Katarzyna Rzentarzewska: Tackling recent challenges in CEE region

22 May, 2023

In the most recent episode of Talking Economics, we discuss CEE region’s economic performance with Katarzyna Rzentarzewska, our alumna and Chief CEE Macro Analyst at Erste Group, Vienna.

Central and Eastern European regions have undergone significant socioeconomic transformation; following the fall of communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and European Union’s accession in recent years. What are the main challenges for the regions’ economies now?  We discuss CEE region’s economic performance with Katarzyna Rzentarzewska in our most recent episode of Talking Economics.

What can we say about CEE region? “Despite the fact that we look at all these countries as one region, the countries within the region remain very heterogeneous. While they commonly deepen their integration into the European Union, the pace of integration is very much different,  Katarzyna explains.

According to Katarzyna, CEE’s key challenges include flow of migrants or further integration, and euro adoption. She discusses how the region coped with the impact of the pandemic and then the war in Ukraine, and underlines quite high levels of resilience. Independent monetary policy paved a prompt reaction to surging inflation but at the cost of much higher interest rates compared to the Eurozone. 

“Given our proximity to Ukraine, the war has impacted our region differently than in western countries. The flow of migrants is something that particularly touches our region and the economies in the region, bringing both benefits and challenges. There were also worries that we will see recession or major slowdown in the region. These worries have not materialized. On the other hand, the CEE region has been impacted at a much greater extent than western economies, especially if we look at food inflation.”


Katarzyna Rzentarzewska is a CERGE-EI alumna and Chief CEE Macro Analyst at Erste Group, Vienna. At Erste Group's research team, she analyzes and comments on macroeconomic developments in CEE with a focus on regional views and cross-country analyses.

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