Central Europe and the European Union: The Meaning of Europe

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  • Central European History and the European Union

    The Meaning of Europe

    Stanislav J. Kirschbaum

    Edited by

  • Central European History and the European Union

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  • Studies in Central and Eastern EuropeEdited for the International Council for Central and East European Studies by Roger E. Kanet, University of Miami, USA

    Titles include:


    Roger E. Kanet (editor)RUSSIARe-Emerging Great Power


    Stanislav J. Kirschbaum (editor)CENTRAL EUROPEAN HISTORY AND THE EUROPEAN UNIONThe Meaning of Europe

    Katlijn Malfliet, Lien Verpoest and Evgeny Vinokurov (editors)THE CIS, THE EU AND RUSSIAChallenges of Integration

    Stephen Velychenko (editor)UKRAINE, THE EU AND RUSSIAHistory, Culture and International Relations

    Forthcoming titles include:






    Stephen Hutchings (editor)RUSSIA AND ITS OTHER(S) ON FILMScreening Intercultural Dialogue

    Joan DeBardeleben (editor)THE BOUNDARIES OF EU ENLARGEMENT

    Studies in Central and Eastern EuropeSeries Standing Order ISBN 0-230-51682-3 hardcover(outside North America only)

    You can receive future titles in this series as they are published by placing a standing order.Please contact your bookseller or, in case of difficulty, write to us at the address below withyour name and address, the title of the series and the ISBN quoted above

    Customer Services Department, Macmillan Distribution Ltd, Houndmills, Basingstoke,Hampshire RG21 6XS, England

    9780230_549371_01_prexxii.qxp 9/11/2007 11:41 AM Page ii

  • Central European History andthe European Union

    The Meaning of Europe

    Edited by

    Stanislav J. KirschbaumDepartment of International Studies, Glendon College,York University, Canada

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  • Editorial matter, selection, introduction and conclusion Stanislav J. Kirschbaum2007 All remaining chapters respective authors 2007

    All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission.

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  • v


    Preface vii

    General Editors Preface viii

    Contributors xiii

    Chronology xvi

    Maps of Europe xix

    Introduction 1Stanislav J. Kirschbaum

    Part I Whence Central Europe? 9

    1. European Roots: the Case of Slovakia 11Stanislav J. Kirschbaum

    2. Federalism in Central Europe: Past and Present 23Francesco Leoncini

    3. Toward an Open Society: Reflections on the 1989 Revolution in Eastern Europe 32Oskar Gruenwald

    Part II The Legacy of the National State 61

    4. The Secularized Cult of St Stephen in Modern Hungary 63Juliane Brandt

    5. The Quest for a Symbol Wenceslas and the Czech State 81Stefan Samerski

    6. Moldavian Prince Stephen and Romania 92Krista Zach

    7. The Invention of Modern Poland: Pilsudski and the Politics of Symbolism 102Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski

    8. An Ethnic Poland: a Failure of National Self-determination 123John J. Kulczycki

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  • vi Central European History and the European Union

    Part III The Challenges of EU Membership 143

    9. Intellectual and Political Europe: Rupture or Continuity in Central Europe? 145Basak Z. Alpan

    10. Euroscepticism in Central Europe 159Laure Neumayer

    11. Europeanization and Gender Equality in the Czech Republic and Slovakia 179Ingrid Rder

    12. Poland and the EU Constitutional Convention 189An Schrijvers

    13. The EU and Interculturality in Croatia after 2000 215Mojmir Krizan

    Conclusion 237Stanislav J. Kirschbaum

    Index 249

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  • Preface

    Over a period of almost three decades as a Canadian academic studyingCentral Europe, I was first given the opportunity to publish a collaborativework on the region in 1988, in a volume entitled East European History; thiswas followed ten years later by Historical Reflections on Central Europe. Bothvolumes represented, as the eclectic selection of articles indicates, a desire topresent, understand and explain various historical events or factors thatmarked Central Europe. The first volume still reflected the conditions of theCold War, but the second already signalled the reappearance, as a distinctgeopolitical reality, of that part of Europe on which this volume focuses. Andwhile this volume still looks at the past, it does so with a view to the future.Each author brings out an issue or a theme that marks Central Europe today,and together they suggest the need for the European Union to embark on aprocess of defining the meaning of Europe, so that its citizens need notidentify only with the unification process, but may also perceive an endproduct that represents more than just a successful economic and adminis-trative arrangement run by bureaucratic elites. All three volumes arose frompresentations at a world congress of the International Council for Centraland East European Studies, of which I have the privilege of being the secre-tary since 1980.

    My thanks go to all the contributors to this volume for sharing the objec-tive espoused, even if some may be sceptical about the possibility of findinga process in the European Union that will bring about the meaning ofEurope. I am grateful for their patience, understanding and cooperation inpreparing the manuscript. Oskar Gruenwalds chapter is reprinted from theJournal of Interdisciplinary Studies XVIII (1/2) (2006) 2556, where it firstappeared. My thanks also go to Carolyn King of the Cartographic Office ofthe Department of Geography at York University in Toronto for the mapsthat outline our theme. Last but not least my thanks go to Gemma dArcyHughes, Editorial Assistant for Politics and International Studies at PalgraveMacmillan, for guiding me through the editorial process.

    Stanislav J. KirschbaumToronto


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  • General Editors Preface

    When the International Council for Central and East European Studies(ICCEES) was founded at the first international and multidisciplinary confer-ence of scholars working in this field, held in Banff, Alberta, Canada, on 47September 1974, it was given the name International Committee for Sovietand East European Studies (ICSEES). Its major purpose was to provide forgreater exchange between research centres and scholars around the worldwho were devoted to the study of the USSR and the Communist states andsocieties of Eastern Europe. These developments were the main motivationfor bringing together the very different national organizations in the fieldand for forming a permanent committee of their representatives, which wouldserve as an umbrella organization, as well as a promoter of closer cooperation.Four national scholarly associations launched ICSEES at the Banff conference:the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS),the National Association for Soviet and East European Studies in Great Britain(NASEES), the British Universities Association of Slavists (BUAS), and theCanadian Association of Slavists (CAS).

    Over the past three decades six additional congresses have been held: inGarmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 1980; Washington, USA, 1985; Harrogate,UK, 1990; Warsaw, Poland, 1995; Tampere, Finland, 2000; and Berlin, Germany,2005. The next congress is scheduled for 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden. The orig-inal four national associations that sponsored the first congress have beenjoined by an additional 17 full and six associate member associations, withsignificantly more than a thousand scholars participating at each of therecent congresses.

    It is now a little over three decades since scholars felt the need to coordi-nate the efforts in the free world to describe and analyse the Communistpolitical systems, their societies and economies, and EastWest relations inparticular. Halfway through this period, the Communist system collapsed,the region that was the object of study was reorganized, and many of thenew states that emerged set out on a path of democratic development, eco-nomic growth and, in many cases, inclusion in Western institutions. Theprocess turned out to be complex, and there were setbacks. Yet, by 2004, theEuropean Union as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)had welcomed those post-Communist states that had met all the requirementsfor membership. Not all the applicant states achieved this objective; but theprocess is ongoing. For, this reason, perhaps even more than before, the regionthat encompassed the former Communist world demands study, explana-tion and analysis, as both centripetal and centrifugal forces are at work in eachstate and across the region. We are most fortunate that the community of


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  • scholars addressing these issues now includes many astute analysts from theregion itself.

    The impact of Central Europe on the European Union, and the importance of historical context

    During the decade-long negotiations between the European Union (EU) andthe post-Communist states of Central Europe concerning membership forthe latter, one of the objectives of the former was to use the magnet of mem-bership as a tool to influence political, economic and even social and culturaldevelopments in those countries seeking to join this elite Western club. AsMilada Anna Vachudova and many others have noted in a host of analyses,through the promise of eventual EU membership the countries of WesternEurope have had a substantial impact on the political, economic and polit-ical redefinition and restructuring of their eastern neighbours.1 Slovakia, forexample, was left behind in the first round of NATO expansion and largelyignored by the EU as a potential member. Only after the electorate respondedto NATO and EU criticisms of domestic political developments under PrimeMinister Vladimr Meciar by ousting him, followed by significant shifts inboth domestic and foreign policy, was Slovak membership in either organi-zation considered seriously.2 However, virtually no one has examined ser-iously, or even posed clearly, questions concerning the reverse impact of therelationship namely, the influence that the entry of ten generally less-developed post-Communist states of Central and South-Eastern Europe andthe Baltic has already exerted and is likely to continue to exert in the futureon the nature of the European Union itself.

    In one area in particular it has already become evident that the new stateshave come down clearly on the side of the UK, Denmark and other EU mem-bers on the issue of the central importance of the transatlantic security rela-tionship with the USA and will not support the development of a EuropeanSecurity and Defence Policy (ESDP) that would come into conflict with thelong-term relationship of Europe and the USA within the NATO security sys-tem.3 This has resulted in a substantial shift in the positions likely to emerge asdominant on matters related to European foreign and security policy and torelations with both the Russian Federation in the East and the USA in theWest. Poland and Romania, for example, simply do not view their long-termsecurity concerns from the same perspective as does France or even Germany.Therefore, they see the US connection as central to their long-term security.

    The new Central European members of the EU also bring to the organizationdifferent perspectives on the nature of the organization itself. After decades,even centuries, of domination by others, they are not enthusiastic about theemergence of a European Union in which national differences disappear andsupranational institutions hold sway. In other words, most of the new EUmembers are more interested in focusing on those aspects of EU integration

    General Editors Preface ix

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  • that have characterized the organization in the past and that are expected tocontribute to the economic welfare and growth of that part of Europe thathas not experienced comparable economic and technological advance overmost of the past half-millennium.

    These are in many respects the very issues that lie at the heart of the pres-ent volume. Stanislav J. Kirschbaum and his colleagues are concerned muchmore than are most students of contemporary post-Communist political andeconomic developments in the area, including EU expansion, about thepast, its influence on the present, and its likely impact on the future evolu-tion both of the states of Central Europe and of the broader institutions ofthe EU itself. They describe societies for which historical roots expressed inpart through the symbolism associated with important saints and kings arean immediate and integral part of contemporary identity. They make clearthat it is simply not possible to understand the modern sense of nationalidentity and purpose of the peoples of this region without reference to thepast, including the medieval period, to key historical figures, and to mythsof native kingdoms that originated and flourished long ago.

    Unless one understands the place that medieval Kosovo plays in the Serbianmyth of nationhood that underlies the contemporary Serbian sense of iden-tity and the competing myths of nation- and statehood that characterize thereligious and cultural borderlands of Central and Eastern Europe, one willhave serious problems making sense of some important aspects of contem-porary political developments throughout the region. That is why, in my view,so many students of comparative politics, who rely almost exclusively onsocioeconomic, demographic and electoral data as the tools of their analysis,find it difficult to provide meaningful explanations of developments in thisand other regions of the world. As important as systematic social scienceresearch has become in helping us to understand regularities in social andpolitical behaviour, they can provide only a partial picture of contemporarypolitical reality. An understanding of the legacies of the past legacies, however,that are intimately intertwined with current views of identity and reality must guide and complement interpretations of what are often viewed as themeasurable hard data essential for systematic quantitative analysis, if theanalyst hopes to gain more than a superficial snapshot of the real world. Ina region such as Central Europe, where the past is ever present, this point isarguably even more relevant than it is in other parts of the modern world.

    No recent author deals more effectively with the issue of historical sym-bols and their role in contemporary political struggles than Stuart Kaufman,who notes that they represent a sort of historical shorthand that brings tomind among whole populations the glories of the past and the inequities vis-ited upon them and their ancestors over the course of the past millennium.4

    Although Kaufmans focus is on the relationship between the symbols ofnational identity and the explosion of ethnic conflict in former Yugoslaviaand the former USSR, his point has broader relevance. As the essays in this

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  • volume make evident, King St Stephen of Hungary, King St Wenceslas ofBohemia, and Prince St Stephen of Moldavia, as well as the much morerecent General Piltsudski of Poland, are not merely important figures in thehistory of the peoples of Central Europe. They are also political symbols,constantly reinterpreted and updated for current generations, of the import-ance and greatness of the peoples concerned, symbols that also point to theneed to protect the group against the incursions of outsiders.

    Assuming the contemporary importance of the past and of the great histor-ical symbols of the various new Central European members of the EU, whatimpact can we expect these quite different historical contexts from those ofthe original 15 members of the EU to have on the future development of theorganization? As noted already, it is evident that the post-Communist statesfor the most part bring with them a decidedly pro-US and transatlanticistperspective in their foreign policy as a counter to the views of many of theoriginal 15 EU members. It is difficult to see the new members committingthemselves to an integrated foreign and defence policy for the EU, if that bringswith it a weakening of the NATO link a prospect that is virtually inevitable.

    As several of the authors in the present volume note, there is a secondimportant area in which the post-Communist states are likely to affect thefuture of the EU. Most of them, though strongly committed to economicintegration and to closing the developmental gaps between the Western andEastern halves of the continent, are not supportive of political developmentslikely to submerge these societies in a federal EU that would challenge theiridentities. Decades of Soviet domination and, in most cases, centuries of for-eign rule have made the attraction of national self-determination an impor-tant issue, at least for the foreseeable future. This obviously will affect futurediscussions of an EU constitution and the nature of the development of theorganization itself. Most of these countries are likely to ally themselves onthis issue with the UK, which continues to oppose the strengthening of thesupranational, as opposed to intergovernmental, aspects of the EU. As the newmembers of the EU interact with the rest of the community, it is already becom-ing evident that some of the central elements of democratic governance thatunderlie accepted behaviour in the European Union are interpreted quitedifferently. Freedom of religion and the role that organized religion plays inthe political process, for example, are viewed quite differently in countriessuch as Romania and Poland than they are across the original EU-15.

    Obviously, historical factors have influenced the positions of those coun-tries, which originally created the European Coal and Steel Community andits successor organizations, as well as those who over the next four decadesjoined and contributed to the emergence of the EU. But, for the most part,their history as least for the larger and more dominant of the EU members was a very different one from that of the new Eastern members. Most impor-tant, no doubt, were the transitions of the second half of the last century whenthe countries of Western Europe were evolving into a security community in

    General Editors Preface xi

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  • which the very idea of military conflict among them became unthinkable.That process did not occur in the East, where all were part of a Soviet imper-ial system. This contributed to the fact that the conflicting territorial andcultural identities remained unresolved and that centuries of foreign polit-ical, economic and cultural domination left most of the region far less develo-ped, in all senses of the term, than most of the existing EU members. Theseconflicts are still left to be resolved within the context of the EU itself.

    The nations and states of Central Europe will, of course, decide for them-selves how to resolve many of these questions and what contributions theywill make to the evolution of the EU. The input that scholars can make is tochoose and explain the factors that they believe are germane to this process.This collection of essays opens the door in that direction; it is a provocativeand, in many respects, pioneering work whose aim is to have academics,policy makers and other concerned individuals think beyond the box ofinstitutional enlargement, recognize the impact of the past, and launch adebate on the meaning of Europe.

    Roger E. Kanet


    1 This argument is developed quite explicitly by Milada Anna Vachudova in EuropeUndivided: Democracy, Leverage, and Integration after Communism (Oxford/New York:Oxford University Press, 2005).

    2 See, for example, Eva S. Jenkins, Slovakias Journey to NATO (Bratislava: PTK ECHOPublishing, 2005).

    3 See the relevant country chapters in Tom Lansford and Blagovest Tashev, eds, OldEurope, New Europe and the US: Renegotiating Transatlantic Security in the Post 9/11 Era.(Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2005).

    4 Stuart J. Kaufman, Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War (Ithaca, NY:Cornell University Press, 2001).

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  • Contributors

    Basak Z. Alpan is a doctoral candidate and a research student at theUniversity of Birmingham, Department of Political Science and InternationalStudies, UK. She earned her M.Sc. degree from Middle East Technical University,Centre for European Studies, Ankara, Turkey.

    Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski holds the S.A. Blejwas Endowed Chair in PolishHistory at Central Connecticut State University, USA. His recent books includePoles and Jews in North America (with Antony Polonsky) (2006), Ideology,Politics, and Diplomacy (2003) and The History of Poland (2000). He has beenawarded the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit for distinguished scholar-ship by the Republic of Poland and is inscribed on the Honour Role of PolishScience by the Ministry of Education in Warsaw. He is completing a studyon Hollywoods treatment of the Poles.

    Juliane Brandt is a researcher at the Institute for German Culture and Historyin South East Europe (IKGS) at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich.She worked and taught at Humboldt University in Berlin, the University ofLeipzig, ELTE Budapest and Mikolc University in Hungary. She is a specialistin the social and cultural history of South-East Europe and the social historyof religion. She has published numerous articles and surveys especially onthe history of Protestantism in Hungary, religious and national identities, butalso the development of literature and cultural politics after 1945.

    Oskar Gruenwald is editor of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies: AnInternational Journal of Interdisciplinary and Interfaith Dialogue and co-founderof its sponsoring Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and theInternational Christian Studies Association (www.JIS3.org). He is the authorof The Yugoslav Search for Man: Marxist Humanism in Contemporary Yugoslavia(1983) and co-editor with Karen Rosenblum-Cale of Human Rights in Yugoslavia(1986). He has published articles in many scholarly journals and chapters inbooks. He is listed in Whos Who in Theology and Science (1996).

    Stanislav J. Kirschbaum is Professor of International Studies and PoliticalScience at York University, Glendon College in Toronto, Canada. He is a spe-cialist in Central European politics and the author of A History of Slovakia.The Struggle for Survival (2nd edition, 2005) and Historical Dictionary ofSlovakia (2nd edition, 2007) as well as other volumes and numerous articleson Central Europe. Since 1980, he has held the position of Secretary of theInternational Council for Central and East European Studies, and in 2002 hewas elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


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  • Mojmir Krizan graduated in electrical engineering (1967) and the social sci-ences (1982). He had a teaching assignment at the University of Gttingen,Germany, between 1981 and 1991, focusing on Eastern Europe, Communismand MarxismLeninism. Since then he has been a freelancer, and his interesthas shifted to modern theories of justice and the problems of political andsocial coexistence and collaboration of different cultural, traditional, lan-guage and religious groups. He is the author of Vernunft, Modernisierung unddie Gesellschaftsordnungen sowjetischen Typs. Eine kritische Interpretation derbolschewistischen Ideologie (1991), Pravednost u kulturno pluralnim drustvima( Justice in Culturally Plural Societies) (2000), as well as a number of scientificand other articles on related topics.

    John J. Kulczycki is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois atChicago, USA. He is a specialist in the history of Central Europe, particularlyPolishGerman relations. He is the author of The Polish Coal Miners Unionand the German Labor Movement in the Ruhr, 19021934: National and SocialSolidarity (1997); The Foreign Worker and the German Labor Movement:Xenophobia and Solidarity in the Coal Fields of the Ruhr, 18711914 (1994);School Strikes in Prussian Poland, 19011907: The Struggle over BilingualEducation (1981) and numerous articles.

    Francesco Leoncini is Professor of Slavic History and of Central EuropeanHistory at the Universit Ca Foscari di Venezia, Venice, Italy. He is a specialistin Bohemian history and politics. His publications are on the Sudeten Germanproblem, the opposition in the Soviet bloc, the Czecho-Slovak Spring, andT.G. Masaryks thought. His most recent book is LEuropa centrale. Conflittualite progetto. Passato e presente tra Praga, Budapest e Varsavia (2003). He is an hon-orary member of the Masaryk Society in Prague.

    Laure Neumayer is Assistant Professor of Political Science at lUniversit deParis I Panthon Sorbonne. She is a specialist in European integration andCentral European politics. She has published Lenjeu europen dans les trans-formations postcommunistes Pologne, Hongrie, Rpublique tchque 19892004(2006) and numerous articles on the enlargement of the European Union.She is currently preparing a volume on reconciliation policies in Central andEastern Europe.

    Ingrid Rder is a Ph.D. researcher at the Jean Monnet Centre for EuropeanStudies at the University of Bremen, Germany. After receiving a Mastersdegree in Gender and International Relations at the University of Bristol, UK,she entered the doctoral programme at the University of Bremen. Her disser-tation examines gender equality, pre-accession assistance and Europeanization.She has published articles in Rissener Einblicke (2004/5) and Arbeitspapiere undMaterialien. Nr. 60: Neues Europa? Osteuropa 15 Jahre danach (2004). She alsoassisted with the publication Entwicklungszusammenarbeit in islamisch geprgtenLndern (2005).

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  • Stefan Samerski is Professor at the Catholic Faculty of the Ludwig-MaximilianUniversity in Munich, Germany. He is an expert in the church history ofEastCentral Europe for the seventeenth to twentieth centuries (churchstaterelations, popular piety). His most important publications are Wilhelm II. unddie Religion (1999); Venezia e il suo cielo dei santi nel settecento (2000); and Wieim Himmel, so auf Erden? Die Selig- und Heiligsprechungspraxis der katholischenKirche zwischen 1740 und 1870 (2002).

    An Schrijvers was recently awarded her Ph.D. (dissertation topic: Polandand the European Union. The Europeanization of polity, politics and policies.A political science analysis of Polands accession process in the EuropeanUnion) where the research was funded by the FWO-Flanders. She is cur-rently working in the Centre for European Union Studies, Department ofPolitical Science, Ghent University, Belgium. Her specialization is EU enlarge-ment policy, the effects of Europeanization, and Euroscepticism in Centraland Eastern Europe. She is the author of several scholarly articles on theenlargement of the European Union and Polish politics.

    Krista Zach, retired Professor of Central European History at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, is currently Visiting Professorfor European Studies in History at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca,Romania. She specializes in early modern cultural history and modern polit-ical history, and is the author of Orthodoxe Kirche und rumnisches Volksbe-wutsein im 15. bis 18. Jahrhundert (1977); Die bosnische Franziskanermissiondes 17. Jahrhunderts im sdstlichen Niederungarn. Aspekte ethnisch-konfessionellerSchichtung (1979); Konfessionelle Pluralitt, Stnde und Nation. AusgewhlteAbhandlungen zur sdosteuropischen Religions- und Gesellschaftsgeschichte (2004);and Raymund Netzhammer Episcop n Romnia. Intr-o epoca a conflictelor nationalesi religioase (Raymund Netzhammer, Bishop in Romania. In a Time of Religiousand National Conflict) (2006). She has edited and co-edited 15 books andpublished numerous articles.

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  • Date Western Europe Central Europe

    1492 Discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus

    1526 Battle of Mohcs; creation of the Habsburg Empire

    17891815 French Revolution and the Failure of the MartinovicsNapoleonic Wars; reorganization Conspiracy in the Habsburg Landsof parts of Europe

    1830 July Monarchy in France Polish uprising1846 Polish uprising184849 End of the July Monarchy in Spring of Nations; Slavic

    France; convening of the Congress in Prague; Czech German Parliament in Frankfurt; Revolution; Hungarian Karl Marx publishes The Revolution; Slovak Revolution; Communist Manifesto Revolution in Walachia and

    Moldavia1859 Union of the autonomous

    principalities of Walachia andMoldavia under Ottomansuzerainty

    1861 Unification of Italy1863 Polish uprising187071 Franco-Prussian War; creation

    of the German Empire1878 Congress of Berlin Creation of Romania1881 Proclamation of the Kingdom of

    Romania1908 Creation of Bulgaria; annexation

    of Bosnia-Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary

    1913 Creation of Albania191418 The First World War The First World War (the

    (the Great War) Great War)191820 The Treaty of Versailles; Creation of the Baltic states

    creation of Austria Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Czecho-Slovakia, Hungary, Polandand Yugoslavia; BolshevikRevolution in Russia

    1938 Austria annexed by Germany Sudetenland in Czechoslovakiagiven to Germany at the MunichConference; parts of Slovakia andRomania given to Hungary in the Vienna Awards

    Chronology of Events that ShapedModern Europe

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  • Date Western Europe Central Europe

    193945 The Second World War The Second World War; Germanyand the Soviet Union dividePoland; the Baltic states areincorporated in the Soviet Union;Ruthenia (Czechoslovakia) andBessarabia and Northern Bukovina (Romania) are annexed by the Soviet Union

    1948 Treaty of Brussels; Berlin Blockade Prague coup and the formation(24 June to 11 May 1949) of the Soviet Bloc; exclusion of

    Yugoslavia from the Cominform(Communist Information Bureau)

    1949 Treaty of Washington and the Creation of the Council forformation of the North Atlantic Mutual Economic Assistance Treaty Organization (NATO) (COMECON)

    1951 Creation of the European Coal and Steel Community

    1953 Greece and Turkey become Revolt of workers in the German members of NATO Democratic Republic (GDR) in

    East Berlin1955 The Federal Republic of Creation of the Warsaw Treaty

    Germany becomes a member Organization (WTO)of NATO; Austrian State Treaty

    1956 Suez Canal invasion by France Destalinization in the USSR; and the UK Polish October; Hungarian

    Revolution1957 Signing of the Treaty of Rome

    that creates the European Economic Community (EEC)

    1960 Creation of the European Free Trade Association

    1961 Second destalinization in theUSSR; erection of the Berlin Wall

    1967 The EEC becomes the EuropeanCommunity

    1968 Student revolts in France, Prague Spring and the Invasion Germany and the USA of Czechoslovakia by troops of the

    WTO; Student demonstrations inPoland in favour of the reformmovement in Czechoslovakia

    1970 Polish worker strikes bring achange of Communist leadership

    1973 Denmark, Ireland and the UKjoin the EEC

    1975 Helsinki Final Act Helsinki Final Act1977 Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia1978 Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Poland

    becomes Pope John Paul II1980 Creation of Solidarnosc1981 Greece joins the EEC Imposition of martial law in


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  • Date Western Europe Central Europe

    1982 Spain joins NATO1986 Portugal and Spain join the Hungarian Manifesto

    EEC; signing of the Single commemorating the 1956 European Act Revolution

    1989 A non-Communist government iselected in Poland; the Berlin Wallfalls; Communist governmentsfall in Bulgaria, the GDR,Hungary, Czechoslovakia andRomania

    1990 Unification of the GDR with the Dissolution of the Yugoslav Federal Republic of Germany League of Communists

    1991 Dissolution of the WTO andCOMECON; independence ofEstonia, Latvia and Lithuania;independence of Macedonia and Moldova; break-up of the Soviet Union

    1992 Treaty of Maastricht creates the Independence of Croatia, Slovenia European Union (EU) and Bosnia-Herzegovina; fall of

    the Communist government in Albania; break-up of Czechoslovakia

    1993 Creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia

    1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden join the EU

    1999 Enlargement of NATO The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are invited to become members of NATO

    2004 Enlargement of NATO Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Enlargement of the EU Cyprus Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and and Malta join the EU Slovenia become members of

    NATO; the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia become members of the EU; the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia becomes Serbia-Montenegro

    2005 Pope John Paul II dies and is succeeded by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany, who becomes Pope Benedict XVI

    2006 Independence of Montenegro2007 Enlargement of the EU Bulgaria and Romania become

    members of the EU


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    Map 1 Europe in 1914


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  • xxii

    Map 4 Europe in 2004

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  • 1

    When the European Union (EU) created a monetary union with a single cur-rency, giving birth to the euro in January 1999 the common currency beganto circulate in January 2002 a brilliant compromise on banknotes and coinswas reached that respected the history and identity of Europe and the memberstates. According to the European Commission:

    The euro banknotes . . . were inspired by the theme Ages and styles ofEurope. Each denomination received a single design common to all euroarea countries. They depict the architectural styles of seven periods inEuropes cultural history: classical for the 5, Romanesque for the 10,Gothic for the 20, Renaissance for the 50, baroque and rococo for the 100,19th century iron and glass architecture for the 200 and modern 20thcentury architecture for the 500.

