Kjell M. Torbiörn
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Challenges in waiting

While the Russian economy began to slide in the early 1990s under its new leader, Boris Yeltsin, as a result of an uncertain mix of change and standstill, economic reform in Central European transition countries started to bear fruit in the form of higher growth and adaptation to world markets. The European Union (EU)'s Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) collapsed in 1993 but was revived in a more flexible form, permitting plans for Economic and Monetary Union to proceed. The conclusion of the Uruguay Round and the establishment in 1995 of the World Trade Organisation meant a major push for Europe towards globalisation and its being exposed to greater competition from emerging non-European economies. Other institutions, such as the Council of Europe, began to form – with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the EU, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe – a rather complicated European ‘security architecture’. All these organisations were faced with immediate challenges, such as successive wars in the former Yugoslavia and in the southern Russian province of Chechnya.

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Destination Europe

The political and economic growth of a continent


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