Dec 6, 2011

Hungarian plan for national growth

I posted a list of cities from Central Europe with a population of more than a hundred thousand. In the back of my mind while compiling the list I was thinking of their Western European and well even North American counter parts and how several cities can work as metropolitan areas, which are more viable as centers of economic regions cooperating and sharing tasks in order to create functional globally important regions. Today in Central Europe there is a lack in this, truly we can state that Warsaw, Budapest, Prague, Katowice and probably one of the few real cooperations the Centrope region Vienna-Brünn-Bratislava-Győr work as a true globally important economic region.

Map of Western European industrial belt and its Central European counterpart.

Yesterday I read the new Hungarian propasal for national growth, which is more of an analysis than a true plan and despite many of its valuable thoughts carrying it is not so easy without detailed road maps leading to the goals defined in the plan by 2015. The most valuable part of the plan is the one with a detailed discription of the cities of Hungary putting them into a hierarchical order according to their economic and governmental status. The report or analysis (I must stress the fact that it is called a plan, but truly it can not be defined as one for it only sets out some vague goals and determines even more vaguely what there is to be done to achieve those goals) also contains maps and discriptions recording the geographical distribution of the top 200 businesses in Hungary, the top 200 developing businesses as well as geographical distribution by economic fileds.

Building on this in the plan there is also are very valuable part where it mentions and briefly describes the creation of an economic area in the Carpathian Basin. The main idea being that cross-border business hubs should be created and supported in order to boost the Hungarian economy and of course that of the whole region. Especially mentioned are:
- the Centrope: Vienna-Bratislava-Győr triangle, which I might add also should and naturally does contain Brno and is a true ractangle and probably the only already functional cross-border are with a strong auto industry.
- the Szeged-Timisoara region is also mentioned, which would and could also include Subotica (city in Serbia with almost 100.000 inhabitants barely didn't make my list) and Arad.  
- the Debrecen-Oradea region, the two cities being very close to each other on two sides of the Hungarian Romanian border.
- the Szombathely-Zalaegerszeg-Graz region, which can be also seen as a southern extension to the Centrope region since the most important here is also the auto industry and mechatronics.
- the Miskolc-Koisce region in Northern Hungary and Eastern Slovakia, respectively the two cities are very close together in fact part of Kosice's agglomeration has reached the Hungarian border. The two cities are traditional industrial centers in both countries.
- last, but not least the Pécs-Osijek region, which is the only region mentioned here where one of the poles of the region is not in the EU, but with Croatia joining the EU in 2013 new cooperation and better opportunities could arise here as well.

Map of possible cross-border hubs.

Dec 2, 2011


Merkozy is the new nickname given to Angela Merkel the Chancellor of the German Federal Republic and to Nicholas Sarkozy the President of the French Republic following the path of Brangelina and TomKat... It is of course a journalistic tool of cynically expressing that the duo formed by the leaders of the largest economies of the Eurozone are the ones dominating the talks on the euro crisis and who are practically dominating also the EU politics as a whole.

Of course everyone is waiting for the results of next weeks European Council meeting and looking forward to what solutions the two leaders will come up with. Today in a speech in the Bundestag Merkel shared some of her thoughts including an opposition to Eurobonds, the preferance of treaty modification over a new treaty within the Eurozone and that she believes the automatic mechanism of sanctioning states would be the best solution done by European institutions. She highlighted that it is important not to create a further gap between Eurozone and non-Euro EU Member States. Which is not only a good news for the UK, but also for states of the Euro Plus Pact and other states that may later wish to introduce the euro as a currency such as Hungary for example. She also addressed claims of a German dominated Europe saying that their actions are not to dominate, but in the spirit of Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl. She will discuss her plans with Sarkozy on Monday in Paris.  

Also today David Cameron talked about his meeting with Nicholas Sarkozy stating he doesn't believe a treaty change is needed and if it will go through he will try to make sure that UK interests are taken into account. Well I do not believe that if a new treaty is created within the Eurozone that the UK diplomacy can do much. It is of course a possibility if there is a treaty change for the UK to try to block it, but I think that the UK's approach to the talks so far were very distant due naturally to the fact that it has stayed away from the euro.