Changes and cooperation in Central Europe

Csaba Varga: Transition Marshalled by Constitutional Court Dicta under the Cover of a Formal Rule of Law (A Case-study of Hungary)
Diverse types of transitions can be observed which need differentiation in assessment and classification. One of them is the case of Hungary with a strongly emphasised formalistic understanding of the rule of law, reduced to security in law (made equal to full foresee ability of the law). The main actor of shaping ongoing processes has all through been the country’s Constitutional Court with its politically partisan over-activism, by establishing the alleged unconstitutionality of quite a few basic measures needed both to heal the economic, social and political wrongs caused by the previous communist regime and block its re-continuation and control gaining one-sided privileges from the new rule of law scheme, on the one hand, and by ousting from the working of the law all considerations of morality and material justice, on the other, thereby emptying it from any final standards. Oeuvre of privatists, by chance, Hungarian constitutional adjudication itself eventually privatised public law, targeting the State as a common enemy. The atomisation of society is achieved in fact and declared latently as so by the law in force as well. Even human dignity has been conceived in mere isolation and sterility. The consequence is a future with no past: legality with justice silenced, leaving crimes unpunished.

Thomas Glaser: EU Diplomacy – A Normative Initiative or a Failure of Realpolitik?
We thus see today that leathery colonels, their chests gleaming with medal ribbons, can deploy the terminology of social scientists, and talk about the pressing need for gender empowerment, the learning of social skills by disbanded militias and of rural employment as the key to ending wars. It is the emergence of the EU onto the international scene that has largely brought all this about. I aim in this talk to investigate whether or not the EU is or is not a truly normative power, and, much more importantly, whether it wants to be a such a power. in those countries where people are paid salaries to think of such things and to plan for them, there is no consensus as to what to plan for. Germany looks east; France looks south; Britain looks west, and Europe is the poorer for it. The EU has reached what are probably the limits of its normative power and cannot agree on which realpolitik to pursue nor on the means of pursuing it.

Aneta Valterová: Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary: Did Austrocorporatism spread?
One of the crucial tasks of the democratizing post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe during the early 1990’s was to create legal and institutional conditions that would promote a functional system of interest intermediation. The most common approach was the adoption of institutional models from the West, notably the establishment of national-level tripartite institutions. This article focuses on four Central European countries, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. These countries share, at least to some extent, similar organizational and administrative culture, are geographically close and also have close historical links with each other – Austria therefore seems to be an ideal model for its three neighbours. The aim of this article is to explore to what extent have the three post-communist countries adopted the Austrian model of interest representation and possibly to identify what factors have shaped the interest intermediation systems of the post-communist Central European countries.

Jody Jensen: The Metamorphosis of the Nation State
In the context of globalization, the nation state is being reshaped. Globalization is partly contained within and implemented by national states. This blurs the borders between what constitutes the national and the global and denationalizes some of the specific components of nation state functions. The metamorphosis of the nation state can be viewed as the constitution of a hybrid state with hybrid competencies and scope. This is a hybrid that is neither fully private nor fully public, neither fully national nor fully global and signals the reconstituting of sovereignty.

Gábor G. Fodor – Tamás Kern: The Chance of a Successful Social Compromise in Hungary
This essays claims that the representations of the society’s welfare and social demands have not been in balance in Hungary since the political transformation happened, and the lack of equilibrium has resulted in a series of social and fiscal crisis. The reinforcement of the state is necessary for the creation of the conditions for a good governing. One option is the treat of the experiences from the European social compromises. We think that currently the conditions are not given: political parties have different interests, due to the rule of the vote maximization, the jockeying for position and techniques overwrite the demand for national strategic thinking. The government subordinates its readiness to make initiatives to political survival, the representation of interest is weak, and they simply formulate their aims as being instruments of political parties. The actors and their motivations may change; the political power field and structures can be changed.

Katalin Dancsi: The Europeanization of the Schengen Cooperation: Revisiting EU Integration
The paper reviews the recent post-Amsterdam Treaty developments of the EU’s border control and visa policies. It argues that these two fields have experienced substantial transformation toward supra-nationalization, despite the fact that the Schengen cooperation was originally created as an intergovernmental collaboration. This may sound surprising because border control and visa policies have long been considered to be the core part of national sovereignty that EU member states are extremely hesitant to relinquish. Thus, this finding confirms the relevance of supra-nationalists (institutionalist) theories of integration and challenges the explanatory power of inter-governmentalists (realist) interpretation of the outcome of EU integration processes.