As the past decade concluded, the new one began abruptly with an unprecedented and powerful shock to the global economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its arrival has reset the clock for the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE9), magnifying the shortcomings of its existing macroeconomic growth paradigm, faltering competitiveness, and the need to further improve economic resilience.  It highlighted that rather than competing primarily on cost, the CEE9-region’s forms of production should be morphed into knowledge-intense, technology-proficient, low-carbon, and all-over sustainable to advance the new, post-Covid social and economic contracts and deliver value to citizens, firms, and workers.

The 2021 edition of The Tatra Summit Insight Report continues to cater to the quest for a bold, strategic economic transformation. In the first two topical chapters, it scrutinises two fundamental structural areas crucial for making the leap towards a new growth narrative: respective innovation environments in CEE9 (Chapter 1), and skill provision in Central Europe (Chapter 2). Chapter 3 then follows with research and policy insights based on GLOBSEC composite quantitative diagnostic tool, the CEE Strategic Transformation Index (STI), anchored at the Tatra Summit platform.

STI benchmarks CEE9 economies – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia – in relative terms, and within the broader context of a selected control group of advanced European economies. It offers evidence-based policy insights into the region’s past macro-resilience performance as well as forward-looking structural policy areas, including education, green and digital transitions, and innovation to help unlock its new growth paradigm. As such, it also serves as an evidence-basis to underpin the high-level policy dialogues of political elites, top-of-the-line policy experts and researchers, private sector leaders, academia and third sector frontrunners at the Tatra Summit platform, coming in as a handy macroeconomic policy compass for the region.

As per the 2021 index results, Austria defends its top performer standing, with an overall score of 63.9 points. The index value 63.9 is interpreted as being almost at a 2/3rd point between the worst and the best performer in the sample between 2010 and 2018, benchmarking each country and placing it on a scale between broad sample’s bottom and top performer, while also making it comparable in time. Austria is followed by Slovenia (57.0), Czechia (56.0), Poland (51.9), Hungary (51.2), the Slovak Republic (47.8), Croatia (41.1), Romania (40.3) and Bulgaria (35.6). The index is further split into two main pillars, a more backwards-looking element, Macroeconomic Performance & Resilience (Pillar 1) and a forward-oriented element, the Innovation Economy (Pillar 2). Each of these two pillars is further split into four thematic sub-indices, revealing country strengths and weaknesses at a more granular level.

Read and download the full report in the documents section below.