Members of the EU in central and eastern European (CEE) fared well in 2012 in terms of economic growth, according to a report by the World Bank. In its report, 'Faltering Economy: The Economic Impact of an Ageing EU', World Bank economists said that CEE was a bright spot in the European landscape in 2012, thanks to the region's continuing economic growth, adherence to fiscal policies, improving business climate and diversification of trading partners.

The EU11 – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia – grew by an average of 3.5% in 2011, twice as fast as the rest of the EU, according to the report. The following year saw the pace of growth in these countries decline to 1%, but it still remained higher than in the eurozone, where most economies shrunk.


On average, the public debt-to-GDP ratio was less than 50% in the EU11 in 2012, while in the rest of the EU it was as high as 92%. As a result, many EU11 countries improved their credit ratings and, as a consequence, have improved their access to financial markets. The countries also boosted their exports to non-EU countries in 2012, helping them to lessen the impact of the eurozone crisis on their own economies. The report highlighted Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland as the EU countries that most successfully managed to hedge against decreasing exports to western Europe.

Overall economic conditions have also improved among many of the EU11 countries as the World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 ranking shows. Out of 185 economies in the ranking, Estonia was 21st and Poland made the biggest move up the ranking, moving 19 positions to 55th place in 2012. However, some EU11 countries still lag behind. The Romanian and Croatian economies rank among the worst in the EU, ranking 72nd and 84th, respectively.