1 INSTITUTE FOR WORLD ECONOMICS HUNGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT ON ACTIVITIES 2008 Budapest, 2009
2 INSTITUTE FOR WORLD ECONOMICS of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences REPORT ON ACTIVITIES 2008 Budapest, 2009 Institute for World Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences H-1014 Budapest, Országház u. 30. Hungary P.O.Box 936, H-1535 Budapest, Hungary ,
3 Contents 1. Outline of the Institute Objectives Structure Financing Research Priorities Library and Scientific Information Service Publication and Dissemination Policies International Contacts Principal Research Projects in Global Issues EU Issues The CEECs and Hungary Selected Topics Major Research Projects Prepared for Hungarian Policy Makers Major Projects in Preparation Financed by Hungarian Research Funds Coordination of and Participation in International Projects Publications IWE Publications in Working Papers Kihívások ( Challenges in Hungarian) Műhelytanulmányok ( Workshop Studies in Hungarian) Vélemények, Kommentárok, Információk ( Opinions, Comments, Information in Hungarian) Joint Publications Occasional Publications Publications by IWE Staff Members in 2008 (titles in the language of publications) Lectures Delivered Abroad or at International Conferences Held in Hungary (italicized titles in the language of the lecture) International Conferences Organized by IWE in Foreign Guests at IWE in Appendix... 66
5 Outline of the Institute 5 1. OUTLINE OF THE INSTITUTE 1.1. Objectives The Institute for World Economics (IWE), as part of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, carries out research and formulates policy recommendations on an objective, non-partisan basis, since its establishment in 1973 on the institutional background of the former Afro-Asian Research Centre founded in 1965, three years before the first wave of economic reform in Hungary. The Institute has become one of the major policy-oriented international research institutes and economic policy think tanks in Central Europe. Its main task is to study the underlying trends and factors behind global and regional economic developments and their present and future impact on the Hungarian economy. In addition, it sets out to contribute to international research through cooperation with top research institutes throughout the world. Because of its location, history and human and material resources, the IWE is particularly well placed to be a leading centre for research on the integration of Central and Eastern Europe into the global market economy. The change of political system in Hungary, the transition to a market economy as well as the coming enlargement of the European Union and new global challenges have greatly enhanced the importance of world economic research and altered the emphasis of it. The IWE sets out to give strategic support during this historic change of course: by drawing on the Institute's long experience and extensive and effective system of international connections to build up a reformulated programme of research, and by using the techniques of comparative economic analysis and interdisciplinary investigations. The Institute's research philosophy is based on the conviction that the transition to a market economy and the accession to the European Union are not an end in themselves but a means of shifting the Hungarian economy from the periphery towards the mainstream of global economic development. Central to this is the need to modernize, in view of Hungary's modest level of economic development by comparison with Western Europe. International comparisons of the path taken to modernization and the blind alleys to be avoided are being made, in order to identify the key areas in which the Hungarian economy has to catch up and the requirements and means for doing so. Moreover the transition to a market economy is taking place in an international, and particularly a European economic environment of unprecedented upheavals and a system of relations in the process of restructuring. Whereas, on the global scale, some of the other attempts to modernize in the more recent past took place within a stable, predictable system of international relations, the forecast in Hungary's case is that the international economic environment will be uncertain, or at least multidimensional. This country has to build up a system of economic relations that takes account of its comparative advantages against a background of a moving Europe itself undergoing adjustment. The criteria for choosing the IWE's research areas have been the medium-term demands of decisive importance in terms of the processes taking place in the world economy and the adjustment that Hungary must take, coupled with the comparative advantages offered by the Insti-
6 6 Outline of the Institute tute itself. This is a pioneer undertaking for the future: instead of resting on short-term, ad hoc requirements, it is built on a long-term strategic demand that must be created in part by the Institute itself with the demand-oriented nature of its researches. This we see as the way to ensure that the IWE is a professionally respected, authoritative, influential, opinion-shaping institute. These objectives can be served by the Institute's present research staff as a whole. After the appreciable staff losses of the early nineties, the internationally reputed, competitive and highly experienced research team has been replenished with ambitious and productive young researchers. The funds, however limited, granted by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences guarantee the political independence, so providing one of the fundamental external conditions for scientific activity of a high standard. * In 2006, basic conditions for substantive research at IWE were able to rely on a consolidated financial background due in part to increasing cooperation with different government institutions. * IWE, in cooperation with other research institutes (largely belonging to the Academy of Sciences), undertook a coordinative function in developing a medium-term strategy of research priorities on European integration. * Cooperation with leading international and Western