The presented case study provides a review of the rationales behind state ownership and the decisions to establish SOEs and delineates specific implications of these policies. Its main focus are SOEs in Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia.
The Respect for Taxpayers Day becomes an official commemorative day in Lithuania to be celebrated on May 11. A recently adopted law is a result of a petition submitted by the Lithuanian Free Market Institute.
In Poland, liberalism is not very popular. Liberalism is a project that is best descibed as distanced. Every attempt to bring it closer to the people is therefore as challenging as trying to get closer to the sun. Is it therefore possibe to present liberal ideas in such a way so that Poles might stop fearing it?
The 2008 financial crisis, geopolitical tensions, and other macro factors have slowed down SOE privatization. In some CEE countries, the trend has even reversed. Estonia nationalized its railways in 2007 and Lithuania bought out private investors in its energy companies.
Energy transformation, Germany’s plan to transform the energy industry into a greenhouse gas-neutral energy supply, is no longer solely a federal government project. Local authorities are beginning to push ahead with energy transition focused on decentralized municipal energy concepts.
The Hungarian state’s share in the economy is high – but mostly in line with other countries. What stands out among OECD countries is the number of companies owned partially or wholly by the state that attests to some degree of micromanagement.
In finance and development, Law and Justice has also set a controversial goal of boosting state control over the economy. One of the main obstacles for Poland’s development – based on the government’s Plan for Responsible Development – is a lack of balance between foreign and domestic capital.
In Serbia there is a plethora of possible government policy actions beyond the establishment and operation of SOEs. Having in mind the negative results stemming from the operation of SOEs, to alleviate this problem an approach other than appointing new management is necessary, as might be heard in public discourse.
The first 16 years of the post-1989 period in Slovakia can be described as an era of privatization. A majority of the state-owned economy was transformed into a market-oriented model, where state-owned enterprises (SOEs) remain the only key player in several sectors.
Milton Friedman once remarked that “you must separate out being pro-market from being pro-business”, and continued: “the two greatest enemies of the free enterprise system, in my opinion, have been on the one hand my fellow intellectuals, and on the other hand, the big businessmen – for opposite reasons”.