Category Archives: Eurasia

Democracy that Delivers #99: Long-time CIPE Partner Jaroslav Romanchuk Discusses Evolution of Economic System in Belarus

From left: podcast guest Jaroslav Romanchuk, Caroline Elkin, guest host Eric Hontz and host Ken Jaques

On this week’s podcast, Belarussian economist Jaroslav Romanchuk discusses important reforms taking place in his home country, which has maintained many Soviet Union ideologies.

Romanchuk, Executive Director for Analytical Center “Strategy,” provides a history on the country’s move from a centrally planned economy to more market-oriented processes.

Romanchuk has worked with CIPE to form a coalition of business associations and think tanks that have successfully advocated for 450 democratic reforms in Belarus over the past decade.

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Democracy that Delivers #97: Reform Measures and the Role of Civil Society in Poland

From left: podcast guest Marek Tatala, guest host Marc Schleifer, and host Ken Jaques

What is the likely role of civil society in Poland amid calls for more policy changes and justice reforms? In this week’s podcast, Civil Development Forum Vice President, Marek Tatala shares his take and explains how CDF is using technology and other outreach mechanisms to empower citizens.

CDF is a CIPE partner and non-governmental think tank based in Poland. CDF’s mission is to promote and defend economic freedoms, rule of law, and also the concept of limited government.

For more background on some of the current challenges facing Poland nearly three decades after the fall of communism, as well as expert recommendations, read CIPE Global Director Anna Kompanek’s blog “Democratic and Market Values Face Obstacles in Poland”.

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Democracy that Delivers #88: Group 484 on Refugees in Serbia

From left: podcast guests Miroslava Jelacic and Vladimir Petronijevic, guest host Marc F. Schleifer and host Ken Jaques

This week’s podcast features Vladimir Petronijevic, executive director, and Miroslava Jelacic, legal analyst, with Group 484—a nonprofit organization founded in Serbia in 1995 to support 484 refugee families. Working with migrants, local communities, and the government, Group 484 has assisted over 100,000 people in more than 70 Serbian towns through the years.

The majority of the country’s refugees are from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. Petronijevic said the Serbian government has had a favorable response to refugees, pointing to 17 temporary housing centers holding about 4,000 refugees. The housing centers are funded by the government and civil society organizations.

While many refugees in Serbia plan to move to other European countries, others hope to become Serbian citizens. Jelacic discussed the process for refugees to become citizens.

Visit Group 484’s website for more information on the organization’s work and support programs.

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Meet the 2016 Photo Competition Winner

Winning photo: Karybekov Janyl, President of the Crafts Council of Kyrgyzstan

CIPE is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Photo Competition! The theme of the 2016 competition was highlighting creative and inspiring visuals that demonstrate democratic leadership or individuals advocating for democratic values and reform.

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A Perestroika for Belarus?

18th Annual Assembly of Business Circles

Seven years ago a blog with this title would seem ridiculous. In the aftermath of the 2010 elections, President Lukashenko had several opposition members imprisoned, had others harassed, and cracked down hard on demonstrators. Five years earlier, Secretary of State Rice named Belarus the “last dictatorship of Europe.” However, in March, I observed how far Belarus has come to opening up to civil society. Sitting in a meeting with a leading minister, a dozen business associations were discussing the merits and potential modifications to a forthcoming presidential decree. The minister asked the association representatives thoughtful questions and addressed their concerns with straight-forward answers and promises to follow-up where answers were not readily available.

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Improving Corporate Governance in Ukraine’s State-Owned Enterprises

On May 1, 2016, the law, On Introduction of Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding Protection of Investors’ Rights (No. 289-VIII), came into effect. It introduced a number of new aspects to Ukrainian corporate law including the right to shareholder derivative actions, direct payment of dividends to shareholders, and –perhaps the most relevant to reducing corruption and privatizing state owned enterprises– the establishment of independent directors.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #50: Marc Schleifer on Democratic Trends in Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia

Podcast guest Marc Schleifer

CIPE Regional Director for Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia Marc Schleifer works on democracy projects in vastly different parts of the globe. On today’s episode of the Democracy that Delivers podcast he discusses the trends that are affecting the health and development of democracy in his areas of focus, including the attitudes and outlooks of the citizens in each region.

Schleifer describes his early interest in social issues and how his fascination with Russia led to eight years living in the country working in law and international development (and his brief stint as a rock musician). His recollections from this time, including the exciting and chaotic mood in pre-Putin Russia, contrast sharply with his assessment of Russia both today and in the near future. He also talks about the rise in populist sentiment in many parts of the world and challenges us to avoid knee-jerk reactions and look at the political and economic developments behind it.

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