The paper aims at providing an overview of the results of the transformation process after five years, with the emphasis on failures rather than on achievements. The bias is deliberate, aiming at better exposing problems and resulting policy challenges currently confronted by the transition countries. The analysis is limited to six central European transition countries, chiefly because both their history and recent economic performance have been shaped by broadly similar factors, in contrast to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia. Expectations raised by the collapse of communism are briefly summarized in section 2 and are followed in section 3 by a discussion of main outcomes of the transformation process. Section 4 concludes.