    As for the coins, they acquired a:

    common European side as well as a national side, combining the advan-tage of a unified approach while also allowing for the expression ofnational diversity and traditions . . . The designs, featuring different geo-graphical representations of Europe surrounded by the twelve stars of theEU, appear on the reverse side of each euro coin. The 1, 2 and 5 cent coinsillustrate Europe in the world; the 10, 20 and 50 cents feature the EU as agroup of nations; and the 1 and 2 show Europe without frontiers.1

    Money, the most universal of commodities in out modern world, became thevehicle through which diversity was celebrated outwardly in the politicaland economic unity that is in the process of being achieved in Europe.

    The admission of eight Central European states into the EU in May 2004and of two more in 2007 gave rise to a series of additional challenges to theinstitutions ability to find compromises that achieve diversity in unity aswell as make possible the circulation of new coins when the Central European

    IntroductionStanislav J. Kirschbaum

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  • 2 Central European History and the European Union

    states adopt the euro. The enlargement of the EU also meant that Centraland Western Europe are finally coming together in what is becoming a suigeneris unification project after centuries of separate development. It isimportant to stress that this process brings together different historical experi-ences and that, because of these differences, it raises the question of themeaning of Europe. As Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine writes:

    [Central Europe] was the theatre of a century incomparably more mur-derous and more devastating than was Western Europe. Half-way through it,let us not forget, the European century was marked by the double experi-ence of Nazism and Communism, experienced in their terrifying succes-sion. And it is there that we have an absolutely singular patrimony thatno other continent shares on this planet. What if it were there or ratherthe lessons that we can learn that we also find the pedestal on which tobuild today a new European identity?2

    Laignel-Lavastines essay on three Central European thinkers, CzeslawMilosz, Jan Patocka and Istvn Bib, was written with a view to explaininghow the meaning of Europe was perceived by them at a time when theEuropean unification project was nothing more than a Western Europeaneconomic experiment in the non-Communist part of the continent. She nowasks: For a number of decades now, the question of Europe that of its meaningand its vocation was raised not from Paris, London, or Berlin, but amongindependent intellectuals in Prague, Budapest, and Warsaw. How, since 1989,have the technocratic architects of the [European] Union responded to thesepressing invitations to return to the European spirit?3

    Whether it is from the pen of their intellectuals, as a result of their historicalexperiences, or from the demands of the accession process, the new EUmembers from Central Europe are bringing a specific contribution to theunification project. Do they face challenges that are different from thosethat the founding states experienced after signing, on 25 March 1957, theTreaty of Rome, which began the process that led to the creation of the EU?The main objective of this volume is to probe in this direction rather thanengage in theory-building by raising certain issues that are specific to CentralEurope in order to assess their importance in the context of the dynamics ofthe current EU unification process and also to see how they contribute to themeaning of Europe.

    It is in Central Europes historical experience that some answers may befound to the challenges that the meaning of Europe faces. In addition to itshistory, there are two developments that account for the regions specificityand that make, as a result, the integration of the Central European states inthe EU particularly complex: state creation and the Communist experiment.Statehood, as it is understood and as it developed in the western part ofEurope, resulting in the creation of strong states like France, Spain and the UK,

    9780230_549371_02_intro.qxp 9/11/2007 11:44 AM Page 2

  • came late to Central Europe. Dynastic empires ruled the area for about a thousand years and dominated a group of nations that, until the modernera, survived and, in some cases, even progressed as the fortunes of differentrulers and states altered the political map of the region. Such a historicalexperience resulted in three outcomes that marked Central Europe: first, aneconomic and political development that was different from WesternEurope; second, the search for ways to catch up with Western Europe as thelatter surged forward in its economic and political development; and, third,the need to ward off the territorial ambitions of powerful neighbours, whetherfrom Western or Eastern Europe. For its part, the Communist experiment, a specific by-product of twentieth-century international politics in CentralEurope, marked the region politically and economically, demanding of theelites governing in the post-Communist period a complete redirection oftheir states political culture and the reorganization of its economy. State cre-ation and the Communist experiment thus represent a historical experiencethat is markedly different from that of Western European states that launchedthe unification project and gave it the direction it currently has.

    To address some of the questions pertaining to Central Europe, the EU and themeaning of Europe, the volume is organized around three themes related tothe regions historical experience and to the accession process. The first con-cerns Central Europe as a whole; the second the legacy of the national statein Central Europe; and the third the challenges of EU membership. Part I ofthis volume deals with the first theme and seeks, first of all, an answer to thequestion of the relations the nations of Central Europe had with WesternEurope in the past, especially when their own development was subjected toa different rhythm and form. Slovakia is the case study offered by StanislavJ. Kirschbaum to show what relations even a small nation, considered by someas belonging to the East and whose political options were severely curtailedthroughout its history, maintained with Western Europe. Second, given thespecific historical circumstances, was there ever the possibility of a unifyingproject in Central Europe? Francesco Leoncini looks at the attempts to finda political solution that would have allowed the various nations to deal withthe three outcomes mentioned above. Third, when Soviet domination, thelast attempt by a powerful neighbour to control the area, ended in 1989,how did the states consider their future and what options did they have?Oskar Gruenwald, in his chapter on the transformation that occurred after1989, looks at the options that the states of Central Europe faced whilerebuilding civil society as the foundation for democratic governance. Whatis the legacy of these experiences? Do they offer a answer to the meaning ofEurope or do they suggest instead that Central Europe has a regional future,to be defined within the EU? A recent article on the Visegrd Group suggeststhat its members recognize the need for continued regional cooperation inmatters of security;4 is the past casting shadows on the EU experiment or isit merely offering certain lessons?

    Introduction 3

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  • That there was a centrifugal process at work in Central Europe throughout itshistory is clear, but it was not as powerful as the centripetal forces driven bythe desire of each nation to achieve self-determination. The ultimate goalwas the creation of the national state, an outcome that was sanctioned, eventhough it was virtually impossible to put fully into effect, by the reorganiza-tion of Central Europe at the end of the First World War. In the historicalprocess that preceded this outcome, certain nations were able to create a feu-dal state, to acquire what became important in the modern era as the ideologyof nationalism held sway in the region and encouraged nations to fight forself-determination, namely state rights. These rights were but one of the pre-requisites that allowed for the creation of Central Europes national statesin the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Equally important were such factorsas elite cohesion, an administrative infrastructure, social diversity, economicviability and, not least, an identifiable sense of nationhood. Whilst a senseof nationhood was something that was developed by the national culturaland political elites, and that was a process that was anything but even,5 therealso had to be historical experiences to give substance to the nationalist ideol-ogy in the making. This had also happened in Western Europe, where the pastwas used to justify the creation of new political systems. For example, NapolonBonaparte, in order to give his rule historical legitimacy, did not adopt thefleur de lys of the French kings as his heraldic imperial symbol, used since theCapetians, but rather the bee of the Merovingians who has ruled the Franksbefore the Capetians. What were the symbols in Central Europe that acquiredpopular as well as national importance? What role did they play in the devel-opment of national consciousness, what was their fate during the Communistperiod, and what do they mean for an enlarged EU? In other words, asCentral Europe becomes part of the EU experiment, what is the legacy of thenational state in Central Europe, a state with a very short and, for some, a verytroubled history?

    As most students of nationalism and state-building know, there are as manyanswers to this question as there are examples, and generalizations are alwaysrisky. Still, there are common elements. Two demand our attention: nationalsymbols and national homogeneity. Four of the five chapters in Part II onthe legacy of the national state, the second theme, look at the role ofnational symbols, how they were created, what meaning they acquired, andtheir contemporary relevance. There are two saints, Stephen of Hungary,examined by Juliane Brandt, and Vclav of Bohemia, Czechoslovakia and theCzech Republic, by Stefan Samerski; and two temporal rulers, the MoldavianPrince Stephen in Romania by Krista Zach, and Jzef Pilsudski as the archi-tect of Polish independence by Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski. In addition, in theprocess of self-determination in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,national homogeneity was a core value that had to be achieved. However,the history of the nation-building experience in the region tells us that theattainment of such homogeneity was simply not possible. A fifth chapter in

    4 Central European History and the European Union

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  • Part II, by John J. Kulczycki, is a case study that analyses the reasons for thefailure to create an ethnic Poland as late as the end of the Second World War.What is the importance of these national experiences, what do they tell usabout the role of the national state in Central Europe, and how do they tiein with the meaning of Europe that is in the making? Each chapter seeks toanswer these questions.

    At the time when the Western European states were working together todevelop the EU, their Central European counterparts were experiencing a dif-ferent political regime, which was imposed by the Soviet Union and whichinfluenced their admissibility as well as their admission in the EU. When theCommunist regimes were overthrown, the task of transforming them seemedtoo daunting a task at first. Nevertheless, this objective was pursed, and the firstEU enlargement eastward took place in 2004 and included eight countriesfrom Central Europe. It was an incredibly rapid process, but also a highly polit-ical and bureaucratic one that seemed to sweep in its wake a number of import-ant historical questions that had been on the domestic agenda of the CentralEuropean states for decades. Joining the EU meant, therefore, the acceptanceof new norms and values. In other words, membership in the EU producedadditional challenges for the new candidates, but also for the EU.

    The chapters in Part III examine some of these challenges, the third themeof this volume. Again, this is a wide open field for which there are manyquestions and answers, and also many ways to proceed. This part simplyaddresses some particular issues and in so doing opens the door for furtherinvestigation and analysis. The overarching thread is the link between thepast and the future. Basak Alpans chapter goes to the heart of the meaningof Europe and asks whether the Europeanization of the political space in theCentral European countries is equivalent to the EUs accession process orwhether it entails much more cultural or deep-rooted dimensions. She intro-duces the concept of Euroscepticism, which is also taken up by LaureNeumayer who analyses in her chapter how political consensus in CentralEurope on joining the EU during the 1990s gradually gave way to Eurorealism,i.e. the approval of the principle of European integration while criticizingthe accession conditions, and how European integration was used to define therules of political competition in the post-Communist democracies. Accessionconditions were not the only issues with which the Central European stateshad to deal; there were also specific issues, tied to the process of EU mem-bership. In her chapter, Ingrid Rder looks at the status of gender equality intwo candidate countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and how they wereEuropeanized before accession.

    One of Central Europes main concerns is how much of the past has beenaffected by membership in the EU and what legacies still play a role. ForMojmir Krizan, Croatia offers a case study of how some of the legacies of thepast had to be abandoned as the country became a candidate for the EU. Hefocuses on what he calls interculturality, how it is implemented, and what

    Introduction 5

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  • still needs to be achieved. Finally, An Schrijvers, in her chapter on Poland,assesses the perception of that country, because of its history as an especiallydifficult, Eurosceptic and anti-federalist member. She examines the partici-pation of the Polish representatives in the Constitutional Convention.

    Central Europe is not merely a geographical description to be found on a map; it is above all a cultural and historical space that is different fromWestern Europe, as the four maps and the chronology in this volume show,but that, ultimately, also belongs to all of Europe. Centrifugal and centripetalforces were at work throughout Central Europes history but, after the fall ofCommunism, a common goal appeared: membership in the EU. The nationsand states of the region soon demonstrated that they were keen to join theEU and integrate into its political framework, and also to narrate theirnational past as part of a common European history. Although they startedto do this separately, focusing on the desired community with the EU mem-ber states rather than with their competing neighbours, even forgetting, itwould seem, their own intellectual legacy, they nevertheless acknowledgedthat they belong to a region of Europe whose past invites them to contributeto the meaning of Europe. As Laignel-Lavastine writes: The Hungarian writerGyrgy Konrd reminded us in 1982 that Europe is above all a state of mind,or rather a state of minds whose centre of gravity is the preservation of humandignity and whose priority should reside in the implementation of a newpolitical morality that transcends national frontiers.6

    This reference to each other, the development of regional cooperation,and the laying down of a stable basis for European unification is a processthat is now beginning to take place and that will inevitably influence thedevelopment of the EU and, above all, the meaning of Europe. The authorsof this volume hope, through the issues they examine, to bring about a bet-ter understanding of the Central European contribution to the ongoingprocess of EU integration and the meaning of Europe, as well as offer prom-ising paths of investigation.


    1 See www.europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/euro/faqs/faqs_3_en.htm2 Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, Esprits dEurope. Autour de Czeslaw Milosz, Jan Patocka,

    Istvn Bib (Paris: Calmann-Lvy, 2005), p. 20.3 Ibdi., p. 26.4 See Simon Araloff, The Visegrad Group: Alliance Against Russia and Germany, Axis.

    Global Challenges Research, 21 February 2006. www.axisglobe.com/article.asp?article691. It is also worth nothing that the Visegrd countries are cooperating ina number of other areas. See for example Vsehradsk krajiny na ceste do Schengenu.Spoluprca v konzulrnej a vzovej oblasti medzi vysehardskmi krajinami pre obyvatelovUkrajiny a Moldavska (Bratislava: Vskumn centrum slovenskej spolocnosti prezahranicn politiku, 2004).)

    5 Robert Seton-Watson writes, for example, about the Hungarians in the HabsburgEmpire: though they had no great start, [they] very rapidly outdistanced the other

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  • races . . . [and] in the first half of the nineteenth century they produced a rich cropof poets, dramatists and other writers, who would have been an ornament to anylanguage and threw the Slovaks, Serbs or Romanians complete into the shade.R.W. Seton-Watson, A Histroy of Czechs and Slovaks (Hamden, CT: Archon Books,1965).

    6 Laignel-Lavastine, Esprits, p. 32.

    Introduction 7

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  • Part I

    Whence Central Europe?

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  • 11

    Shortly after Slovakia became independent in 1993, a study of its domesticpolitics in the first two years of independence indicates that the British press,according to Adam Burgess, cast [Slovakia] as a probable member of thatunenviable club, the East, a demon which apparently throws a dark shadowover Europe proper as the continent makes its way into the next century.1

    After examining various issues that made the news in those two years, Burgessconcludes: It would appear then that British journalism on Slovakia has beenhostage to an ideological agenda which is not the product of actual eventswithin the country itself. The evidence does not suggest prejudice, but itwould appear that events within Slovakia are interpreted through definiteprisms.2 Why was Slovakia portrayed in this way in the British press? DidSlovakia ever belong to the East? What are Slovakias historical roots? Thepurpose of this chapter is to answer these questions and also to contribute tothe elimination of certain misconceptions of Slovak history that still persistin the literature.3

    Geographers, historians and political scientists tell us that Europe has alwaysbeen divided into a number of regions, divisions that cannot be ignoredwhen addressing the issue of a nations or a states European roots. Wherethe nation is situated constitutes the first of a number of questions that mustbe answered before one can establish what roots it has in Europe. In geo-graphical terms, there is no doubt that Slovakia lies in the centre of Europe,especially if we accept Europe as a geographical extension that stretches fromthe Atlantic to the Urals, as French President Charles de Gaulle once put it.One author places Slovakia at the crossroads of Central Europe.4 But polit-ical considerations have also put Slovakia in Eastern Europe, certainly for alittle less than a half-century in modern times; Europe was divided ideologic-ally at that time and Slovakia belonged in the Soviet sphere, a sphere notconsidered really European: the country and its inhabitants were cut off fromthe rest of Europe and the Western world. However, the period of belongingto Eastern Europe is seen as exceptional in Slovak history. To bring this pointhome, soon after the fall of Communism, Slovak President Michal Kovc,

    1European Roots: the Case of SlovakiaStanislav J. Kirschbaum

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  • 12 Whence Central Europe?

    in one of his first speeches abroad, stated that Slovakia belongs to the Westbecause it is there that its fundamental cultural and political conscious-ness and disposition lie.5 With very few exceptions, Slovaks at home andabroad have always believed that they belong to Europe and that they haveEuropean roots.

    Nevertheless, Slovakia is given a Central European designation because ofits geographical location, a designation that, however, also ends up havinga political connotation. Over the centuries there was uneven political, eco-nomic and social development in Europe. According to Larry Wolff, suchdifferences brought about geographical as well as political definitions anddivisions, the designation of Eastern Europe being the most recent.6 CentralEurope came to refer to what the Germans termed Mitteleuropa in thenineteenth century or Alan Palmer the lands between7 in the twentieth, thatis to say, the area between Europes democratic Western and its autocraticEastern parts. The question that arose in the post-Communist era is: inwhich direction has each nation in the lands between tended or beenforced to direct its political, economic and cultural life and development? Toanswer this question for Slovakia and also in view of the fact that it is one ofthe post-Communist states that sought membership in the European Union(EU), there needs to be a determination of its European roots. Such a deter-mination not only means an identification of those roots that link Slovakiato the nations and states that began the process of European unification,namely Western Europe, but also gives an indication of the possible parame-ters needed to define what the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, calledEurope: our common home. Such roots and their importance in thenations history may also explain some of the policies pursued since the fallof Communism by the Slovak political elite in their attempt to have theirnation become a member of Western institutions, in particular the EU.

    The Slovak Republic that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 is the second statein Slovakias modern history and was a little more than a decade old when itbecame a member. This brief period is important to the understanding of theprocess that made EU membership possible. Before 1993, when the secondSlovak Republic was born, there had been a short-lived state that had existedbefore and during the Second World War, also called the Slovak Republic,and that was forced to disappear once hostilities were over. Previously, in1927, a Slovak province had been created in the First Czechoslovak Republic,which became autonomous in 1938, a quasi-federal status that lasted onlysix months. Even though the Peace Treaties in 191920 speak of a Czecho-Slovak Republic, with the hyphen indicating that there is an entity calledSlovakia that was brought in to form the new state, Slovakia as such did notactually exist at that time, at least not constitutionally. The term Slovakia isrelatively recent; it appeared for the first time in the nineteenth century in apetition to the Habsburg Emperor in 1849. Slovakia was officially referred toas Upper Hungary. In earlier centuries, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth,

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  • when most of Hungary was occupied by the Turks, Slovakia made up most ofwhat historians call Royal Hungary. As this backward glance suggests, a lookfor Slovakias historical European roots offers something of a challenge. Tomeet it one must answer another question: what do we mean when we speakof Slovakia?

    For the purposes of this chapter, the Slovakia to which we are referring issimply the territory of contemporary Slovakia, a territory that has includedand still includes the majority of Slovaks in Central Europe (there are Slovakcommunities of some importance in Hungary and Serbia and smaller oneselsewhere, but they can be legitimately excluded). The search for Slovakiashistorical European roots therefore refers to the links and contacts that theSlovaks inhabiting this territory have had with the states, societies and peoples of Western Europe from the time since they settled on the land thatnow defines their state. For this reason there are only two lines of investigationthat enable us to determine the relations with Western Europe: the first is theextent to which the Slovaks have been influenced by or involved in the intel-lectual currents that were prevalent in Western Europe; and the second is anexamination of the institutions in Slovakia that have contributed to social,political or intellectual change in Europe.

    For nations that had their own state in the past, or had historical rightsthat made it possible for them to create a national state in 191819, the rela-tions between their historical state and other political entities in Europe makeup a third line of investigation. There are many Slovaks who consider GreatMoravia, a state on the territory of contemporary Slovakia that existed in theninth century, to be the first Slovak state and would find such a line ofenquiry totally legitimate. What makes such an investigation difficult is theshort length of time of its existence, a mere 75 years, and the absence of anyhistorical involvement that made of this state a major regional actor, influ-encing the development of Central Europe. Nevertheless, it did make a con-tribution through the spreading of Christianity in the region. However, itfound itself in a rather peculiar situation: Slovakia received Christianity ini-tially from Irish missionaries but saw the faith strengthened from Byzantium,from two brothers from Thessalonica, Constantine (Cyril)8 and Methodius;on the other hand, Slovakia found itself in the Western half of Christendomas a result of the influence and pressure of the Frankish clergy that competedwith Cyril and Methodius in the Christianization of the Slavs. The result ofthis situation is that there is a Slovak contribution to Christianity in EasternEurope in the Slavonic liturgy and also in the Cyrillic alphabet created fromGlagolitic, devised by Cyril for the needs of their missionary activity in GreatMoravia.9 The destruction of Great Moravia by the Magyars at the beginningof the tenth century ended the relationship with Byzantium and ensureda more diverse link with Western Europe for the Slavs of Great Moravia, thedescendants of todays Slovaks; they had become subjects of a new state calledthe Kingdom of Hungary.

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  • Religion

    The importance of religion, more specifically Christianity, is what defined allpolitical as well as intellectual activity in Europe during the Middle Ages. TheSlovaks were now subjects of the Hungarian Crown and did not find them-selves directly involved in the resulting power struggles that took placebetween the Roman Catholic Church and various temporal rulers; rather theyfocused on their social and intellectual life, which was defined by the pres-ence of a multiplicity of religious orders that came from Western Europe andthat were involved not only in charitable activities, but also in documentpreservation thanks to their scriptoria where documents were copied and illus-trated, and, most importantly, in education. An impressive number of abbeysand monasteries appeared whose role in the cultural and economic life ofSlovakia cannot be overemphasized. They reported to the archbishopric ofOstrihom and the bishoprics of Nitra and Jager. Among the most active orderswere the Benedictines, the Carthusians, the Cistercians, the Franciscans, thePaulinians and the Premonstratensians. Their influence extended to bothgenders and it is a female Benedictine order, the Poor Clares, that establishedthe first urban monastery in Trnava in 1239.

    Education was one of the most important tasks that these orders carriedout, primarily but not uniquely for the development and preservation ofreligious life. In his history of the Church in Slovakia, Jn Chryzostom Korecwrites: The third Lateran Council of 1179 ordered that in each bishopric thechapter make available near the cathedral a magister [master] who wouldteach and educate the clerics. This responsibility was later extended to biggerparish churches that had the financing for it. Monasteries were for their partalways responsible for education.10 He adds that since monasteries were notisolated from the people, they became centres of culture as well a liturgy,touching all spheres of life from the economy through the strengtheningof laws to literature.11 He also points out that [w]ell organized monasteriesin Slovakia were in constant contact with each other but also abroad withthe cities of their establishment and [thereby] helped to create the atmos-phere of European Christian universalism.12 The presence, strength and roleof the Church transcended whatever political struggles there were, includinginvasions such as that of the Mongols in 124042; whatever was destroyedwas soon rebuilt. More difficult times, however, soon appeared. The inhab-itants of Slovakia would not be spared involvement.

    The turmoil that enveloped the Catholic Church and Central Europein the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries with the Black Death, the papacyin Avignon, and the challenge from the Czech religious reformer Jan Hus,had interesting consequences in Slovakia. The Hussite armies that appearedin the 1420s and the 1440s laid waste many cities and towns, and targetedespecially monasteries and churches. Most were later rebuilt. This periodalso saw a renewed attempt by King Mathias Corvinus to create in 1465 an

    14 Whence Central Europe?

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  • institution of higher learning in the Hungarian kingdom, the AcademiaIstropolitana in Bratislava, to combat the teachings of the Hussites. Its pre-cursor, the University of Pcs, had been founded in 1367 but had lasted onlyfour decades. Like the one in Pcs, Academia Istropolitana lasted for a shortperiod of time, for 25 years before being closed down. Humanism was inits early phases and non-confessional institutions, especially institutionsof higher learning, were not yet welcome in Hungary. But it was a harbinger ofevents to come.

