This paper analyzes the relationship between economic performance and institutional development in several Central and Eastern European Countries. Our meta-argument is that the structural transformations at the levels of the quantitative variables and mechanisms are only a part of the transition processes. In order to view the big picture, the qualitative aspects related to public policies and institutions should also be considered. We test the linkages between the quality of public policies and institutions for seven Central and Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and Romania) for a time span between 2001 and 2011. These countries are displaying a certain degree of heterogeneity in terms of economic performances and the design and implementation of public policies. We use for our analysis the World Bank indicators from World Wide Governance Indicators. In order to deal with the potential reverse causality issues, we employ Generalized Method of Moments Framework (GMM) by using the lagged variables as instruments. The impact of governance indicators is statistically significant even if we use several control variables: exchange rate, unemployment, current account deficit, taxes burden and price stability. The corresponding Sargan and Arellano-Bond test for zero autocorrelation in first-differenced errors tests shows that the results display a corresponding robustness. The main policy implications for our findings may be synthesized by the thesis, according to which a proper design of public policies, a high degree of their effectiveness and accountability, a stable social and political environment together with the rule of law and efficient anticorruption mechanisms are critical determinants of economic growth even in emerging markets. The impact of the government “size , economic structure and markets” mechanisms , monetary policy and price stability , ownership structure and legal rights , international exchange, freedom of exchange in capital and financial markets on economic growth is far from being negligible. Hence, the Central and Eastern European countries joining the EU should implement policies strength their institutions and to improve the quality of public decisions.