Central European economies have been growing strongly in recent years, but Germany, which is the main trading partner for most of Central Europe, is experiencing the first signs of recession. Now, both The Financial Times and The Economist both address growing concerns that the golden days for the Visegrad Four region in Central Europe could be coming to an end.
Fifteen years after joining the European Union, the Visegrad countries, which include Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, should be proud of what they have accomplished.
According to The Economist, V4 nations have managed to kick-start their economies and adapt them to the huge German market, which has also become an important investor.
While European subsidies have helped Central Europe grow its economy, millions of Poles and other V4 residents were the main drivers of growth. After 2004, many of them also left their countries to work in the richer countries of the European Union and regularly sent huge amounts of money back home.
However, what once worked for these Central European countries is becoming less and less effective.