With the end of the year around the corner, much of humanity’s hopes to return to some kind of normal in 2021 lie with the COVID-19 vaccines in development. While other countries have already started vaccinating their populations, there are currently no authorized vaccines for COVID-19 in the European Union. With a €500 million contribution to the COVAX Facility, EU leaders are hopeful that a safe and efficient vaccine will be available by spring in order to kick start both the European and global recovery.

The second wave of the pandemic hit hard in Central Europe, in particular in Czechia, but also in Poland and Slovakia when compared to the figures back in spring. Additional restrictive measures were put in place to flatten the curve and to ensure that the health systems will be able to cope with an increasing number of cases. Compared to the situation during the first wave, countries in Central Europe had the necessary stockpiles of protective equipment to be able to cope with a challenging environment. Slovakia has also carried out mass testing of its population, in order to identify hot-spots and better apply targeted measures to limit the spread.

Since April, GLOBSEC Intelligence Briefing aimed to aid leaders, decision-makers, businesses to better understand how Central European countries are impacted by and respond to the COVID-19 global outbreak. It also tackles other regional developments with broader geopolitical implications.

The current December issue covers critical political, economic and social events that took place since September. We hope you enjoy reading this edition and we wish you Safe Happy Holidays!