With the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc in 1989, transformation has started. The countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria changed their political vector from the East to the West. Political and economic changes were done fast – to a greater or less successful degree.
This year it was Tuesday. A terrible heat wave had been affecting Warsaw for over a week. Temperatures were above 30 degrees and everybody was looking for some shade. Those who could, spent their afternoons in parks, and many people voluntarily stayed overtime in offices to enjoy the AC.
Defenders of Poland’s success story may sometimes hear that they focus too much on economic advances, prosperity, and GPD growth instead of thinking about the actual lives of “average people” and the “social costs” of Poland’s transformation.
During the transition towards liberal democracy and a market economy, some countries from the former Eastern Bloc managed to successfully mimic the model that had already been proven to be successful in the West – a multiparty democratic system, combined with mostly free market capitalism.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a distinct need for the achievements of liberalism. The parties that embraced the rights, freedoms, and the values of a market economy enjoyed more significant voter support, while the non-liberal parties viewed some liberalized basic values as self-evident.
These years are already forgotten: hardly any political activist or commentator of current economic and political affairs takes into account the enormous advance of the 2004-2007 members of the EU in terms of prosperity, way of life, and political and economic liberties.
We are pleased to present the tenth issue of 4liberty.eu Review, titled “(Not So) Smart Regulation”. With contributions covering Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Repubic, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia, Lithuania, and cross-national analyses, it offers a wide range of perspectives on regulation.
We trust that the tenth issue of 4libert.eu Review may act as both a reason for re-opening the discussion on what sets apart smart from fatuous regulation, and as an indicator of where the problems lie in the CEE region.
Most readers will probably no longer wish to live in the Middle Ages, following these few examples. Too strange and different, the worldview of that age seems to be compared to that of today. And we also know the consequences of the tight regulation of all possible aspects of life in these times.