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Gazette is our monthly newsletter. Each issue will bookmark news and articles from Central and Eastern Europe

that caught our eye, carry occasional news about our clients and keep you up-to-date with Cook Communications.

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Simona Halep

July 24, 2019

Congratulations to Romania's Simona Halep on becoming Wimbledon champion.  Her winner's speech is here.

Photo: AP...

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Central Europe’s colourful politics

July 24, 2019

Central Europe's political arena has been a lively place since our last Gazette.

In May the leader of Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the de facto leader of its government, Liviu Dragnea, began serving a 42-month jail sentence for corruption. 

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Lake Balaton’s wild side

July 24, 2019

Hungary's Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, and a major tourist attraction.  The Calvert Journal has a short photo-essay.Photo: Gianluca Abblasion / The Calvert Journal  ...

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Flicking a V4 sign at Brussels

July 24, 2019

Thanks largely to the antics of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, the 28 prime ministers of the European Union's member countries took a somewhat acrimonious three days to settle on their nomination for the next president of the European Commission, the EU's executive....

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freebike in the Square Mile

July 24, 2019

Technology, environmental awareness and health and fitness are all coming together as transport and mobility undergo an inevitable transformation.  While electric buses and cars are gradually introduced, electric bikes - or e-bikes - are fast becoming ubiquitous.  "E-bikes are reshaping urban landscapes,"  writes...

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Romanian theatre

July 24, 2019

Arts funding, or the lack thereof, is a challenge in every country.  In Romania it has taken centre stage.  RFEL reports from Bucharest, and Exeuntmagazine, courtesy of the British Council, blogs on the struggles of independent theatre companies around the...

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Growthonomics

July 24, 2019

We are more than half-way through 2019 and the region's economies appear to be doing well.  The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW) has revised upwards its forecasts for Central and Eastern Europe.  "The EU-CEE countries’ economies continue to benefit from several...

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Investor beware

July 24, 2019

"Eastern Europe proves risky for investors".  So ran a recent headline in The Wall Street Journal above an article about the rise of investment disputes throughout Central and Eastern Europe.  The Economist tackled the same matter, noting that "of 942 investor-state...

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Beer, or not?

July 24, 2019

The Czech Republic is justly proud of its excellent traditional beers.  A small brewery in Mikulov, a town in the heart of the country's wine growing region, has gone off at an esoteric tangent to produce spontaneously fermented beers flavoured with local grapes. ...

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Central European defence spending

July 24, 2019

Central and East European countries have been modernising and investing heavily in their defence capabilities over the past couple of decades.  This is in part driven by the need to replace obsolete and clapped-out Soviet-era equipment, and in part driven by their obligations...

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Poland’s new airport

July 24, 2019

Poland intends to build a new airport located between Warsaw and Łódź that would initially serve 45 million passengers per year, with the view to eventually serve up to 100 million passengers.  Several big architecture firms have put forward designs.  Business Insider magazine reports.

Photo:...

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Education matters

July 24, 2019

The Hungarian government this month took control of some 40 research institutes belonging to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences despite months of protest by scientists and academics fearful for their independence, reports Nature.

The Central European University (CEU) received Austrian...

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Brexit and Central Europe

March 27, 2019

When, or perhaps if, Britain leaves the European Union there will be implications for Central European economies, businesses and people.  Britain and the EU will no doubt try to mitigate the impact of Brexit, be it hard or soft, quick or protracted, but...

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Innovate and upstart

March 27, 2019

Hungary's Design Terminal and its partners have launched the 2019 V4 Startup Force, a startup programme for the Visegrad Four countries of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.  Entrepreneurial innovators have until March 31st to apply for an...

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China and Central Europe

March 27, 2019

China’s "New Silk Road will be the golden middle way," enthuses ING Bank in a recent report about how rail under China’s Belt & Road Initiative could revolutionise freight transport between China and Europe.  Hauling cargo by rail is twice as fast as...

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President of Slovakia?

March 27, 2019

Zuzana Čaputová, a 45 year-old lawyer and anti-corruption campaigner, won the first round in Slovakia's presidential elections with 40.57% of the vote.  She faces Maroš Šefčovič, a European Commisioner who took 18.66% of the vote, in the run-off at the end of March. 

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Sex education in Poland

March 27, 2019

Polish supermodel Anja Rubik could be a symbol of any modern, progressive European country.  After joining a campaign to defend women’s rights, she started tackling school sex education and published a book for teenagers that sought to counter the teachings of the Catholic...

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Fiscal stimulation

March 27, 2019

Hungary's government hopes that free loans and no income tax will persuade women to have more babies and so help to reverse a declining population without recourse to immigration.  The BBC reports....

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Eva Jiřičná

March 27, 2019

Czech architect Eva Jiřičná, she of the glass spiral staircases, turned 80 this year, and to celebrate the occasion the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague has a career-spanning retrospective that runs from now until August 8th.  This image is of...

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“Partly free” Hungary

March 27, 2019

Freedom House, an independent watchdog organisation dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, has downgraded Hungary from Free to Partly Free "due to sustained attacks on the country’s democratic institutions by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party."  Report here.And Fidesz...

