Bulgaria the worst place to be a journalist across the EU and the Balkans, says Reporters Without Borders, but decline in press freedom seen across many countries in the region.
At the latest 16+1 summit Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed the importance of reciprocal opening-up of the market, and says China will make further efforts to facilitate trade.
Bulgaria already facing skills shortages as its working age population continued its decline, shrinking by 48,000 in 2018, and the trend is forecast to persist for the rest of the century.
Top government officials revealed to have bought luxury Sofia apartments at well below market price. The head of Bulgaria's anti-corruption body, who is supposed to be investigating the accusations, is the latest to be implicated.
Once robust expansion is set to slow in coming years, says wiiw report, with the weakest growth in Russia, Turkey and Belarus, while small Southeast European frontier markets are still going strong.
It has survived political rifts and corruption scandals, but Boyko Borissov’s government is struggling as a third minister becomes embroiled in a growing scandal over luxury apartment purchases.
Baltic States and Slovenia close to OECD comparators on knowledge economy index, while frontier markets like Belarus, Georgia and Serbia make strong progress.
While EU member states in Central and Southeast Europe are concerned about the economic impact of Brexit, there is a growing feeling that the UK needs to stop prolonging the uncertainty and carry through its decision to leave.