Summary Political science discussions this year were focused on the following question: to what extent the promises of European „annus mirabilis“ have been achieved and how political and economic transition looks like from today’s perspective? Hence, this article compares economic success of Croatia and selected European countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania) before and after the fall of communism. The preliminary results show that the above mentioned countries had -on average- almost identical economic growth during the last 18 years of communism and during the first 18 years of democracy and capitalism. The equality in distribution of national income (measured by GINI index) has been decreased, while the increase in life expectancy (measured on yearly basis) has been more than doubled during the post-communist period in comparison with the period of communism. Furthermore, former communist countries have much higher school enrolment now than during the period of communism. In short, communism was not better (except in equality of distribution of income) but capitalism and democracy have still not show their superiority in stimulation of economic growth.