After joining the European Union, the Czech economy experienced rapid growth. Exports to EU countries soared from 25 billion euros to 188 billion euros in 2022. The growth rate of foreign direct investment increased fourfold after the Czech Republic joined the EU. GDP per capita rose by an impressive 46%. These figures speak clearly: being part of the European Single Market has become essentially vital for the Czech Republic.

In the Czech Republic, there has been a long-standing discussion about the possibility of taxing still wine. This issue is particularly relevant during times of economic crisis when the state is looking for ways to increase tax revenues. However, the introduction of new taxes should be based on a thorough analysis of impacts and should consider the insights and interests of all stakeholders involved to ensure that the tax is neither unnecessarily costly nor ineffective.

The Georgian government, ruled by an informal leader (recently branded a “Puppet Master” by the Financial Times), adopted the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence. The Georgian Dream party claims that the country is facing a threat from agents of foreign influence, particularly from a “Global War Party” that includes local non-government and international organizations (including the New Economic School, which was founded in 2001).

The twentieth anniversary of the entry of Poland and nine other countries into the European Union is a good time to remind ourselves of the benefits associated with this. In the Economic Freedom Foundation’s report, we focus on what is most important for the Polish and EU economies – the Single Market. More than thirty years since its creation, it can be considered a great achievement and the foundation of European economic development.

In 2035, the ban on combustion engines is set to become a reality at the EU level. From that point onwards, only pure gasoline or diesel vehicles should no longer be allowed to be sold. But what does this decision entail? To understand: The combustion engine ban pursued by Ursula von der Leyen does not entail a complete prohibition on driving conventional combustion engine vehicles starting in 2035.

The debt brake repeatedly sparks discussions and as the next budget negotiations in Germany draw nearer, voices calling for a relaxation of the rules on debt limitation grow louder. There were good reasons for its introduction, including the ever-increasing public debt burdens. The public debate in Germany is primarily conducted with unproven theses, assumptions, and assertions, as there has been no comprehensive study on the impact of the debt brake.

This year will undoubtedly be crucial for the future of democracy. As Professor Timothy D. Snyder, specializing in this area, says, it could be a year of either a breakdown and further prolonged recession of democracy worldwide or a breakthrough and the defense of these democracies. They will manage to confront the growing populism, disinformation, and tremendous pressure from authoritarian systems.