between formal and informal institutions and lack of coherent enforcement of rules. Corruption pressure is higher towards those engaged in the hidden economy. At the same time their susceptibility to corruption is also higher, confirming the institutional incongruence. The immense diversity of the scale (from 19 % in Croatia to 81 % in Kosovo), prevailing patterns (no written contracts in Turkey, non-payment of health care contributions in Kosovo*, envelope wages in FYR of Macedonia and Bulgaria, non-formalised business in Albania), formal vs informal wage average (higher formal wages in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Turkey and lower in Kosovo and Bulgaria) requires country specific tailor-made policies and sequencing of reforms. more »
 
Working Paper: State Capture Diagnostics Roadmap
This paper contributes to a higher analytical precision in the definition of state capture, which enables the construction of measures that would help evaluate, assess and eventually quantify the phenomenon. This requires a more in-depth analysis of the state capture concept and an analytical description of its outcomes involving different social actors (government, the private sector and the society at large), as well as a description of its principal mechanisms. As state capture is often associated with corruption, it would be necessary to differentiate between these concepts and find a possible intersection in the methodological approaches used for measuring them. more »
 


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