In this issue

Despite uncertainty over the future of the eurozone, there is a mood of optimism in the region

West meets east

A trader speaks on a mobile phone on the main trading floor of the Warsaw Stock Exchange in Warsaw, Poland

Central and eastern Europe have changed almost beyond recognition since the cold war. Today, it is another – very different – crisis that threatens the region, says Neil Buckley

Comment

John Lloyd
It is time to think of greater Europe
– John Lloyd
Edward Lucas
Perhaps the biggest changes of all are aesthetic and psychological
– Edward Lucas

Sovereign debt: eurozone crisis takes centre stage

The prospects for central and eastern Europe are intimately connected to the future of the single currency, says Tony Barber

Pedestrians pass the UniCredit SpA headquarters in Milan, Italy

Banking: walking away

Fears are growing that some western European banks are planning to exit central and eastern Europe for good, writes Patrick Jenkins

Audi Q7 sport-utility vehicles are carried by a lift from the assembly line to the test grounds at the Volkswagen AG factory in Bratislava, Slovakia

Automobiles: speeding ahead

Slovakia has worked hard to build a successful car industry – and is now reaping the rewards, writes John Reed

A partially sunken barge in the Danube River in Golubac, Serbia

Regeneration: difficult waters

The decline of the Serbian stretch of the Danube mirrors the neglect of the waterway as a whole. Yet efforts are under way to restore the river to its former glory. By Neil MacDonald

A coal freight train passes through the railway junction at Oswiecim in Poland

Investment: cash advance

Russian companies are keen to spend their wealth doing deals in central and eastern Europe, but not everyone welcomes them, writes Rachel Morarjee

Latvia: a new hope

The country emerged battered and bruised from the financial crisis, but has now returned to growth, writes Neil Buckley

Passengers board a Wizz Air airplane on the tarmac at Gerona International Airport in Gerona, Spain

Transport: budget boom

No-frills airlines such as Wizz Air have been vital in helping to transform a string of once-isolated cities in central and eastern Europe, writes Kester Eddy

Supermarket

Retail: food fight

Domestically owned grocers are going upmarket in an effort to outflank the dominant foreign retailers, writes Thomas Escritt

Politics: one step forward

Although anti-EU sentiment is rising in Serbia, closer integration with the rest of Europe is the only viable option, says Neil MacDonald

Foreword: Eastern promise

Central and eastern European countries have made huge strides over the two decades since the end of the cold war, writes Robert Orr