Poor performance on latest index from Transparency International comes after years of warnings of the risks of democratic backsliding in the region should states fail to progress towards EU accession.
Most economies are failing to provide the conditions in which their citizens can thrive, said the World Economic Forum on releasing its new social mobility index.
China became the top investor in CEE in 2019, leading fellow East Asian investors that accounted for a growing share of M&A in the region. More deals are expected to follow, says a new report from law firm CMS.
Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) study reveals huge untapped renewable energy potential in the region, which currently relies heavily on coal power.
Zijin is building up its presence in Serbia. It holds 63% stake in copper giant RTB Bor, where it has pledged to invest $1.26bn, and last year agreed to buy Freeport McMoran's copper and gold assets in Serbia for up to $390mn.
EU officials to start working on changes to the enlargement methodology soon in attempt to persuade French President Emmanuel Macron to approve start of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.
Investment spending is already driving the economy, and the Serbian government has ambitious plans to boost growth over the next five years with a €14bn investment programme.
Just as brusquely as the French president recently discredited Nato (where France's real influence may not be so great), he has done the same with the Western Balkans and the EU enlargement process. And in the EU, France's position is decisive.
Law stripping the Serbian Orthodox Church of hundreds of religious sites in Montenegro sparks mass protests and punch-ups in both parliaments.