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Webinar | Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic: policy responses across FREE Network countries

How are countries around the Baltic sea, in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus faring in the COVID-19 crisis? In order to give a preliminary answer to this question, the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) in collaboration with the FREE Network is delighted to invite you to a webinar to share insights and knowledge about how Eastern European countries have experienced the COVID-19 crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone around the globe and leaves none of us untouched. However, much of the focus in international media has been on the most affected countries and richer countries in East Asia, the European Union and the United States with less attention given to countries around the Baltic sea, in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Since the FREE Network includes research and policy institutes in Belarus (BEROC), Latvia (BICEPS), Russia (CEFIR@NES), Poland (CenEA), Georgia (ISET), Ukraine (KSE) and Sweden (SITE) we are uniquely placed to provide a comprehensive regional perspective on the pandemic with examples of very different strategies implemented in the countries concerned.

Many of the countries in Eastern Europe and the Baltic region differ from Western Europe in in terms of successfully limiting infections and deaths resulting from the pandemic so far. At the same time the situation in Russia has worsened rapidly over the last few weeks, despite a lock down having been imposed. The fatality rate and the number of infections have also been high in Sweden, where, in contrast to other Baltic countries, only relatively lenient restrictions have been imposed on its population. In the same vein, the Belarussian government has taken few, mild measures in response to the pandemic, but the mortality rate seems to have remained rather low.

This webinar will provide a first overview of how countries in the region have fared in the pandemic and allow for a better understanding of what governments have done; how people have responded; how other countries are being portrayed in the national media; and what the current discussions focus on.

The webinar opens a series of online discussions aiming to provide a regional overview updates as well as in-depth analysis of specific topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow-up webinars will focus on such topics as regional differentiation within countries; effects on the environment; the gender dimension of the pandemic; and the analytical aspects of COVID-19 statistics.


Jesper Roine, Professor at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE/ Sweden)

Sergejs Gubinsesearch Fellow at the Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS/ Latvia)

Natalia VolchkovaDirector of the Centre for Economic and Financial Research at New Economic School (CEFIR@NES/ Russia)

Yaroslava V. Babych, Lead Economist at ISET Policy Institute (ISET / Georgia)

Tymofiy MylovanovPresident at the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE/ Ukraine)

Lev Lvovskiy, Senior Research Fellow at the Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC/ Belarus)

Michal Myck, Director of the Centre for Economic Analysis (CenEA/ Poland)


Torbjörn Becker, Director of the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE)

How to register

Please register HERE or in the Eventbrite webpage or app. Once you have registered, we will send an email between 2020-05-26 and 2020-05-27 as a final confirmation check. Make sure to verify that you will attend the webinar once you have received our confirmation email.

Please note that the number of participants for this webinar is limited, therefore we kindly ask you to only register if you know that you will be able to attend.

SITE Transition economies Gender Inequality COVID-19 Finance Leadership Politics Economics Webinar Conference

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