• Questions? Call 0086-10-59367244
Current position Home > > Publications > > Special Collections > > Yearbook > > 2022


Share |

Annual Report on the Development of Central and Eastern European Countries (2021)


By:Gang Zhao, Wenshuang Lin, Xixiao Dong

Publisher:Social Sciences Academic Press


Publication Date:2022-04-08


Paper book:US $
Ebook:US $
Paper Book& Ebook:US $
2159 1000

Table of contents:

About the author(s):


As with the previous three volumes (the 2016-2017,2018-2019 and 2020 editions),this book was compiled by Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) Center for Central and Eastern European Studies (CCEES),which hosts the Regional and Country Studies Base (RCSB) designated by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The authors are mainly professors from the School of European Languages and Cultures (SELC) of Beijing Foreign Studies University,but also include academics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The authors aim to objectively present the political,economic,social and cultural developments in Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) and their cooperation with China in 2020,using first-hand and detailed information,by leveraging their unique advantage of knowing languages spoken in these countries.

In 2020,all CEE countries suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic control has become an important issue for all. Unpredictable and frequent resurgence of the pandemic constitutes a severe test on their abilities of governance,diplomatic coordination and emergency response,and has affected their internal and foreign affairs,economy,and social life to different extent.

In 2020,many countries in Central and Eastern Europe held parliamentary elections and/or presidential elections. Some have postponed elections or held them earlier due to pandemic outbreaks or fear of resurgence. Most countries have declared a state of emergency. Romania and Hungary have issued laws and regulations related to pandemic control to strengthen government intervention and control. In addition,Albania reformed its electoral system to authorize negotiations for accession to the EU. Hungary revised its constitution for the ninth time,and Poland continued to tighten its abortion policy. The conflict between Bulgarian President and Prime Minister escalated. Slovakia and Montenegro experienced changes in government,and the long ruling by the former ruling party ended. In general,with the exception of Slovakia and Montenegro,which witnessed major changes in the political party landscape in 2020,the internal affairs of CEE countries have basically continued the trend in recent years,that is,new parties continued to emerge and quickly rise to the top;the power of populist parties increased;political struggles sometimes intensified,protests erupted from time to time,but they have not caused violent social unrest.

In 2020,all CEE countries registered negative growth. Their economy fell into recession to varying degrees,and the registered unemployment rates generally rose. With the economic recession,increased spending,and expanded budget deficits,public debt levels in these countries have generally increased and the fiscal situation has deteriorated. Due to the reduction in economic activities caused by the pandemic and disruptions on global supply chain,as well as the impact by their industrial structure,total import and export volumes of almost all CEE countries have declined to varying degrees.

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic exposes the problem of limited investment in the medical and health systems in CEE countries and the lack of medical resources. Out of the needs of pandemic control,they have generally adopted online education in 2020,and cultural activities were carried out in a special way.

In 2020,the relations between CEE countries and the EU continued to move forward despite twists and turns. The relationship of Hungary and Poland with the EU continued to be tense. Croatia has assumed the rotating EU presidency for the first time,ensuring the normal operation of the European Council during the pandemic. Bulgaria and Croatia have joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. The Western Balkans have made limited progress in accession to the EU. In 2020,North Macedonia joined NATO,and many CEE countries continued to strengthen cooperation with the United States. The CEE countries continue to be divided in relations with Russia. Regional cooperation has made certain progress.

In 2020,there are many highlights in China-CEEC cooperation in pandemic control. The quality of economic cooperation and trade has been upgraded,the bilateral trade volume has reached a new high,and people-to-people exchanges have continued to deepen. However,there are also noises in the relationship between CEE countries and China.

In short,the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has visible impacts on the economies of CEE countries,and directly affected their social and cultural life. However,the impact of the pandemic on the internal and foreign affairs of these countries is still on the surface. The path to European integration did not see major changes. The pandemic has not hindered the steady development of China-CEEC cooperation. However,since the pandemic in CEE countries has not yet ended,its far-reaching impact has not been fully manifested,the subsequent impact deserves sustained attention.