    The challenge of Hussitism, as it turned out, was not as great as that of theReformation in the sixteenth century that split Europe into two religiouscamps and ushered in the modern era with the Westphalian order. TheReformation spread far and wide throughout Slovakia thanks to the Germaninhabitants of the mining towns who were receptive to Martin Luthersmessage, and also thanks to the instability provoked by the Turkish occupa-tion of Hungary after the battle of Mohcs in 1526 and the challenge toHabsburg rule by the Hungarian nobility. Many magnates embraced theReformation, thereby underlining its strength and presence in Slovakia.As Branislav Varsik writes: In Slovakia the Lutherans that is to say theSlovaks, the Hungarians usually being Calvinists gave themselves a strongecclesiastical constitution at the synod of Z ilina in 1610; their politicalpower was such that the palatine, George Thurzo, was invited to join theirranks in 1609.13

    While condemned to be the military battleground for the Turks, theHungarian magnates and the Habsburgs, Slovakia also became the centre ofthe Counter-Reformation in Central Europe. The nomination of BishopPeter Pzman at the head of the archbishopric of Ostrihom in 1616 and hiselevation to the rank of cardinal in 1629 marked the beginning of a processthat stopped the progress of the Reformation and ensured the success of theCounter-Reformation in the lands of the Habsburgs. Pzman came from anaristocratic Calvinist Magyar family, converted to Catholicism, and joinedthe Society of Jesus. His contribution to the success of the Counter-Reformation lay in his decision to focus on the education of the childrenof the aristocracy and also of those who were members of other nationalitiesin Hungary. As Varsik writes: He needed many priests, educated from theranks of all the nations of Hungary, especially those belonging to the sphereof Western culture that had been Catholic before the Reformation: Slovaks,Croats, Magyars, and Germans.14 Documentary evidence suggests thathe was particularly sensitive to the needs of the local Slovak populationin Trnava.15 As a result, Slovakia was in the middle of one side of the reli-gious and philosophical divide that marked Renaissance Europe and whoseconsequences still resonate today. Concrete evidence of a Slovak contribu-tion to Catholicism and to the intellectual currents of the epoch in Europe isfound in the activities of the University of Trnava, which Pzman founded in 1635.

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  • The University of Trnava

    Higher education came late to the Kingdom of Hungary, especially when weconsider the dates of the founding of neighbouring universities: Prague in1348, Krakow in 1364, and Vienna in 1365. As we saw above, two attemptsto create a university, in Pcs and in Bratislava, had been only partially suc-cessful. It would take over a century before another one was founded afterthe closing of the Academia Istropolitana, and it took the impetus of theReformation to do so. The Lutherans in Slovakia sought to set up institutionsof higher learning in Levoca and Hlohovec at the beginning of the seven-teenth century but had to give up their plans because of financial and otherdifficulties. The Catholics met the challenge of higher education with thecreation of the University of Trnava under the patronage of the Jesuits. Andalthough it was a Jesuit university, it soon became a model for other univer-sities, for example in Olomouc where one was founded in 156616 and later inZagreb in 1669.17 It was an institution of higher learning in the full sense ofthe term; Jn Komorovsk writes: Without taking into consideration the sta-tus of the University of Trnava, it is important to note that it joined otherEuropean universities as an institution with all of the academic liberties thatwere in evidence since the Middle Ages and which had to be defended onmore than one occasion.18

    Initially the university had only two faculties, philosophy and theology.They were certainly the most important faculties for the Counter-Reformation,yet in time the Faculty of Philosophy played a role in the intellectual fer-ment that characterized the Renaissance when natural science imposed itselfas an independent discipline, challenging the conventional philosophicalwisdom of the period. In their study of the teaching of philosophy at theUniversity of Trnava, Theodor Mnz and Marianna Oravcov note thatalthough initially philosophy was to help conserve the already outmodedphilosophical thinking of the Middle Ages, it linked up on more than oneoccasion with modern and progressive thinking.19 In another study, MariannaOravcov notes how the conclusions of natural science not only began toinfluence Neo-Scholastic philosophy but also brought about the articulation ofprogressive philosophical ideas and scientific approaches at the university.20

    The scholar of the period who best illustrates these developments and espe-cially the importance of natural science is Martin Sentivni (16331705), rectorof the university and author of 56 books, whose most important publication,Curiosa et selectiora variarum scientiarum miscellanea (An assortment of inter-esting and rather select items of general and academic knowledge) publishedin 16891702, was a major work in astronomy, meteorology, botany, zoology,geography, history and geology.21

    A faculty of law was founded in 1667 and Karol Rebro tells us that it wasthe first successful and lasting attempt to ensure legal education in Hungaryat that time.22 The university also possessed a library of over 15 000 books,

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  • a press,23 two important archives, academic departments, a botanical garden,and an observatory whose founder was the world renowned astronomerMaximilin Hell.24 The university was reorganized in 1753 on the model ofthe University of Vienna. A year later, the teaching of natural sciences began,the astronomical observatory was opened, and in 1769, the university inaug-urated a faculty of medicine. The teaching of languages was also an essen-tial aspect of the curriculum that gave the university additional importance;Jn Tibensk writes: If in the 70s of the eighteenth century there was, inthe Faculty of Philosophy, along with teachers of German, French, and evenItalian, a teacher who taught Hungarian, it was the result of the retreat in theCounter-Reformation profile of the university and a remarkable indicationof the change of this archbishop university into a royal, that is to say state,university.25

    Pzman had created the university for all the citizens of the Kingdom ofHungary as an intellectual centre of the Counter-Reformation and this is therole that it played. That was its strength but such an intellectual directionalso imposed a limitation. It was a university for Catholic students where,occasionally, non-Catholics were also admitted, although, it would seem attheir own risk, as Varsik reports: The first rector, Dobronoky, mentions in hisdiary that, in 1637, two Calvinist students, most likely Magyars, wereexcluded from the class in logic because they refused to become Catholics.26

    As a result, non-Catholic students in Hungary, especially Slovak ones, wentto study in German universities, which, according to Tibensk, had long-term consequences for Slovak national and cultural development.27 But thatis another story.

    The university made a major contribution to the Counter-Reformation,but it also played an important role for the Slovak nation: its location in thewestern Slovak town of Trnava is one of the reasons why the Slovaks werethe predominant group among students and professors, as the research carriedout by Varsik indicates.28 It would not seem, however, that they were priv-ileged in any way. Komorovsk explains: What contributed fundamentallyto the universality of the University of Trnava was the fact that Latin was thelanguage of instruction. In practical terms this meant that a member of anynation could be a university professor. Qualifications rather than nationalattachment were determinant.29 The results were impressive, as FrantiekKoci, who looked at the composition of the faculty, writes: From a profes-sional point of view, the old University of Trnava had outstanding scientistsin the social and natural sciences (Sentivni, Revick, Invancic, Jaslinsk,Adami and others), all Jesuits, who were not unacquainted with modernintellectual currents.30 One can conclude that the Slovak contribution tothe university and its intellectual life was anything but minor.

    The university had developed into one of the major intellectual centres ofCentral Europe and was fully involved in the intellectual life not just of theHungarian kingdom and Slovakia, but of all of Europe when, what can only

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  • be termed a most unfortunate decision, and in some respects even a cata-strophic one, was taken. Rebro writes: Unexpectedly [Empress] Maria Theresadecided in 1777 to move the entire university to Buda with the explanationthat there would be only one university for all of Hungary, in Buda, which wasthe centre of the country.31 Not until the twentieth century would anotheruniversity be founded in Slovakia, at first a Hungarian one, Elizabeth University,founded in 1914 but moved to Hungary in 1918, and then a Slovak one,Comenius University, founded in 1919. Both were located in Bratislava.

    The modern era

    The moving of the University of Trnava to Buda ended the direct Slovak con-tribution to European intellectual life until the twentieth century. When, inMay 2004, I asked Slovakias foremost specialist on the history of the univer-sity, Jozef imoncic, why the university was not renewed when Czecho-Slovakia was created in 1918, he replied that it had not occurred to anyone,including Slovakias Catholic clergy; in addition, Prague had allowed for thecreation of Comenius University, named after a Czech educator, which gov-ernment circles most likely felt was more than enough for Slovakia. It is alsonot clear that the Czechoslovak government would have welcomed a Catholicuniversity in Slovakia. To underline this last point, suffice it to indicate thatthe tercentenary celebrations of the founding of the University of Trnava in1935 took place in Budapest, not in Trnava, and were organized by theHungarians. Only in 1985 were there celebrations in Trnava, in this case tomark the 350th anniversary of its founding, and then only when the SlovakCommunist elite found out that Budapest was marking this anniversary.32

    Finally, after Communism fell, in 1992, the University of Trnava reopenedin Trnava. Nevertheless, its existence was soon challenged, as we point outelsewhere.33 Today it takes its place among Slovakias major institutions ofhigher learning.

    After the University of Trnava moved to Hungary, the Slovaks, like otherCentral European nations, found themselves experiencing a different politi-cal development from that of Western Europe, the result of the Ottomanoccupation of Hungary and the economic consequences of the discovery of theNew World. In addition, they became the objects of a policy of Magyarizationby the government in Budapest that threatened their survival; they focusedinward, codified their language, developed their literature and culture, andfought to have their political rights recognized. Still, they did not remainuntouched by the intellectual and political currents that swept Western Europe,for example those before and during the French Revolution, but were pre-vented from discussing them.34 As the nineteenth century unfolded, othernations in Central Europe were also involved in their own process of nationalself-determination, which helped shape modern Europe. But economicdevelopments since the sixteenth century as well as European power politics

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  • had created an area called Central Europe, for which the intellectuals andpoliticians in the modern period, as Francesco Leoncini points out in thisvolume (Chapter 2), sought to find a political solution that would maketheir region a subject rather than an object of international politics.

    However, a Central European project, whether in the form of a federationor a confederation of independent states, never got off the ground. All theCentral European nations pursued instead the objectives announced by USPresident Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points that were given inter-national sanction in the Peace of Paris, in particular the right of national self-determination.35 They did so even when its application in 191820 provedto be selective and/or flawed. The small states of Central Europe, as a result,fell to the territorial and ideological ambitions of more powerful neighbours,first Germany, then the Soviet Union. Slovak independence in 1939, oftenpresented as a consequence of German expansion, was not uniquely an out-come of German policies; it also came about as a result of domestic factors,which had been driven by the selective application of the principle of self-determination towards the Slovak nation. It is, however, the link with theGerman challenge to the Versailles order that determined the postwar fate ofthis first modern Slovak state, namely its reincorporation in Czechoslovakiain 1945, and a general ambivalence on its meaning in Slovak history.36

    Slovakias second independence in 1993 was also the result of the processof national self-determination. Without European roots, it is unlikely thatthe Slovaks would have seen such an outcome. Even if, until the twentiethcentury, the Slovaks had been subjects of the Hungarian Crown, enjoyingthe privileges of belonging but not of participating in the running of thestate, their status had not prevented them from being involved in and makinga contribution to European civilization, as we have seen. As their struggle forsurvival became political in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth cen-turies, and they faced the prospect of assimilation in both Hungary andCzechoslovakia, the inhabitants of Slovakia continued to maintain links withthe rest of Europe and never lost their sense of belonging to Europe, of havingEuropean roots.

    To what extent did these roots influence Slovak political life in the post-Communist era? First, it is important to note that the Slovaks, like otherCentral European nations, had become politically active only towards theend of the eighteenth century. The national revival, the codification of a lit-erary language, and participation in the electoral process (however limited)to which we have referred, although they followed a general pattern foundelsewhere in Central Europe, became nevertheless specifically tailored to theneeds of the nation in its struggle for survival. The Slovak body politic wastorn between the pressure of external influences and the inevitable self-defencereflex of their political situation. In Hungary, this dichotomy can be seen in the Old School and the New School in the nineteenth century, and later in the political options articulated by those who studied abroad, especially

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  • in Prague, called Hlasits, and those who lived in Slovakia, called the MartinGroup. In interwar Czechoslovakia, this dichotomy played itself out betweenthose who were known as the Czechoslovaks and those called Autonomists.37

    In other words, while Slovakias political elites were locked in political bat-tles about the best solution for their nation, they did so with the aim ofensuring the application of the principle of self-determination, even duringthe Communist period, which outwardly imposed only one option: inter-national proletarianism.

    The Communist era must be treated differently from other historical periodsin Slovakia. Although originally an ideology that sprang from European phil-osophy, when it was applied first in Russia, which became the Soviet Union,and in Central and Eastern Europe in the postwar period, MarxismLeninismespoused a model of political rule and politics that few analysts would con-sider European.38 In addition to its totalitarian characteristics, this ideologyopenly rejected any European tradition that did not fit its ideological under-standing of historical development, especially the dialectical transformationof society that would lead to the triumph of the working class and socialism.The Soviet control of Central Europe lasted for almost half a century and theexperience of Communist Party rule in Slovakia left traces in the politicalprocess that were evident in the first years of the second Slovak Republic,putting in jeopardy Slovakias attempts to join Western and European insti-tutions. As we point out elsewhere, the traces of Communist rule cast a longshadow on the political style of those who governed in the period immedi-ately following the fall of Communism and the birth of the second SlovakRepublic.39 In addition, according to one observer, there were indicationsthat the Slovak government, despite declaring that it was seeking to joinWestern institutions, was actively pursuing a pro-Russian orientation.40 Fortu-nately, these traces of totalitarian politics and the presumed pro-Russian orien-tation were done away with in 1998 when the population elected a coalitionof parties that were willing to form a government that would lead Slovakiain the EU and also in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. When thishappened, any doubts that Slovakia tended in any other direction buttoward Europe were swept away.


    Slovakia is located geographically in Central Europe, yet it clearly has Europeanroots. It was influenced by and participated in all the intellectual currentsthat swept not just Western Europe, but all of Europe, and at times even con-tributed to them directly, as the activities of the University of Trnava during theCounter-Reformation indicate. But Slovakia also experienced Central Europeshistorical development. It is the earlier historical legacy that underscored thepopulations desire to return to Europe after 1989 and join European institu-tions. There was a trial period of five years immediately after independence

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  • when the vestiges of the postwar Communist past extended their shadow on itspolitical life and raised doubts about Slovakias political orientation. The experi-ence proved salutary and these vestiges were set aside in 1998: in a very shorttime, Slovakia was on the road to joining the EU, a goal it achieved in 2004.

    Now that Slovakia is a member of the EU, the political and diplomatic rep-resentatives of the second Slovak Republic have a duty to ensure their coun-trys full participation in the process of European unification; the people ofSlovakia earned this right. They have also earned the right to contributewhat is specifically Slovak; as we write elsewhere: history, in all of its dimen-sions, has left an important legacy that can now be Slovakias contributionto the EU: the Slovak peoples intimate link with Christianity and the valuesthat it represents. These are also European values.41 To emphasize Christianvalues would make an important contribution to the main challenge that allstates in the EU face in the years to come as they search out the meaning anddefinition of Europe: our common home.


    1 Adam Burgess, Writing Off Slovakia to the East? Examining Charges of Bias inBritish Press Reporting of Slovakia, 19931994, Nationalities Papers 25(4) (1997), 679.

    2 Ibid., p. 680.3 See Stanislav J. Kirschbaum, Slovakia: Whose History, What History? Canadian

    Slanovic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes XLV (34) (2003), 45967.4 Joseph M. Kirschbaum, Slovakia. Nation at the Crossroads of Europe (New York:

    Robert Speller & Sons, 1960).5 President Michal Kovac, Slovakia and the Partnership for Peace, NATO Review,

    February 1994, p. 15.6 Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe. The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the

    Enlightenment (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994).7 Alan Palmer, The Lands Between: a History of EastCentral Europe since the Congress

    of Vienna (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970).8 When Constantine entered a monastery in Rome in 868, he took on the name of

    Cyril with the result that the two brothers are usually known as Cyril and Methodius.9 Toward the end of the ninth and beginning of the tenth century, Glagolitic was

    modified in Bulgaria and used extensively in Byzantium, and has since become analphabet used by the Eastern and some Southern Slavs.

    10 J.Ch. Korec, Cirkev v dejinch Slovenska (Bratislava: Lc, 1989), p. 167.11 Ibid., p. 169.12 Ibid., p. 193.13 Branislav Varsik, Nrodnostn problm Trnavskej univerzity (Bratislava: Ucen

    spolecnost afarkova v Bratislave, 1938), p. 235.14 Ibid., p. 237.15 See Jozef imoncic, Peter Pzman a Slovci v Trnave, in stav dejn Trnavskej

    university, Fons tyrnaviensis I. K dejinm Trnavskej university. Konferencie, symposia,sprvy (Trnava: stav dejn Trnavskej university v Trnave, 2006), pp. 216.

    16 Milo Kouril, Olomouck a Trnavska univerzita jako priklad kooperace, in Jozefimoncic, ed., Trnavsk univerzita 16351777 (Trnava: Trnavsk univerzita v Trnave,1997), p. 55.

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  • 17 Mijo Korade, Veze izmedju Zagrebackog i Tranavskog sveucilita, in ibid., p. 61.18 Jn Komorovsk, Trnavsk univerzita a idea univerzity, in ibid., pp. 145.19 Theodor Mnz and Marianna Oravcov, Filozofick myslenie na Trnavskej uni-

    verzite, in Viliam C icaj, ed., Trnavsk univerzita v slovenskch dejinch (Bratislava:VEDA Vydavatelstvo Slovenskej akadmie vied, 1987), p. 108.

    20 Marianna Oravcov, Novovek prrodn filozofia a jej odraz vo filozofickommyslen na Trnavskej univerzite, in ibid., p. 161.

    21 See Jn Tibensk, Trnavsk univerzita v slovenskch dejinch, in ibid., pp. 1819.22 Karol Rebro, Prvnick fakulta Trnavskej univerzity, in ibid., p. 123.23 For more on the library and the press, see Hadrin Radvni, Kniznica a tlaciaren

    Trnavskej univerzity, in Teologick fakulta Trnavsk univerzita v Trnave, Jezuitskkolstvo vcera a dnes. Zbornk z medzinrodnej vedeckej konferencie 12. oktbra 2006 vTrnave (Bratislava: Teologick fakulta Trnavskej univerzity v Bratislave, 2006),pp. 95113.

    24 Frantiek Koci, Vedeck a ideov odkaz Trnavskej univerzity 1635-1777, inimoncic, Trnavsk univerzita, p. 25.

    25 Tibensk, Trnavsk univerzita, p. 34.26 Varsik, Nrodnostny problm, p. 239.27 Tibensk, Trnavsk univerzita, p. 18.28 See note 13 and also Branislav Varsik, Nrodnostn problem trnavskej univerzity,

    in C icaj, Trnavsk univerzita, pp. 96107.29 Komorovsk, Trnavsk univerzita, p. 16.30 Koci, Vedeck, p. 25.31 Rebro, Prvnick fakulta, p. 134.32 It is important to point out that when Jozef imoncic, who was Trnavas archivist,

    first suggested to the Communist leaders in Trnava in 1985 that there be a celebra-tion to mark the anniversary, he was almost punished for doing so. When thedecision was finally made to proceed with celebrations in Trnava, it is he who wasasked to organize them.

    33 See Stanislav J. Kirschbaum, A History of Slovakia. The Struggle for Survival, 2nd edn.(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 2934.

    34 See Stanislav J. Kirschbaum, The Martinovics Conspiracy and the Slovaks, ster-reichische Osthefte 43 (1/2) (2001), 4555.

    35 For an excellent analysis of the importance of this principle at the peace confer-ence, see Margaret Macmillan, Paris 1919. Six Months that Changed the World (NewYork: Random House, 2001), pp. 10954 and 20770.

    36 See Stanislav J. Kirschbaum, The First Slovak Republic (19391945); SomeThoughts on Its Meaning in Slovak History, sterreichische Osthefte 41 (3/4)(1999), 40525.

    37 For more on this, see Kirschbaum, History of Slovakia.38 This is a point strongly made by Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe.39 This is fully outlined in Kirschbaum, History of Slovakia, pp. 273308.40 See Ivo Samson, Die Sicherheits- und Auenpolitik der Slowakei in den ersten Jahren der

    Selbstndigkeit. Zu den Vorausetzungen der Integration der Slowakischen Republik in dieeuroatlantischen Verteidigungsstrukturen (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft,2000).

    41 Kirschbaum, History of Slovakia, p. 309.

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  • 23


    In May 2004, ten new states joined the European Union (EU); among themwere five countries that for a long time were considered to belong geograph-ically to Central Europe: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia andSlovenia. What was Central Europe? Was it a viable political as well as a geo-graphical conception, and what contribution did it try to make to the peaceand stability of the European continent? These are some of the questionsthat this chapter seeks to answer, and in order to do so, a new interpretationis needed in the definition of Central Europe.

    The concept of Central Europe cannot be traced back simply to that ofMitteleuropa, which was a German concept that indicated nothing more thanGermanys will for supremacy over the surrounding regions, including the northof Italy. It was clearly defined by German Chancellor Theobald von BethmannHollweg in September 1914 and systematized in Friedrich Naumanns writings.1

    Similarly, the reference to the Habsburg variant of Mitteleuropa, which inmany aspects is no more than the expression of a myth constructed ex poston the basis of successive negative experiences, is inadequate. In the nine-teenth century, the Habsburg Empire did not manage to transform itself froman autocratic (Zwangsmaschine) to a multinational state (Vlkerstaat) and thepolitics of Vienna were based, above all, on the logic of divide et impera, onthe competition between different nationalities. The Habsburg Empire was incrisis; it did not understand modernity, it used repression, supported obscur-antism during the Biedermaier period and, on the artistic level, was out of stepwith Munich, Berlin and Paris, as Jacques Le Rider points out.2 This HabsburgMitteleuropa variant also left out a great many Polish and Romanian regionsthat historically gravitated towards the centre of Europe.

    Recently, authors such as Piotr S. Wandycz have referred to an East CentralEurope defined by Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia intheir current boundaries, which is also an extremely limited concept.3 Thefact is that Europe, as the Yugoslav Rada Ivekovic states, always defined itself

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  • 24 Whence Central Europe?

    in a binary form,4 whereas Western Europe considered itself the whole ofEurope: It has always self-determined its history, redefining its own frontierstowards the East and, finally towards Asia.5 Ivekovic writes elsewhere: It[Western Europe] produces an otherness to which all the defects it hopes toshake off can be assigned and propelled.6 As a result, the other half of Europedid not reveal itself as a co-subject but, at best, as an absence. It could be saidthat everything that was beyond the ideal BerlinTriesteOtranto line wasnon-existent, it was something that, at best, Western Europe could colonize,educate and validate for itself. This dichotomous idea of the European con-tinent was, however, unfounded.

    What is Central Europe?

    Historically, there is a central area in Europe with specific characteristics, an areathat extends from the Baltic to the Aegean Sea, located between the LatinGermanic West and the Byzantine Slavic East, whose political centre was inMuscovite Russia. There is a unity of destinies that characterizes this area withinwhich, on a geopolitical level, there is no distinction between north and south.In addition, the Balkans were not considered as something gloomy and tribal, asa kind of quasi-Asia, in contrast to the Mitteleuropa of the HabsburgGermanicmould, which was found in a space that was already Western and which wasnearer to the very source of civilization. This area of peoples and countriesin which Greece and Serbia, Bohemia and Poland, Hungary and Romania, toname but a few, were included, lived a common experience over the cen-turies, which was accepted by the protagonists, and which was interpreted inthe sense of achieving a new united role on the international scene.

    In his 1942 essay, Federation in Central Europe, Milan Hodza,7 a now-forgotten Slovak journalist and politician, wondered what the destiny of Europe,all of Europe, would have been if, at the beginning of 1938, there had beenan agreement to work together among the eight countries of Central Europe,that is, the countries between Danzig and Thessalonica.8 What happened inthe 1930s was that the Axis powers, Italy and Germany, acted to block everyattempt at collaboration within the DanubeBalkan area. As DrahomrJanck points out, the Third Reich played a major role in the destruction ofthe Little Entente.9 Therefore the problem is not one of considering theinternal conflicts of this area, the struggles that took place there, and that arestill present among ethnic groups, minorities, nationalities and religions (onthis point, Western Europe should look at its own history before debatingthat of others), but rather to give greater consideration to the role the greatpowers played. Consider the Sudeten German problem in European politicsin the period between the two wars:10 it demonstrates precisely how, apartfrom the differences between Czechs and Germans, strategies external to theBohemia that did not have any consideration for the interests of these twopopulations were imposed on them and weighed heavily on their destinies.

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  • Czechs and Germans were the objects and not the subjects of internationalpolitics. This assessment could be repeated for other ethnic conflicts, particu-larly in the post-Communist period, namely in the disintegration ofYugoslavia, the war in Bosnia and the Kosovo problem.