European economic institutions was further strengthened. * Demand for IWE's research output by leading Hungarian banks, companies and multinational firms located in Hungary grew substantially. * A special system of fellowships managed by the Academy of Sciences provided an opportunity to employ some young researchers and cover selected basic areas of research. * Interdisciplinary research network has strengthened as the Social Sciences Research Centre came into being in the framework of the consolidation programme of the Academy of Sciences. In the Centre IWE and several other legally and financially independent institutes cooperate concerning political, social, legal, and economic issues Structure The IWE had a research staff of 33 at the end of 2008, and an auxiliary, service staff of 17. As of January 1996, the executive structure was changed. Based on the experience of previous years and the accomplishment of the substantially enhanced research tasks recently, IWE has eliminated the traditional structure based on research centres. In fact, organization of the research activities has never been carried out in a rigid system. In contrast to many institutes, IWE has always stressed the importance of cross-working, and provided opportunity for its staff to become acquainted with research activities of other centres within the Institute. To a substantial extent, growing domestic and international competitiveness of the research staff can be explained by this flexibility. From the beginning of 1996, IWE's internal structure is based on teams organized for special topics and purposes. As a result a research network was created, in which practically each staff member is both the director of one or more research teams and member of other teams, simultaneously. This approach is expected to make research even more efficient, to use available capacities better and deal with priority tasks from different angles. A Research Council created in 1996 and consisting of 10 staff members, including talented young researchers, directs and supervises research activities. In selected areas of ensuring the infrastructure of efficient research, three commissions, each of which consists of three staff members, have been acting (acquisition of books, journals and documents, computerisation, publishing activities). Since early summer 1999 a managing director has also been acting who is responsible for internal and external contacts, communications and public relations.
7 Structure of the Institute for World Economics Mihály Simai Research Professor Treasur Head: E. General András Inotai Scientific Information Servic Head: A. Kovács Directoria Secretariat Managing Director Éva Nagy Library Commission Computer Commission Publications' Commission Financial Grou Maintenanc Servic Librar Sectio Section Internationa Exchange Section Documentation Section of Publication Head: Gábor Fóti Section of International Cooperation and Marketing Head: Anikó Gyorgyovich Secretariat Head: Andrea Vincze Japan, East and Southeast Asia Research Centre Head: András Hernádi Staff Members Printing Various Research Teams Headed by Staff Mem-
9 Outline of the Institute 7 In order to appropriately cope with growing research commitments, to ensure the education and training of young researchers and to use financial resources more efficiently, a special external research work has been extended, as part of the long-term and deliberate strategy of IWE Financing The tasks laid down in its deed of foundation and the new demands made by the changes taking place in the world economic environment make it essential for the dominance of direct state funding in the Institute's finances to remain. This conclusion is also supported by the widespread international practice of financing institutions that conduct strategic research out of central funds as a way of ensuring a high standard of activity. While strategic research institutes are generally financed in 60 to 70% of their annual budget from central funds throughout the world, contrary tendencies prevailed in IWE's financial situation until 2002, as central funds were limited to basic salaries and their non-wage labour costs. In 2008, however, IWE's total income amounted to HUF 364 mn (about USD 1.7 mn), of which slightly less than 65 per cent was provided by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Hungarian research funds. Other major items of income included various domestic sources (18 per cent), participation in international cooperation (2 per cent) and an overhang from fiscal year 2007 (15 per cent). Total expenditure reached HUF 334 mn (about USD 1.6 mn), of which wages, income taxes and social security contributions accounted for almost 70 per cent. Additional major items of expenditure were other research supporting expenses (27 per cent) and communal services and maintenance (3 per cent). The stable and relatively favourable financial situation is the result of the high professional level of the Institute, the attractiveness and practical usefulness of its research results as well as the successful search for new resources. As a rare exception among other academic research institutes, IWE possesses a solid financial background for 2008, which enables it to carry out strategic policy-oriented research and cement longer-term development concepts during the coming years Research Priorities Research activities were characterised by 15 major projects during last year. Contrary to the ruling tendency of the 90s, there was a clear shift from shorter-term to longer-term research in the new decade, though it remained highly policy-oriented still. Seven principal research projects were finished during the year (out of which none had a duration of less than a year), and three projects were initiated in Four research projects started earlier and spread beyond Research is fundamentally carried out on two basic levels: regional (geographic) and functional. Almost all research projects combine these two approaches, while staff members have to specialise themselves on one regional and at least on one functional topic. Priority areas of research in recent years: (a) Global economic development and transformation the universal issue of economic security; interrelationship of knowledge, growth and globalization; science and technology as a growth factor in smaller economies; sustainable development amid a system of terms under intensive world-market impacts;
