Political parties and the European enlargement
Peter Mair: Political Parties and democracy: What Short of Future?
For a variety of reasons, including changes in the character of democracy as well as changes at the level of the parties themselves as well as at the level of the wider society, contemporary parties find themselves less and less able to function as representative agencies. The age of the mass party has passed, and, at least in any foreseeable future, it is unlikely to be recoverable. At the same time, however, parties do play an important, and perhaps even increasingly important, role in the management of democracy. Hence, while their representative role may be declining, their procedural role remains as essential as ever. To put it another way, while party organizations may be failing, parties as such are not. One way in which parties might therefore assure themselves of a future can be by facing up to and accepting their changed circumstances, and by seeking to emphasize their legitimacy as guarantors of a form of democracy, which is inclusive, transparent, and accountable.
András Bozóki and Gergely Karácsony: Membership Without Belonging? Hungary into the European Union: A Historic Step Passively Approved
In 2003, all applicant countries held referenda on the admission to the European Union. While accession was strongly approved by all of the Central European applicant countries’ population, voters’ turnout was surprisingly low. Central European countries and the Baltic States produced a new pattern of political participation: low turnout combined with high approval rate. Curiously, that approval rate that stayed at home did not differ from the rate of the participants, so their reason for abstention was not the rejection of the move. We focus our attention to the Hungarian case, where turnout was the lowest, and we offer a few explanations for the passivity and scepticism. One explanations can be based on the characteristics of the Hungarian party system, i. e. the contradictory policies of the two big parties which created tensions for those party supporters who had disagree on their party’s stance on the EU accession. Contradictory messages, therefore, resulted in uncertainty and passivity. Another explanation stresses the role of the elites, EU accession was seen as an elite driven process. The unpopularity of the regime change in mass perception largely contributed to passive behaviour in positive preferences toward the EU.
Jody Jensen: Faultiness and Frontlines of Security: Global and Regional Challenges for Europe
As the eyes of the world were turned towards Bagdad, the pro-reform prime minister of Serbia, Zoran Djindjic, was assassinated in Belgrade revealing once again the fragility of security in the Balkans and underscoring the need for continuing international vigilance and commitment in the region. The calamity of the Balkan wars and the continuing uncertainty enveloping the region are the products of a variety of colluding domestic and international factors, which confirm that democracy is not just an internal affair. It is also transnational. International factors, which exacerbated the Balkan conflicts, are analyzed in this paper, which focuses on the role of the European Union in tandem with or subservient to American policies and interests in the region. American’s role is then evaluated in a global as well as regional context in a discussion of power and security in the post-September 11th world.
Marjam Brezovsek and Miro Hasek: The Modernization Process of Slovenian Public Administration and Corruption
Public administration in all kind of democracies struggles with the same kind of problems: how to ensure an efficient, effective, legitimate, responsible, accountable, professional and fair public service. The process of modernization is primarily the consequence of a fast and very dynamic social system development, which also demands appropriate adjustments and improvement of the administration systems. The modernization process has special relevance in transitional countries such as Slovenia. We have analysed the elements necessary for successful transition into more effective administration and consequently more effective and successful society. In article we have tried to ruminate upon the administrative modernization process with the emphasis of corruption.
Máté Szabó: Mobilization and protest strategy of the Fidesz-MPP within and after the electoral campaign
Elections after 1989 in Hungary in 1990,1994 and 1998 did not result in massive mobilizations and protest of the political society beyond the institutional channels. According our research Fidesz used to be the most active party in political protest in the beginning of the 90’s. Loosing its majority position on a sudden and astonishing way in the first turnout of the 2002 parliamentary elections, Fidesz united its protest party traditions with the bottom up mass mobilization techniques between the two turns of the elections and beyond. After the first run Fidesz changed the mobilization goal and challenged the results of the elections. Demonstrations, blockades, symbolic actions and legal actions were combined in a sudden wave of mass mobilization and protest. The study is oriented towards the story, the organizational forms, goals, action repertoires, and frames of these mobilization and protest campaign. New forms of organizing and protesting were developed within the active supporters of the centre right, which will be managed by Fidesz to unite the differentiated field of the Hungarian centre- right parties. Center –Right continued to protesting against electoral results and set up a broader satellite movement of citizen’s initiative.
Damjan Lajh: The Europeanisation of Regionalization: Building Multi-level Institutional Setting in Slovenia
This paper focuses on the Europeanisation of Slovenia’s regional policy and politics, especially on building-up and employment of (sub)national entities in EU multi-level system. Europeanisation embraces also the requirements of accession countries to adjust on the field of regional policy. At this point, paper argues the importance of a) institutional challenge of establishing a competent authority at national level with responsibility for co-ordination and management of regional issues, and b) establishing a regional structure that is compatible with the NUTS classification. Main aims of the paper were twofold: firstly, to analyse the building of Slovenian multi-level regional institutional setting from the viewpoint of Slovenia’s accession to the EU and, secondly, to assess what level of regional institutional design has so far evolved in Slovenia. The conducted analysis demonstrates that despite multi-level dynamic and the inclusion of institutions from different levels of decision-making (national, regional, local), the system of regional development planning and stimulation in Slovenia is still quite centralised at the national level.
Malgorzata Marciniak: Between Rigidity and Flexibility – Institutional Challenges for Management of Polish Eastern Border
The Polish Eastern border will constitute the largest and the longest chunk of the EU external border The article treats the problems of institutional adjustments for the management of the Polish Eastern border as a future external border of the EU and concerns two aspects: rigid EU requirements and flexible Eastern policy. The definition of standards should come from central government and constitute a transparent guide-line so as to the performance of institutions and their mutual links – the formulation of such approach still remains among weaknesses of Polish system. The interface between political and administrative structure is another shortcoming of Polish institutions, as they are extremely sensitive in terms of politicization and political background transformations. The article is based on the master thesis presented in the College of Europe, Bertha von Suttner promotion (2002-2003) under the supervision of Anthony Verheijen (World Bank).