Political evaluations and relations
Willy You: Evaluation of EU Membership in Central and Eastern European Member States
In view of the apathy that seems to characterize attitudes toward the EU in new central and eastern European member states following accession in 2004, this study integrates theories of support based on utilitarian calculations, affective identity, domestic politics, and cognitive mobilization, provides updated information on evaluation of membership after publics could appraise its consequences based on actual experience, and compares patterns of support between older and newer member states. Analysis of public opinion data reveals that while each theoretical approach offers valid explanations, positive economic assessments (both sociotropic and egocentric), European pride, trust in national governments, and knowledge of EU affairs significantly contribute to an affirmative view of EU membership, while exclusive national identity (though not national pride per se) exerts a negative and substantial impact.
Csaba Varga: Rule of Law: Challenges with Crossroads Offered
Law is a composite structure of values and techniques. As final motives, it is human-centeredness and practical orientation that forms its changing shapes. As a primordially practical category, however, it is faced by recurrent challenges and, as a consequence and in point of principle, it is always situated amidst a flux of feasible crossroads. Moreover, as an ideal, it can never be perfected but only humbly served, through a variety of means and techniques, which are to reflect and respond to acute societal needs. Or, the definition of any particular form of it, suitable to meet the varying demands of the always actual and socially concrete “hic et nunc” is an irreplaceably own task of any society at any stage of development. Otherwise speaking, no model of it is to be taken by societies not having generated it, if not within a continuous learning process. A recapitulation and a final remark in comparison draw some parallel to dramatic situations in which some decision is to be taken even if the borderlines of the good and the bad are not plainly visible.
Jo Harper: Children of the Revolution: Explaining the PO/PiS Struggle in Poland
This paper sets out to explain the sources and dynamics of this conflict from a discursive-political stance, drawing on the works of Kertzer, among others, to help explain and evaluate Poland’s pre-euro accession political-economy in terms of contested versions of ‘Poland’ and ‘Polishness.’ Like all political discourse, both Civic Platform’s (Platforma Obywatelska, PO) – the larger of two coalition governing parties since 2007 – and Law and Justice’s (Prawo i Sprawiedliwosci, PiS) – which governed from 2005 to 2007 and which holds the presidency in the shape of Lech Kaczynski – draw on popular narratives, discourses and collective recollections and simultaneously speak to non-mutually exclusive subjects and constituencies. In other words, they inhabit overlapping symbolic space and their discursive cogency – in a legitimation sense at least1 – is largely determined by how they position themselves in relation to this space.
Gyula Seres and Ádám Máté Harkányi: Ethnic Minority Parties and Electoral System
This paper examines the importance of electoral system proportionality by considering minority parties working in liberal democracies. Standard view suggests that the more proportional are the rules, the better for small parties. Narrowing the sample to ethnic based parties, the relationship between their legislation representation and the institutions show a weaker effect. The whole set of concerned countries provides data for a simple regression analyses, by which the standard view can be tested. The paper concludes that in case of ethnic political organizations a more sophisticated framework is needed in order to employ a fair and stable political system, since this cleavage shows an extreme level of rigidity on the territorial distribution. Thanks to that, the institutional structure must comply with the political competition and the ethnic distribution as well.
József N. Szabó: Hungarian-Austrian Cultural and Scientific Relation after the II World War (1945-1948)
The study is elaborating the relation of the Hungarian culture to the great-cultures of the European Union between 1945 and 2000. The aim is to introduce that after 1945, among the possibilities of democracy, what were the opportunities of the Hungarian culture-diplomacy, and after the forthcoming of the totalitarian system, how were the connections of the Hungarian and the European culture broken up. We got familiar with the process how to get back to the European culture which we have always belonged to.
María Elisa Gentile: Relations between Argentina and Hungary from the Bipolar World to the Regional Groups (1945-2003)
The international relations that were centered in the superpowers often left outsides the behavior of the medium states of the system: that’s why in this article I analyze this situation, through a special study; the relations of Argentina and Hungary, from 1945 till nowadays. The diplomatic political links were reduced during the Cold War. This was due, partly, by the periphery roll of these states established in the bipolar order. However they acquired a more relevant level in the next period. Regarding the commercial, economical relations they acquire a level of certain importance during the Cold War because it was a different and necessary option to the capitalism world. These links diminished due to the process of globalization, regionalization and of transformation of the role of state.
Croatia and Slovenia: Border Dispute
On 19 December 2008 Slovenia blocked eleven negotiating chapters at the accession negotiations with Croatia because it is convinced that, in the documents submitted by its neighbor to the negotiations, Croatia is prejudging, directly or indirectly, the borderline still under dispute between the two countries. As a result Croatia, though it had hoped for the conclusion of the accession negotiations this year, could open only one new chapter out of the remaining thirteen. Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor has proposed a meeting with his Croatian counterpart to be held as soon as possible in order to settle the outstanding issues. Ivo Sanader agreed to this on condition that the representatives of the EU could be present at their discussion, too.
Hungary: The Re-evaluation of the Roma Policy
The integration problem of the Gypsy society has become by now a cardinal issue in Hungary. To confront the existing cultural and ethnic tensions is in Hungary’s elementary interest, otherwise the problem becomes unmanageable. If the present democratic political elite doesn’t start to speak honestly, on one hand, the anti-democratic political forces, so far unrepresented in the parliament, will gain political ground. On the other hand, the process entailing ethnic tensions might threaten mostly those Romas who have a job and who make sacrifices for their children’s education, and by that the opportunity will be lost for a new elite to emerge within the Gypsy community that would be, from the perspective of co-existence, a positive model to follow for all sides.
Hungary: The Radical Right
it has become one of the most disputed questions of public discourse in Hungary whether the ”Movement for a Better Hungary” (Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom; hereinafter: Jobbik) will cross the threshold at the European elections of 7 June, 2009 which would allow it to enter the European Parliament. The radical party is gaining strength according to the most recent public opinion polls. What is fuelling the radicalization of the public sentiment to the greatest extent is that Hungary harder than the European average has been hit by the international financial crisis, as a result of the poor performance of the socialist Government led by former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany. a new government has been formed under the leadership of Gordon Bajnai, Gyurcsany’s former minister of economics, who has already announced severe restrictions which in turn foreshow the chimera of a social cataclysm. Growing tensions overshadowing Roma-Hungarian cohabitation also contribute to the spread of radicalism.