Throughout the last centuries Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has been a territory dominated by different Empires and countries, contributing to shape certain tradition of exchanges (Brunet&Rey, 1996; Castles, 1995). After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the transition to market economy has stimulated a significant inflow of foreign capital towards CEE cities (Hamilton et al. 2005). The purpose of this paper is to investigate the position of CEE cities within transnational investment networks in 2013 (Carstensen&Toubal, 2004) and understand the state of hierarchical structures and economic disparities nowadays in the region (Domański, 2011).
The originality of this paper consists in referring to the main questions by the means of the ORBIS database. The method applied is graph theory. The study shows that economic relations regarding Central Eastern European remain very asymmetric and polarized. The capital cities predominate as management and commandment centres in the region attracting the most of foreign investment as in the previous years (Bourdeau-Lepage, 2004), although few headquarters of the biggest international companies are located in East-Central Europe (Csomós&Derudder, 2014). Results indicate that mainly Budapest, Prague and Warsaw play a redistribution role within investment networks between Western European enterprises and firms outside European Union (ex-URSS and ex-Yugoslavia). They are also specialized in the most innovative sectors. As for other cities, they remains mostly marginalized within these extremely competitive networks, which opens a debate on the growing inequalities between East-Central European metropolises and medium-sized cities (Gál, 2013).