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Introduction Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork on the experience of Slovak au pairs living and working in London in 2004 and 2005, I examine the effects of EU enlargement on au pair migration and experiences. Numerous researchers have emphasised the intersection of gender, class, immigration status and ethnicity as central to the asymmetric power relations in paid domestic work (e.g. Andall 2003 ; Anderson 2000 ; Bott 2005 ; Durin 2015 ; Henshall Momsen 1999 ; Lundström 2012 ; Lutz 2011 ; Näre 2011 , 2013a ; Olakivi 2013 ; Parreñas 2001 ; Rollins


The Eastern enlargements of the European Union (EU) since the early 2000s have included post-transitional economies at a lower level of development than the existing member states and thus, have significantly affected the East-West migration flows and labour markets on both sides. This has provided a distinctive opportunity to study the effects of liberalisation and to identify economic factors leading to migration flows with the purpose of enabling better estimations of future migration trends. In this research, a panel data analysis with pair of country fixed effects and time fixed effects is used to explore several pull and push factors of the East-West EU migration flows in the period from 2000 to 2017. Results indicate that emigration rate responds rather quickly to the changes in GDP per capita and unemployment rate of the youth population in immigration country, with statistically significant elasticity coefficients, suggesting that international migration contributes significantly to adjusting the labour supply to fluctuations in economic activity.

:// Guðmundsson, M., The financial crisis in Iceland: causes, consequences, policy responses and recovery , Central Bank of Iceland, online document at: Iceland 2010 Progress Report , Commission Staff Working Document, Brussels, 9 November 2010, online document at: Iceland - Economic forecast summary , OECD, online document at:,3746,en_33873108


This paper focuses on perceptions of the European Union (EU) and external actors (such as the United States, Russia, and Turkey) in six countries of the Western Balkans (WB) and Croatia in a comparative perspective. We present data generated by public opinion polls and surveys in all countries of that region in order to illustrate growing trends of EU indifferentism in all predominately Slavic countries of the region. In addition, there is an open rejection of pro-EU policies by significant segments of public opinion in Serbia and in the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the contrary, there is much enthusiasm and support for the West in general and the EU in particular in predominately non-Slavic countries, Kosovo and Albania. We argue that the WB as a region defined by alleged desire of all countries to join the the EU is more of an elite concept than that shared by the general population, which remains divided over the issue of EU membership. In explaining reasons for such a gap we emphasise a role of interpretation of the recent past, especially when it comes to a role the West played in the region during the 1990s.


The article presents research on the international community’s engagement in the countries of the Western Balkans in the past and their possible approach in the future. The focus of our research is on the functioning of mechanisms through which the international community performs certain tasks in the region. These interventions are primarily political, in the form of conferences, political programmes, consultations, pressures and continuous persuasion. Economic initiatives follow afterwards. By using different reform approaches, international institutions try to improve cooperation with the European Union (EU) and countries such as the USA, Russia, Turkey and China. Our research attempts to identify possible methods and new solutions for individual cases of conflict in Western Balkans countries, especially where the international community is actively involved. On this basis, we created a more holistic approach. The application of these measures could make the necessary reforms of the future easier. Our approach emphasises all the elements of security that are essential to the stability of the region and for the prevention of conflicts in the future.


In this paper we analyse determinants of bank profitability of EU15 banking systems for the period 2001-2011. We use as proxy for banks profitability the return on average assets (ROAA), the return on average equity (ROAE) and net interest margin (NIM). We also measure the impact of the first and the largest wave of enlargement (10 new members in 2004) on EU15 bank profitability, introducing a dummy variable. The contribution of this paper for the empirical literature is that there are no other studies that deal bank profitability for all EU 15 countries for the period considered (2001-2011). The literature splits the factors that influence banks’ profitability in two large groups: bank-specific (internal) factors and industry specific and macroeconomic (external) factors. Our results are in line with the economic theory. Cost to Income Ratio, credit risk and market concentration had a negative influence in case of all measures of banks’ profitability, while bank liquidity only for ROAE and NIM. The size of banks had a negative impact on NIM, suggesting that bigger the bank is, smaller the net interest margin ratio is, but, on the contrary, in case of ROAA, had a direct effect. The market concentration had a negative influence, meaning that the increasing competition, as a structural point of view, increases banks’ profitability. The results show us that the process of European Union enlargement from 2004 does not have significant impact on EU15 banking systems’ profitability. It has a week and negative effect only in case of net interest margin. As policy recommendations, we suggest for authorities a better supervision for credit risk and liquidity and maintaining a competitive banking environment. For banks’ management we also recommend to monitor the credit risk indicators, optimizing costs and diversifying the sources of income.


Apart from the former EFTA members (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and a few former republics of the Soviet Union (Bjelorussia, Moldova and Ukraina) the countries of the Western Balkans are the only European states outside of the European Union. They are very keen to join the Union. The Balkans have always been the poorest part of Europe. The appeal of the wealthy European Union is apparent. Access to the largest market in the world, investment, modern technologies and generous regional funds give a hope that by joining the EU the Western Balkans countries will join the rich club. At the moment performance of the Western Balkan countries does not guarantee that they will become rich by joining the European Union. Their current production and trade structure makes it likely that the Western Balkan countries will be locked in inter-industry trade in which they will export products of low and medium technological and developmental level and import products of high technological and developmental level. This might lead to divergence rather than convergence between them and the European Union. In other to overcome this problem the Western Balkan countries need to conduct radical reforms in the public sector, fiscal policy, industrial trade and investment policy. They also need to tackle corruption, simplify administrative procedure, strenghten property rights and the lawful state. All this with the aim to change economic structure and shift from achievements of the second and third to fourth technological revolution. Only if these reforms are successfuly implemented the Western Balkan countries can hope to avoid the Greek scenario and possibly experience the Irish scenario.


Purpose: The article presents the results of a study conducted for the January effect. This anomaly is best recognized in the capital markets. In this case, we find explanation of its appearance based on both fundamental analysis and heuristics used by investors. The research focuses on the markets of the European Union enlargement countries of 2004. There are three hypotheses stated in the article:

Hypothesis 1: The January Effect occurs in the analyzed markets.

Hypothesis 2: The January Effect weakens over time.

Hypothesis 3: The January Effect weakens with the development of a market.

Methodology: Three methods verified the hypotheses: tests of differences, average and median rate of return, and dynamic models paneled with the estimation of parameters and the generalized method of moments.

Findings: The January Effect exists in the analyzed markets. The anomaly weakens over time but, after accession to the European Union, January return rates increase significantly.

Limitation: The definite verification was difficult due to the available methods and data. Further research in this field is, therefore, needed.

Originality: The originality of the paper stems from the construction of the sample – new evidence from post-communist countries – which became the European Union members in 2004. The next important issue is the period of twenty years after the economic transformation – ten before and ten after the enlargement of the EU.

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