    It follows that the first element of identification of Central Europe is itsstatus as an area of competition between the great powers. Over the centuriesit was a frontier of clashes and conquest by the Byzantine Empire, the HolyRoman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire,Sweden, Russia, which took Swedens place as the great power of the North,and the Papal States. It is an area of peoples that have been mostly exploitedand used for purposes and aims extraneous to their interests, or else they havebeen left on their own during difficult moments of their history. In addition,Central Europe was also a place of continuous attempts at aggregation amongthe various populations who live there. Central Europe became strong whenthis complex of regions or at least a great many of them had a common gov-ernment and when centripetal forces prevailed over centrifugal ones. Examplesabound: Great Moravia under Svtopluk, the territorial expansion of theCzech Premysl dynasty from Koenigsberg to Aquileia, the PolishLithuanianUnion of the Jagellonian dynasty and the attempts at unity by the Hungariankings Louis of Anjou and Matthias Corvinus.

    There is a character of dependence and subordination that is shared by thecountries of the area, but at the same time there is continuous and firm actionaiming at the integration of the different components. The Habsburgs weresuccessful for a long period primarily because they were closely linked to agreat Western power, the Papal States. They became the very instrument of theCounter-Reformation in Central Europe and, as a dynasty, they were anexpression of the West and, in particular, of the Holy Roman Empire. Withoutdoubt, they managed to create an atmosphere of collaboration among thevarious components of their Empire. According to Victor-Lucien Tapi, theresult was that Germans, Slavs, and Magyars, destined to come into conflict afew decades later in struggles that became harsher until the war of 1914, beganto reciprocate their enthusiasm for the elaboration of a national idea.11

    A new approach

    Georg Friedrich Hegel, Johann Gottfried Herder, and other representatives ofGerman Romanticism were the first to see the need for a link betweennational existence and linguistic expression; it aroused immediately interestamong the Slavs in their linguistic traditions and their history. Among theintellectual elites of various Slavic peoples there was (and may still be) a nationalself-consciousness that was greater than a nationalism defined as supremacytowards the exterior, as hegemony. This nationalism existed among the Magyarsand the Germans, but not among the Slavs of the Dual Monarchy. Nationalismwas an imported product in Central Europe that came from Germany, France

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  • and Italy; it did not arise from within, and it frequently assumed the charac-ter of self-defence, not of domination. In this respect, Pan-Slavism in CentralEurope was never a political movement, nor could it have prevented theincreasing differentiation that emerged in the course of the centuries betweenthe different components of the Slavic race. The Slovak Jn Kollr saw it as asearch for common roots, for cultural reciprocity (vzjemnost), in order tounleash the synergies capable of performing the task assigned to the Slavs,that of redeeming humanity. This he meant in moral terms and did notexclude a project of union of the Slavic nations. But when Germany unifiedin the second half of the nineteenth century, it became a dynamic power. Wehave become used to Eric Hobsbawms conception of the short century,12

    but if we try to widen the dimension of the twentieth century a little moreand go to the roots of the short century, we find that German unificationwas the breaking point of the order established at the Congress of Vienna. It wasthe trigger for all successive developments.

    With unification, Germany became a great state in the centre of Europeand constituted a pole of attraction and destabilization. That brought abouta succession of blows and conditions, above all towards AustriaHungarywhich, excluded politically from the Central European area, was pushed evermore towards the Balkans until it clashed with the Serbs. There are also otheraspects that should be specifically reconsidered, in particular, the ever-increasingdependence of the Habsburg Empire on Germany. The stages of this depend-ence are well known: Viennas occupation of BosniaHerzegovina and theSandjak of Novi Pazar to block a link between Serbia and Montenegro, andthen the annexation of Bosnia in 1908. The guiding line was BerlinBaghdad.As a result, the Dual Monarchy went in the opposite direction to what hadbeen foretold some time before by the Moravian Frantiek Palack, one ofthe inventors of Austro-Slavism and father of the Czech national revival,who wished to live in a state that recognized a specific role for the Slavicpopulations and redefined itself in consideration of them. If I take a lookbeyond the boundaries of Bohemia, Palack wrote in 1848 to the Assemblyof Frankfurt, refusing its invitation to attend, historical and natural consid-erations urge me not to look towards Frankfurt, but towards Vienna and tolook there for that centre that will have the task and the mission of protect-ing my nation, guaranteeing peace, freedom, and justice.13

    Palack did not speak only for his people but expressed an idea thataccompanied all the successive developments of the national problem inthe Dual Monarchy. He proposed a democratic and federal redefinition of theHabsburg state and found an immediate demonstration in the Parliamentof Kromerz (Kremsier) in 1849. The final project of the new AustrianConstitution, on which the parliamentary committee had managed to findan agreement just before its dissolution, constituted a realistic compromisebetween the various points of view and gave the Habsburg dynasty a preciousinstrument to block nationalistic aspirations and to accept the autonomy

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  • requests of the different national components. Particularly interesting wasthe discussion that developed around the different way the Czech and theGerman side interpreted federalism. The final project, which offered a com-promise between two opposite tendencies, left on one hand the provinces intheir historical boundaries as parts of the indivisible hereditary constitutionalMonarchy, while on the other, it allowed for the creation of districts on anational basis with further autonomy in the organization of schools, languageteaching, and justice. The twenty-first paragraph contained, therefore, thefirst formulation of the right of nationalities: all the peoples (Volksstmme) ofthe Monarchy were considered equal, the inviolable right to conserve anddevelop their nationality was assured, and equal rights for all languages inregional use (landesblich) in schools, offices and in public life were guaranteed.

    That project was proposed almost in its entirety again in 1906 by theRomanian Aurel Popovici, when he published his volume Die vereinigtenStaaten von Gross-sterreich.14 In December 1911, in a memorandum to PrinceFranz Ferdinand, Hodza and the Romanian Iuliu Maniu underlined the neces-sity of transforming the Monarchy into a big economically and politicallyintegrated area, overcoming thereby the old dualistic structure; they indicatedthat this solution was the only one that could maintain the Habsburg Empireas a great power. These two gentlemen were members of the Belvedere Circle.Their activities show a need to rethink the clichs that have found their placein contemporary historiography, like the one where nationalism is given asthe reason for the end of AustriaHungary or, successively, the convictionthat the Treaties of Paris and the creation of the new states of Central Europeconstituted the direct and irreversible cause of the Second World War.Accordingly, it would seem that due to their economic backwardness, theircomposite ethnic structure, and above all the inclusion of substantial Germanminorities, in contrast with the principle of self-determination, their creationcould do nothing more than bring about great international tension, whichjustified the German reaction that resulted in a new European conflict.

    What happened instead was that the Peace of Paris offered the new popula-tions, who thereby received the recognition of their statehood, the uniquechance to create a new order, internally and within the geopolitical boundariesof which they were now part, that had connotations with the tolerance andrespect for democratic values for which they had declared war againstAustriaHungary. However, the Western powers, namely France and GreatBritain, did not help this process; rather with the Dawes and Young plans theyfavoured German economic recovery to the detriment of the new states ofCentral Europe in the 1920s and sought an agreement with Hitler at all costswith a view to arriving at a general settlement with the Axis powers in the 1930s.As a result, these Central European states disappeared not because of their intrin-sic weakness, but because of the willingness of the Western democracies to allowGerman territorial expansion. What was clearly manifest at Munich in 1938 laterled to the attacks on Poland in 1939 and on Yugoslavia in 1941.

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  • A new solution?

    The geo-historical area from the Baltic to the Aegean Sea distinguishes itselfalso for being a place of autonomous cultural elaboration. However, there is notonly nationalism, which, among other things, is an imported product (fromRomanticism and the Napoleonic Wars) and a reaction to external dangers,especially the unification of Germany in 1871. More than nationalism, wecan speak of national self-defence. The intelligentsia of these regions was theauthor of original cultural and political movements in a democratic-liberaland democratic-socialist sense, such as is found in federalist thinking. To thenames of Hodza, Popovici and Maniu can be added those of the CzechTom G. Masaryk, the Hungarians Oszkr Jszi and Mihlyi Krolyi, theRomanians Nicolae Titulescu and Grigore Gafencu, the Bulgarian AleksandarStambolijski, and among South Slavs, Josip Strossmayer, Frano Supilo, and theconsiderable Slovenian federalist movement, which some prefer to ignore.

    Strossmayer was the most authentic supporter of that Yugoslav move-ment, which in recent times has been considered historically unfounded andlinked to the activities of Josip Broz Tito. On the contrary, this movementtowards the unification of the South Slavs had deep roots in the nineteenthcentury. In 1866, in Zagreb, Strossmayer founded the Yugoslav Academy ofArts and Sciences (Academia Scientiarum et Artium Slavorum Meridionalium)and considered his action as a step in the direction of the Yugoslav federalistidea, as part of a wider dialogue between the Catholic and the OrthodoxChurches. It is because of this that he opposed the First Vatican Council onits definition of the infallibility of the pope. At the same time, he supportedthe need to recognize a CroatianIllyrian unit in the Habsburg Empire andtherefore he took part, together with the Slovene Jernej Kopitar and Palack,in the Austro-Slavic movement.

    To look at the life and work of these people is to overturn interpretationsof a deterministic type, which, in the renewed national self-consciousness ofthe peoples of Central Europe, are seen as the main cause of most Europeantragedies. In fact, a large group of politicians and intellectuals moved inexactly the opposite direction, first to safeguard the monarchy and then,after its demise, to propose the resurrection of the more pertinent character-istic of the Habsburg Empire, that is, a framework that guaranteed the coexis-tence of the different national groups. Nor were the masses unfavourablyinclined to these attempts when we consider that the Royal Imperial Armynumbered 60 per cent Slav troops and only 13 per cent Austro-Germans,while at officer level the latter represented 76 per cent. On the Italian front,there were Bosnians, Croats and Slovenians who made things very hard indeedfor the monarchy. Perhaps it would be worth remembering Joseph Rothsbook Die Kapuzinergruft. The various peoples were closely attached to theCrown in a way that the Austrian and Hungarian ruling classes were not. Thelatter in particular were absolutely chafing under the Habsburg bonds; one only

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  • has to read Sandor Petfis poem Austria to get a sense of Hungarian feeling.Instead, the Imperial house profoundly disappointed the Slavic andRomanian peoples by opting for the Austro-Hungarian Compromise (Ausgleich)rather than lending a hand in the creation of a federal state. The end of themonarchy could, in fact, be dated back to 1867 rather than 1918.

    With the outbreak of war in 1914, Masaryk realized that the moment hadcome to break definitively with Palacks Austro-Slavism and act for a newfuture for his people and the other Slavic peoples cut off from the destiny ofthe Habsburgs. His idea was to overcome every national particularism and tosee to it that the independence of the Czech nation and the union betweenCzechs and Slovaks constituted the introduction of a wider Central Europeanintegration process. His struggle was not one for independence as an end initself, but a struggle to ensure that this independence was only the first steptowards rebuilding a wide united area on a federal basis.

    The principle of nationality was thus linked with the federative principle.In this sense, the creation of multinational states such as Czecho-Slovakia,the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and Poland should not beseen as imperfect entities in comparison to the perfect application of theright to self-determination, but rather as the first step toward an unavoidablepolitics of collaboration between the peoples of Central Europe with a view toachieving a greater association of nations. In the words of Masaryk: Betweennationality and internationality there is no antagonism, but on the contrary,agreement. He also added:

    Nations are the natural organs of humanity. Humanity is not super-national, it is the organization of individual nations. If, therefore, indi-vidual nations struggle for their independence and attempt to break upstates of which they have heretofore been parts, that is not a fight againstinternationality and humanity, but a fight against aggressors, who misusestates for the purposes of leveling them and enforcing political unifor-mity. Humanity does not tend to uniformity, but to unity; it will be theliberation of nations which make possible the organic association, thefederation of nations, of Europe, and of all mankind.15

    Since 1989, we have seen that a perfect application of the right to self-determination means national independence, that is to say, the subdivisionand the fragmentation of Central Europe, which brings every state into anew position of subordination internationally. The creation of small, moreethnically homogeneous states has not, however, brought a strengtheningof the single nationality on the European political scene, still less in theworld, but has rendered each one more marginal. There is a parallel withAfrica after 1960, which had on one hand a multitude of flags and a succes-sion of formally independent republics, but on the other an almost totaleconomic, military and cultural dependence on the great powers; in the case

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  • of present Central Europe, this dependence is on Germany and on the USA.What is more, some of these small states, such as BosniaHerzegovina,Macedonia, the Baltic States, and Serbia and Montenegro are themselvesmultinational, and therefore the right of self-determination should be fur-ther applied; if this were to happen, it would render the area completelyungovernable.

    The 1942 volume, Federation in Central Europe, is important on this point.Hodza proposed to revive the message of Masaryk, leaving behind the experi-ence of the interwar period; rather he went back to the history of CentralEurope from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of theSecond World War. He highlighted in particular the role played by his coun-try in developing democracy and cooperation in the DanubeBalkan areaand proposed a project for a confederation of Central Europe, outlining indetail also the constitutional bodies: a strong federal executive, based on themodel of the USA, freed from parliamentary tricks that could paralyse it, afederation which constituted the defence of the national and social securityof its own peoples, and which contributed to widening the process of inte-gration on the continent. But above all, he placed emphasis on the necessityof regional agreements as essential conditions for every federation on a largescale. This meant that the countries of Central Europe needed to find com-mon political bonds. Rather than jostling among themselves to ensure thebest place at the service of dominant powers, they were above all to coordi-nate their efforts to assume a unified position on problems of common inter-ests so as to be on equal terms with the big centres of political and economicpower at international level.


    It is important to recognize how often external factors and forces have heav-ily influenced most conflicts in Central Europe; there was a manipulation ofnationalism, which took place by playing on the divisions and cracks thatexisted among the various populations of the area. There is a comparison tobe made between the Sudeten German problem in the 1930s and the Kosovoproblem in the 1990s: when we consider the international context of whichthey became a part, we get a better understanding of their dynamics and theresults achieved. The hypertrophic character of most analyses of nationalismas a product of the domestic history of various peoples cannot go unnoticed.As the American political commentator of Lithuanian origin, Arista MariaCirtautas, states: the force of nationalism in backward societies is not onlythe result of their general backwardness, but is also the consequence of thesystem of international relationships set up by the first liberal nations.16

    However, in the final analysis, it is the competition between West and Eastover the centuries that constantly and stubbornly prevented every projectthat aimed at creating a federation in Central Europe.

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  • As the EU moves forward politically and expands geographically, its leadersmay consider what happened to an area that was once called Central Europeand how the leaders of its constituent nations and states sought to balancethe larger project with the needs of its members. Such a target is one of themost important challenges that the EU faces in the years to come.


    1 Friedrich Naumann, Mitteleuropa (Berlin: Reimer, 1915).2 Jacques Le Rider, Modernit viennoise et crises de lidentit (Paris: Presses

    Universitaires de France, 2000).3 Piotr S. Wandycz, The Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from the

    Middle Ages to the Present (New York: Routledge, 1992).4 See also the interesting study by Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe. The Map of

    Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford, CA: Stanford UniversityPress, 1994).

    5 Rada Ivekovic, La balcanizzazione della ragione (Rome: Manifestolibri, 1995), p. 75.6 Rada Ivekovic, Autopsia dei Balcani (Milan: R. Cortina, 1999), p. 80.7 Hodza was a Slovak, of the Protestant faith, and a follower of Masaryk in the group

    Hlas (The Voice) that tried to start a collaboration between the Czechs and theSlovaks in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was Czechoslovak primeminister from 1935 to 1938 and worked bravely to defend and reinforce the LittleEntente in the face of the disruptive pressures that came from the governments ofRome and Berlin, but the international conditions at that time brought about thefailure of his efforts and the end of Czechoslovakia.

    8 Milan Hodza, Federation in Central Europe. Reflections and Reminiscences (London:Jarrolds, 1942). The passage is taken from the German edition, Schicksal Donauram.Erinnerungen (ViennaMunichBerlin: Amalthea, 1995), p. 254. Slovak edition:Federcia v Strednej Eurpe a in tdie (Bratislava: Kalligram, 1997).

    9 Drahomr Janck, Tret R e a rozklad Mal Dohody. Hospodrstv a diplomacie vPodunaj v letech 19361939 (Prague: Univerzita Karlova, 1999).

    10 Francesco Leoncini, La questione dei Sudeti 19181938 (Padua: Liviana, 1976). Reprintby Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, Venice, 2005. German edition: Die Sudentenfragein der europischen Politik. Von den Anfngen bis 1938 (Essen: Hobbing, 1988).

    11 Victor-Lucien Tapi, Monarchie et peuples du Danube (Paris: Fayard, 1969), p. 289.12 Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes. The Short Twentieth Century 19141991 (London:

    Michael Joseph, 1994).13 See C esk Liberalismus. Texty a osobnosti (Prague: Torst, 1995), p. 38.14 Aurel C. Popovici, Stat si Natiune. Statele-Unite ale Austriei-Mari (Bucharest:

    Albatros, 1997).15 Tomas G. Masaryk, The New Europe. The Slav Standpoint (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell

    University Press, 1972), pp. 7980. The first critical edition was published recentlyin Italian, translated and annotated by Francesco Leoncini, La Nuova Europa. Ilpunto di vista slavo (PordenonePadua: Edizioni Studio Tesi, 1997).

    16 Arista Maria Cirtautas, Il nazionalismo e i neofiti della democrazia, in FederigoArgentieri, ed., Post comunismo terra incognita (Rome: Edizioni Associate, 1994),pp. 334.

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  • 32

    The enigma of 1989

    From the Adriatic to the Baltic, from the Elbe to the Urals and beyond, total-itarianism collapsed. Yet the 1989 bloodless revolution in Eastern Europecaught most observers by surprise, eclipsed only by the subsequent dissolu-tion of the Soviet Empire. This chapter explores the signal sociocultural forcesthat contributed to the sea-change. There are three major reasons for recall-ing the contributions of major dissident individuals and movements fortranscending Communism toward a free society: (1) the memory of the cen-tral role of intellectuals/dissidents in the peaceful revolution which toppledCommunist rule in Eastern Europe and Russia is rapidly fading, while the jobof transcending Communist dictatorships remains unfinished;2 (2) in a sense,it was easier to critique totalitarian rule than to forge new institutions, andrevive or develop civic culture and civil society;3 and (3) to rekindle theideals, hopes and aspirations expressed by the language of universal humanrights, which served as a common platform for opposing totalitarian rule,and which became often obscured in the post-Communist era by national/ethnic conflict invoking racial/ethnic identities and group rights.4 In fact,throughout the region, national/ethnic strife threatens to derail the projectof an open society. The economic and social hardships of transition are fuellingdiscontent, which, if continued, may bring back the erstwhile Communistrule under new guises of nationalism and socialism; witness the growingelectoral successes of Communist parties in East Central Europe.5 To discernthe future, we need to recall the lessons of the past, especially since the prophetsof post-Communism aspired to an open society and basic human rights andliberties regardless of ethnicity, class or gender.

    Throughout Eastern Europe, grass-roots movements emerged in the 1970sand 1980s demanding greater participation in social, economic, cultural andpolitical life, more autonomy in both the private and public spheres, democ-ratization of the workplace and genuine representation in all societal struc-tures and institutions, an end to censorship, unrestricted access to information,

    3Toward an Open Society: Reflectionson the 1989 Revolution in EasternEurope1Oskar Gruenwald

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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 33

    greater authenticity and ethical conduct on the part of rulers and the ruled,decentralization of decision making, spiritual renewal and national rebirth,personal liberty, a decent standard of living, constitutional guarantees ofbasic freedoms and human rights, the rule of law, and an end to the partysideological and political monopoly. In brief, the rise of a new civic cultureand civil society preceded and fostered the momentous changes in EasternEurope. This chapter offers a model of transition from authoritarian systemsto political democracy, highlighted by The Menshevik Divide, and placesthe East European nations and the USSR on a cognitive map which indicatesthe relative strength of civic values and autonomous action just before therevolution (1988).6 This model also discloses why the transition remainsincomplete, since authoritarian values and political processes keep manypost-Communist systems in a twilight zone between democracy and dicta-torship. Hence the quest for universal human rights, democracy, pluralism,tolerance and an open society is still an incomplete project in much ofEastern Europe and the Soviet successor states.

    At the dawn of the Third Millennium, it is appropriate to recall the priceof democracy in terms of the social, psychological and moral cost of thetransition to post-Communism in Eastern Europe and the former SovietUnion. While such states as Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary may drawon a considerable historical tradition of the rule of law, constitutionalismand democratic ideals, the post-Communist transition elsewhere in EasternEurope and Russia/CIS is more problematic given the lack of a developeddemocratic ethos. In all post-Communist states, the drama of the new demo-cratic aspirations versus authoritarian mindsets and bureaucratic institutionsis being played out against a backdrop of precipitous technological, economic,social and political change on the world scene.7

    The rise of civil society in Eastern Europe

    The thesis of this chapter is that the emergence of civil society in Eastern Europeduring the 1970s and 1980s was contingent on the growth of autonomousaction, conjoined with liberal values of a new civic culture, which directly chal-lenged the party monopoly of power and ideology (Figure 3.1 and Table 3.1).

    Non-institutionalized action in Eastern Europe evoked diverse institution-alized responses, which varied in space and time, and were basically arbitrary.The official response to autonomous action ranged from cooptation to criti-cism, threats, blackmail, fines, censorship, harassment, loss of job and hous-ing, discrimination against childrens higher education, relatives and friends,detention, interrogation, prosecution, forced confessions and informing onothers, beatings, assaults, rape, torture, confinement to prison/camp, psychi-atric ward or house arrest, banishment, expulsion, denial of travel abroad oremigration, forgeries, staged accidents and suicides, and so forth. This per-vasive atmosphere of fear, secrecy, intimidation and uncertainty was rooted

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  • 34 Whence Central Europe?

    in the phenomenon that any autonomous action in Eastern Europe couldelicit any and all types of official response, but without being strictly pre-dictable. Table 3.2 indicates only the most common actionresponse patterns,which again varied in space and time, marked by indeterminacy, that is,unpredictability.

    A note of caution is in order: the human rights abuses and struggles citedin this chapter are indicative, not exhaustive, but a fair assessment is that byRobert Conquest, perhaps the pre-eminent historian of twentieth-century

    00 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100












    Civic cultureModel of transition, 1988Liberal


    Totalitarianism: one-party monopoly of power and ideology

    A: Albania; B: Bulgaria; C: Czechoslovakia; E: Estonia; G: East Germany; H: Hungary; L1: Latvia; L2: Lithuania; P: Poland; R: Romania; Y: Yugoslavia; U: USSR.

    The Menshevik Divide: twilight zone of

    democracy and dictatorship

    Political democracy

    Civil societyAutonomous action






    C H




    L1 L2

    Figure 3.1 Model of transition, 1988Note: Figure 3.1 is a heuristic tool or a conceptual map, which attemps to locate East Europeanstates relative to each other along two major axes: civic culture (low to high) and civil society(low to high), rather than absolute percentages. It is also arguable whether The MenshevikDivide occurs at the 50 per cent or some other level. The single most important benchmarkcharacterizing The Menshevik Divide is the possibility of organizing more than one politicalparty, or, conversely, the absence of a one-party monopoly of power and ideology.

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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 35

    Communist totalitarianism, in his Reflections on a Ravaged Century, supple-mented by The Black Book of Communism, by Stphane Courtois and col-leagues.8 Nevertheless, any analysis of human rights abuses in Communistone-party states remains necessarily incomplete due to at least three sys-temic factors: (1) after half a century, totalitarianism in Vclav Havels9 sensebecame internalized in East European polities, especially among the oldergeneration and the privileged strata party, state and economic bureaucra-cies, police, army and regime intellectuals; (2) many victims of human rightsabuses remained silent for fear of the consequences retaliation by theauthorities against themselves, family, relatives and friends; and (3) manyinstances of human rights violations never reached Western media, and remainunknown to the Western public. Thus we do not even know the precisenumber of political prisoners in Communist systems. Just like their post-Communist counterparts before 1989, the existing Communist regimes inthe Peoples Republic of China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cuba notonly refuse to admit the existence of political prisoners, but mix them withcommon criminals. Communist legal malpractice has long been known to

    Table 3.1 Civic values in Eastern Europe, 1988

    Liberal Authoritarian

    Freedom SubmissivenessAutonomy BureaucracyIndependence DependenceIndividual responsibility CollectivismProfessionalism Nepotism, connectionsMerit pay UravnilovkaPluralism of values and interests DogmatismInnovation ConservatismInitiative Passing the buckCivic courage FearEntrepreneurship Black market/corruptionParticipation ApathyReligious faith AtheismRespect for human dignity NihilismPatriotism National chauvinismTolerance Ethnicity/racism, anti-SemitismEducation IndoctrinationSocial mobility EgalitarianismHuman rights Class strugglePrivate ownership State ownership/central planningDemocracy Democratic centralismCompromise InflexibilityNegotiation ConfrontationOpenness (Self-)censorshipNonconformism Conformism

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  • 36 Whence Central Europe?

    indict the politically incorrect on fictitious charges of economic crime, drugsmuggling, traffic violations, and the like, or commit them to psychiatricwards as mentally disturbed, or use them as cheap labour in Chinas GulagArchipelago.10 Table 3.3 attempts some preliminary estimates of the numberof political prisoners in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union on the eve ofthe 1989 revolution.

