Conference participations

“Determinant Factors of Smart Cities in Central and Eastern European Countries” was the title of the presentation held at the XIV International Conference on Economics. The conference was organized by the Grigol Robakidze University, The Faculty of Labor Sciences of University of Seville and the World Economic Research Institute (WERI). It was held on November 17-19, 2022, in Athens (Greece). The research was performed by Constantin-Marius Apostoaie and Ioana-Maria Ursache (see Bio).
Short resume of the presentation: The challenges that cities have to face today are complex and refer not only to economic factors but also to social issues such as access to education, health and housing, environmental degradation and administrative issues that imply a lack of civic participation and low quality of life. In this context, a new concept has emerged (smart city) to better grasp the need for change in urban development practices that could increase the quality of life through the optimization of hard (transport, energy, resources) and soft (human capital, inclusion, participation) infrastructure. Much attention has been given to studying the concept itself and to the various factors that enable the smart transition of cities. Nonetheless, the focus is rather on the more developed countries in Western Europe, neglecting the emerging markets and developing economies as those in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The paper seeks to determine, using a quantitative analysis, the most relevant factors that tend to influence the movements in the Smart Cities rankings with a focus on the CEE countries. This exploratory study is more than relevant for policy makers to devise and properly implement tailored smart city policies that could, in the end, improve the citizens’ quality of life.

“Energy Insecurity in the European Union. Designing an Indicator for Natural Gas” was the title of the presentation held at the XIV International Conference Globalization and Higher Education in Economics and Business Administration. The conference was organized by the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and it was held on October 20-22, 2022, in Iasi (Romania). The research was performed by Alexandru Maxim.
Short resume of the presentation: After the popular decline of nuclear energy during the beginning of the last decade, natural gas has risen in popularity as the reliable and relatively clean energy source to foster the long-term transition to renewable energy worldwide. In the case of European nations, however, the supply of natural gas from outside the European Union (EU) has increasingly been used as a leverage for political negotiations. Past research has raised flags regarding the risks of the high dependence of EU member states on external suppliers of natural gas. Increased instability caused by the debut of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in 2014 prompted us to propose the Gas Vulnerability Indicator. This multidimensional indicator is meant to facilitate a simple and historical overview of the energy security context in Europe from the perspective of natural gas. Given the sudden breakdown in commercial and political interactions between the European Union and Russia in the first half of 2022, it has been deemed relevant to provide an updated screenshot of Europe’s gas energy security. This has been achieved using the latest available data and a series of proposed improvements to the original Gas Vulnerability Indicator.