The Euro-Atlanti Integration, Attitudes and Orientations
Roger Scruton: Exporting the Tory Idea. Considering British Conservatism in the Hungarian Context
In Central Europe it would be impossible for ordinary voters to understand the conservative position, if they did not see from the outset that the belief in the freedom of the individual is a fundamental part of it. Conservatives defend the individual against the state, private against public property, voluntary associations against state systems, choice against compulsion, and most of all the right of the individual citizen to enjoy his talents and abilities in free association with his neighbours. I fear that many have forgotten entirely that individual freedom is not won by individuals, but only by groups and only through the ability to renounce the individual advantage for the common good. People in Central Europe know this road down which the liberal would compel us, this vision of a final goal, in which perfect freedom and perfect equality coexist, and in which domination, privilege and discrimination have been done away with. And they know what happens, when people take seriously the suggestion that we should use the machinery of the state in order to advance towards that dream, which was given by Marx; the political programme by Lenin. Nationality hardly exists as a force in England or America. The conservative cause in those countries does not consist in endorsing and inflaming nationalist passions, but in the ‘care for institutions’ – the nurture of and respect for the small associations that give meaning to the lives of ordinary people. Such institutions existed in Hungary: 10,000 were destroyed in the Stalinist days. Many have forgotten entirely that individual freedom is not won by individuals, but only by groups and only through the ability to renounce the individual advantage for the common good.
Peter A. Ulram: Image and Political Culture: Austria and its neighbours
This contribution covers three topics. It stars with the mutual perceptions of Austrian and East-Central European countries. Special attention is given to the role of information and stereotypes in forming country images. When these images become rooted in the public mind they serve as filters for further information and patterns of interpretation. The second part is dedicated to the perception of system change, political institutions and the distribution of democratic orientations in East-Central Europe. Based on a rich empirical data base from 1991-1999 the author concludes that these countries are fairly consolidated democracies at the level of system culture but show deficiencies with regard to process culture and stable intermediary structures. Finally, attitudes an EU-enlargement in Austria and the applicant countries are analysed: in the both cases the respective attitudes are not only influenced by an informed assessment of potential benefits and disadvantages but are embedded in a wider complex of social orientations and often emotionalized fears.
Bernhard Kittel: EMU, EU Enlargement and the European Social Model: Trends, Challenges, and Questions
The paper discusses the possible implications of the combined challenge of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and the enlargement of the EU by central and eastern European countries to the “European Social Model” (ESM). The strains produced by the two challenges on the European welfare states and industrial relation systems are regarded as considerable, adding to the high variety of country-specific solutions and leading to increased inequality both across and within member countries. However, there are neither signs that the two challenges lead to the abolition of welfare standards, despite the need for “re-calibration”, nor signs for the dismantlement of labor market institutions. In contrast, the need to search for viable alternatives to the status quo appears to strengthen attempts to improve long-term sustainability of welfare states and to improve the performance of established labor market institutions. Moreover, the challenges foster new European policy approaches like the “open coordination” mechanism.
László Csaba: Hitting a Moving Target
The article addresses the issue if and to what extent the road-map adopted by the Nice Council of December, 2000 and the Gothenburg decision to name 2004 as a deadline for the first enlargement round of the EU can be implemented; and how recent modifications in Hungarian economic policy, i.e. in exchange rate regime and in fiscal policy allow for a speedy convergence to EMU. Parallel to this progress in major intra-EU redistributory systems, such as of the CAP and of structural funds is being scrutinised in order to find out to what extend these pave the way for a larger scale enlargement. While progress on all major areas looks limited, the ability to learn and the need to find compromise solutions is likely to prevail, thus making the gradual enlargement possible by the middle of the decade, probably in more rounds rather than in a single rush/Big Bang.
Simona Kustec: Slovene Communication Policy on EU Issues – The political campaign lens
The question of this article is focused on one specific field of global EU policy issues – communication policy. The period of inclusion into supra national structure is usually periodically longer and connected to enormous obstacles. For that reason it is very important for each (candidate) state to develop a visible and elaborate policy strategy (e.g. political campaign) of informing, communicating and at one point also persuading its citizens about the positive and negative facts of becoming a full member in the integration. The main claim of this article is that Slovene communication policy on EU issues contains numerous elements of political campaign. Our thesis is tested on the basis of data stemming from internal acts and statistics of the Government Public Relations and Media Office, from other legal acts and studies connected to the EU and communications policy issues and from a non-structured interview with the Head of the Department for European Affairs.
Aleksandra Bat and Florence Terranova: Towards a Redefinition of the Concept of Regional Policy in the CEECs in the Context of EU Enlargement: aid to the decision-making process
The future enlargement of the EU to CEE countries is characterised by the implementation of the Acquis Communautaire and by the adjustment of industrial sectors to western levels of competitiveness. Due to the importance of declining sectors in these countries, policy adjustments are required at the regional level. We will discuss in a first part the implication of policy choices (horizontal and vertical approaches) and some of the alternatives offered to public decision-makers. In a second part, we will present a multi-criteria methodology with the objective to assess the overall competitiveness of industrial sectors in the CEEs in comparison with EU sectors. The case of Poland is surveyed. This approach could be used as an efficient tool for the definition and adjustment of public policies in these countries.