    In a sense, the rise of civil society in Eastern Europe since the 1960s was acodename for dissent. A brief survey of the major types of autonomous actionin Eastern Europe reflects basic civic values as defined by Gabriel Almondand Sidney Verba in their study, The Civic Culture Revisited.11 Not unexpect-edly, on the eve of the 1989 revolution, Albania and Bulgaria scored lowest,whereas Central Europe enjoyed the highest scores, apart from the BalticRepublics and the former Yugoslavia, which are bracketed due to space limi-tations.12 In addition, the four Central European nations selected here for

    Table 3.2 Autonomous action in Eastern Europe, 1988

    Autonomous action Institutional response

    Emigration, escape Emigration, expulsion, prison, ransom,harassment, death

    Open letters, petitions HarassmentSamizdat Harassment, confiscation, fine, prisonLabour strikes Harassment, loss of job, prisonIndependent trade unions SuppressionIndependent student organizations Cooptation, suppressionFlying universities Harassment, loss of job, prisonLiving room theatre Harassment, fineAutonomous peace groups Cooptation, suppression, expulsionConscientious objectors Psychiatric wards, prisonUnauthorized demonstrations SuppressionUnderground churches Harassment, prison/camp, terrorAutonomous music groups Harassment, fine, prisonThe Democratic movement Suppression, prison, expulsion, psychiatric

    wardsThe second economy Limited tolerance, fine, prisonNationalist dissent Emigration, expulsion, prison,

    denationalizationEcological movement Harassment, expulsionFeminism HarassmentNeo-Marxism Cooptation, silencing, emigration, expulsion,

    prisonHelsinki watch groups SuppressionImported migr literature Harassment, confiscation, prisonClandestine radio broadcasts SuppressionInternationally known dissidents Emigration, expulsion, banishmentUnknown dissidents Prison/camp, psych. ward, disappearance,


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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 37

    comparative analysis the former German Democratic Republic (GDR),Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland share a common Central Europeanhistory and cultural heritage, and thus are conducive to comparative study.

    East Germany

    Much of Western scholarship on East German dissent focused on neo-Marxistintellectuals such as Rudolf Bahro, Robert Havemann and Wolfgang Harich,as well as the peace movement.14 Along with the Praxis group in Yugoslaviaand the Budapest School in Hungary, these East German utopian socialistthinkers offered one of the most scathing critiques of bureaucracy and inequal-ity in their respective societies. Thinkers such as Bahro held up a theoreticalmirror of unfulfilled promises to the official socialist realities in EasternEurope.15 Ironically, the self-proclaimed Marxist regimes found it necessaryto silence their independent Marxist critics, banishing them from univer-sities, and in the case of Hungary and East Germany, expelling them abroad.

    In the 1970s, however, a new group of opposition writers emerged in EastGermany, including Lutz Rathenow, Bettina Wegner, Frank-Wolf Matties andJrgen Fuchs (both in the Federal Republic of Germany). In 1980, Rathenowbecame the first East German writer to be imprisoned for publishing a bookabroad.16 In 1984, Rolf Schlicke, a physicist from Dresden, was sentenced toseven years for lending to friends such objectionable books as Aleksandr I.Solzhenitsyns Gulag Archipelago.17 Western observers typically concluded thatdissent, and hence civil society, were weak in East Germany. But this obser-vation runs counter to two major facts: the strength of the unofficial peaceand human rights movements in the 1980s, and the unabated Sturm undDrang of massive emigration and expulsions from the GDR.18 Throughoutthe Communist world, travel abroad, whether licit or illicit, only reinforced thedemonstration effect of rising expectations, since closed societies pretend-ing to be more advanced than their capitalist adversaries could not begin to

    Table 3.3 Political prisoners in Eastern Europe, 198813

    Country Total Prisons/camps Psychiatric wards Conscientiousobjectors

    Poland 300 200 100 100Hungary 400 300 100 300Baltic Republics 500 450 50 50Bulgaria 1 000 800 200 50Albania 2 500 2 500 Unknown UnknownRomania 3 000 2 800 200 UnknownCzechoslovakia 5 000 4 700 300 100East Germany 7 000 6 800 200 200Yugoslavia 8 000 7 800 200 50USSR 20 000 19 500 500 200

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  • 38 Whence Central Europe?

    compare with the reality of West European and American cornucopias,something that even Soviet First Secretary Nikita S. Khrushchev admittedduring his US visit, which was to include Disneyland that America with itsbountiful harvests and supermarkets was ideal for Communism.19

    The East German peace movement was unquestionably the most vocal, ifnot the largest, in Eastern Europe. Its phenomenal growth in the 1980s coin-cided with the introduction of new civil defence manuals and military edu-cation in the school curricula. This was all the more surprising, since EastGermany was the only East European state which instituted in 1964 theBaueinheiten (construction units which built airfields and other military facil-ities) as an alternative for those who objected to military service. Periodically,large numbers of peace activists were expelled or emigrated from the GDR, asin 1983 and 1988. Their symbol, Swords into Ploughshares, was ripped fromtheir clothing by police arresting demonstrators. In mid-1980s, Helsinki Watchestimated the unofficial peace movement in the GDR to be 10 000 strong.20

    By 22 November 1984, the Independent Defenders of Peace in the GDR andCzechoslovakia issued a joint statement, protesting the stationing of Sovietmissiles in their countries and NATO missiles in the West: No missiles inEurope, from the Urals to the Atlantic.21

    The independent East German peace movement often held its meetings inchurches as the only sanctuaries for free speech. However, on 24 November1987, secret service officials raided the office and library of the ZionEvangelical Church in East Berlin, and arrested two members of a peace andecological group. They confiscated printing equipment and samizdat publi-cations, including the magazine, Grenzfall, which monitored human rightsin the GDR. Some 400 peace, environmental and human rights activists there-upon held a protest vigil against the first raid on church premises since the1950s. While the two men were released on 29 November, police detainedactivists elsewhere in the country for questioning and forbade them to travelto Berlin. Paradoxically, the raid coincided with the call for a relaxation ofstate censorship and greater openness in culture and literature voiced at theTenth Congress of the East German Writers Association.

    On 10 December 1987, seven members of the Initiative for Peace and HumanRights were detained overnight by the state security police, which preventedtheir demonstration to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the UnitedNations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in front of the official Com-mittee for Human Rights building. Following a crackdown on dissent on17 January 1988, some 120 peace and human rights activists were detained,while 50 were subsequently expelled to West Germany. In March 1988, thesecurity police arrested another 80 human rights activists and would-be emi-grants in East Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Weimar, Jena and Halle, apparently todeter the growing number of exit visa applications. Yet the regimes strong-arm tactics proved counterproductive, since on 14 March 1988 the ProtestantChurch announced its first public expression of solidarity with the would-be

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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 39

    emigrants. In a phenomenon reminiscent of Poland, and later Czechoslovakia,a crowd of 300 marched through the centre of Leipzig, following church ser-vices, where prayers were offered for two men arrested after filing exit visaapplications. The marchers were dispersed by the police.

    Despite some 400 000 Soviet troops stationed in East Germany, the BerlinWall, a secularized society and stringent repression, where dissidents soughtto emigrate, were shot at the border, or were expelled to West Germany, thequest for civil society was gathering momentum in the GDR, bolstered bythe common aspirations of human rights activists elsewhere in Eastern Europe.Thus, in an unprecedented protest of 4 February 1988 against reprisals inEast Germany, signed by democratically minded citizens of Czechoslovakia,Hungary, Poland, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, the initiators protestedthe long prison terms for Barbel Bohley, Ralf Hirsch, Werner Fischer, andLotte and Wolfgang Templin (whose children were 3 and 13 years old), mem-bers of the Initiative for Peace and Human Rights. The list of signers read likea Whos Who in the human rights movement in Eastern Europe.22


    Following the Soviet-led invasion of 1968, Western observers of Czechoslovakiacould only agree with a natives characterization of the atmosphere in hiscountry as a vast political cemetery.23 Yet both Charles Gati and Jiri Pehepointed out the great potential for fundamental changes in Czechoslovakia,with its rich Central European cultural heritage, industrial base and prewardemocratic experience.24 Despite the Soviet invasion in 1968, which extin-guished the Prague Spring and led to a ruthless normalization in all spheres,there was the emergence in the 1970s and the 1980s of a parallel culture,which throughout Eastern Europe was a harbinger of growing unofficialmanifestations, autonomy and a civil society.

    The most popular unofficial cultural movement in post-1968 Czechoslovakiawas the Jazz Section of the Union of Musicians, founded in 1971, andbanned in 1985. The Jazz Section promoted not only music, but sponsoredalso forums on controversial topics, published a Jazz Bulletin on art, cultureand theatre, and supplied books and magazines on philosophy, art and musicnot officially sanctioned, as well as records and films. It was even recognizedby UNESCO as a cultural group in 1980, joined the International Jazz Federation,while its membership expanded dramatically in the late 1970s and early1980s to some 7000, with a readership of its publication estimated at 100 000.Alarmed, the regime first pressured the Union of Musicians to restrict theJazz Sections activities. When the Union resisted, the Interior Ministrybanned the entire Union. The Jazz Section appealed the ban in the courts,and continued its activities, which led to the arrest of the Sections leader-ship in September 1986. Five of the seven defendants were released, whileKarel Srp and Vladimir Kouril were sentenced on 10 March 1987 to 16- and10-month terms, respectively, for unauthorized business enterprise.25 Srp

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    was released in January 1988, and immediately petitioned Milo Jake, whosucceeded Gustv Husk in December 1987 as the new Communist Partyboss, for legal recognition of the Jazz Section based on the CzechoslovakConstitution and the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Final Act.26

    In terms of civic culture and a civil society, the most important democraticmovement in postwar Central Europe was Charter 77.27 From its inception,with the famous Declaration of 1 January 1977, Charter 77 was conceived asa true civic initiative, and became later a school of civic education and a rally-ing point for human rights activists throughout Eastern Europe and beyond.According to Jiri Ruml, a former spokesman for Charter 77, the Charter wasoriginally meant as a bridge for constructive dialogue with the state, ratherthan an organized political opposition.28 Charter 77 came into existence tomonitor the Czechoslovak governments compliance with the human rightsprovisions of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act. The subsequent story of the original243 Charter signatories, plus another 1000 later adherents, is one of Orwellianrepression in a Kafkaesque state, which spawned in 1978 the establishmentof the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Persecuted (Vbor naobranu nespravedlive sthanch VONS).

    Ruml further notes that the authorities did not prosecute the Charter itselfin court (as opposed to its individual members), due to international solidar-ity behind this civic movement.29 The significance of Charter 77 for EasternEurope can hardly be overestimated. Within Czechoslovakia, Charter 77rekindled an intellectual, cultural and spiritual ferment, which initially foundits outlet in the Jazz Section and popular music (some 250 illegal rock andpunk bands), and one of the strongest independent publishing activities inEastern Europe, rivalling that of Poland. Between 1975 and 1985, an esti-mated 600800 books appeared in Czech samizdat, represented by the Petlice(Padlock) Press and others, and such samizdat journals as the Critical Reviewand the Economic Review. An apolitical, independent theatre on the fringeor living-room theatre also flourished in Czechoslovakia, along with unofficialEastWest seminars for philosophy.

    In the 1980s, environmental and peace groups appeared, together with agroup called the Democratic Initiative. In November 1987, more than 1000people signed a letter protesting cultural repression and calling for the releaseof Srp, the Jazz Section chairman. On 28 November 1987, the playwrightVclav Havel, a Charter 77 signatory, sent an Open Letter to the Conferenceon Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting in Vienna, deploring thewar against our national culture by the Czechoslovak police which, since1968, had confiscated thousands of manuscripts, journals, books, newspapers,typewriters, audio- and video-tapes and recorders, to protect the country frommanifestations of hostile thinking.30

    In October 1986, 24 Czechoslovaks joined 54 Hungarians, 28 Poles, and 16East Germans in a four-country appeal commemorating the 30th anniversaryof the Hungarian Revolution.31 Perhaps the single most important legacy of

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    Charter 77 for the dissident movement in Eastern Europe was its linkage ofworld peace with the observance of human rights and civil liberties in everycountry. On 23 November 1987, police interrupted a meeting in the Praguehome of Libue ilhanova, a Charter 77 spokeswoman, and detained a dozenCharter 77 activists, allegedly for planning a protest for United Nations HumanRights Day (10 December) to demand the release of an estimated 5000 polit-ical prisoners. In Czechoslovakia, as elsewhere throughout Eastern Europe,peace, ecology and human rights activists found common ground withnationalist and religious dissenters, expressed in a common language thelanguage of human rights. Thus Mikls Duray, the indefatigable representativeof the Hungarian minority in Czechoslovakia, rearrested in 1984 for organ-izing a petition signed by 10 000 Hungarians in Slovakia concerning a newEducation Bill, and released in 1985, was a Charter 77 signatory. Equally far-reaching was the Charters influence on the official and undergroundchurches in Czechoslovakia.

    Cardinal Frantiek Tomeks 31-point petition for religious freedom, cir-culated in Slovakia in January 1988, called for a separation of church andstate, an end to religious persecution, and the establishment of basic polit-ical rights. The petition gathered some 300 000 signatures by both believersand non-believers, including Protestants and Jews. The widespread supportfor the petition was all the more significant in light of the historic divisionsbetween the Catholic Slovaks and Hungarians, and the more secular Czechs,apart from the East European regimes willingness to exploit national and anti-Semitic sentiments (witness the official policies toward minorities inAlbania, Bulgaria and Romania; and the anti-Semitic overtones of the officialpress in the region and the USSR). Support for the petition lent hope that thenationalist and religious revival in Czechoslovakia would be filled with new content: civic-mindedness, tolerance and respect for basic human rights.This, in itself, was unprecedented in Eastern Europe, where historical tradi-tions tended in the opposite direction: separatism, intolerance and authori-tarianism.32

    That the East European regimes considered such a moral and spiritual renais-sance an even greater threat to their rule than individual dissidents or groups isattested to by their ruthless repression of religious activists and priests bythreats, harassment, imprisonment, commitment to psychiatric institutions,and even murder. Keston College, cited by Helsinki Watch, believed that theunderground church in Czechoslovakia spread widely in the 1980s, withsome 500 priests ordained clandestinely, despite detentions and imprison-ment of 100 priests.33 In 1986, an estimated 100 000 Catholics gathered atthe shrine of Our Lady in Levoca, in north-eastern Slovakia, while 40 000Greek Church members went on a pilgrimage to Lutina, on the feast of theAssumption.34 Alienated by the spiritual vacuum left by the official MarxistLeninist ideology throughout Eastern Europe and the USSR, the youth yearnedto rediscover their personal and national self-identity and religious roots. As

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    in Poland and Romania, outspoken priests in Czechoslovakia, popular withthe youth, were threatened, beaten, abducted, interrogated and sometimeskilled. Thus tefan Polk, a Catholic priest from Borovice, near Trnava, wasmurdered on the night of 89 October 1987.35 Apart from small Evangelicalreligious communities, it was the Catholic Church throughout EasternEurope and the USSR especially in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Romania,Czechoslovakia, Croatia and Slovenia that stood most firmly against stateencroachment. Open Doors, a Christian missionary organization headquar-tered in the Netherlands, reported that in 1988 the Catholic Church inCzechoslovakia was left with only three bishops.36 The Czech governmentopposed the appointment of priests and bishops supported by the Vatican,since they rejected cooperation with the regime, unlike the Orthodox hier-archy in Bulgaria, Romania and the USSR. Cardinal Tomek, the 88-year-oldleader of the Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia, denounced pro-regimeCatholic groups such as Pacem in Terris, and publicly repeated the Charter77 principle that peace and human rights are inextricably linked.37

    The emerging linkage between human rights, national and religious dis-sent triggered new repressive measures. In March 1988, police used 48-hourdetention orders to hold some 20 religious activists and Charter 77 membersin Prague. These included Havel, Charter 77 spokesman Stanislav Devt, andsuch leading Catholics as Vclav Benda, Vclav Mal, and Augustin Navrtil.All were prevented from attending the St Vitus Cathedral special services on6 March 1988 in honour of Blessed Agnes of Bohemia (thirteenth-centuryprincess who was to be canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988), conductedby Cardinal Tomek. After the mass, attended by at least 8000, some 1000protesters chanted slogans demanding religious freedom. The largest demon-stration in postwar Czechoslovakia took place on 25 March 1988, calling forthe appointment of new bishops and the restoration of religious freedom inBratislava. Police used water cannon, batons, teargas and dogs to break upthe demonstration, and arrested about 190 people, including some Westernreporters and a television crew.

    One might add that Czech and Slovak dissent dovetailed during the 1980s,differing in tactics and emphases, as Stanislav Kirschbaum points out in hiscomprehensive study, A History of Slovakia.38 While Czech dissent coalescedaround Charter 77, Slovaks opted for passive resistance and refuge in theirCatholic faith. Mass pilgrimages and devotions baffled and irritated theCommunist authorities who tried, unsuccessfully, to rewrite Slovak nationalhistory. And like their Polish neighbours and co-religionists elated at the elec-tion of the first Polish pope, Slovak faithful were equally inspired by the eleva-tion of Bishop Jozef Tomko as the first Slovak cardinal in 1985.

    The Third Revolution the rebellion of the human spirit had clearly arrivedin Eastern Europe, while observers, East and West, who looked for informa-tion and analysis mostly to official, party-controlled sources, were caught offguard, totally surprised by the events that followed.39

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    With the exception of Poland, the Communist experiment to create anew socialist man failed, perhaps most dismally, in Hungary. ThroughoutEastern Europe, the phenomena of apathy, privatism and economism (read:materialism), noted by Archie Brown and Jack Gray, characterized everydaylife.40 The process of normalization under Jnos Kdr, following the 1956Hungarian Revolution, marked by the execution of some 2000 rebels, including Imre Nagy, and the imprisonment of more than 20 000, plus massemigration, resulted in the most quiescent of Warsaw Pact nations.41 Thenew social contract in post-1956 Hungary, struck between the regime andthe people, assured a limited personal and economic space in exchange fortacit acceptance of party rule. The Kdr regime proved uniquely adept at co-opting or undermining all dissent by censorship and self-censorship to suchan extent that Western observers coined the term para-opposition forHungarian dissent.42

    Yet, as a Central European nation, Hungary boasted a long historical link-age to the West European cultural heritage, which by the 1970s and 1980sfacilitated a rebirth of civic culture and a civil society. As early as 1974, theregime detained individual dissenters such as Ivn Szelnyi and George Konrd.The Budapest School of neo-Marxist theorists, critical of bureaucracy andinequalities in real existing socialism, became an embarrassment to Hungarianauthorities who applied the East German solution to their home-growncritics: leading members of the School such as Ferenc Fehr, Agns Hellerand Gyrgy Mrkus were exiled.43 The dissident movement in Hungarysurfaced in 1977, with an Open Letter of support for Charter 77. The mainfocus of individual and group dissent in Hungary since the 1970s was to enlargethe sphere of individual autonomy from the state. Five major forms of dissentemerged in Hungary: (1) samizdat; (2) a flying university; (3) Foundation forthe Support of the Poor (Szegnyeket Tmogat Alap SZETA); (4) nationalecologicalconscientious objectionhuman rights protests; and (5) the questfor independent student and academic unions.

    Three samizdat publishing houses were founded in Hungary: AB, ABC andHungarian October. Hungarian samizdat journals such as Beszl (Speaker),Egtjak Kzt (Between Points of the Compass), Magyar Zsido (HungarianJew) and others, all challenged the widespread acceptance of censorship andself-censorship in Hungarian society. By 1981, a samizdat boutique oper-ated openly in the apartment of Lszl Rajk, a Budapest architect, but wasforced to close by 1983 due to police raids, harassment, and the confiscationof materials. On 1 September 1983, the authorities issued a new decreewhich raised fines to 10 000 forints for printing and distributing unauthori-zed literature.44 Harassment, intimidation, and fines against samizdat edi-tors, writers and publishers intensified after 1983. Thus Gbor Demszky,founder of Independent Publisher (AB), was harassed to the extent thatin May 1984 some 200 people intellectuals, students, professionals, and

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    workers signed a petition protesting the illegal police assault on Demszkyand calling for the prosecution of his assailants.45

    Unexpectedly, Hungarian intellectuals grew more defiant during the 1980s.Ferenc Kszegi, an editor of Beszl, refused to pay a 6000-forint fine imposedin June 1987 for the possession of a duplicating machine, and faced a 20-dayprison term. Sociologist Andrs Nagy also refused to pay a 10 000-forint finefor possession of unofficial publications, including Beszl, while facing 40days of imprisonment.46 In addition to fines, increasing police harassmentand raids on samizdat publishers, the Hungarian Politburo ordered in June1986 a weekly blacklist of authors who published abroad or in samizdat. ThusIstvn Csurka, a leading Hungarian writer, who had published essays in the USA,had visited the West, and allowed Radio Free Europe to broadcast one of hislectures, was charged with disloyalty, and his works were banned in 1986.47

    The church hierarchy in Hungary, under the leadership of Lszl CardinalLkai (who died on 30 June 1986), attempted for a decade to reach a com-promise with the state. As elsewhere in Eastern Europe, dissident priests inHungary, especially those such as Gyrgy Bulanyi who supported conscien-tious objection to military service, were persecuted. Bulanyi and eight otherpriests were removed from their parishes. In 1984, police also confiscated119 volumes of theological writings by fundamentalist Catholic groups knownas basic communities.48 Since 1984, there was also a mass exodus of ethnicHungarians, along with some Romanians and Germans, from Romania. Boththe Hungarian government and some churches set up relief programmes,including 160 Red Cross posts which supplied food, clothing, health care,housing, financial aid, and assistance in job-seeking. In addition, the activeReformed Rkosszentmihly Church of Budapest supplied a New Testament, andmany refugees met and prayed every week to thank God for His protection.49

    Like Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, Hungary also had its openuniversity, dubbed the Flying Kindergarten (Repl ovoda). Since 1978,the Flying Kindergarten had sponsored lectures on such topics as the struc-ture of Soviet societies, philosophy of religion, and twentieth-century Hungarianhistory. The open university phenomenon in Eastern Europe reflected theintellectual dimension of dissent, and testified to the traditional role of theEast European intelligentsia as both preservers and creators of national cul-ture. Hence it was not coincidental that leading dissidents in Hungary wereintellectuals (many of them Jewish). While alienation among youth was wide-spread in Hungary, there were signs of independent thought and autonomousaction among high school and college students.50 Thus, when Ferenc Kulin,editor-in-chief of Changing World (Mozgo Vilg), was fired on 1 October 1983,the entire editorial board resigned as well, and protests spread to the YoungWriters Circle, the democratic opposition (a group of independent intellec-tuals), and included a petition from students at several Hungarian universities.

    Given the tradition of Hungarian debating societies which reaches back toat least the 1800s, it was not surprising that by 1988 Hungarian students and

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    academics organized their own unions, independent of official structures.The 37 founders of Fidesz, the new Democratic Youth Union, stressed theirconstitutional right of free association in setting up their organization. Mostfounders were students at Budapest universities and community colleges.51

    A new Democratic Union of Academic Workers was also organized in Hungaryby hundreds of university professors and research scientists who lacked inde-pendent representation.52 An example of debating societies in Hungary wasthe Embankment Club, banned for more than a year. In early 1988, some100 intellectuals gathered for a club meeting in the common room of aBudapest college dormitory where samizdat books and journals were dis-played and sold, and environmental activists argued against dam constructionon the Danube.53

    A clear sign of the loss of legitimacy among East European regimes and lossof faith among party rank and file in the promises of socialism was the vacil-lation of the authorities between co-opting and suppressing autonomousaction. The Hungarian regime turned down an application by 150 journal-ists and 50 academics to set up a Glasnost Club to improve public commu-nication. In March 1987, a highly critical report about the Hungarian mediaby 22 senior journalists and broadcasters pointed out that people had beenunaware until recently of the severe economic problems facing the countrydue to the illusion of unity maintained by the party-controlled media.54 Suchcandour was unthinkable only a generation earlier. Yet Kroly Gross, the newHungarian party boss who succeeded Kdr in May 1988, and who gave hisfirst foreign interview to an American television network, remained aCommunist true believer.55 Nevertheless, the new party platform called foreconomic and political reforms, for decentralization in the party, more demo-cratic voting procedures and limits on tenure, coupled with a new austerityprogramme cutting subsidies to inefficient state-run enterprises, raising prices,and rescheduling the nations $18 billion foreign debt the highest per capitain Eastern Europe.

    Hungarian dissidents remained unconvinced of party-sponsored liberal-ization. The dissident writer Mikls Haraszti told Peter Jennings of ABC-TVthat meaningful economic reform was impossible without political reform.Hungarys democratic opposition (which included Gspr Mikls Tams,56

    a Hungarian dissident of Romanian origin; Lszl Rajk, son of the former for-eign minister and namesake executed in 1949; Tams Bauer, a reform econo-mist; and Jnos Toth, an environmentalist) tested the Hungarian electoralreforms (Law II, passed in December 1983) in the elections of 8 June 1985.Those elections featured multiple candidacies for 352 of the 387 seats in par-liament and local councils. Each candidate had to sign a pledge to upholdthe party programme. Of the democratic opposition candidates, only Rajkobtained the necessary one-third of the votes at the first meeting. However,at the decisive second meeting, party people packed the hall, and Rajks follow-ers were barred. Glasnost and perestroika in Hungary still had a long way to go.

