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The idea of the Conference was born in the early 1990s. At the time, transition was a broad and widely used term, connected with many different fields and processes in a modern society and economy. Changes in the environment of the modern enterprise are so fast and big that it is exposed to a permanent growth and pressure to change itself, to adjust its means, technology, products and production assortment, human resources, organizational structure etc. in order to survive and perform successful business. Therefore, it may be said that a modern enterprise is in permanent transition, regardless of its size and the part of the globe in which it is doing business.

The period from '80s to '90s has brought a new category: "countries in transition". Even though some developing countries (as Turkey, India, Egypt) would claim that they have been "in transition" for several decades, and many developed countries will point out to their periods and processes of transition, the term "countries in transition" has found its specific application in very distinct category of countries: former communist countries from Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Comprehensive changes that these countries have been undertaking and undergoing since late '80s cannot be, by their width and magnitude, compared with any other country or group of countries.

Enterprises in countries in transition are experiencing deep and manifold processes of transition: ownership, organizational, legal, structural, etc. The scope and complexity of those changes are probably equal to those transformations at the society (macro) level.

Precisely with the intention to animate the scientific analysis and the research of the processes in the modern enterprise that can be encompassed by the term "transition" the Faculty of Economics of the University in Split has started an international conference on "Enterprise in Transition". The aims of the Conference were:

  • To highlight the general features of current transition processes in the economies of former socialist countries;
  • To analyze the changes going on in a modern enterprise with special regard to the enterprises in the "countries in transition";
  • To analyze the transition processes in Croatian enterprises and to identify optimal patterns;
  • To suggest reconciliation models for potential contradictions between transition processes in Croatia and abroad.

Although we have surpassed the initial idea of the Conference and its name changed from “"Enterprise in Transition" to “Challenges of Europe” today, more than ever a Conference of this kind is necessary to carry on a dialogue between scientists and practitioners in quest for solving burning economic issues.

The global economy is troubled by a slow and weak recovery. It faces a number of significant and interrelated challenges that could hamper a genuine upturn after an economic crisis half a decade long in much of the world, especially in the most advanced economies.

Given the complexity and the urgency of the situation, European countries are struggling to find ways to cooperate and manage the current economic challenges while preparing their economies to perform well in an increasingly difficult and unpredictable global landscape. Amid the short-term crisis management, it remains critical for countries to establish the fundamentals that underpin economic growth and development for the longer term.

Many determinants drive productivity and competitiveness and understanding the factors behind this process has occupied the minds of economists for hundreds of years.

Therefore the goal of this year’s Conference is to study and benchmark the factors underpinning new resilient competitiveness and growth in the modern challenging economic environment. We hope to provide insights and stimulate the discussion on the best practices related to the business sophistication needed to distinct individual enterprises on markets in continuous transition, on one hand, as well as on the strategies and policies to help countries, cities and regions to overcome the obstacles hampering resilient competitiveness and growth on the other hand.