"Economic and Political Challenges of Acceding to the Euro area in the post-Lehman Brothers’ World"


Project Goal
The project aims at outlining the optimal conditions for Euro area enlargement to the CEE new members. This will include exploring options for changing the "rules of the game" – i.e. Euro area entry and performance requirements as well as procedures – in order to better address the CEE economic and social needs while ensuring long term economic stability of the Euro area.


Project Overview

The project is implemented through research and analysis, conducted by national experts in each of the ten new member states in CEE. The goal of each Country Report is to assess the specific path to the Euro in the particular country and to evaluate the incidence of the current deep transformations in the world economy on the perspectives to adopt the common currency. The main domains of interest are:
- The patterns of real and nominal convergence with the Euro area;
- The setting and the implementation of the policies aiming the accession to the Euro area;
- The impact of the current global crisis on the strategy to adopt the Euro.
On the basis of the developed country reports, a comparative analysis will be produced at the end.

In progress


A Summary Report and nine Country Reports were be produced for each of the following new member states: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia.
On their basis a Summary Report was developed containing a comparative analytical section and targeted policy recommendations comprising:

- outlining the best possible scenario for CEE countries accession to the Euro area (the one that better addresses the CEE economic and social needs while ensuring long term economic stability of the Euro area);

- developing policy recommendations for the implementation of the optimal scenario to both national governments/relevant institutions and EU decision-makers;

- policy recommendations for the redesign of the decision making process concerning Euro area enlargement .


You can download the summary and country reports here:
Summary Report 
Bulgaria Report 
Czech Republic Report 
Estonia Report 
Hungary Report 
Latvia Report 
Lithuania Report 
Poland Report 
Romania Report 
Slovenia Report



International conference
An international conference on December 7, 2009 has been organized to launch the reports. Follow this link for more information on the conference.

Open Society Institute – Sofia

Contact Persons
Assya Kavrakova


Marin Lessenski



Project Advisory Board Members


Roumen Avramov, born in 1953, is Program Director for Economic Research at the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and Member of the Advisory Council of the Bulgarian National Bank. He has been a senior research fellow in the Institute of economics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (until 1990), Economic Adviser to the President of Bulgaria (1990-1991), Vice-President of the Government’s Agency for Economic Coordination and Development (1991-1994), Member of the Board of Governors of the Bulgarian National Bank (1997-2002) and (in this capacity) non-resident Director for Bulgaria at the Black Sea Trade and Development bank in Thessalonica. He has worked with different scholarly institutions as Member of the Bulgarian National Science Foundation; Associate professor, Member of the Board, Department of Economics, Sofia University; Foreign Member of the Academic Council, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Moscow; Academic Associate, Centre for Advanced Studies, Sofia; Associate Professor, New Bulgarian University; member of several editorial boards; Visiting fellow in research institutes in Moscow, Washington D.C., Paris. London, Vienna. He has consulted the World Bank, OECD, the European Commission. Author and editor of books and papers in the fields of central banking and monetary policy, macroeconomics, economic history and economic culture, history of economic ideas.


Marek Dąbrowski, born in 1951, is Professor of Economics, President of the CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research in Warsaw, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the CASE-Ukraine in Kiev, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for the Economy in Transition in Moscow, Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of the Comparative Economic Studies (ACES, 2007-2009), one of the founders and former Member of the Executive Comitteee of the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies (EACES, 1995-1996; 2003 – 2006), Member of the Scientific Committee of the European Journal of Comparative Economics, and Member of the Counsulting Board of the ‘Economic Systems’ journal. Former First Deputy Minister of Finance (1989-1990), Member of Parliament (1991-1993) and Member of the Monetary Policy Council of the National Bank of Poland (1998-2004). From the end of 1980s he has been involved in policy advising and policy research in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen and in a number of international research projects related to monetary and fiscal policies, currency crises, international financial architecture, EU and EMU enlargement, perspectives of European integration, European Neighborhood Policy and political economy of transition. He is also a consultant of the World Bank and UNDP. He has activaly participated in GDN activities from its beginning (1999). Author of several academic and policy papers, and editor of several book publications.