Ivan Siptak: Is History Fate? (Relations and Mental Maps between Austria – Slovakia)
The Eastern enlargement of the EU and the inherent set-up of a political and social union is the biggest challenge for Europe in the new century. In the past, the differences between the European East and West proved to be a fertile soil for various prejudices and clichés. The existing mental maps also hinder the establishment of a ‘social community’ and/or “civil society”. Austria and Slovakia, for instance, still cling to their old perceptions of each other. These – often stereotypical – ideas directly and indirectly affect their approval of the EU enlargement process. In my study, I have tried to trace out the causes for the existing mental maps in both countries: Slovaks have adopted a rather romantic image of Austria (rich, beautiful, etc.); Austrians are more likely to associate Slovakia with crime, poverty, communism, etc; negative reports on Slovakia in Austrian newspapers; very few highway and train connections; social interaction is limited to commuters and ”purchase-tourism”. The current situation of distrust and scepticism ought to be improved, among other things, by correcting the Austrian press image of Slovakia, procuring rapid traffic solutions, developing ‘Neighbour Networks’, carrying out EU programmes in border regions, etc.
Kursad Ertgurul: Contemporary Image of European Identity and Turkish Experience of Westernisation
This paper reflects on the impact of the attempts of constructing a European identity on the persisting images of national identity within the framework of EU/Turkey relations. On this basis the aim is to carry out a double criticism with respect to the recent tendencies in the formation and images of European identity and the dependence of Turkish modernisation on the ideal of “Europeanness”. In this sense it is argued that a tendency can be delineated in contemporary Western Europe as to ground European identity in a particular historical and cultural core. This tendency is criticised as a possibility of “cultural closure”. In connection to this argument, it is claimed that these images of European identity would lead to a dissonance with the ends of Turkish modernisation. Therefore, it is reflected that, the dependence of Turkish modernisation on the ideal of “Europeanness” can turn to be a limit as much as it has been a supporting dynamics.
Bojan Todosijevic: Dimensions of Nationalism: Structure of Nationalist Attitudes in Hungary and Yugoslavia
Nationalism is often conceived as internally homogenous, unidimensional, and temporary stable ideology, distinctively specific for certain groups (nations), as expressed in the familiar distinction between the ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ nationalism. The paper critically examines to what extent such generalizations are theoretically and empirically justified. The empirical analysis deals with comparison of the number, content, and interrelationships of nationalist attitudes dimensions between Hungary and Yugoslavia. The results showed that national attitudes are multidimensional, but that the number and content of dimensions varies in two countries. In the Yugoslavian sample dimensions of romantic and ethnocentric nationalism tend to converge into a single nationalist-ethnocentric dimension. National attitudes in Hungary can be described along three dimensions: national discrimination, romantic nationalism, and national closedness. Implications of the obtained results for theorizing nationalism are discussed.
Laure Neumayer: National Interest and National Identity in Political Debates on EU Accession in Hungary
The issue of nationhood came again to the fore after the 1989 systemic changes in Hungary when politicians called for a redefinition of national identity and of Hungarian foreign policy goals. The vague notion of “national interest” is another catchword in the political discussions on European integration. These debates became more polarized and less abstract with the launching of the accession negotiations. Yet all political actors still refer to the “national interest” as an ultimate argument, although they give it different meanings. Thus national identity, national interest and European integration became interrelated issues in the public sphere. This paper aims at showing how the national issue was rephrased in Hungary in the context of the EU debates and of broader political conflicts during a decade of political transformation. It does so through an analysis of the meaning given to the “national interest” by various political actors since 1990 in order to explain why this notion gained such a prominent role in internal discussions about accession to the EU, and how it was linked to some elements of a traditionalist political subculture.
István Hegedűs: EU Enlargement and the Hungarian Media
Hungary is standing ante portas. According to the European Council in Nice, citizens of the new member states in an enlarged European Union might already vote at the next European elections in 2004. When reading the reports elaborated by the European Commission on the progress of the candidate countries, it is almost evident that Hungary will belong to this avant-garde by then. Nevertheless, Hungarian citizens and the media are not looking towards membership with full of optimism. Although the political elite and a high majority of the electorate supports accession to the EU, the main messages of the dominant media contains ‘europessimistic’ complaints and doubts, such as: timing of the accession is still far away and ‘Western’ politicians have always made promises very easily; present member states have no real interest in the enlargement process: they just want to preserve their current positions at the negotiations with the candidate countries; national egoism of member states and the dictates of ‘Brussels’ constitute the decision-making of the EU; big member states have much more power inside the EU, etc. Some possible reasons of this interpretations of the European Union: fears of a small nation with a communist past of an unknown future, exaggerated pragmatism: no belief in positive some games and political ideas, growing euroscepticism of the major ruling party, which wants to build a coalition with neo-conservative forces in Europe.
Tamás Csapody: Movements and Anti-Movements in Hungary during the NATO Bombings in Yugoslavia
In the spring of 1999, the 78 days long NATO bombings of Yugoslavia divided the Hungarian public opinion. In the movements sector of the Hungarian society the Movement for the Peace of the Balkan (MPB) was established, and so was its quasi counter-movement, the 82-s. This essay examines the above mentioned movements according to the well-known threefold aspects of movement-sociology: teleological, morphological and structural aspects. From the teleological point of view, the aim of setting and achieving an objective is investigated in the case of the of the MPB. The morphological aspect analyses the organisation of the identity and integrity providing activities of the movement. From the structural point of view, the role of the MPB in the society as a whole is analysed. The MPB definitely had a substantive effect, while its procedural impression (restructuring decision making and consent creating procedures) cannot be said important. However, it might have a long-term transforming influence on the social structure. Its short-term external (beyond the movement) and internal (inside the movement) effects were significant. One of the intended internal aims of the MPB was to obtain and organise an increasing amount of supporters, furthermore, influence the public discourse.