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Central and Eastern Europe

Central and Eastern Europe is a term describing former communist states in


Europe, after the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989/90. In scholarly literature the
abbreviations CEE or CEEC are often used for this concept. CEE includes all the
Eastern bloc countries west of the post-World War II border with the former Soviet
Union, the independent states in former Yugoslavia (which were not considered part
of the Eastern bloc), and the three Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania — that
chose not to join the CIS with the other 12 former republics of the USSR. The
transition countries in Europe and Central Asia are thus classified today into two
political-economic entities: CEE and CIS. The CEE countries are further subdivided
by their accession status to the European Union (EU): the eight first-wave accession
countries that joined the EU in May 2004 (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia) and the two second-wave accession
countries that joined in January 2007 (Bulgaria, Romania). According to the World
Bank, "the transition is over" for the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004.

CEE includes the following former socialist countries, which extend east from the
border of Germany and south from the Baltic Sea to the border with Greece:

• Estonia
• Latvia
• Lithuania
• Poland
• Czech Republic
• Slovakia
• Hungary
• Romania
• Slovenia
• Croatia
• Bosnia-Herzegovina
• Serbia
• Kosovo[4]
• Albania
• Montenegro
• Macedonia
• Bulgaria

Other former Communist countries in Europe — Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and


Russia — are members of CIS and are not included in CEE. The term Central and
Eastern Europe (with its abbreviation CEE) has by now displaced the alternative term
East-Central Europe in the context of transition countries, mainly because the
abbreviation ECE is ambiguous: it commonly stands for Economic Commission for
Europe rather than East-Central Europe.