10 8 Outline of the Institute fundamental medium-term changes in the world economy and their impact on Hungary; interactions and human dimensions of global demographic, political, economic, technical and social transformation; globalization and regionalization, with special reference to international capital and labour markets; relevant features and development trends of the new regionalism; role of the transnational companies in the shaping of a new global economic system; current issues of international trade and the role of WTO; interrelation between globalization and economic transformation; basic trends of consumption globally and in Central and Eastern Europe. (b) Economic developments in Europe, with special attention paid to the European Union and Eastern enlargement the development paths and modernization of selected European countries; relationship between community policies and different national policies; key integration processes in the European Union (common agricultural policy, economic and monetary union, experience of the Union's periphery with catching up, institutional reform, experience of ex-efta countries in the European Union, regional development, budgetary issues, developments in major EU member countries); main features of developmental integration and Eastern enlargement; interdependence between European integration and subregional cooperation; the major features of Germany's European policy at the beginning of the 21 st century. (c) Economic transformation in Central and Eastern Europe comparative analysis of the CEFTA countries; transformation and external trade relations, including the changing pattern of East West division of labour; impact of foreign direct investment on the macro- and microeconomic performance of transforming countries; chances of regional cooperation; economic and political development in Southeast Europe; the accession of Hungarian agriculture and rural regions to the EU; Hungarian foreign trade structures in comparison with those of the EU; the structural transformation of Hungarian manufacturing industry. (d) New economic developments in the Asia-Pacific Region the lessons drawn from the Far Eastern economic development; Japan's decade-long stagnation or transformation rather than crisis; transformation patterns in China and Southeast Asia; the Chinese Diaspora and the chances of a Chinese Common Market ; constant and changing elements in the Japanese model of development; prospects of Korean Hungarian economic relations. (e) Other key research areas human development in Hungary; impact of socio-economic values on the pattern of development; possible scenarios of economic and social development in Latin America; micro-level adjustment and cooperation; the role of infrastructure and services in the modernization process;
11 Outline of the Institute 9 the role of clusters in regional development policy; the measuring of the efficiency impacts of foreign direct investment; sectoral studies Library and Scientific Information Service The IWE's library is a specialised scientific library with national scope. It contains one of Hungary's most important and most up-to-date collections of books, periodicals and statistics on international economic affairs. Since 2000 the library constitutes part of the United Library for Social Sciences together with the libraries of the Institute for Political Sciences, the Institute for Sociology, and the Institute for Minority Research. Through consistent and constant expansion of the IWE's international relations, about 70% of the books and periodicals, including most of the foreign books, have been acquired on exchange base. This is already the case with some publications of the World Bank, the IMF, the OECD and the EU. In addition, almost three-quarters of the annual increase in value of the stock is accounted for publications that arrive under exchanges schemes or as gifts. This remarkably high proportion by national standards ties in with the Institute's own publishing activity. The task of the Scientific Information Service is to obtain the information required for research work, examine it comprehensively, store it, make it available, and distribute the Institute's publications through the conduct of international publication exchanges. The enlarged library s stock contains more than 250,000 items (including 35,000 archives and almost six hundred kinds of periodicals). Also, the establishment of a CD ROM databank was started and will be further developed in accordance with the financial possibilities of IWE. Last year the Institute was successful in creating the availability of publication distribution via among all its exchange partners who apply for it. (This may result in substantial savings of postage.) The library's cumulative catalogue can also be searched by the aid of Internet: On the WIIW's (Wiener Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche The Vienna Institute for Comparative Economic Studies) request IWE has joined the WIIW's "Countdown" project and become its Hungarian coordinator. The project aims at collecting in a joint database the names of Central and East European experts working on the European Union, by indicating their activities and the particulars of published as well as unpublished works on the Union prepared in the Central and East European region, mainly in Hungary and available in the library of the Institute. For information about the library please contact our information service, telephone: (36-1) Publication and Dissemination Policies In 2008, the publication policy of the IWE followed in the framework of substantial changes introduced in the early 90s. This publication policy was justified by IWE's growing reputation at home and abroad, its scientific and economy-policy objectives, and not least its aim of influencing public opinion. Six independent books explain the sharp decline in the number of studies appearing in the series of the Institute.