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Spaced out in Prague

March 27, 2019

A plan to revamp the Prague-based European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency could see more investment in the flourishing Czech space industry, which sees around 15 new space-related ventures start-up every year, reports Radio Praha.

photo: ESA...

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Bulgarian resignations

March 27, 2019

Another one bites the dust.  The resignation of Tsetska Tsacheva as Justice Minister in Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government is the latest in a succession since the third Borissov Cabinet took office in May 2017.  The Sofia Globe keeps track.

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Journalism

March 27, 2019

Credible journalism, and properly trained journalists, are as important now as they have ever been.  The Bakala Foundation is again organising an intensive summer journalism course in Prague that is designed for students of journalism and aspiring journalists.  Citizens of Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech...

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Czeconomics

January 29, 2019

The Czech Republic has enjoyed bouyant economic growth for several years, but there are signs that the traditional advantages of the Czech economy are slowly fading.  It is therefore crucial for the country to find new ways to secure future growth, reports Deutsche Welle.Reuters sheds...

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Poland transformed

January 29, 2019

"Looking at the numbers, there isn’t much question that the transformation that began in 1989 — when Poland became the first country in the world to ditch communism to recreate a market economy — has been the best time in the country's 1,000-year history,"...

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Murder in Gdańsk

January 29, 2019

The murder of Gdańsk mayor Paweł Adamowicz has provoked an anguished and often ill-tempered national debate about hate speech and polarisation in Poland’s deeply divided society, reports The Guardian....

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How Bucharest saved its churches

January 29, 2019

When Bucharest faced a radical redesign in the 1980s under communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, engineers moved complete buildings hundreds of metres on metal tracks to preserve the Romanian capital’s architectural heritage.  At the centre of it all was Eugeniu Iordăchescu, a civil engineer who had...

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Never again

January 27, 2019

International Holocaust Memorial Day is held every January 27th, the day in 1945 that Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated as the Red Army advanced through Poland.

The organised murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany was largely perpetrated in Central and...

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Coming up for air

December 19, 2018

This month the Polish city of Katowice hosted the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP24.  Agreement was reached by nearly 200 countries on how to measure and report their emissions as they...

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Water water everywhere

December 19, 2018

Budapest-based artist Milan Radisic is the brains behind Water.Shapes.Earth, a project that combines the power of aerial photography and storytelling to rediscover the beauty of our planet, and to show how water shapes Earth and influences our lives.

This summer the...

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Bulgaria’s nuclear plan

December 19, 2018

With the European Union pushing for reductions in emissions by a total of 30 percent by 2030, Bulgaria says it needs a second nuclear power plant.  Bloomberg reports.

...

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Go Buddy go

December 19, 2018

Lucia Kossarova tells Bold about the Buddy programme, which finds, trains, matches and supports caring volunteer mentors for young people in children’s homes in Slovakia, so one day they can lead independent lives. Lucia is one of 10 recipients of the 2018...

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Hungary’s media

December 19, 2018

This month a pro-government media conglomerate was created in Hungary.  It will not be scrutinized by media or competition authorities, reports The Associated Press.

More than 500 Hungarian news outlets now take a pro-government stance, compared with just 31 in 2015,...

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Plovdiv: European capital of culture 2019

December 19, 2018

"Not many people have ever heard of Plovdiv, and fewer yet have actually visited.  The marketing folks in Plovdiv clearly have a lot more spadework to do to convince people to go.  But it’s an inspired choice for a cultural capital and well worth the...

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Mind the gap

November 26, 2018

"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, a health divide has fallen across Europe."  Thus The Economist, paraphrasing Sir Winston Churchill's famous Iron Curtain speech, on why folk in Central and Eastern Europe tend to shuffle off this mortal...

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Look north

November 26, 2018

"Domestic innovation capacity in Central Europe remains weak compared with the EU average. These domestic systems will not be able to drive growth without being entirely reformed. However, Central European policymakers do not need to look far for inspiration and best practice when identifying...

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Poles apart

November 26, 2018

Last month Poland held municipal and regional elections.  The turnout was the highest for a local vote since 1989.  The results revealed a divided country.  The New York Times had it covered, fair and square....

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1918-2018

November 26, 2018

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the founder and first president of  Czechoslovakia, understood the news cycle and the value of Public Relations.  Or so at least did Edward Barnays, a Viennese-born American who was an early pioneer of PR and who appears to have been an informal...

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Central European cinema

November 26, 2018

Measured by the Foreign Language Film category of the annual Academy Awards, Hungarian and Polish film makers are the most prolific and successful in Central Europe.  Hungarian films have been submitted 54 times, received 10 nominations, been shortlisted once and won two...

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Central European economies

October 24, 2018

Central Europe is enjoying a boom. But long-term success requires more skilled workers and more innovative companies, says The Economist "The European Commission tracks the progress of five EU members immediately east of Germany and Austria (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and...

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František Kupka

October 7, 2018

 Kupka's 1937 painting The Circular and Rectilinear (detail above) served as a reference when we were designing our logo back in 2003.An extensive retrospective of the great Czech pioneer of abstract painting is now showing at the National Gallery Prague, until January 2019....

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