Collapse or renaissance of Europe?

Leonardo Morlino: The Freedom and Equality should be linked to Accountabilities and Responsiveness?
In this chapter we can recall that freedom and equality, however they are understood, should be linked to accountabilities and responsiveness. Indeed, a higher implementation of freedom and equality for citizens and civil society lies in the sphere of these representative mechanisms. The rule of law is intertwined with freedom in respect of all of those laws that directly or indirectly sanction the violation of those rights and their concrete realization. In addition, effective rule of law is also indispensable for implementing other qualities, and freedom, equality, and even accountabilities are actually unobtainable if the respect for law is ineffective or decisional efficacy is not granted by the government and the administration. These are the fundamental presuppositions necessary for deciding on and realizing policies to implement qualities, or aspects of them. If we now apply the models of democracies without qualities, operationalizing them by excluding countries that are defined as “hybrid regimes” a salient picture emerges the results show us, that on the whole, we only have six to eight countries, and some of them are in one way or another very specific cases (Italy) or on the verge between a hybrid and a democracy. The hypothesis concerning the mechanism of mutual convergence is rescued. It might not be a very strong mechanism, but it exists. Of course, only an analysis of trends will confirm this analysis, but that is a possible goal of future research. For the moment we have to limit ourselves to suggesting that the hypothesis is as relevant as it can be in terms of potentialities of deepening in the absence of favourable economic conditions and an active civil society.

Leonidas Donskis: Spengler Revisited
Nor was Spengler the only one who following the First World War took to writing about Europe’s fall. His magnum opus, the two-volume treatise on history and philosophy of culture “The Decline of the West” (published in German as “Der Untergang des Abendlandes” (1918, 1923) very quickly earned recognition. Today Oswald Spengler’s once seemingly shocking insights have become clichés, part of a self-serving and self-exploiting discourse about mostly unprovable things, not far in spirit from other forms of moral panicking and sensationalist conjecturing. We still believe that Europe will deteriorate and fade like Oswald Spengler described this – through quiet extinction of its culture, punctuated by world conflagrations; a new Caesarism; a brutal cult of force; and new types of war, arising not out of religious conflicts but provoked by existential emptiness and a sense of meaninglessness. But for now it is fading without anyone believing, and being gripped by, it: the doers here are not historical and grand personalities but altogether banal and predictable types; not monarchs, popes, generals, philosophers, poets, and revolutionaries, but bankers, financiers, investors, and people who are geniuses at diagnosing market fluctuations together with the instability and consequent global insecurity these create as well as thick-skinned technocrats of market and politics who have converted global crises into their own success. The best about Spengler’s theory is not its novelty or even consistency but rather his insights into the present. Yet he has, in a most unexpected way, become routinized, vulgarized, trivialized, and made part of conventional wisdom. The article focuses on this phenomenon exploring the new wave of moral panic mongering in Europe.

Koudela, Pál: International migration from Central and Eastern European Countries to Western Europe and the United States
After the fall of the iron curtain economic and political pushing factors and circumstances changed on international migration in the A8 countries. As a consequence of this rates of outflows started to grow rapidly. The enlargement of the EU caused an increase and a more general effect, including the changes of the social features as far international migration doesn’t mean only temporary, illegal, ethnic and undereducated work today for the A8 migrants in the Western European countries. For Hungary – as a special case – the last two or three years meant the greatest increase overweighting the previous dominant inflows. After 2004 the UK was the new target country but in 2008 Spain, Portugal, Finland and other countries became also interesting for migrants, while Germany and Austria remain the main host countries. The Hungarian statistical office’s data doesn’t show the real volume all of these, we know about it only from mirror statistics of the relevant countries. Consequently population policy cannot do or plan anything and even in economic planning it doesn’t appear.

Csaba Varga: »order out of chaos«? Philosophy of the establishment and operation of european law
In reconsideration of the composition and operation of European law, it is the description of its underlying mentality that may cast best light on the query whether European law is the extension of domestic laws or a sui generis product. As to its action, European law is destructive upon the survival of traditions of legal positivism, for it recalls post modern clichés rather. Like a solar system with planets, it is two-centred from the beginning, commissioning both implementation and judicial check to member states. As part of global post modernism, (1) European law stems from artificial reality construction freed from particular historical experience and, indeed, anything given hic et nunc. By its operation, (2) it dynamises large structures and sets in motion that what is chaos itself. It is owing to reconstructive human intent solely that any outcome can at all be seen as fitting to some ideal of order, albeit neither operation nor daily management strives for implementing any systemicity. This is the way in which the European law becomes adequate reflection of the underlying (macro) economic basis, which it is to serve as superstructure. Accordingly, (3) the entire construct is operated (as integrated into one well-working unit) within the framework of an artificially animated dynamism. With its “order out of chaos” philosophy it assures member states’ standing involvement and competition, achieving a flexibly self-adapting conformity at an unprecedentedly high degree. All in all, (4) the composition and operation of European law may serve as a further instance in history of order introduced and guaranteed when a complex “big size” society is to be addressed thereby.

Péter Krisztián Zachar: The interactions between the economic chamber organizations and the policy makers in Hungary (after 1989/1990)
In his study the author deals with the development and political relationship of the economic chamber organizations after the regime change 1989/1990 in Hungary. He tries to explain why the current Hungarian economic chamber organizations occupy a curious mid-position in the comparison of the international chamber systems. The very powerful chamber regulations of 1994, which was one of the most complex in the Central-Eastern European region, realized all aspects of a modern model of the representation of interests suiting the institutional structures of neo-corporatism. Only five years later the policy makers decided to change the system of economic chambers and eliminate their political power by terminating their compulsory membership. Perhaps they have succeeded in finding the first common points with the government, because it has become one of the political elite’s stressed intentions to slim and relieve state public administration – and this may in turn mean further task-transfer to the chambers. According to some chamber leaders this could mean a partial return to the previous standpoint, that is having a compulsory membership and the chambers would appear – as the self-organisation of those concerned – for the sake of the creation of a slim, target-oriented state public administration.

József N. Szabó: The Role of Civil Organizations in the Relationship between Hungary and her Neighboring Countries (1945-1946)
In the new democratic atmosphere after the World War people made use of the opportunities and established a wide variety of organizations. These new organizations were based upon the interests of smaller or larger groups of people, for instance clubs, educational associations and societies. Professionals could not hide in their “ivory towers” their expertise, knowledge and foreign connections were required to help their country in seeking understanding and reconciliation with other nations. It was not surprising that the first civilian organization with international objectives and ambitions was the Hungarian-Soviet Cultural Association. The Hungarian-Romanian Association undertook a very important task in improving Hungary’s connections with her eastern neighbor. The organization was an embodiment of cultural and educational, as well as political intentions and endeavors. The task and responsibility of the Association was eliminating the old prejudice and negative clichés that heavily burdened the relationship of the two nations. They toiled to introduce the cultural values of the two nations to each other, and to make it clear that the two countries needed each other and neither was able to lastingly prosper or even to survive without the other. Spectacular and very positive results were achieved in the connections of the two neighboring countries in the two years following the end of the war. When preparing for the peace treaty, however, chauvinistic tendencies became more powerful again in Romania.