12 10 Outline of the Institute Last year the series Working Papers, Kihívások (Challenges), and Műhelytanulmányok (Workshop Studies) appeared with 8, 3 and 6 issues, respectively. The Working Papers series in English presents the best and internationally competitive products of research by IWE staff, primarily to the professional public abroad. Kihívások, in Hungarian, is designed to inform Hungarian economic policy-makers, members of Parliament, political parties and the broader professional public about current worldeconomic issues, their impact on Hungary and the economic policy measures proposed to be taken. Most of the articles provide clear, readable summaries of significant research work undertaken in the Institute. Műhelytanulmányok, also in Hungarian, presents comprehensive and in-depth analyses, mostly summary reports of major research projects carried out or coordinated by IWE staff members, for the professional community and students of economics in Hungary. Vélemények, Kommentárok, Információk (Opinions, Comments, Information) is a concise series launched late 200l in Hungarian, and meant for the professional public as well as a wider circle interested in domestic and global issues of the day. Eighteen of these short notices appeared in Our Newsletter (Hírfutár), available only in Hungarian so far, is designed to inform the professional public about the ongoing activities at IWE. The Institute s restructured, new homepage on the Internet offers the possibility of interactive communication in addition to the regularly updated information about IWE (www.vki.hu). The publication activities were complemented by occasional volumes reproducing the proceedings of high-level international conferences or comprehending the findings of major international projects run by the Institute. Last year, as underlined before, six such independent books appeared. In 2008, staff members published 46 contributions in foreign languages, including two books and 30 papers contained in books. Fifteen contributions appeared in international journals. In order to disseminate IWE's research findings to a broad interested public as well, the Institute regularly organises open conferences on relevant and topical global and European issues. Teaching represents an increasingly important activity of most staff members. Based on the basic research results and the fundamentally policy-oriented approach of IWE, we experience a rapidly growing need for dissemination on various levels. Staff members teach regularly in universities both in Hungary (Budapest and several universities in major towns) and abroad, while its director general is a visiting professor to the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium and Natolin, Poland International Contacts The IWE's international relations have traditionally been very extensive, active and useful. In recent years, the Institute has taken part on average in ten to fifteen international research programmes a year, and organized about ten bilateral and international conferences annually. There is close cooperation with some 30 research institutes, scientific institutions and universities. Staff members travel abroad frequently, and the Institute receives visiting foreign researchers in considerable numbers. In the same year, IWE was a member of five reputed international scientific bodies (the EADI, the ECSA, the IFIAS, the UNU, and the Centre for Our Common Future). Close collaboration has been built up with the most influential international agencies (the IMF, the World Bank, OECD, WTO, Unctad, Unesco, UNDP, Unido, Uncitral, ELEC, CIPE, ECE, etc.). Similarly to recent years, in 2008 we were coordinators of and participants in several international projects. IWE has built up a special relationship with various
13 Outline of the Institute 11 EU organisations and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in launching new projects, and assumes a leading coordinating role both in research and dissemination of the findings. In 2008, staff members delivered lectures in foreign languages about ninety in different parts of the world and at international seminars held in Hungary. Eight international conferences were organized in the past year. In addition, IWE's international network includes longer-term stays of its researchers abroad, work contracts of its staff in leading foreign institutes and international institutions. The Institute's medium-term research concept envisages further significant development of its international relations with some alterations in their nature. The initiative hitherto was usually taken by the IWE, but the change of political and economic system has greatly increased the number of foreign research institutes and international organizations proposing cooperation to the IWE. In line with the main directions of Hungary's economic relations, IWE aims particularly to expand its relations with European countries, including the EU and CEFTA, the United States, Japan and the East and Southeast Asian area. The Institute has already become the centre in Central and Eastern Europe for studies of Japan and Southeast Asia, and a regular informal platform for Latin American ambassadors on Hungarian, European and Latin American issues. Extra attention is given to developing scientific ties with neighbouring countries, particularly through joint research projects, and by inviting economists from these countries in order to promote mutual understanding and the flow of information, while also reinforcing IWE's relations with leading international and Western institutions.
