The general economic outlook for the Eastern Europe region is improving, with growth momentum building. In terms of construction output, many countries in the region posted strong growth figures over the first five months of 2017, following sharp declines over 2016. These markets rely heavily on funds from the European Union (EU) to finance ongoing major infrastructure and other public projects. In 2016, such funds stalled, and many projects in the region were put on hold. Indeed, there was a halt in investment spending across much of Europe, as the 2014-2020 funding period was delayed significantly, and, generally, the release of funds was delayed until early 2017. The stoppage in public funds had a much wider impact; private construction projects were also delayed, and it weighed on the broader economy over the year.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), part of the TEN-E Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), will supply natural gas to Europe from Azerbaijan — but will this give gas security to the EU?