Since the collapse of socialism, the New Member States (NMS) of the European Union have performed much better in socio-economic terms than other transition economies. However, the NMS were not a homogenous group of countries. Some of them were catching up with the western countries fast while others were converging very slowly. The NMS differed also in terms of their resilience to major shocks such as the global financial crisis. While discussing causes of these differences, Dr Rzońca will refer to two types of institutions: propelling and stabilizing ones.
In spite of successes in the last 26 years, convergence of the NMS to the west has not been accomplished yet. In fact, this convergence slowed down after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, even though economic growth in the western countries was stubbornly sluggish in recent years. Dr Rzońca will discuss possible links between this slowdown and unconventional monetary policy conducted by major central banks. He will also discuss other challenges for the convergence, such as population aging in the NMS and Brexit.
Dr Andrzej Rzońca is an economist who is currently Adjunct Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics where he specialises in international comparative studies. He is the President of the Society of Polish Economists and the chief advisor to the free-market Civil Development Forum (FOR), the prominent Polish think tank. In 2010, the Senate of the Republic of Poland appointed him to the position of Member of the Monetary Policy Council (an equivalent to Reserve Bank Board) for a six-year term.
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