14 12 Principal Research Projects in Principal Research Projects in Global Issues Middle-term Projection of Global Economic Environment Project director: Péter Farkas Participants: Annamária Artner, Péter Farkas, András Inotai, Judit Kiss, István Kőrösi, Andrea Szalavetz, Miklós Szanyi Duration: Summary: Studies were prepared in the following topics: (i) the changes in power relations of world politics and world economy up to 2020; (ii) the prognosis of the development of the world economy; (iii) the expected capital flow and the potential factors of international competitiveness; (iv) the role of company strategies; (v) the upgrading of human capital; (vi) the directions of technological development; (vii) the agriculture of the world. The main point of the conclusion concerning Hungarian foreign strategy is that the interests of economy and diplomacy has to be coordinated; a long-term and global strategic approach is needed. Besides European relations the processes of world economy and the changes of power relations are crucial Middle-term Forecast of Extraeconomic Elements of Global Environment Project director: Péter Farkas Participants: Zoltán Ádám (ext.), Péter Farkas, Tamás Fleisher, Klára Fóti, Judit Kiss, Mihály Simai, Tamás Szigetvári Duration: Summary: Topics involved in the research: (i) the population of the world, migration and manpower market; (ii) the costs of environment protection; (iii) the changing economic role of the state; (iv) the advance of development economics ; (v) the institutional structure of global economy; (vi) the economic and social models of successful closing up. According to the findings human and environmental elements are becoming increasingly important in competitiveness. The role of the state is changing, but do not decline in successful models.
15 Principal Research Projects in Challenges of International Development Cooperation and Opportunities for Hungary Project director: Judit Kiss Participants: Péter Farkas, Erika Fodor (ext.), Viktor Kutas (ext.), Tamás Novák, Beáta Paragi (ext.), Balázs Szent-Iványi (ext.), Gábor Túry, Sára Vári (ext.) Duration: Summary: The main goal of the project is to outline Hungarian development cooperation strategy with due regard to the expectations of the donor community, the recipients, the NGOs, the Hungarian taxpayers and business circles. In the first part of the research the major tendencies in the field of international development co-operation policy are going to be revealed with special attention to the strategy and practice of the bilateral donors (DAC countries, EU, European Development Fund) and multilateral agencies. Apart from the interest of the donor community, the expectations of the recipients are also going to be studied with special reference to the Millennium Development Goals and poverty reduction. In the second phase of the research the Hungarian development cooperation policy will be examined with special focus on project implementation, aid effectiveness and cost efficiency. Finally, recommendations will be given for outlining Hungarian development co-operation strategy. The research results will be discussed at a conference and published in a textbook-type publication. Recommendations will also be formulated for the Hungarian EU presidency due in 2011.
16 14 Principal Research Projects in EU Issues EU27 Watch Project directors: Barbara Lippert (ext.), Krisztina Vida Hungarian participant: Krisztina Vida Duration: Summary: Continuous The EU27 Watch is a regularly (biannually) appearing comparative summary and analysis of national positions of the EU member states on topical issues. The issues are defined by the project director and sent out in the form of an extensive questionnaire. The outcome of the research is published every semester in electronic form. The aim of these publications is not only to present for the decision-makers, researchers and the wider public the member states' positions but also to display the underlying motivations and special interests of the countries forming the European Union. The EU27 Watch is financed by the CONSENT project of the European Union's 6 th Framework Programme Russia and the Enlarged European Union Project director: Zsuzsa Ludvig Duration: Summary: Continuous The project aims at analysing EU Russian relations from a multidisciplinary view with special emphasis on economic aspects. Both general historical trends and some most important thematic issues (such as the common economic space, the energy dialogue and the impacts of the enlargement) have been studied through the analysis of official documents and statistics on mutual investment, trade and energy dependence.
