The Year Ahead
What to expect in Central-Eastern Europe in 2019
European peripheries (namely Eastern Ukraine, the Black Sea, and the Baltic States) will remain the pivot of the European security architecture in 2019. While land conflicts in Eastern Ukraine will still be of low intensity, at sea Russia will seek more open clashes. On the other hand, the harshening of Kosovo – Serbia relations will need deeper diplomatic efforts by the EU and EU Member States. In the realm of energy politics and policies, 2019 has all the features to become a pivotal year. The completion of Nord Stream 2 will add a crucial element to Europe’s energy markets. Not surprisingly, the EU will direct most of its integration efforts to the baltic region, where two Projects of Common Interest will be completed. Meanwhile, as 2020 gets closer MS will have to get ready to switch to their 2030 environmental policy goals. It is foreseeable that 2019 would be a pivotal year for Central Eastern Europe from a political point of view. Crucial elections will be held at the national level for several States as well as at the European Level and top political events and summit involving the future and the stability of the Balkan region will take place. Perspectives of growth in the European Union highlight the divide between old Europe and new Europe. Western Europe’s growth in 2019 is less optimistic than in the past. Overall, however, there is an evident decrease in the forecasted growth in Europe. From a 2.4% in 2017, 2019 GDP percentage growth will be limited to 1.9%.