Luděk Niedermayer is currently Director at Deloitte Czech Repiublic. In his current role, he is responsible mainly for the area of financial institutions in Central Europe. Prior the current possition, he has worked at the Czech Central Bank for 17 years. Dr. Niedermayer has started as an expert in the area of liability management, working with the director of Risk Management Department. In 1996 he was appointed by the president of the Czech Republic as a member of the Bank Board. He had served as a Vice-Governor of the bank since 2000. His second mandate (maximum allowed by the law) finished in 2008. Ludek Niedermayer graduated from the University of Brno in 1989 in Operational Research and Theory of Systems. He obtainded RNDr. decree. During his carrier, he attended many seminars and training focused on financial systems, management and economy. During his central bank job, he had published many artcles focused on risk management and central bank reserve management. He is a regular speaker on this subject at conferences. He was involved in designing and implementing the strategy during the 1997 Czech crown currency crisis and latter proposed the addoption of the inflation targetting regime in the Czech Republic. He was involved in cooperation with many multinational entities, including EU, ECB, IMF and BIS.


Karsten Staehr is a professor of economics at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, and a part-time research advisor at Eesti Pank, the Estonian Central Bank. He is a Danish national and holds a master degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and master and Ph.D.degrees from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He has undertaken research and applied analysis within labour economics, public economics, monetary economics, transition economics and applied econometrics. Karsten Staehr has worked as an econometrician at Statistics Denmark, a consultant for the World Bank, a lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, a EuroFaculty lecturer at Vilnius University (Lithuania), a senior advisor at the Central Bank of Norway, a EuroFaculty lecturer at the University of Tartu (Estonia), a visiting research fellow at the Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition, and a senior economist at the Economic Assessment Institute in Copenhagen.


György Szapáry graduated from the Louvain Catholic University (Belgium) in 1961 and gained a PhD in economics there in 1966. In the period 1965-66, he worked at the European Commission in Brussels. From 1966 to1990, he worked at the IMF in Washington. His last position there was Assistant Director in the Asian Department. During 1990-93, he was Senior Resident Representative of the IMF in Hungary. From 1993 to 2007 - with a short break when he was an advisor to the Governor - he served as Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Hungary and a member of its Monetary Council. During 1993-2001, he also held the position of President of the Board of Directors of the International Training Centre for Bankers in Budapest.  From 1997 to 2001, he was also a member of the Board of the Budapest Commodity Exchange. As a Deputy Governor, he was also a member of the Economic and Financial Committee of the European Commission and of the European Central Bank’s International Relations Committee during the period of 2004-2007.  Currently, he is visiting professor at the Economic Faculty of the Central European University in Budapest and member of the Board of Directors of the OTP Bank, the largest Hungarian bank. He is a member of several foundations in Hungary and the recipient of the Hungarian Sándor Popovics Award in recognition for outstanding contribution in the field of banking and monetary policy. He is the author of a book and numerous articles in professional journals.




Country Experts



George Angelov, Senior Economist, Open Society Institute - Sofia

Czech Republic

Ondrej Schneider, Associate Professor, Institute of Economic Studies, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


Hardo Pajula, OÜ Monadero


Jānis Bērziņš, Institute of Economics of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and Riga Stradins University


Ramunas Vilpisauskas, Associate Professor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University.


Gabor Bekes, Research Fellow at the Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences


Dr. Przemyslaw Wozniak, Research Economist and Member of the Council, CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research, Warsaw, Poland


Liviu Voinea, Associate Professor National School for Political and Administrative Studies, Executive Director Group of Applied Economics


Vladimír Benč, Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association


Vladimir Lavrac, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Economic Research

2008 European Policies Initiative

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