17 Principal Research Projects in NEWGOV New Modes of Governance in the European Union Project directors: Kálmán Dezséri, Krisztina Vida Participants: Annamária Artner, Kálmán Dezséri, Anna Wisniewski Duration: Summary: The NEWGOV multiannual interdisciplinary project is financed by the EU's 6 th Framework Programme/Priority 7, under the heading of Citizens and Governance in the Knowledge-based Society. The aim of the project is to identify new or alternative modes of EU governance as opposed to the old or traditional modes (whereby upon Commission proposal the Council and the European Parliament decide on legally binding EU rules). New modes of governance are represented, for example, by a strong involvement of subnational (regional, local) or civil actors at the input side and nonbinding (voluntary) agreements or guidelines at the output side. The task of the Hungarian team was to find evidence and identify the potential new modes of governance under structural and cohesion policy at the level of both the EU and selected new member states (namely the Baltic States and the Visegrád countries). The papers had to detect the three E-s : the Emergence, Evolution and Evaluation of the phenomenon of new modes of governance and attempted to draw theoretical conclusions leading to a new approach in understanding European governance. The main conclusion of the findings is that new modes of governance under cohesion policy become overwhelmingly important when the EU as well as the beneficiary parties are searching for increased efficiency and subsidiarity. At the same time, the identified new modes of governance at both EU and member-states level only complement and do not substitute for the traditional or old modes of European governance International Experiences of the Use of EU Financial Support Project director: Tamás Szemlér Participant: Klára Fóti, Sándor Meisel, Tamás Novák, András Székely-Doby, Tamás Szigetvári, Judit Szilágyi, Gábor Túry, Krisztina Vida, Anna Wisniewski Duration: Summary: The research tackles experiences in six areas: 1. the effect of support on investments; 2. the effects of support on employment; the measurement of employment effects; 3. the effects of support on the competitiveness of the SMEs; 4. changes of conditionality of the use of Structural Funds support reasons and effects; 5. changes (aiming at enhancing efficiency) in the evaluation and selection in the tendering process; 6. how to strengthen the spill-over effects of support economic policy experiences.
18 16 Principal Research Projects in The EU Budget Overview: A Survey of the Member-state Positions Project director: Tamás Szemlér Participants: Andrea Éltető, Miklós Somai, Tamás Szemlér, Gábor Túry, Anna Wisniewski Duration: Summary: The project aims to survey likely member-state positions on the EU budget overview. It includes a survey seeking answers to a number of questions that will most probably appear in the EU budget debate. The survey is based on previous proposals that have surfaced from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the respective Member States; and the timetable and proposal that was published by the European Commission in September The volume published by SIEPS with the title The EU Budget Review: Mapping the Positions of Member States summarising the results of the project was presented to the international public in Brussels, Budapest, Sofia and Stockholm; it also served as a contribution to the consultation process on the EU budget review launched by the European Commission.
19 Principal Research Projects in The CEECs and Hungary Monitoring Report on the Performance of the New Member States in the European Union Project director: Krisztina Vida Participants: Duration: Summary: András Bakács (ext.), Gábor Lakatos (ext.), Sándor Meisel, Judit Szilágyi, Gábor Túry, Csaba Weiner, Anna Wisniewski Continuous The aim of the project is to compare along a set of political, legal, economic and social aspects the performance of the ten new Central and Eastern European Member States in European integration. The country analyses are followed by a comparative summary (in Hungarian and English), a series of data used in the paper and finally by tables containing the strengths and the weaknesses of the examined countries. As time passes by, the most characteristic trends in these countries can well be detected regarding their performance as an EU member state. As regards Hungary, its performance has shown a deteriorating trend since accession concerning the majority of aspects analysed.
20 18 Principal Research Projects in Hungary's CIS Strategy with Special Regard to Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan Project director: Zsuzsa Ludvig Participants: Zoltán Sz. Bíró (ext.), Boris Kheyfest (ext.), András György Deák (ext.), Andrea Éltető, Attila Hugyecz, Szilvia Kiss (ext.), Miklós Losoncz (ext.), Sándor Meisel, Tamás Novák, András Rácz (ext.), Mihály Simai, Miklós Somai, Svetlana Glinkina (ext.), István Szabó (ext.), Tamás Szemlér, Tamás Szigetvári, Krisztina Tarjányi, Valery Heyets (ext.), Volodymyr Sidenko (ext.), Csaba Weiner, Anna Wisniewski, Duration: Summary: The main goal of the project is to develop and update knowledge about the post-soviet area by launching new research schemes following up by publishing the results. During the first two years of the project special emphasis has been given to the complex issue of post-soviet integration and disintegration processes in the CIS space, and to the most important foreign realtions of Russia (and partly of Ukraine), such as the relations with the EU, the US and China. The ultimate goal of the project is to establish a kind of virtual CIS centre that can gather all professional Hungarian knowledge on the CIS region from the state, business and academic sectors. The project launched its own homepage and series of Newsletter. The Institute for Sociology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences participates as copartner in this strategic research project. IWE s Russian and Ukrainian partner institutes are also involved in these research activities.