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    Dissent in Hungary diversified in the 1980s into ecological, peace and humanrights issues, cultural activities such as unorthodox art exhibits and rock-and-punk music bands, conscientious objection, and concern for the fate ofHungarian minorities in Romania and Slovakia. The regime tried to co-optand control or suppress all autonomous action. The Danube Circle, whichcollected 10 000 signatures by 1986 protesting the planned construction ofa joint HungarianCzechoslovak hydraulic power dam on the Danube (theBsGabcikovoNagymros dam), was forced to disband. The same fateawaited the Peace Group for Dialogue, founded in 1982 by university stu-dents and recent graduates, and disbanded in 1983, due to official pressure.Outspoken human rights activists were constantly reminded by the author-ities concerning the limits of permissible dissent. In 1985, Gspr Nagy wasforced to resign from the Union of Writers on account of a poem that angeredofficialdom (it mentioned the execution of Imre Nagy). In 1984, an unortho-dox art exhibit, Hungary Can Be Yours, held at the Young Artists Club inBudapest, was closed by the authorities after three days. Tams Molnr, oneof the groups founders, was dismissed from his job, while much of the workwas confiscated. During 1984, members of the Hungarian punk music band,Coitus Rock Group, were sentenced for up to two years for lyrics (nihilismand anarchism), as were members of the Public Enemy punk band, forsinging anti-Communist songs. Members of a popular Mosoly punk bandreceived six-month sentences for calling for the extermination of the Gypsies.Helsinki Watch reported that in the 1980s at least 100 people a year chose aprison term as conscientious objectors rather than serve in the army.57 OfficialHungarian sources admitted in April 1988 that 158 people were imprisonedfor refusal to serve in the army on religious grounds (146 Jehovahs Witnesses,6 Roman Catholics, 1 Nazarene, 1 Adventist, and 4 non-affiliated).

    As elsewhere in Eastern Europe, the Hungarian dissident movement grewincreasingly unified by the common language of human rights. Its inter-national linkage found expression in the 19 October 1986 Manifesto commem-orating the 30th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, which proclaimedthe tradition and experience of that Revolution as our common heritageand inspiration. Signed by 122 dissidents in four East Central Europeannations, and endorsed by three Romanians, this remarkable document pro-claimed:

    We declare our joint determination to struggle for political democracy inour countries, pluralism based on the principles of self-government,peaceful reunification of divided Europe and its democratic integration aswell as the rights of all minorities.58

    On 15 March 1988, the 140th anniversary of the 1848 rebellion againstAustrian rule led by the poet Sndor Petfi, police detained leading dissi-dents such as Demszky, Haraszti, Ottilia Solt, Tams Molnr, Gyrgy Gado,

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    Robert Plinks, Sndor Rcz and Jen Nagy. Despite police measures to isol-ate leading dissidents, the largest unofficial demonstration since 1956 tookplace in Budapest, with some 10 000 marchers calling for free elections, free-dom of the press and assembly, and a new constitution. All these confirmedGeorge Konrds assessment that the 1956 Demands re-emerged in Hungary:demands for national sovereignty, neutrality, parliamentary democracy,mixed economy, civil rights and private ownership.59 At last, Hungary foundits soul and voiced the long-pent-up cry for freedom, reflecting the growthof a new civic culture and a civil society.


    Of all the East European Communist systems, Polands experienced the mostspectacular rebirth of civic culture and civil society. In August 1980, thisprocess culminated in the founding of Solidarity, the first officially recog-nized independent trade union organization in the Communist world.60

    Equally, nowhere else in the Communist world was the split between thetotalitarian regime and a nascent civil society more sharply drawn than inPoland. Worker protests in Poland in 1956, 1970 and 1976 were much nar-rower in their demands than the phenomenon of Solidarity (Solidarnosc). Theresurgence of civic culture in Poland intensified after the 1975 Helsinki FinalAct, paralleling developments elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Thus the WorkersDefence Committee (Komitet Obrony Robotnikw KOR) was founded in1976, followed by the Committee for Social Resistance (Komitet OporuSpolecznego KOS) and the Movement for the Defence of Human and CivilRights (Ruch Obrony Praw Czlowieka i Obywatela ROPCiO) in 1977. DavidMason observed that the Solidarity era, 198082, differed from previous periodsof public protests, since public opinion and public opinion surveys played anovel and important role.61 That, in itself, was unprecedented in Communistsystems characterized by party-state dominance over a society of atomizedindividuals. General Wojciech Jaruzelskis proclamation of martial law andthe banning of Solidarity in December 1981 defined once more the limits ofdemocratization and liberalization in one-party Communist dictatorships.

    In retrospect, the significance of Solidarity lay more in the broader self-organization of Polish society, which it inspired, than in its narrower tradeunion concerns. From the outset, Solidarity demanded an end to censorshipas well as the right to strike and to establish independent labour unions. Inthe process, Polish society was radically transformed. Although drivenunderground, Solidarity became even more effective as a symbol for the cul-tural rebirth of the Polish nation. The Catholic Church and Solidarity forgedmutual links, and in turn became the mouthpiece for a resurgent civil soci-ety. Poland, even after December 1981, displayed the most diversified under-ground samizdat activity in Eastern Europe, with hundreds of books andsome 30 independent journals. It featured an underground Radio Solidarity,and underground printing presses and publishing houses. As early as June

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    1982, the underground Fighting Solidarity was established, whose founder,Kornel Morawiecki, a former lecturer at Wroclaw Polytechnic, arrested inDecember 1981, was a fugitive, successfully eluding the authorities for sixyears a feat unequalled elsewhere in the Communist world. He was rear-rested in November 1987 and expelled from Poland in May 1988.

    The underground Polish Helsinki Committee was founded by ZbigniewRomaszewski in 1979, but dissolved in 1982, following the arrest of itsfounders. By 1983, other Poles formed a new Helsinki Committee. In November1984, Citizens Committees Against Violence were formed in Warsaw, Crakow,Szczecin and Wroclaw to investigate and publicize lawless police actions, fol-lowing the kidnapping and murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko. Independenttheatre in churches, private apartments and open air flourished in Polandfrom 1981. The Confederation for Independent Poland (Konfederacja PolskiNiepodleglej KPN), led by the historian Leszek Moczulski, openly demand-ing free elections in Poland promised at Yalta, claimed 60 000 members by1981. Ecological, peace, conscientious objection, anti-nuclear and humanrights movements also spread in Poland in the 1980s. The first anti-nucleardemonstration in Poland was organized on 2 May 1986 by the Freedom andPeace (Wolnosc i Pokoj WiP) movement in Wroclaw.62 WiP also organizedan international seminar in a Warsaw church on 8 May 1987, entitledInternational Peace and the Helsinki Final Act, attended by Polish andWestern peace activists despite regime harassment. This broad and heteroge-neous movement opposed the military oath of allegiance to the USSR, wasconcerned with ecological issues, and committed to non-violence and alter-native military service.63

    The Catholic Church in Poland emerged as an even stronger national moralinstitution which the Communist regime failed to suppress. Hugh Seton-Watson noted the importance of the concept of a European cultural com-munity to East Europeans, and the fact that Christianity was the key toEuropean culture.64 Unlike the people of Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary orEstonia, the Polish people never lost their faith or their identification of thePolish national, spiritual and cultural heritage with the Catholic Church.Remarkably, the Catholic Church in the 1980s came to be perceived by allPoles, including secular left-wing intellectuals, traditionally critical of cler-icalism, as the preserver of Polish national identity, autonomy, and theprospects for genuine democracy in the face of Sovietization and Communismimported from the East. The election in 1978 of Bishop Karol Wojtyla as thefirst Polish pope predictably had a galvanizing effect among the Poles.65

    The regime in Poland continued to wage a civil war against society. If any-thing, the regimesociety confrontation intensified in the period after 22 July1983 when martial law was lifted, followed by the much-heralded amnestyof 21 July 1984. Following the ban on Solidarity in December 1981, thousandsof activists were imprisoned, while others went into hiding. The Westernreaction of curtailing economic aid and credits to Poland, whose resumption

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    was made contingent on the improvement of the human rights situation inthe country, apparently moved the Jaruzelski regime to declare severalamnesties and to shift to more sophisticated methods of repression. ThusSolidarity, human rights, peace and ecology activists, and underground pub-lishers continued to be harassed, beaten, intimidated, fined, detained, inter-rogated, denied passports to travel abroad or expelled, but only rarelyimprisoned and then for short terms.

    Helsinki Watch reported that while martial law was lifted in Poland in1983, the state of war became incorporated into new legislation.66 The pur-pose of the new legislation was to co-opt, control or suppress all autonomousaction and independent society in Poland. As early as 1982, the Associationof Polish Journalists and the Association of Writers were banned. In 1983,the Union of Visual Artists and the Writers Union were banned, while theleadership of the Polish PEN Club was replaced by regime people. In 1984, anew law extended censorship and established a Press Council controlled bythe prime minister. In 1985, the 1982 Law on Higher Education was changed,abolishing academic autonomy. In April 1985, Bronislaw Geremek, a histor-ian and adviser to Lech Walesa and Solidarity, was fired from his job at thePolish Academy of Science. The regime began issuing blacklists of proscribedauthors and taboo subjects (police salaries among them). On 14 June 1985,Solidarity activists Wladylaw Frasyniuk, Bogdan Lis and Adam Michnik weresentenced to three and a half, two and a half, and three years of imprison-ment, respectively, for meeting illegally. By 19 June 1985, the secret policearrested Tadeusz Jedynak, member of the underground National Commissionof Solidarity and a fugitive since 1983. Outspoken priests and activists becametargets of secret police abduction, beating and murder. In the period May1983March 1984, the Polish Helsinki Committee documented 28 deaths offormer Solidarity leaders and activists caused by the police or due to unex-plained circumstances. New laws were passed, which required all collegegraduates to perform socially useful labour for one year after graduation.

    The result of the Jaruzelski process of normalization in the 1980s was astalemate between the regime and society. In this process, the Communistregime in Poland lost the last shred of political legitimacy, resulting in aninability to govern or implement meaningful social or economic reforms. Inbrief, the new social(ist) contract between the regime and the people cameapart in Poland. The regime survived by naked power alone, backed by thelong shadow of possible direct Soviet intervention. In the period 198183, some6000 dissident Polish activists and their families (mostly from Solidarity) leftthe country. By 1988, some 328 000 Poles, including 10 000 students, 3500doctors, 11 000 engineers, 4000 scientists and 36 000 technicians, emigrated,constituting a significant brain drain. Worker and student demonstrationsand strikes continued in Poland, as well as underground samizdat andSolidarity. Such activities were hampered by widespread apathy and feelingsof demoralization and helplessness, more than by regime suppression.

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  • 50 Whence Central Europe?

    An example of sophisticated regime tactics in controlling and suppressingautonomous action and independent organizations was that of the PolishSocialist Party (Polska Partia Socjalistyczna PPS), resuscitated in November1987 (it had existed before the Second World War, but was absorbed by theCommunist Party in 1948), and defunct by February 1988. PPS meetingswere obstructed and infiltrated by police agents. In this brief interval, PPSactivists handed out flyers to workers and were detained. On 1 February1988, they organized a demonstration in front of the Romanian embassyin Warsaw, proclaiming Solidarity with the workers of Brasov. Policedetained some 50 people, including Zbigniew Bujak, Jan Jozef Lipski, ZbigniewJanas, Jozef Pinior, Marek Wolf and Adam Slowik, all veteran oppositionactivists. Similar demonstrations took place in Prague and Budapest inresponse to the Charter 77 call for observance of a day of solidarity with theRomanian people.

    The most promising development in terms of democratic prospects inEastern Europe was the growing internationalization of dissent in the region.PolishCzech contacts were established in 1978, and grew especially amonglabour, ecology, peace and human rights activists. By 1987, a PolishCzechoslovak Solidarity (PCS) came into being. Founded by dozens ofprominent activists from both countries, the PCS organized a large demon-stration in Wroclaw on 16 April 1987 to mark the birthday of Petr Pospichal,a Czechoslovak human rights activist imprisoned for distributing Solidarityliterature in his country. Significant in terms of regional linkage of dissentersthroughout Eastern Europe were such benchmark documents as the 1986Memorandum commemorating the 30th anniversary of the HungarianRevolution and the 1988 Protest against reprisals in East Germany, signed byhundreds of human rights activists from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungaryand Yugoslavia, as well as by five members of the unofficial Press Club Glasnostin the Soviet Union.

    There emerged a new open-mindedness among Polish intellectuals, bol-stered by the promise of Mikhail Gorbachevs new policy of glasnost, toengage their Soviet counterparts in constructive dialogue among equals.Thus, in early 1988, a group of Polish intellectuals, including Bujak, JacekKuron, Michnik, Andrzej Wajda, Walesa and several priests, directed anOpen Letter addressed to liberal Soviet intelligentsia, proposing a public dia-logue between the two nations. Specifically, the dialogue would seek toexpose the crimes of Stalin and Beria, which resulted in the murder of some4000 Polish officers at Katyn in 1940. The Soviet Union had long imputedthis crime to the Nazis. The Letter stated:

    The truth must be told out loud . . . this is a necessary condition for a rad-ical change in relations between our nations. We desire relations based onfriendship: of free people with free people, of equals with equals. Wedesire relations purged of all servility, lies and threats of force.67

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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 51

    Democracy or virtual Communism?

    As this brief survey suggests, the rise of civil society in the former Soviet blocsince the 1960s was synonymous with dissent. Second, the rise of civil soci-ety in Eastern Europe was predicated on the strengthening, broadening anddeepening of genuine public opinion, liberal civic values and a civic cultureindependent of the state. The growth of civic culture reflected, as well asnourished, the quest for personal and national identity, values, individualfreedom, the rule of law, social mobility and a better standard of living, andbasic human rights. Hence the rebirth of civic culture in Eastern Europe lednecessarily to the question of the proper institutional framework whichcould ensure genuine pluralism and offer legal and constitutional guaranteesfor the exercise of basic freedoms and human rights. The emergence of civilsociety and civic culture in Eastern Europe during the 1970s and 1980s thusraised the question of the moral, legal, social, economic and political pre-requisites of a pluralistic democracy.68

    The demise of the new social(ist) contract or implicit understandingbetween the rulers and the ruled in Eastern Europe was symptomatic of atriple crisis: socioeconomic, institutional and personal. The socioeconomiccrisis was clear even to party rank and file confronted with stagnating livingstandards, shortages, corruption, misallocation of resources, hidden unem-ployment and inflation, underemployment, bureaucratic inefficiency, pollu-tion, technological backwardness and growing foreign indebtedness. Bythe mid-1980s, Eastern Europes collective foreign indebtedness exceeded$100 billion. While the East German economy was subsidized by West Germany(including an estimated $500 million in ransom for political prisoners),Hungarys relative economic success (goulash Communism) derived ingreat part from a mounting foreign debt. Dissenters in Eastern Europe couldonly conclude that no meaningful economic reforms were possible in theirsocieties without far-reaching political reforms. Economists such as LszlLengyel in Hungary, who openly voiced their criticism of the futile attemptto cross the centralized shortage economies with elements of the marketeconomy, were expelled from the party. Yet throughout the region, the partyrank and file were themselves becoming demoralized given the obvious fail-ures of real existing socialism, whose promises were always in the future,while the people were left waiting for Godot. Jacques Rupnik admitted thatleft-wing intellectuals in Eastern Europe were embarrassed by the rediscoveryof the free market as a constituent element of civil society.69 Thus there was agrowing realization among East European intellectuals, including some partyrank and file, of the vital linkage between economic and political freedom.

    The second crisis in Eastern Europe concerned the loss of political legiti-macy on the part of the ruling elites which failed to deliver the (economic)goods. Gorbachevs policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructur-ing) were belated party attempts to restructure their failed centrally planned

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    economies, to motivate producers, and to re-establish a modicum of legiti-macy among the population, along with a better flow of information andlong-promised goods and services. At first, the East European Communistleaderships adopted a cautious wait-and-see attitude toward Gorbachevsdemocratization policies, while dissidents doubted all reforms from above.70

    At best, Gorbachevs new policies were expected to retrace Yugoslavias stepstowards totalitarian democracy based on workers self-management underparty tutelage and market socialism under state control.71 Indeed, Gorbachevspublic relations campaign for a better Soviet image at home and abroad borefruit in the Western readiness for arms reduction and economic aid. Thus, in1986, West European and Japanese banks lent $19 billion to the SovietUnion. This was all the more impressive since the Soviet Union, in turn, sup-ported such client states as Vietnam, Libya and Cuba. In 1985, East Germanydispatched $20 million from a $500 million Western loan to the Sandinistasin Nicaragua. It appeared that Western nations were underwriting the failedeconomic and political systems in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union,including ironically their foreign policies aimed at subverting Western democ-racies. Lenin had predicted as much. But political machinations and economicstagnation, combined with a loss of legitimacy by all socialist regimes, wereto undo the colossus.

    The third crisis in Eastern Europe was the most momentous and fateful interms of the possible evolution of democratic polities. While the ruling partiesthroughout Eastern Europe devised more sophisticated methods and strategiesfor controlling, co-opting, or suppressing dissent and autonomous action,dissenters faced an even more serious obstacle in the apolitical and atomizedmasses in their respective societies.72 Havel explored via the medium of thestory the deadening effect of total bureaucratic control on the hearts, minds,dreams, aspirations and lives of people in advanced totalitarian systems.73

    The third crisis in Communist systems was, thus, a crisis of self-understandingdue to censorship and self-censorship, of the loss of historical memory, andthe resulting alienation and anomie. Paul Gomma, an exiled Romanianwriter, summed up the causes of this alienation and anomie in his OpenLetter in support of Charter 77: We all live under the same nightmare . . . thesame denial of basic rights, the same contempt of the human being, thesame lies.74

    Sergey Grigoryants, editor of the unofficial magazine Glasnost (shut downin 1988), released from prison in 1987, reflected in his brief interview withJennings on the Communist legacy in Russia as 70 years of fear among thecitizenry.75 Mihajlo Mihajlov, the noted Yugoslav dissident of Russian origin,had observed as early as 1965:

    So very much has to be rehabilitated the value of free thought, the valueof authentic democracy, the lasting value of certain basic truths in alldomains of human life, the abolition of all secrecy, and more.76

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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 53

    A process of rediscovery of everyday truths, of moral recovery and spiritualrenewal is thus equally necessary as real economic and political reforms inEastern Europe and beyond. The problematic transplantation of Westerndemocratic mechanisms and institutions to Eastern Europe and Russia bearout the significance of cultural, moral and spiritual preconditions for democ-racy which remain in infancy in much of the world. Ivo iber proposed threecriteria for gauging democratic prospects in Central and Eastern Europe:(1) establishment of democratic institutions; (2) peaceful transfer of power;and (3) majority acceptance of basic principles of modern, principally WesternEuropean, society. Yet in the former Yugoslavia, iber finds that these condi-tions were fulfilled only in Slovenia, while the other republics still labourunder national collectivism and exclusiveness.77 iber concludes that fordemocracy to succeed in Eastern and Central Europe, the liberal ideasinherent rejection of any kind of collectivist, totalitarian rule should be theguiding light in our daily activities.78


    East and West, Alexis de Tocquevilles proposition of linking liberty to moralityand faith is acquiring new relevance at the dawn of the Third Millennium.Tocqueville observed that liberty cannot be established without morality, normorality without faith.79 It is instructive that the quest for personal identityand values found expression throughout Eastern Europe and the USSR in thegrowing autonomous nationalist, democratic, and human rights move-ments, and religious renaissance, undergirded by a thirst for the truth, bothhistorical and contemporary. Yet the quest for national symbols and roots,often embedded in authoritarian belief structures, is pitted against the moreuniversal human quest for greater autonomy and human dignity, ethicalconduct, participation, socioeconomic and political reforms, constitutional-ism, and the rule of law. Zbigniew Brzezinski was one of the few who pre-dicted in 1988 that Eastern Europe might, indeed, be ripe for revolutionbased on the classic formula of economic retrogression and relative politicalliberalization.80

    Eastern Europe witnessed in the 1970s and 1980s the rise of a new civilsociety and an autonomous second culture, complementing the growth of asecond economy. Following the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, this new civil soci-ety grew increasingly international in scope, drawing on the common con-cept and standard of universal human rights. The limits to reform in theSoviet bloc were initially set by the Soviet Union, which, however, itselfunderwent deep internal change pursued by Gorbachev as an attempt to reformCommunism. The Yugoslav model, with its conception of party-controlledand managed socialist pluralism, represented the outer limits of possibleliberalization within the framework of a Communist system. In 1989, EastEuropean one-party systems based on the monopoly of power and ideology

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  • 54 Whence Central Europe?

    confronted and crossed The Menshevik Divide (Figure 3.1), beyond whichopen the vistas and challenges of political democracy. Yet post-Communistsystems, especially those east of Poland and south of Hungary, remain in atwilight zone between democracy and dictatorship, their rulers and the ruledbeguiled by the ideals of a welfare state promised in MarxistLeninist theory,but unfulfilled in socialist practice.81 In the 1990s, Communist Parties maderemarkable electoral comebacks throughout the region, while in Russia some still pine for Stalin and his iron rule. As Mikola Antipovich writes: TheCommunist ideology fell, but in reality it still exists. Its not pure Communism,but a kind of surrogate, a virtual Communism.82 People throughout theregion are asked to sacrifice once more, and to put their aspirations for a bet-ter life on hold, this time in the name of a democratic future. The great dan-ger is that the masses may become impatient and susceptible once more tounfulfilled, or even impossible to fulfil, promises of instant utopia and deliv-erance. Fyodor Dostoyevsky cautioned in his tale of The Grand Inquisitor thatpeople may voluntarily bring back tyrannical rule, preferring bread to freedom.It would be an utmost irony, and constitute a betrayal of the aspirations ofall those who opposed Communist tyranny, if totalitarian rule eitherCommunist, nationalist or socialist were to return to Eastern Europe andRussia via the ballot box.83

    Only time will tell which contending heritage the authoritarian ghost ofa traditional past, or the more liberal, humanist and democratic aspirations will prevail in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the world. In sum, theprospects for individual freedom, pluralism, democracy and an open societyrooted in the rule of law and respect for human rights remain a continuingchallenge. The obstacles for the nascent democratic post-Communist poli-ties are formidable: low living standards, unemployment, loss of a social wel-fare network, bureaucracy, mismanagement, corruption, rise of a new classof nouveaux riches composed of former party-state functionaries, organizedcrime and shrewd entrepreneurs, inter-ethnic conflicts, scapegoating, author-itarian mindsets, unrealistic expectations concerning democracy as a guar-antee of prosperity, technological lag, excessive reliance on foreign aid, anda growing disillusionment with the slow pace of change. Even policy expertsare often confused about how to advance the goals of privatization andsocioeconomic development without backtracking into statism, on the onehand, or anarchy, on the other. Inexperienced Western pundits and policywonks may have also contributed to raising unrealistic expectations, includ-ing the role of foreign aid.84 Undue pessimism and even anti-Western senti-ment may follow the naive attempt to transplant Western political institutionsin the absence of a requisite political culture embedded and nurtured byindigenous cultures, rooted in a particular nations history, language, cus-toms, beliefs and traditions.85 The proper role of religious institutions incontributing to the development of civil society is also unclear and under-developed in much of the post-Communist world (with the exception of

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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 55

    Poland), while churchstate relations remain conflicted, East and West. It isalso clear by now that neither capitalism nor socialism is a substitute forindividual moral responsibility, whether in economics or politics; science,education or the professions; private or public life. Yet, given imperfect humanbeings, a more humane future presupposes individual liberty and an opensociety for believers and non-believers alike, which ultimately depend ontranscendent grounding in a loving and all-merciful Creator-God.

    There is reason for optimism that the promise of the peaceful revolution of1989 may be realized in the post-Communist world, and even inspire othersto transform the remaining Communist dictatorships in China, North Korea,Vietnam, Laos and Cuba. The model of the self-limiting revolution suc-ceeded across Europe, from Poland to Ukraine. And, in each case, democraticactivistsdissidents individuals and movements were the catalyst for therebirth of civic culture and civil society necessary for democratization. AsRichard Wolin recalls, activists invoked fundamental concepts and terms ofdemocratic legitimacy popular sovereignty, rule of law and due process tomorally discredit their adversaries.86 But this means also that a truly demo-cratic culture needs to retrieve moral and spiritual resources which empha-size the God-given dignity of each individual, and encourage openness to abetter future.87


    1 The term Eastern Europe in this chapter harks back to Sir Winston Churchillsfamous Iron Curtain speech at Westminster College, in Fulton, MO, on 5 March1946, which noted a fateful division of the European Continent from the Baltic tothe Adriatic, where Eastern Europe came to be shorthand for the Soviet sphere ofinfluence. According to Churchill: From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in theAdriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lieall the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin,Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous citiesand the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and allare subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very highand in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow. Cf. Evan Luard,ed., The Cold War: A Re-Appraisal (New York: Praeger, 1964), p. 53. The 1989Revolution, then, marks a watershed year, with the Baltic States, East Germany,Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary reclaiming their historical cultural roots asCentral European nations, while the Yugoslav successor states, Romania, Bulgariaand Albania, make up South-Eastern Europe. Former Soviet republics such asBelarus, Moldova and Ukraine may be counted as Eastern Europe, but post-SovietRussia remains a Eurasian superpower.

