The Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) is the top-ranked economics think tank in Central Europe. Established in Warsaw in 1991 by a group of economists to help guide the transition process in post-Communist countries, CASE is now an internationally renowned organization drawing on the talents of prominent economists from around the world. Since 1991 the organization has concluded over 350 projects in 50 countries on 5 continents. After a quarter-century, CASE continues to contribute to policy debates facing Europe on crucial issues of the day. CASE focuses on key economic and social challenges facing countries around the world, with a particular focus on Europe. CASE's core thematic areas include (1) European Neighbourhood Policy, enlargement, trade and economic integration, (2) labour markets, human capital and social policy, (3) innovation, competitiveness and entrepreneurship, (4) reforms, growth and poverty reduction in developing and transition countries, and (5) macroeconomics and public finance.
Following a long period of unprecedented growth in international trade, the world trading system is currently facing considerable headwinds. One of the present challenges to free trade are State-induced distortions, which have the potential to reduce economic welfare in trading countries as well as in the country undertaking the intervention. Russia, a big player in many international markets and important trade partner for the EU, is still not meeting some of its WTO accession commitments.