Publication

English

Fiscal responses to the economic downturn in Eastern Europe in 2010-11

An economic downturn boosts demand for fiscal rebalancing. It can come either in the form of increased revenues or as spending cuts. Extra revenues can be generated in two major ways: 1) increasing traditional forms of taxes or 2) hitherto unknown, or unorthodox revenue raising, special taxes and levies. Latter was especially dominant in the case of Hungary.

Direction of change in the pension systems in Eastern Europe

Pension costs are a considerable expenditure of every government and are not sustainable in their present form. The crisis has brought it to attention ? but arguably not to the degree it would necessitate. Structural changes to the pension systems are thus rare and hard to come by. Most countries have started minor changes in the system, adjusted their pension ages, indexed the pension age to life expectancy or pension payments to pension contribution (defined contribution plans ?

Summary

International co-authorship is generally thought and often found to have positive effects on the citation rate of scientific publications. We study the effect quantitatively in the example of four major and two medium Hungarian universities. It was found that the positive effect of international cooperation on citation impact was not limited either to a small set of highly cited papers or a narrow range of highly influential countries, although both the highest cited papers and the "scientific superpowers" had emphatic significance in determining the incremental citation impact values. Although Hungarian institutions are recently mainly encouraged to cooperate with EU partners, the USA and even countries from the Far-East and the Pacific region proved to be successful cooperating partners, as well. The conclusions may be generalized to other countries of similar international status.

On the playgrounds of the God and the Devil

Regardless of attempts by protestant German and Catholic Polish bishops to reconcile, regardless of Brandt's kneeling in Warsaw, of Germany's support for Poland's membership of NATO and the EU, there is still no reconciliation, and no Europeanisation. Today, we are further from reconciliation than 20 years ago. And there is no Polish-Russian, German-Czech, Romanian-Hungarian or Slovak-Hungarian reconciliation either, let alone Serb-Croat or Serb-Albanian reconciliation. Endless rounds of new wounds.

Union subsidy ? state subsidy, commissioned by Financial Research Ltd

The most frequently mentioned element of Union accession, considered by many to be the most important, is the acquisition and distribution of community subsidies. The question is whether the subsidy Hungary receives from the European Union is essentially different from what until now we have called state aid. Will the subsidy received from the Union become a component of domestic redistribution? Initial and as yet incomplete experience suggests that it is a matter of a shift in proportions rather than a sharp turn. Although additional funds flowing into the economy are still slight, the Union subsidy and the co-financing commitment have not replaced the earlier redistribution, but have come along side it to some extent. Redistribution within the economy has therefore probably grown slightly following accession, despite the fact that enterprises only received one third of the structural funds directly, the rest being granted to non-profit organisations and to the state administration in control of distribution. The weight of decisions made by the single state apparatus has not changed, and may even have grown. The system of tenders has not become exclusive at all.

2006. (Éva Voszka)

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