Transition and Growth in Post-Communist Countries
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Transition and Growth in Post-Communist Countries

The Ten-year Experience

Edited by Lucjan T. Orlowski

Transition and Growth in Post-Communist Countries documents the first ten years of economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe.
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Chapter 16: Reflections of political and academic leaders of economic transformation

Jacques de Larosiere, Vaclav Klaus, Leszek Balcerowicz, Daniel Daianu, Gramoz Pashko and Jeffrey D. Sachs

Extract

16. Reflections of political and academic leaders of economic transformation1 JACQUES DE LAROSIERE (PANEL CHAIRMAN) We have a very interesting and important session aimed at studying the politics of transition. Transition of course is not only a matter of economics. It is also, and perhaps principally, about building institutions, which are credible, impartial. The uniqueness of the transition process in the region is that it has been conducted hand in hand with democratization. It poses enormous challenges to the decision makers that neither countries like China, nor even the Western countries in their history, have ever encountered. Now, the human pains, the social strains and the multiple shocks that are inherent to the process of liberalization put these new democratic parliamentary systems under stress. We have an enormous privilege to have on the panel four people who are economists in their own right. They are all economists by profession and they have not only participated, but they have led, in an active and forceful way, to bring about the transition and democratization process. Many questions of course are on our minds. What are the policy dilemmas? Is it true that there is a dilemma between shock therapy and gradualism? What are the ways for nascent political parties to build their strategies? To build their own existence? To train themselves? How do the institutions work between parliaments and the executive branch? What is the interplay between labour unions and the government? All these are fundamental questions, which I am sure our...

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