Monthly Report No. 6/2023


Artem Kochnev, Bernhard Moshammer, Jan Muś and Waltraut Urban

wiiw Monthly Report No. 6, June 2023
52 pages including 27 Figures

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  • Chart of the Month: Estimated reconstruction needs in Ukraine
    by Artem Kochnev
  • Opinion Corner: EU enlargement reality check – integration rather than membership 
    by Jan Muś
    Despite the optimistic declarations by many EU leaders, the ambitions of Ukraine and Moldova regarding membership of the EU are likely to be put on ice indefinitely. This is strongly suggested by the case of the Western Balkans, where there has been far more integration (in terms of the economy and remittances) than actual institutional inclusion in EU structures. This often gives rise to the criticism that the EU’s policy on its eastern periphery reflects the expansionary process of a capitalist economy, rather than its much-vaunted democratic values. This may undermine its soft power in the regions concerned.
  • ‘China plus X’: how might it work?
    by Waltraut Urban
    With a share of around 20%, China is by far the largest source of imports to the EU. This raises concerns over one-sided dependence and potential vulnerabilities and has given rise to calls for diversification: the so-called ‘China plus X’ strategy. However, empirical studies show that only about 14% of Chinese imports can be considered to be of strategic importance. For some of those – such as rare earth minerals, active pharmaceutical ingredients, Li-ion batteries and solar products – the potential for diversification is particularly low. This calls for supportive government measures.
  • EU-Caucasus trade and political relations in the wake of the Ukraine war
    by Bernhard Moshammer
    Although, as the largest export destination and the second-biggest source of imports, the EU is a key trading partner for the Caucasus region, EU-Caucasian political relations continue to be dominated by issues that extend beyond the sphere of trade. The war in Ukraine has shifted the dynamics of power in the region, fostered the debate on Georgia’s potential EU membership and brought the EU into the role of mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – a consequence of Russia losing its leverage in the region, due to its own war in Ukraine.
  • Monthly and quarterly statistics for Central, East and Southeast Europe


Reference to wiiw databases: wiiw Annual Database, wiiw Monthly Database

Keywords: Russia-Ukraine war, reconstruction needs, EU enlargement, Common Foreign and Security Policy, economic integration, ‘China plus X’, critical dependence, import diversification, trade relations, European Neighbourhood Policy, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Countries covered: Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, EU, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Western Balkans

Research Areas: International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI, Regional Development