    2 Human Rights Watch Reports (New York), 19992005.3 Oskar Gruenwald, Belgrade Student Demonstrations, 199697: Rebuilding

    Civil Society in Yugoslavia, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies XIII (1/2) (2001),15574.

    4 Oskar Gruenwald, The Third Yugoslavia: Illyrian League of Autonomous Republics?,Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies X (1/2) (1998), 11541.

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  • 56 Whence Central Europe?

    5 Anna Grzymala-Busse, Redeeming the Communist Past: The Regeneration of CommunistParties in East-Central Europe (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

    6 As a twilight zone of democracy and dictatorship, The Menshevik Divide alludesto the fateful 1905 split between Mensheviks and Bolsheviks in Russia: an excellentbrief historical sketch is that by Merle Fainsod, How Russia Is Ruled, rev. enl. edn(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963), especially Chapter 2: BolshevismBefore 1917, pp. 3159. Figure 3.1 is a heuristic tool or a conceptual map, whichattempts to locate East European states relative to each other along two majoraxes: civic culture (low to high) and civil society (low to high), rather than absolutepercentages. It is also arguable whether The Menshevik Divide occurs at the 50 percent or some other level. The single most important benchmark characterizingThe Menshevik Divide is the possibility of organizing more than one politicalparty, or conversely, the absence of a one-party monopoly of power and ideology.

    7 Winston A. Van Horne, ed., Global Convulsions: Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism atthe End of the Twentieth Century (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1997).

    8 Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century (New York: Norton, 2000);Stphane Courtois et al., The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).

    9 Vclav Havel, Stories and Totalitarianism, Index on Censorship 17 (1988), 1421.10 Besides reports by Human Rights Watch, see also Chinese Human Rights Internet

    Resources (New York: Human Rights in China, 19992005); and Harry Wu, Laogai:The Chinese Gulag. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992).

    11 Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba, eds, The Civic Culture Revisited (Boston, MA:Little, Brown, 1980). On the peregrinations of the concept of civil society, which hasbecome central to the discourse on post-Communist systems, see John Keane, CivilSociety: Old Images, New Visions (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998).

    12 For Baltic perspectives, see Leonidas Donskis, Loyalty, Dissent and Betrayal: ModernLithuania and East-Central European Moral Imagination (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005).On the Balkans, see Oskar Gruenwald and Karen Rosenblum-Cale, eds, HumanRights in Yugoslavia (New York: Irvington Publishers, 1986); also Oskar Gruenwald,Yugoslav Camp Literature: Rediscovering the Ghost of a Nations Past-Present-Future, Slavic Review 46 (3/4) (1987), 51328, and Response: Camp Literature:Archetype for Dissent, Slavic Review 48(2) (1989), 28083.

    13 Authors estimates derived mainly from human rights reports, underground litera-ture, factoring in the typical mixing of political prisoners with common criminals,and the frequent sentencing of politicals on trumped-up criminal charges such astheft, embezzlement, drug use or traffic, traffic violations, etc. The high numbers forthe former Yugoslavia include thousands of Kosovo Albanians detained or impris-oned. The numbers for the USSR are probably too low, but given poor record-keeping and cover-ups, may never be known. For an overall assessment of thehuman cost of the Gulag Archipelago, see Oskar Gruenwald, The Other Holocaust:Twentieth-Century Communist Genocide, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies XII(1/2) (2000), 85108.

    14 Tony Judt, The Dilemmas of Dissidence: The Politics of Opposition in East-CentralEurope, East European Politics and Societies 2 (1988), 185240; Michael J. Sodaro, inJane Leftwich Curry, ed., Dissent in Eastern Europe (New York: Praeger, 1983), pp. 82116.

    15 Rudolf Bahro, The Alternative in Eastern Europe (London: NLB, 1978).16 Helsinki Watch Committee, Ten Years Later: Violations of the Helsinki Accords, August

    1985. 3rd edn (New York: HWC, 1985), p. 33.

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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 57

    17 For a brief assessment of Solzhenitsyns moral stance against totalitarianism, seeOskar Gruenwald, The Essential Solzhenitsyn: The Political Nexus or The RussianConnection, Thought LV (217) (1980), 13752.

    18 On the signal role of mass emigration from the GDR, see Steven Pfaffs award-winning ExitVoice Dynamics and the Collapse of East Germany: The Crisis ofLeninism and the Revolution of 1989 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006).

    19 On the role of culture in socialist systems, see Oskar Gruenwald, ComparingSocialist Cultures: A Meta-Framework, Studies in Comparative Communism XI (1978),7595.

    20 Helsinki Watch (1985), 52.21 Ibid., 51.22 Protest Against Reprisals in East Germany, East European Reporter 3 (1988), 667.23 On the Soviet-led invasion which extinguished the Prague Spring by August 1968,

    see Robert Littell, ed., The Czech Black Book (New York: Avon Books, 1969).24 Charles Gati, Gorbachev and Eastern Europe, Foreign Affairs 65 (1987), 95875;

    Jiri Pehe, The Prague Spring in 1988, Freedom at Issue 102 (1988), 1723.25 The Perils of Jazz: Leaders of Czech Jazz Section on Trial, Human Rights Watch

    2 (1987), 2.26 Dissident Urges Lifting of Ban on Czech Group, Los Angeles Times, 3 January

    1988.27 H. Gordon Skilling, Charter 77 and Human Rights in Czechoslovakia (Cambridge,

    MA: Allen & Unwin, 1981).28 Jiri Ruml, Ten Years of Charter 77, Index on Censorship 16 (1987), 9.29 Ibid., p. 12.30 Vclav Havel, Letter to Vienna, Index on Censorship 17 (1988), 46.31 Michael T. Kaufman, 122 in East Europe Proclaim Praise of Hungarian Uprising,

    New York Times, 19 October 1986.32 Ivn Vlgyes, Parliamentarianism and Pluralism in Eastern Europe: Assessing the

    Social Bases, East European Quarterly XXI (1987), 26574; H. Gordon Skilling,Czechoslovak Political Culture: Pluralism in an International Context, in ArchieBrown, ed., Political Culture and Communist Studies (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1985),pp. 11533.

    33 Helsinki Watch (1985), 224.34 Richard F. Staar, ed., Yearbook on International Communist Affairs, 1987 (Stanford,

    CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1987), pp. 29091.35 Open Doors, European Background Briefs (Ermelo: Open Doors, 1988), 23.36 Open Doors, February 1988, 6.37 Cited in Helsinki Watch (1985), 20.38 Stanislav J. Kirschbaum, A History of Slovakia: The Struggle for Survival, 2nd edn.

    (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 24650.39 The Third Revolution had already been anticipated by the Russian poet, Vladimir

    Mayakovsky: There arises from the dim reaches of time, A different, a ThirdRevolution The Revolution of the Spirit! Quoted by Anatole Schub, MoscowSummer, Belgrade Winter, Encounter XXIV (6) (1965), 86. See also Oskar Gruenwald,The Third Revolution: Intellectual and Spiritual Ferment in Yugoslavia (Claremont, CA:MA Thesis, Claremont Graduate University, 1966).

    40 Archie Brown and Jack Gray, Political Culture and Political Change in CommunistStates (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1977), pp. 27071.

    41 For a gripping eyewitness account of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, see EdePfeiffer, Child of Communism (New York: Tower Publications, 1958), pp. 15288.

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    42 George Schpflin, Opposition and Para-Opposition: Critical Currents in Hungary,196878; in Rudolf L. Tks, ed., Opposition in Eastern Europe (Baltimore, MD: JohnsHopkins University Press, 1979), pp. 14286.

    43 Cf. Ferenc Fehr, Agns Heller and Gyrgy Mrkus, Dictatorship Over Needs (Oxford,UK: Blackwell, 1983).

    44 Helsinki Watch (1985), 57.45 Ibid., 58.46 Index on Censorship (February 1988), 37.47 Staar, Yearbook (1987), p. 308.48 Helsinki Watch (1985), 65 and 67.49 Open Doors (May 1988), 5.50 Demonstration in Budapest, East European Reporter 2 (1986), 24.51 Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 April 1988.52 Ibid., 25 May 1988.53 Newsweek, 25 April 1988.54 Peter Brod, Glasnost: Eastern Europe, Index on Censorship 16 (1987), 28.55 Peter Jennings, ABC-TV, 24 May 1988.56 Gspr Mikls Tams, The Case for Anti-Communism, East European Reporter

    2 (1987), 71.57 Helsinki Watch (1985), 67.58 Cited in Kaufman, New York Times, 19 October 1986.59 George Konrd, Freedom House Symposium on the Rise of Civil Society in Eastern

    Europe, New York, 25 June 1988.60 William P. Robinson, ed., August 1980: The Strikes in Poland (Munich: Radio Free

    Europe Research, 1980).61 David S. Mason, Public Opinion and Political Change in Poland, 19801982 (New York:

    Cambridge University Press, 1985), p. 233.62 Underground KOS on Chernobyl, 4th May 1986, East European Reporter 2 (1986), 56.63 Freedom and Peace: New Movement in Poland, Human Rights Watch 3 (1987), 3.64 Hugh Seton-Watson, Where Is Europe, What Is Europe? Encounter 65 (1985), 917.65 George Weigel, The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of

    Communism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).66 Helsinki Watch (1985), 69.67 Katyn: An Open Letter to Soviet Intellectuals, East European Reporter 3 (1988), 23.68 Cf. Almond and Verba, Civic Culture Revisited; Giovanni Sartori, The Theory of

    Democracy Revisited (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1987); and Keane, Civil Society,passim.

    69 Jacques Rupnik, Freedom House Symposium on the Rise of Civil Society in EasternEurope, New York, 25 June 1988.

    70 Freedom House, Glasnost: How Open? (New York: Freedom House, 1987).71 See Oskar Gruenwald, The Yugoslav Search for Man: Marxist Humanism in Contemporary

    Yugoslavia (South Hadley, MA: J.F. Bergin, 1983).72 George Konrd, Censorship and the State Owned Citizens, Dissent 30 (1983),

    44855; Havel, Stories and Totalitarianism, pp. 1421.73 Ibid.74 Paul Gomma, in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10 February 1977.75 Peter Jennings interview, ABC-TV, 24 May 1988.76 Mihajlo Mihajlov, Moscow Summer, 1964. Part III, The New Leader XLVIII (1965), 14.77 Ivo iber, in Why the Democrats Failed: The Case of Yugoslavia, Uncaptive Minds

    9 (34) (1997), 145.78 Ibid., 146.

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  • Reflections on the 1989 Revolution 59

    79 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, ed. Richard D. Heffner (New York: NewAmerican Library, 1956), p. 34.

    80 Zbigniew Brzezinski, East of Germany, West of Russia, Freedom at Issue 103(1988), 21.

    81 See Gruenwald, The Third Yugoslavia, pp. 11541; and Belgrade StudentDemonstrations, pp. 15574.

    82 Mikola Antipovich, quoted in Bryon MacWilliams, A Country Nostalgic forCommunism Belarus Stifles Academic Freedom, Chronicle of Higher Education,17 March 2000, A57.

    83 Grzymala-Busse, Redeeming the Communist Past, passim.84 Janine R. Wedel, Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern

    Europe, 19891998, rev. edn (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001).85 Andrew C. Janos, East Central Europe in the Modern World: The Politics of the Borderlands

    From Pre-To Postcommunism (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002).86 Richard Wolin, From Poland to Ukraine, Self-Limiting Revolution Bears Its

    Democratic Fruit, Chronicle of Higher Education, 11 February 2005, B10.87 Oskar Gruenwald, The Third Culture: An Integral Vision of the Human

    Condition, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies XVII (1/2) (2005), 13960.

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  • Part II

    The Legacy of the National State

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  • 63


    St Stephen, the founder of the medieval Hungarian state and a powerful sup-porter of the Catholic Church, canonized as early as 1083, offers an interestingexample of how a patron saints cult can be redefined and revitalized underchanging socio-structural and political circumstances. Although fading attimes, there is a continuous line of reference to him over the centuries. Inthis respect, certain interesting steps were undertaken during the economic,political and cultural modernization period of the Dualist era at the end ofthe nineteenth century, in a society still influenced by traditional religion,but also in the Communist state of the second half of the twentieth century,a state hostile to religion and a society already secularized in its structural andcultural aspects. The post-Communist period after 1989 brought additional per-spectives to the reinterpretation and refunctionalization of the nationalpatron saint. St Stephens case also offers the opportunity to investigate howthese reinterpretations have been executed in a field of complementary cults,supplementing and specifying also the meaning of the former, turning it intoa lieu de mmoire1 or a narrative abbreviation2 in modern society. In thisrespect, the patron saint was placed in a field of competing points of reference,marking different narratives of the national past, different interpretations ofthe composition of the political community, and different definitions of themission of that community or the challenges faced by it. This chapter examineswhat happened to the cult of St Stephen when it was secularized in modernHungary.

    A rock opera, first staged in 1983, provides an especially interesting exampleof such reinterpretation in the way it tells Stephens story to a modern audi-ence in a country with a socialist political system, and obviously also withsome kind of agreement from the government. King Stephen (Istvn a kirly)was a big success, soon followed by a film version. People who had dissociatedthemselves from the regime were enthusiastic because of the operas refer-ence to national history, and many spectators even perceived it as a positive

    4The Secularized Cult of St Stephen in Modern HungaryJuliane Brandt

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    presentation of certain suppressed Hungarian traditions. Opposition critics,on the other hand, accused the work of art of delivering an apotheosis of theKdr regime. Today one can see how the opera is used by various politicalgroups to present their version of Hungarian culture to different audiences.For example, the Ministry of Culture has promoted it as a representative workof art at the Weeks of Hungarian Culture and similar events abroad, while thenational opposition has expressed its approval for other reasons. Some audi-ences could, in the latter case, identify with Stephens defeated heathen rival,Koppny. But performances of King Stephen were also successful events atEuropean festivals, where the opera was supposed to hint at Stephens Westernalliance and the defeat of the pagan uprising was interpreted as the first stepin Hungarys integration in European culture. Interpretations and uses of thiswork of art are thus manifold and contradictory, which requires that we lookfor a starting point for these conflicting readings in the opera itself. For thisreason, the chapter reviews the different versions of Stephens cult and askswhich of them were activated in the late Kdr era.

    The cults of St Stephen and of Mary

    The reference to Stephen represents the story of a medieval king blended withthe tradition of the adoration of a saint in the Catholic Church. The medievalsaint was appreciated predominantly as a protector of the Church, as thefounder of a Christian kingdom, and because of his merits in Christianizinghis subjects, as the founder of churches and monasteries throughout his realm.Stephens father, prince Gza, had been baptized and had his son educatedas a Christian king. Even the Western orientation of the country had alreadybeen chosen by his grandfather, Taksony. King Stephen merely completedthis process. At the same time, his figure symbolized the unity of a kingdominhabited by many different peoples; in his will he asked that their diversitybe respected. As in many other instances in the Middle Ages, his canoniza-tion was encouraged by a successor who sought to use him to strengthen therule of the dynasty, and the pope agreed to this.3 Stephens medieval cult stood,therefore, for the strength and unity of the realm, and was enhanced by polit-ical symbolism such as the transfer of the date of the yearly law court fromAssumption Day to the saints name day on 20 August. The relic of the rulersright hand, the Holy Right, also became an object of adoration. Fairly early,Stephens cult was combined with that of the Virgin Mary, to whose protectionhe is said to have recommended his realm after his death. Mary thus becamePatrona Hungariae.

    The occupation of vast parts of the country by the Ottoman Turks in thesixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the survival of the Reformation in theconquered parts and also in the dependent, but not conquered, province ofTransylvania, the many hardships the Reformation faced in royal Hungaryunder Habsburg rule, and the turbulent political events and fraction-building

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  • processes during those centuries, put Stephens veneration in a new frame-work. After the reconquest of the country and its resettlement mainly withCatholic settlers from Western Europe, the cult of Mary became the centralpoint of reference. The anti-Turkish elements of the cult faded over the decadesas the Regnum Marianum grew. The cult, practised in many places of pilgrimageall over the country, some of them of country-wide importance, united anethnically heterogeneous people, and, as the folklorist Sndor Blint suggests,embraced the people in a unified cult of Sacra Hungaria.4 At the same time,St Stephens cult was maintained, with the main celebrations taking place on20 August. In 1771, Queen Maria Theresa had the Holy Right, which was keptup to that point in Ragusa (Dubrovnik), transferred to the Sigismund Chapelof the kings palace in Buda, an action that helped strengthen the cult.

    Both cults that of Stephen and the Virgin Mary as well as many others,5 notonly emphasized the unity of the country, but also underlined the aim of theHabsburgs to Catholicize the country in the service of the Roman CatholicChurch. A series of laws suppressed Protestantism in Hungary, often in contra-diction with earlier laws, and conversely in Transylvania, the political processignored the formal continuance of older laws to the benefit of RomanCatholics. The rights of Protestants to practise their religion varied in differentparts of the country, depending on their former status and their geographicdistance from Vienna.6 This policy of oppression in favour of Catholicism,which often produced waves of persecution and, from Charles III and MariaTheresa onwards, a slow death, included the obligation on the part of otherconfessions such as the Lutherans, the Calvinists, or the Jews, to observe RomanCatholic holidays, in this case that of St Stephen.7 For the Protestants, namedays of saints such as Stephen lacked religious meaning and the cult or, intheir view, even the adoration of saints, was a severe religious error.

    Stephens cult connected the idea of the unity of the realm with the role ofthe Habsburgs as holders of the Holy crown and as Stephens successors, andalso with the Catholic character of the kingdom. On the other hand, amongProtestants, who were the most important group among the oppressed reli-gious denominations, a tradition of unlawful religious persecution was com-memorated thanks to a shrinking, but still respectable, Protestant group amongthe nobility. For them, the story of the crown was linked with that of the lawand the constitution. Important figures and narrative abbreviations in this trad-ition were those of the defenders of Protestantism and the Hungarian con-stitution; put in modern terms, this meant that the leaders of the magnateuprisings against the Habsburgs also proclaimed religious freedom whenthey tried to proclaim their independence from the former. These heroic figureswere not regarded as saints, nor put into the middle of religious cults, but wereintegrated into the world of images and constructions surrounding the morestrictly religious core of Calvinist or Lutherans ideas.8

    St Stephens cult gained new importance when Archduke Joseph, palatineof Hungary, ordered in 1818 that an official procession that carried the relic

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  • of the Holy Right from the chapel in the kings palace to the Church of OurLady and back again be held on 20 August.9 Representatives of the state andthe orders, the city, schools, the guilds and the corporations participated in theprocession, with the visiting of the relic in the Church of Our Lady as a visiblepublic manifestation that also combined the cult of Stephen with that of Mary.10

    The revolution and the fight for independence of 184849 marked a changein the character of the celebration of the cult of St Stephen. In the first place,the procession was not held in public for fear of political demonstrations. Inthis respect, the period leading to the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867can be seen as a transitional period. National feelings could find their expres-sion only in restricted forms, but even so, burials of important writers or theiranniversaries were used to express these feelings. The first such celebration wasthe death of the writer Mihly Vrsmarty in 1855. More than 20,000 peopleattended the private ceremony. In the 1860s, in a slightly milder politicalclimate, the birthday of Ferenc Kazinczy (1859) was celebrated; in May 1860,a monument for Ferenc Klcsey was inaugurated, as were in June 1860 a statueto the poet Sndor Kisfaludy and a monument to the poet Dniel Berzsenyi.As Katalin Sink writes: The cult of poets and writers really meant the designand celebration of the genius of the nation.11 A similarly big event was thefuneral of Istvn Szchenyi, the leading figure of the age of Reform of the 1830s,who committed suicide in April 1860. Szchenyis death opened a range of bur-ials of politicians over the next few decades that became similarly importantevents, such as that of Lszl Teleki in 1861, the reburial of Lajos Battyny in1870, the death of Ferenc Dek in 1876, the death of Lajos Kossuth in 1894, andthe inauguration of his mausoleum in 1898. From the outset, these literaryand political cults were not of a religious character, but were public and theyborrowed patterns from well-known religious cults. They symbolized ideas ofnational independence, and the commemoration of the victims of 1848 merelyadded to them. To canalize these national feelings, the procession of the HolyRight was allowed again in August 1860. The ceremony, with the spontaneoussinging of national religious songs by the crowd, marked a slow change in thecharacter of the ceremony, once a purely religious one, which became quicklyenriched with political meaning and integrated into political strategies. Itbecame part of the symbolic inventory of the political culture of the country,an element of national political culture.

    In the age of Dualism, there was a parallelism of official celebrations andcommemorations of St Stephen, hinting at the idea of a multi-ethnic realmunited under the Habsburgs, with a reference to their lineage from theHungarian rpd dynasty, whose purpose was to satisfy the national feelingsof their Hungarian subjects. This reference was slightly inconsistent with St Stephens cult, and, because of this contradiction, was never completely suc-cessful. Beside this official cult, a counter-tradition was maintained, one thatreferred to national independence, which, in the eyes of the opposition, theso-called parties of 1848, was not sufficiently guaranteed by the Compromise.

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  • This counter-tradition continued the commemoration and even the civil cultof other central figures. In the historical narratives of that camp, King Stephen even when called a Saint12 was an important ruler after rpd, who hadestablished Hungary. Stephen had the merit of creating a powerful realm linkedto Europe, and was one in a line of other rulers such as Bla IV, the builder ofHungary after the Mongol raid, or Matthias, who, in the words of these nar-ratives, defeated the Ottoman Turks. As these narratives as well as thatwoven around St Stephen in the Catholic imperial cult went back to currentand former political alliances that were inscribed in them, the oppositionalor pro-independence narrative tended to be Protestant or non-Catholic.

    The link of denominational fractions and even political camps with liberal-ism and independence versus loyalty to Vienna and the Habsburg dynastyhappened for a number of reasons. First of all, the persecution of Protest-antism under the Habsburgs from the sixteenth century on had created apolitical alliance that united the opposition of the estates and the representa-tives of the Protestant churches against the crown. Religion served the politicsof opposition of the estates and in their political aspirations the latter usuallyfavoured Protestantism. In the Protestant churches, the experience of perse-cution, of being in a minority situation, of living an endangered existence,and of anti-Habsburg opposition, in the defence of the old Hungarian consti-tution (the Hungarian Law), as represented by the opposition of the estates, wasturned into a tradition and a historical narrative. After rpd and Stephen,heroic figures included the kings Bla IV and Matthias, the magnates IstvnBocskai (the initiator of the Treaty of Vienna in 1606 and Article 1/1608), GborBethlen (who signed the Peace of Nikolsburg in 1621, and Art. 2/1622),13 andFerenc Rkczi (Treaty of Linz in 1645, and Arts 5 and 6/1647), the Protestantministers sent to the galleys by Leopold I in 1674 Pressburg trials, theLutheran Lajos Kossuth, hero of 184849, and a series of writers and nationalgeniuses, beginning with Sndor Petofi, who fell on the battlefield of Segesvr(Sishisoara) in 1849.14 This historical narrative, produced in the context ofProtestant institutions of higher learning and taught more or less openly afterthe Compromise in Protestant schools and from church pulpits, was reservedfor national events such as commemorations of the recent past, the inaugu-ration of statues to the heroes of 1848, and even election campaigns. As theProtestants tried to prove their contribution to the survival and the develop-ment of the nation, not least emphasizing their importance in the ongoingdebates over the state funding of churches and schools or in church politics,they acquired a national aura. On the other hand, like any denomination inmodernizing Europe, finding itself confronted with structural secularization,15

    they eagerly borrowed the meaning of the national idea for their own religiouspurposes.

    There was another reason to encourage this tendency of the oppositionalnarrative of Protestantism. The official cult of St Stephen was one of a state thatno longer had Roman Catholicism as a state religion, but which, even after it

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  • gave equal rights to other accepted religious communities, such as the Pro-testant churches and later the Jews,16 used the Catholic Church to designateofficial state ceremonies and holidays. This was perceived as a constant offenceto the Protestants. In these circumstances, the use of St Stephens day to createa national holiday, as initiated by Parliament in 1888 and finally put into lawin 1891, was not a solution that satisfied a multi-ethnic and especially multi-religious country. The pre-history of the day and the cult made the date suitablein the eyes of Catholics. But Roman Catholics made up only about half ofthe entire population, and only two-thirds of the Magyar component.17 ForProtestants and other non-Catholics, the celebration of this day with a churchceremony, namely, the procession of the Holy Right with the participationof representatives of the state and the successors of the former magnates, wasoffensive. In addition, it reminded them of the older practice of the enforcedrespect of Roman Catholic holidays. But all this did not influence the decisionof Parliament to establish St Stephens day as a national holiday, which was alsocelebrated in the postwar period. It fitted into the so-called neo-baroquestyle of state representation and fulfilled the desire to remember the entire kingdom, which, it was hoped, would be regained after the Treaty of Trianon.18

    The denominational and religious split in the population remained until afterthe end of the Second World War. However, the introduction of a Communistregime in a step-by-step process in the postwar years, which ended with thelandslide results of the elections of May 1949 and the introduction of a Com-munist constitution in August of the same year,19 created a completely newframework for former patron saints. The new regime was hostile to religion forphilosophical reasons, and also regarded religion as a competing ideology andthus a potential challenge to its monopoly of power. Moreover, the churcheswere regarded as representatives of the old regime. The religious character of thecult of St Stephen therefore posed a problem. In the early 1950s, the CatholicChurch was persecuted and all other churches were strongly restricted in theiractivities. After 1948, the procession of the Holy Right could no longer takeplace in public.

