Ivan Miklos Explains Secrets of Successful Post-Communist Transformations

It has been almost thirty years since the collapse of the Berlin wall and the communist system in Europe. Why are certain post-communist countries more successful than others? What were the necessary preconditions for success?  These were the main questions discussed by Ivan Miklos during his lecture in September at CEU.

Mr Miklos was a key political figure in Slovakia’s economic transition since the beginning of the 1990s until very recently. He served several times as a minister, deputy prime minister and Member of Parliament in Slovakia. In the past few years he has been advising the leaders of Ukraine on economic matters.

According to Mr Miklos, it is worth reanalyzing the various transition strategies proposed and realized since the fall of communism and the reasons behind their successes and failures.

"The most important precondition for a successful change was leadership of reforms and the preparedness of the political elites to do these changes, and having a vision," he said.

"From this experience we can have lessons not only for post-communist countries, but even for some developed countries because every country needs reforms," he adds.

Watch the video to learn Mr Miklos’s views on why Ukraine’s economy is lagging behind the economies of other post-communist countries, why he thinks 'illiberal' regimes emerged in the region and whether he thinks that this new 'model' helps economic prosperity or not.

Ivan Miklos was one of the leading figures of economic transformation in the Slovak Republic. He significantly contributed to the entry of the Slovak Republic into the OECD, and instigated an extensive and effective tax reform. He led the government agenda on economic restructuring and fiscal consolidation. The second Dzurinda government (2002-2006) gained a very reformist reputation thanks to severe austerity measures and a comprehensive program of structural reforms backed by Ivan Miklos who was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance at the time. Thanks to these reforms, Slovakia was able to join the Eurozone in 2009.

He co-founded the economic think tank MESA10 in 1992. In 2014 he became a Member of the International Advisory Board of the National Reform Council of Ukraine and the platform VoxUkraine. During 2015-2016 he served as a Chief Advisor to the Minister of Finance of Ukraine and as an Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. From April 2016 until August 2019 he served as Chief Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine. He is Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Group for Support of Ukrainian Reforms and Co-Founder of the Ukrainian economic think tank Centre for Economic Strategy.

Ivan Miklos is the author of Book of Reforms (2005), Rewriting the Rule (2001) and dozens of studies and articles in the expert and popular press.