Diplomacy and international relations in Central Europe

Laurence Whitehead: Twenty-five Years of Freedom, and Various Shades of Grey
To evaluate what was distinctive about Central Europe’s twenty-five years of freedom we need to consider what was unusual about these constraints. In Latin America or Southern Europe democratization included the freedom to renew or repudiate previous security ties. In CE the requirements of freedom from Russian control left no such range of options. In post-authoritarian capitalist societies socialist parties were free to campaign for strengthened trade union rights, more public ownership, and other left-wing causes. The threats to freedom they must now deal with come from diverse sources- both external and internal; both economic and political.

Carlos Flores Juberías: Some considerations about the accession and the performance of Central European States in the European Union
From the political point of view, it has to be remembered that the 2004 enlargement was then, and still is as of today, the most important expansion experienced by the European Union since its creation in the fifties: the one bringing the largest number of countries in; the one following the more complex negotiation ever; the one which sparked major internal tensions; and the one that more radically transformed the political geography of the Union and its position in the international community. One may conclude that with regard to the generation of problems, the countries of the former Eastern bloc have been far from behaving like a single actor, suffering at this point the same miseries, but not many more, than the older EU members.

Ferenc Gazdag and László Kiss Gy.: Foreign Policy and Indebtedness – The Hungarian Case
It can be safely stated that the years in power of the second Orbán government (2010-2014) will go down in the 21st century of Hungary as the most turbulent and debated period in the last 25 years. This paper attempts to the interpretation of the foreign policy that of foreign policy of indebtedness, its stages and consequences to domestic policy legitimacy. The liberal democracy model has historically bowed out to an efficient, centralised, state controlled capitalism model. Can the Central European nation states turn to a strong state model without actually achieving the status of welfare state? Could it be that the Orbán government in its ongoing grapple with crisis symptoms have found an international pattern for other countries to follow?

Mátyás Szűrös: Regime Change and Republic in Hungary – The 1989/90 regime changing turn and its preceding events, follow-up developments
The analysts sometimes seem to forget that in Hungary, the regime change had several, high-impact internal economic, political and external international antecedents; this is why we were able to lead the way in the context of changes with historical significance in the 1989-90s in Central Europe. Regardless of our NATO and EU memberships, in the past twenty-five years, and mostly even today, our leeway was defined by certain great powers, moreover, as they are invariably more competitive and larger, they siphon off a great deal of the power and performance of our country.

Géza Jeszenszky: Hungary’s Road to NATO (1989-1999)
With NATO’s decision to intervene in the war in Bosnia in order to bring it to an end and with the establishment of IFOR to implement the decisions of the Dayton Peace Accord the strategic importance of Hungary became manifest. The Hungarian Government offered the territory and air space of Hungary for the Bosnia peace mission. Soon Americans learned the name of the small village Taszár and its air base, which became one of the centres of the operation. An engineering corps unit of the Hungarian Army joined the troops in the field in Croatia and Bosnia, and they soon proved their value by building and reconstructing bridges and roads.

György Csepeli: To be or not to be? – The European Union is at the Crossroads
The year 2015 made it definite that the European Union in the form it exists is no longer sustainable. It will either change or it will be swept away by the world, the changes of which it is unable to adapt to. The migrant crisis provides a historical opportunity for Europeans to define themselves along the individual freedom that is the essence of the European paradigm. This new Europe-building policy may have many elements. We know from the era of building nation states that along the lines of national semantic universes, possibly building upon these, a ‘European semantic universe’ could be created which would allow to Europeans that Europe appears as a home to them where they feel at home.

Andrea Carteny: The Protection of Minorities and the V4 Group as Framework for International Cooperation. The Visegrad Group was the first international initiative of cooperation among the former Socialist countries in Europe, between the historical “Mittel”- and Central European nations of the so called Eastern Europe. On 15th February 1991, the leaders of these countries met in the  Hungarian town of Visegrád of Hungary. In 1993, after the split between the Czech Republic and Slovakia becomes Visegrad Four (V4), including about 65 million for population and half a million square km for geographical dimension. The importance of V4 cooperation was confirmed by the fact that various other countries from the wider region constantly asked to be admitted. The V4 was not “created at the behest of the West”.

Edit Lőrinczné Bence: Democratic Transition in Croatia: From the first parliamentary election in 1990 to the last one in 2015. Croatia such as other post-communist countries under multiple pressures. There was a certain parallel process in that democratic consolidation ran alongside other integration developments such as difficulties of introducing the market economy, an independent foreign policy oriented on Euro-Atlantic interests. The colliding preconditions such as the historical heritage, modernization, establishment of security and modernization were presented and they had to cope with all them at the very same time. The party system is stable, because has some beneficial traits, though it also suffers from several deficits, which has had a positive impact on the consolidation of democracy in Croatia.

Attila Szalai: The Regional Policy in the Strategy of Poland’s Foreign Policy – The key elements
Poland’s foreign policy is based on three fundamental pillars. These are: the transatlantic relationship (USA, NATO); EU engagement – The Weimar Triangle (Germany, France, Poland); Eastern policy, regional policy (Visegrad Group, Eastern Partnership, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EU Strategy for the Danube Region. geopolitical location meant challenge in the history of Poland mostly in two respects: One is the location of the country between two major powers, Germany and Russia. The Polish diplomacy says that dialogue between the interested Member States is exemplary, with a particular emphasis on meaningful cooperation with Hungarian partners.

Csaba Cservák: Bicameral Parliaments then and now in Europe and in Hungary
The degree of independence of the different elements of the separation of power does not always reach the level where we can view them as separate branches of power. The concentration of power is reduced, thereby the separation of power is increased if certain functions are filled by many. In the light of all these we can declare: the separation of power within the legislative power is consummated by the system of bicameral parliaments. The dual adoption of laws can be the guarantor of a more measured legislation, and can prevent the necessity of constant modifications.

Irina Pop: The Political Communication Crises in Romania – A case study – Club Collective of October 30, 2015. The topic is the tragedy in the Collective Club in Bucharest which, politically ended up in the Cabinet Ponta’s fell. How to explain the Ponta Cabinet fell? The deep roots causes are the extremely limited political communication efforts and results, the lack of the structural dialog of the politics with the society at large, which drastically limited the common understandings and support. The partisan political message is to be changed immediately in order to not split the country and to not spare it from political leadership. The political actors are out of the mission, just because they acted to solve the conjectural crisis with adversarial tools.