Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, protective and medical equipment has become one of the most valuable commodities in global markets. After a few months, the needs of many EU countries are already satisfied with domestic production. In Poland, we managed to produce simpler medical masks or disinfectant liquids but importing respirators or production of more complicated masks seem to be problematic. However, there is much hope for the potential production of vaccines.

The European Union has set itself ambitious climate targets. Czechia plans to contribute to these goals with nuclear energy still on track. According to a recent study initiated by Czech MEPs, it is the only feasible way to do so. However, energy and environment analysts are not that keen on nuclear energy.

The Slovak government has yet to agree on where, how, and for how much it will roll-out the missing broadband networks, as the European Commission is talking about ultra-fast internet coverage in the whole of EU. But while the finance ministry suggests that the state will subsidize the tightening of optical cables at the level of municipalities, IT and telecom experts warn that the country has not invested a single euro to cover the full connectivity of households.

Since shocks cannot be avoided and are likely to occur more frequently in the future, it is crucial to strengthen economic resilience – “the ability of a country to withstand a shock and recover quickly to its potential [growth] after it falls into recession” – on national and regional levels. 

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