Connectivity and Regional Integration


The horizontal research programme entitled ‘Connectivity and Regional Integration’ aims to conduct detailed analytical work on the subject of the economic interdependencies developing in Central Europe, with particular emphasis on trade and investment flows, as well as transport and digital connections.

The tasks of the programme include analysing the economic potential of Central Europe, assessing progress in the region’s integration, and looking at the evolution of the area’s role in the global economy. The implementation of these tasks is to be supported by the development, in cooperation with all OSW teams, of analytical materials concerning the economic ties not only between the Central European countries themselves, but also between them and the world’s most important economies, of special importance in the current period of turbulence which the globalisation process is undergoing. From this perspective, it is also important to monitor the state of economic cooperation within regional groupings such as the Visegrad Group (V4) and the Three Seas Initiative (3SI).

Another equally important goal of the programme is to analyse interesting trends in the development of infrastructure and logistics in Central Europe. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness in the region that maintaining high GDP dynamics will not be possible without building a dense network of infrastructural connections, along not only the east-west but also the north-south axes. This could facilitate the flow of goods, people and ideas between regional industrial centres, thus giving them the chance to become key innovation hubs. In addition, the extensive infrastructural network Central Europe enjoys will not only serve to integrate Ukraine with the EU, but will also be one of the most important factors determining the success of that country’s reconstruction.

Infrastructural connections are not only a tool for regional integration, but also represent an area of intense potential competition between global powers. Against the backdrop of growing US-Chinese tensions, Central Europe is paying increasing attention to the security of its critical infrastructure such as ports and telecommunications networks. The role of control over strategic infrastructure in securing European economic interests is also becoming the subject of intensifying reflection on the part of EU institutions. In this aspect, it is becoming essential to analyse the position held by the Central European ports, which in times of increasingly unstable supply chains are often a keystone to maintaining the competitiveness of the national economies.

The project’s coordinator is Konrad Popławski.

The map of the links between the V4 countries.