Research project East Central Europe COVID-19 monitor As the pandemics COVID-19 is sweeping through Europe, one region is conspicuously absent in daily news and analyses: eastern Europe. Europe’s East initially reported comparatively few cases. Yet, there can be little doubt that the region is particularly vulnerable to the outbreak of the pandemics. Print Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Send by email Europe’s East has been conspicuously absent from the daily news on COVID-19. Much of the region took restrictive policy measures relatively early and seem (so far) to have avoided exponential case growth. Yet, the region is particularly vulnerable to the outbreak and its consequences. Neoliberal reforms and austerity have left healthcare systems chronically underfunded; shortages of medical equipment, expertise and personnel are worsened by free movement of labour in the EU. The region’s economies are highly dependent on the West such that disruptions in international production and mobility have disproportionate impact. Finally, a shift towards “illiberal democracies” in the region leaves political systems uniquely unprepared to face the crisis. The ECE COVID-19 monitor aims to systematically collect data and provide analyses of the repercussions of the pandemic and policy responses in Europe’s forgotten eastern half.