CEE needs to speed up transition to new growth model, argues GLOBSEC report

bne IntelliNews October 12, 2021

Annual CEE Strategic Transformation Index puts Slovenia top in CEE (after Austria), followed by Czechia and Poland.

CEE/SEE countries unite in defence of nuclear power

bne IntelliNews October 12, 2021

EU’s pro-nuclear member states want nuclear energy to be included in the bloc's green taxonomy as a way to ameliorate climate change.

bneGREEN: Bulgaria to propose three dates for closure of coal-fired power plants

bne IntelliNews October 11, 2021

Sofia is under pressure to draw up a timeline to shut down its coal plants before the European Commission approves its recovery plan.

Von der Leyen says EU has to deliver on enlargement

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje October 6, 2021

EU leaders reaffirmed their support for enlargement at summit in Slovenia, but they did not set any firm timeline.

Botched Vera Su rescue operation showers toxic cargo into sea off Bulgaria

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 28, 2021

Attempt to move nitrogen fertiliser cargo off stranded ship called off after significant contamination to the sea and nearby land.

A pandemic boost but challenges to overcome for Bulgaria’s online retailers

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow September 28, 2021

Online vendors of goods got a pandemic boost in Bulgaria, but when the lockdowns were lifted, many people simply went back to the shops.

Stranded ship loaded with fertilisers threatens Bulgarian coast

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 27, 2021

Environmental groups fear the Vera Su may already be leaking cargo of nitrogen fertilisers and diesel fuel into Yailata protected area as officials fail to act.

Smart Organic plans Sofia IPO to fund purchase of German competitor

bne IntelliNews September 26, 2021

Bulgarian producer and distributor of organic food comes back for second attempt at IPO as it aims to buy German firm and build new factory.

Romania and Latvia's car ownership rates among lowest in Europe

bne IntelliNews September 24, 2021

The lowest motorisation rates were found in Romania (357 cars per thousand people), Latvia (381 cars) and Hungary (390 cars).

bneGREEN: Greenwashing: regulators flex muscles as the market remains in flux

Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh September 22, 2021

Defining a green investment is crucial to boosting the expansion of renewable energy and preventing the mis-selling of investments by so-called greenwashing, whereby the environmental impact of a product is misrepresented.

French Sendinblue acquires Bulgaria's Metrilo

bne IntelliNews September 21, 2021

As more companies move online in response to the pandemic, Sendinblue bought up companies in Bulgaria, India and the US to expand its offering.

Backlash against efforts to force citizens to get vaccinated in Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews September 21, 2021

As low vaccination rates facilitated a new wave of the pandemic, governments are barring entry to malls, night clubs and other venues to those without a coronavirus certificate.

BUCHAREST BLOG: Romania’s anti-corruption struggle still inspiring its neighbours

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow September 19, 2021

With relatively few true success stories in the fight against corruption in emerging Europe, the efforts of the Romanian DNA to bring corrupt officials to book remain one of the few shining lights of the anti-corruption struggle in the region.

World Bank drops Doing Business report after alleged pressure from Bulgaria-born IMF chief to favour China

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 18, 2021

Investigation says Kristalina Georgieva, then a high-ranking World Bank official, and former former Bulgarian finance minister Simeon Dyankov pressured officials to improve China’s position. Georgieva denies the accusations.

BALKAN BLOG: Bulgaria’s Harvard-educated saviours-in-waiting

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 16, 2021

The interim government’s success in rooting out corruption turned its ministers into national heroes. Now two of the top technocrats are running for parliament.

Bulgaria’s popular caretaker PM Yanev to head next interim cabinet

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 16, 2021

Yanev will remain in the PM position until the November general election after his ministers’ efforts to root out high-level corruption made it the most popular cabinet in decades.

bneGREEN: Global coal plans collapse by 76%

By Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh September 16, 2021

The global pipeline of proposed coal power plants has collapsed by 76% since the Paris Agreement in 2015, bringing the end of new coal power construction into sight, new research by green think-tank E3G finds.

bneGreen: Finland’s Betolar develops green cement as construction races to decarbonise

Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh September 15, 2021

Finland’s Betolar is pioneering the production of low-carbon cement by using alternative industrial waste products in a process that could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%.

Bulgaria’s president to schedule snap general election for November 14

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 12, 2021

Shakeout in the polls ahead of Bulgaria’s third general election of 2021 sees ITN’s support slump, while Democratic Bulgaria’s popularity rises.

GLOBSEC: No debt ratio is safe for small EU countries

Ivan Šramko and Sona Muzikarova September 10, 2021

Targeted EU fiscal rule reform is desirable but should consider the inherent risks for smaller member states.