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How will climate change and the need for energy transformation affect environmental policy in Eastern Europe?

10 January 2022
The need for urgent climate action and energy transformation away from fossil fuels is widely acknowledged. Yet, current country plans for emission reductions do not reach the requirements to contain global warming under 2°C. What is worse, there is even reasonable doubt about the commitment to said plans given recent history and existing future investment plans into fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure development. This policy brief shortly summarizes the presentations and discussions at the SITE Development Day Conference, held on December 8, 2021, focusing on climate change policies and the challenge of a green energy transition in Eastern Europe.

From Russia with love?

22 December 2021
Policy brief: Some recently discovered money laundering schemes have funnelled large amounts of illegal money from former soviet states through European banks. This note briefly describes the evolution of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime for financial institutions, the introduction of which was concurrent with the post-soviet transition and the connected illegal flows of funds. It discusses the effectiveness of the current AML regime – and its ability to detect and seize illegal funds. The brief also highlights some of its deficiencies as well as lack of compliance with its prescriptions. It proceeds to stress that after judging the current framework insufficient, the US recently introduced whistleblower rewards for AML-infringements. Europe might want to follow their lead if it really aims at limiting money laundering.

New insights concerning the 1970 nobel prize in literature to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

15 November 2021
Policy brief: The recently declassified proceedings of the Swedish Academy shed new light on why it awarded Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn the literature prize in 1970. His novels reflected unique experiences of many prisoners. The Academy characterized his work as a renewal of the great Russian literary tradition. However...

The COVID-19 pandemic effects on our well-being

20 September 2021
Policy brief: This brief summarizes the insights shared in the online workshop “Dimensions of Well-being“, where participants presented and discussed their latest research relating to the dimensions of well-being. The two-day workshop was organized by the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) as part of the Forum for Research on Gender Economics (FROGEE) and took place on 28-29 June, 2021.

IMF’s new SDR allocation—Why Belarus is “Getting money from the fund”

09 September 2021
Policy brief: Why is the IMF sending $1bn to Belarus as the country is falling deeper into repression and authoritarianism? The answer might not be what you expect.

Green concerns and salience of environmental issues in Eastern Europe

31 August 2021
Policy brief: Changes in individual behavior are an essential component of the planet’s effort to reduce carbon emissions. But such changes would not be possible without individuals acknowledging the threat of anthropogenic climate change. This brief discusses the climate change risk perceptions across Europe.

Vaccination progress and the opening up of economies

11 August 2021
Policy brief: In this brief, we report on the FREE network webinar on the state of vaccinations and the challenges ahead for opening up economies while containing the pandemic, held on June 22, 2021.

Difficult times ahead for the Belarus economy

28 May 2021
Policy brief: The Belarus economy was already struggling to generate growth before both the corona pandemic and the political protests following the August presidential election. The lack of growth was the result of an incomplete transition process to modernize the economy combined with a strong reliance on the Russian economy and its dependence on international commodity prices that have not paid off in recent years. With the added political turmoil and, so far, lack of a new political and economic strategy, the economic outlook for Belarus looks grim. Even if a full-blown crisis may be avoided by restrictive economic policies, stagnation will nevertheless be the most likely outcome without fundamental reforms.

The southern Urals as a touchstone for Soviet wartime performance

27 May 2021
Policy brief: As time passes and archives open, ever more topics in Russian military-economic history can be studied with primary sources. One such theme is the colossal evacuation of industrial enterprises and equipment from July 1941 onwards. Thousands of railway cars and lorries carried equipment, raw materials, as well as personnel from Ukraine, the Baltics, and western regions of the Russian Federation to the Urals and beyond.

Carbon tax regressivity and income inequality

17 May 2021
Policy brief: A common presumption in economics is that a carbon tax is regressive – that the tax disproportionately burdens low-income households. However, this presumption originates from early research on carbon taxes that used US data, and little is known about the factors that determine the level of regressivity of carbon taxation across countries.
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