    As a figure of the national past and a symbol of a strong state, Stephen hadthe potential to fit positively in a reinterpretation of national history; however,he was also perceived as a representative of an exploiting class and an exploit-ative system. An examination of certain history textbooks shows that until the1970s, this latter interpretation remained at the forefront, while the recogni-tion of his merits for creating a strong state and a slightly more subtle andcomplex way of handling this interpretation with older history in general slowly but surely gained favour.20 But, in the first years after the war, theCommunists were fairly creative in overlapping the old holiday and the oldermeaning of 20 August St Stephens day with new meanings. Sport eventsinstead of the traditional religious ceremony were held on that date,21 andafter the Communist takeover, a tradition of thanksgiving was imposed on20 August to commemorate the day of the new bread. Finally, the day was

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  • turned into the day of the constitution thus taking up former elements, suchas the founding of the state, but emphasizing the new meaning a constitutionthat finally anchored the rule of the Communist Party and the working class.

    Religion was not the only problem in dealing with St Stephen. The newregime was partial to the version of national history of the counter-narrative,the one focusing on the fight for independence, with the counter-heroes fromthe national uprisings, to whom were added peasant leaders and other figureswho could be seen as early fighters for democratization and social progress.22

    As this interpretation was based on the implications of the counter-narrativeand was linked to important groups of critical intellectuals in the interwarperiod, it was visibly influenced by the tradition of the Protestant narrationof national history. Such an approach did not work in favour of a cult of St Stephen.

    Over the years, the day of the constitution and the new bread turned intoa day of self-representation of the state, with parades along the Danube River,and huge fireworks (which had already been organized in the interwar period).Other important dates for the regime were 4 April, the day of the liberation ofthe country, when Soviet troops occupied all of Hungary during the SecondWorld War, and 1 May, the holiday of the working class. Dates connectedwith the older national history created problems, such as 15 March (the begin-ning of the revolution of 1848), which was linked with the left-wing groupsthat the Communists had neutralized when taking power even though they had hinted strongly at national independence and democratic self-determination,23 and 23 October, the beginning of the uprising of 1956, whichremained unacceptable.

    The new version of the system of state holidays had not only a lay, non-religious, but also an a-national character. But the attempt to reorganize thecollective memory by an official doctrine of history as well as an officialcommemoration could not completely abolish or brush aside the older pat-terns. Collective memory itself, in its double link to collective and to individ-ual components, proved to be an important obstacle to this. As Jan Assmannindicates, the integration of potentially manifold individual experiences, imag-inations and commemorative constructions into a common concept, or theconnection of the former with the latter in the framework of a collective iden-tity, was the result of a functioning collective memory.24 Individual memory,bound by social interaction into the communicative memory of concretegroups, and collective memory on the other hand, that is to say the culturallyremembered history of the community can, however, be separated.25 In the caseof Hungary, as in several neighbouring countries, those elements of the officialmemory that reflected the recent past remained in contrast with the hetero-geneity of the past and the experiences of many of the citizens. This situation,when bound into the communicative practice suggested by Assmann, helpedthe survival and the reformulation of earlier frameworks of interpretation,which could be reused to interpret current developments and experiences.

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  • St Stephens day was thus given new meanings that partly connected it toformer elements of the cult. But the religious character of the holiday was neg-lected and celebrated only by the Catholic Church and only in church build-ings. This happened in a society that had undergone a process of secularizationand de-Christianization,26 a process actively enforced by the cultural policies ofthe ruling party.

    The Return of St Stephen

    This secular approach might have endured, had it not been for the economicfragility of the Communist system and a changing international environ-ment, which resulted in changes in cultural policies. This happened in anunexpected way, even for many contemporaries, and to a certain extentcame as a surprise, when the staging of a rock opera in the summer of 1983with St Stephen Stephen, the king, to be more precise as the centralcharacter, happened around St Stephens day and during the anniversary ofhis canonization. As already mentioned, the opera was accepted by the govern-ment as a work of art. It was soon made into a film based on the open-airstaging of the opera.

    Opera and film were produced with official support. The critique of thesamizdat, which drew a parallel between Stephen and King Jnos (Kdr),might even be taken as an approval of an interpretation opting for an innocentpolitical message. On the other hand, contemporaries referred to it as a workwith an oppositional message, at least one with a strong national subtext,and not with a mere socialist message. Several layers of the opera (or its filmversion, respectively) contained starting points for these differing, even con-flicting, interpretations.

    The story is a simple one. After the death of his father Gza, Stephen wasdesignated his successor as prince of the Hungarians. At the same time, how-ever, appealing to a pagan tradition, his uncle Koppny claimed the successionas the next male relative. He also married his brothers widow, Sarolt. Stephenfaced an inner conflict as a result, but in the end accepted a confrontation withKoppny and agreed to be declared the new ruler. Stephen considered it theinterest of his country to live in peace, and that is why he supported the accept-ance of Christianity and an alliance with Rome, as had his father. HadKoppny been willing to rule in this way, Stephen would have withdrawnand handed over the throne to him. But Koppny opted for independenceand for the preservation of tradition. In the conflict that ensued, Stephendefeated Koppny, whose dead body was quartered (and exhibited), events atwhich the opera and the film hinted only symbolically. Stephen was thencrowned king of the Hungarians.

    According the story told in the opera in the film it is underlined by thetext presented in the introduction Stephen was the representative of a neces-sary decision to do the best for his country and his people. The unfolding

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  • of Hungarian history was depicted as essentially inevitable, including Koppnysdefeat. Hints of the present, of the heritage of Stephen, and of the modernHungarian state, were ubiquitous. They were evident in the sparse decorationsin the form of ruins or building sites of ancient Hungarian churches.27 The mencarrying Gzas catafalque wore black suits like the people when they weredepicted as the population of the age of Reform or the revolutionary youth of1848. And when Stephen was finally crowned king, tricolours whirled aroundthe scene and fireworks hinted at the traditional fireworks on 20 August. Byshowing Stephens inner struggle before his final decision, the acceptance ofthat decision as a necessary compromise was portrayed as an act of independ-ence, as the price of giving up tradition and accepting instead a new ideologyand the integration of Hungary into a larger political framework, in this casethe Catholic Church. The aim of the opera was to gain some sympathy, andeven if it referred to events of the eleventh century, it was read as a pertainingto more recent Hungarian history.

    This is what opposition critics explained in samizdat publications. The mostprominent was the article by Emericus in Hrmond, with the title Jnos,the king,28 a title that no one could misunderstand. Emericus interpreted therock opera as an ideological direct hit, an apologetic work, and even an apothe-osis of the regime.29 He wrote: The St Stephen of the opera, who resemblesmore the St Stephen of the legends than the historical actor who had oncelived, was given only those characteristics with which the party propagandatried to whitewash Kdrs role in 1956.30 According to Emericus, the nationalinterest was a legitimizing principle used to create a continuity of over1000 years of history and could even help transfer Kdr into the nationalpantheon. And Koppnys question to the people, the question of theHungarian revolutions (fixed in Petofis National Song) shall we be free, orslaves? (rabok legynk, vagy szabadok?) was, according to this critic, answeredby the opera: Well, you cant be free, but at least be grateful, because thelight of grace is streaming towards you, and you can even feel yourselves asHungarians, of course, only carefully, and under police observation.31 Theauthor of the article then falsified the ideological claims of that parallel:unlike Kdr in 1956, Stephen could at least choose between Byzantium andWestern Christianity. Stephen relied on domestic supporters while in 1956 anexternal power found a willing tool in the person of Kdr to save and preserveits authority over the country. In addition, Western European feudalism was amore developed system than the Byzantine one and allowed Hungary 500 yearsof independent existence, in contrast to the Soviet system, which chainedthe country to a backward model and placed it in the historical continuity ofan absence of independence that had been established 500 years before.32

    This interpretation stands in contradiction to the success of the opera, as wellas to its popularity after the fall of the regime, and remains outside the actualcontext of its writing or of the film production. Some moments in the playnevertheless support or allow such an interpretation, as pointed out in samizdat

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  • publications, for example the simple fact of needing official permission and thefinancing of the staging and the film, and also their presentation in public.The text of the introduction to the film is quite explicit in this respect. It men-tions, among others, contributions from the dance ensembles of the PeoplesArmy, the Military Academy and the Ministry of the Interior. All this does notsupport the idea of an oppositional work of art. Didactical statements by thecreators of the film underlined this, even if they were made to get permissionfor the planned production; books may be written in secret and stay in chestsof drawers, waiting for politically more suitable times; opera staging and filmssimply cannot.

    Some elements of the plot point even more to this interpretation. Twoimportant initiatives, the one to fight Koppny, and the one not to allow himto be buried but to quarter him as a deterrent, were initially not proposed byStephen himself, but by his mother Sarolt. She points out: Enough now, therewas already too much of harmful memories. A heroic past goes together withtreason and uproar: barbarian melody, barbarian song, disgusting, no question.Seize them both, I dont tolerate rebellion.33 And when the reconciliation ofthe survivors on both sides seemed possible and Stephen was willing to give thedead body of the defeated enemy to his daughter, the mother interfered andordered that it be quartered. The girl and the pagan singer leave is it thecountry that they leave?34 The fact that these measures came from a personother than Stephen allows us to assume the apology of a political leader bowingto external pressure, allows us to see Stephen as somebody who had severeinner conflicts, but suffered and fought them and then accepted obediently thewill of the Party? He himself was good, but could not bring about anotherdecision. This is, of course, a daring interpretation, but a possible one.

    The opera and the film were perceived positively because they referred toStephen and dealt with him as a national ruler instead of placing him withinthe framework of the class struggle. The samizdat regarded this, too, as part ofthe so-called Kdr compromise, a concession to the publics need for nation-alism, and the offer of a certain degree of nationalism in lieu of improvingthe standard of living.35 Emericus even assumed that the rock opera was anoccasion to see how well the acceptance of some nationalism could work toovercome tensions originating from the economic decline and declining livingstandards.36 That the defeated Koppny had sympathetic features and, as anhonourable enemy, gave Stephen the chance to be victorious over an equalenemy, would thus be part of the ideological offer. Contradictory interpret-ations also referred to the appearance of both main characters and to the fea-tures they shared. An important factor underlying such features in the opera isthe music. Others are the casting, the presentation of the collective character the people or symbolic statements such as the prophecy of Torda, Koppnyspagan singer.

    The filmmakers were admittedly inspired by Jesus Christ Superstar. Rock musicis blended with elements of church music, of Gregorian and of chromatic chant

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  • on Stephens side, and Hungarian folk music on the pagan side. Historically,this is correct: the story is about Stephens creation of a Western alliance, thereception and spreading of Christianity, and thus the countrys link to a morecomplex and subtle culture with a higher potential of development and power.The recourse to the heritage of five-tonal music to illustrate pagan ambitionsis recourse to what developed later from the artistic heritage of the ancestors.Switching sides would have been absurd. But the connection of (real) trad-itional music and rock is appealing in a way that is obvious to everybody, evento those listening only to popular music. The amalgamation of rock musicand the early European chromatic tradition which is a tradition of a domes-ticated and self-restricting sensuality is a project contradictory in itself. Inprinciple, musical solutions for both camps offer chances for identification,but for the ears of the modern listener the sounds of pagan music were espe-cially fascinating. There is nothing comparable that the Christian camp couldoffer. Apart from that, the best singers were united on the pagan side. TheIlls band sang the vox populi, which changed sides over and again, but MrtaSebestyn (as Koppnys daughter) and Ferk Nagy (as his singer) wereKoppnys followers; the Roman Catholic camp had nothing similar. Theviewer may interpret these effects of the musical illustration of both sides asa hint to the losses to which progress is always linked. They might as wellhave suggested that he/she identify with the defeated camp.

    The casting and appearance of several other characters produced similarlyambivalent effects. Again, one can point to the necessities of the historicalbackground that make this solution preferable. Stephen was presented as afigure of light. He appeared as a slim young man in the film version with whiteskin and a well-cut, gentleman-like, brown beard. He was clothed in a white,tight-fitting dress that underlined his slim stature and self-controlled gestures.After his coronation as prince of the Hungarians, he added an embroideredvest with Hungarian folklore ornaments on bright leather. The rulers appear-ance was thus slightly abstract as he represented the new, ascetic ideal ofChristianity, the ideal of service for his county and for an idea as demandedby the new Christian God. The subtlety and complexity of the culture thathe represented gave him this appearance. His wife, historically the Bavarianprincess Gisela, was a blonde and virtuous figure. Stephens opponent Koppny,on the other hand, was a good-looking macho man in his prime, with darkskin, his hair plaited as Hungarian peasants often did until the nineteenthcentury. He showed his bare hairy chest and obviously demonstrated in thisway his vitality and physical strength. In the language of the early 1980s andwe have to take into account the shifts in fashion and cultural codes fromWest to East, thus in terms of the aesthetic ideals of the late 1970s he met verymuch the ideal of youth culture. In the figures of Stephen and Koppny, thenatural, the raw, and the uncivilized were confronted with the civilized andthe progressive. The message that the meeting of socialist ideology and historicthought might work out to the advantage of Stephen would have been less

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  • appealing if it had been deciphered with the ubiquitous code of the youthand rock culture of the late 1970s, and could even translate itself into an emo-tionally based superiority on the part of Koppny.

    Several scenes as well as the presentation of other figures were also left ambiva-lent. This refers especially to the collective character, the people. The peoplewas presented by three singers, a choir, and the dancing masses, respectively.The people were obviously willing to follow any side, as long as there was somechance of success as Stephens mother Sarolt estimated quite correctly.Some songs underlined this interpretation by a cynical self-critique man ismean, gyarl az ember, according to the song of the three men who werestanding apart from the masses, always joining the (potentially) victoriousside.37 They appeared in Koppnys camp, they surrounded Sarolt, they cele-brated Stephens election as prince, they hung around with Koppny again,and finally they obeyed King Stephen. With respect to this experience, thereis the need for someone to act in the long-term interest of the people and of the country, and Stephen, as this presentation suggests, does so. Koppnyrefused to do so, and preferred what he called independence and tradition.

    Another problem is posed by the message or prophecy of Torda, Koppnyssinger. Just before the decisive battle he proclaimed: Koppny, when you defeatStephen, our heroes will not perish in times to come . . . We will win atMohcs, Dzsa will become our king George. . . . Rkczi will conquer theworld; with Kossuth the Republic of the Danubian Basin will become reality.38

    (In the film, the scene is underlined with scenes from historical films show-ing the events mentioned.) Of course Torda could not, from his time horizon,know about these future events. He could only offer them as the dream of ashiny future, of future greatness. But his text hints at events of the progressivenarrative of Hungarian history. Dzsa, the leader of the peasant uprising, wouldnot be burned on an iron throne, but become king and realize the alternativethat we cannot know. Hungary would defeat the Ottoman Empire at Mohcsand presumably elsewhere. Rkczi would then, with this pre-history, not beforced into his Turkish exile by the Habsburgs, and Kossuth would success-fully create a republic. This is an identification option for nearly everyone notcompletely free from any national and social sentiment. But the vision con-tains the idea of power and a great state. Tordas proclamation concluded: Thepeople here will be powerful, from Rome to Greek Byzantium, from the Rhineto Levedia, they will fear the name of your descendants. . . . We become agreat power over the centuries. Rkczi will conquer the world . . ., and it isin this context that Kossuths republic is also found.

    This daydream of power was an obvious vision for a tribal leader and hissinger, and for a feudal lord as well. It does not overdo what others hoped; itsimply sketches what might happen or might have happened, if not theenemy, but the Hungarians had returned victoriously from clashes still to come.Moreover, the unfolding of Hungarian history that Tordas vision hinted at the failed uprisings and lost opportunities made possible the interpretation

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  • of Hungarian history as one of failed battles or forced submissions. Centralevents of that history were or would still be seen from this perspective beforethe battles took place Muhi, Mohcs, Szatmr, Vilgos, Arad, and Trianon, atwhich the opera carefully avoids hinting. The identification with the defeatedside became an option for everyone socialized in the Hungarian languageand trained in Hungarian history as national history. This would also includeidentification with Koppny, who, in the story told by the opera, soon lost thebattle. Tordas vision as a prophecy that did not materialize, since Koppnylost also pointed to that pattern of Hungarian national history.

    As a result of these moments in the opera (or the film), King Stephen wasa work of art that could, without severe interventions, be used to demonstratethe claims of self-defined successors of the one or the other, of Stephen or ofKoppny. In any case, it illustrated aesthetically the cultural losses and theprice progress demands or for that matter every development as a choicebetween options, which allowed only one solution at a time. That is why theopera stands out as a confession for a European idea, as a cultural event forHungarians abroad, or simply as a historical play with interesting rock music.The interpretations offered when it was first staged were obvious and deliber-ate; it was hard to interpret the opera even though it was staged during thelate Kdr era. The atmosphere of that time and the contradictory culturalpolicies of the regime made possible a multitude of readings. The policy of thethree Ts to describe the range of possible attitudes towards works of arts bythe regime as tmogatni; turni; tiltani that is to say supporting, toleratingor forbidding them allowed a range of attitudes more or less friendly to theregime, or even acceptable, as long as they were not evidently oppositional.This, too, was probably helpful for the positive reception of King Stephen andhelped it to achieve additional success. This was demonstrated by the fateafter the fall of Communism, of a production of Attila another figure of earlyHungarian history by some of the involved artists; they hoped in vain toresurrect this success story.39

    So far, these observations have focused on the opera and the readings ascribedto it. Rereading and reinterpreting national as well as regional history withexplicit or implicit reference to politically and culturally desired frameworksfor future development has been, as presented in the introduction to this volume, a fairly intense process in all the Central European states in the age ofemerging nation-states as well as in the post-socialist era. The ambiguity ofmeanings and possible readings ascribed to the rock opera as well as its func-tioning in different settings also allows us to draw some conclusions on thestate of mind of the general public. These are of some interest with regard tothe idea of Europe and Hungarys membership in the EU in 2004. Rewritingand reinterpreting the countrys history, even more the forced acceptance ofthe official version(s) under state socialism, which froze earlier contradictingpatterns rather than extinguishing them, resulted in a multitude of interpret-ations and attitudes to the nation-state and Europe, where they were potentially

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  • competing with each other, but more often simply denying each other. Existingas basic attitudes rather than elaborated systems of thought, these attitudesare activated when promises of supranational political settings show up on thehorizon or fade away under the impressions of the costs of structural changeand incompetent political leadership. This is illustrated by the attitudestowards EU membership in the years before joining, during the campaignaround the vote, and since 1 May 2004, when Hungary joined the EU. Thesplitting of the electorate into two camps of nearly equal size muddled ratherthan clarified the ambiguity and thus prevented the transformation of theseemotional attitudes into a coherent system of ideas.


    Over the centuries, St Stephen turned from a saint of the Catholic Church intoa figure of a historical narrative. This transformation was based on the fact thatthe historic model was a person with merits for the Church, which canonizedhim in return, and also for the state, in whose historical narrative he was remem-bered in differing and competing versions. Alongside the historical narrative,the religious cult also survived. However, since the Reformation and the appear-ance of denominational churches, the cult became something of a phenom-enon within the religious sphere. The linked interests of denominational groupsand political factions proved to be an important factor in integrating Stepheninto different versions of the history of the community. The most importantlink is the one that was bound to the Habsburgs, who held the crown of SaintStephen since the sixteenth century, and was a Catholic one. Another link wasthe version that told a story of the fight for the independence of the countryand the preservation of its law and constitution, in a Protestant fashion. Again,the dynastic and later national reframing of symbolic systems influenced thereligious ceremony. In the early nineteenth century, the ceremony was linkedwith the self-representation of the dynasty and the state. At least since 1860, itwas visibly loaded with national sentiment and symbolism. Within the frame-work of a national thought that became a powerful means of orientation inthe nineteenth century, both Catholicism and Protestantism integratednational motifs into religious thought, and both borrowed from the aurathat national ideas bestowed at that time. But each referred to slightly dif-fering interpretations of the nation and of group identity that were linkedwith the earlier frameworks of competing denominational and national his-torical narratives. This also refers to the way St Stephen was presented by eachside. He remained a figure of the national past, which was not interpretedunanimously. That is why a state holiday on the name day of the saint wasnot a suitable way to mediate the tensions between the many ethnic andreligious groups in the country. After Trianon, the continuously celebratedholiday, moreover, referred to the entirety of the lost territory of the crown ofSt Stephen.

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  • In the Communist era, the ideological as well as the pragmatic hostilitytowards religion and the churches resulted in the disappearance of the pro-cession from the public space and the elimination of his holiday from theofficial calendar. The Communist narrative of the national history was basedon the version linked to the fight for national independence and, within theframework of the class struggle and social progress, the historical figure ofking Stephen became marginalized. The new version of the system of stateholidays had a non-religious and a-national character. Later during the Kdrera, the historical figure of King Stephen proved its capacity to be integrated inthe official concept of state and the reason of state.

    Even so, the attempt to reorganize collective memory by an official inter-pretation of history and an official commemoration of historical events in anew ideological framework could not abolish older patterns of interpretationand older elements of historical narratives. One reason was that the officialconcept was in contradiction with the heterogeneity of individual experiencesthat members of that society possess. This was the basis for the survival of olderpatterns of interpreting history. When the rock opera about King Stephen wasfirst staged in 1983, these could be used for different readings of that work ofart, to which the complexity of the opera gave many starting points. A con-formist reading could regard the opera as an apotheosis of the reason of stateand of sacrifices made in the service of progress; on the other hand, many elem-ents of the opera, especially the ambivalence of the use of musical meanswithin the framework of a modern listening experience, allowed one to under-stand the opera as a story about a great and tragic national past, at least as astory of progress and a story of loss. The simultaneous character of the respect-ive contextual patterns enhanced this multitude of interpretations. The officialcultural policy, seeking to give itself a liberal look, made such a play with mul-tiple interpretations especially fascinating. The ambivalences inscribed intothe work of art itself and the starting point for different readings are the basisfor the continued success of the opera and its place in new political contextsof presentation and interpretation.


    1 Pierre Nora, Les lieus de mmoire. Sous la direction de Pierre Nora, 1. La Rpublique; 2. La Nation; 3. Les Frances (Paris: Gallimard, 198492).

    2 Jrn Rsen, What is Historical Consciousness? A Theoretical Approach toEmpirical Evidence. Paper presented at the conference Canadian HistoricalConsciousness in an International Context: Theoretical Frameworks, Universityof British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, 2001, see http://www.cshc.ubc.ca/pwias/viewpaper.php?8.

    3 Gbor Gyni even observes a wave of canonizations inspired by Ladislas I: Infact, in 1083 a wave of canonizations swept Hungary, as, beside Stephen, his sonImre and Bishop Gellrt were also canonized. Gbor Gyni, Kommemoratvemlkezet s trtnelmi igazols, in Lszl Veszprmy, ed., Szent Istvn s az

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  • llamalapts (Budapest: Osiris, 2002) pp. 56982. On the process of canonizationsee Gbor Klaniczay, Az uralkodk szentsge a kzpkorban. Magyar dinasztikus szen-tkultuszok s eurpai modellek (Budapest: Balassi, 2000), pp. 114222. For further mate-rial on the background of the canonization see Lszl Veszprmy, Szent Istvnkornak vlogatott trtneti bibligrfija, in Veszprmy, Szent Istvn, pp. 58314,and esp. pp. 595 and 597600.

    4 In the view of Sndor Blint, only the forceful political changes of the twentiethcentury began to destroy this unity. Even if one doubts this image of peaceful religious folk life from the eighteenth until the twentieth century, it is probablycorrect for the huge majority of the Roman Catholic and even the Orthodox popu-lation of the country, even when it puts religious conflict, both on the politicallevel as well as on the local level, in brackets. (Sndor Blint and Gbor Barna,Bcsjr magyarok. A magyarorszgi bcsjrs trtnete s nprajza (Budapest: SzentIstvn Trsulat, 1994), p. 117; see also Sndor Blint, Sacra Hungaria. Tanulmnyoka vallsos nplet krbol (Budapest: Veritas, 1943).

    5 See Blint and Barna, Bcsjr magyarok, and Gbor Tsks and va Knapp,Volksfrmmigkeit in Ungarn. Beitrge zur vergleichenden Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte(Dettelbach: Rll, 1996).

    6 In general, see note 4. The differing practice in various regions was for instancemade clear in a report Joseph II had prepared for his Patent of Toleration. ElemrMlyusz, A trelmi rendelet. II. Jzsef s a magyar protestantizmus (Budapest: MagyarProtestns Irodalmi Trsasg, 1939); and esp. the relevant sources in ElemrMlyusz, Iratok a trelmi rendelet trtnethez. Edited and annotated by E. Mlyusz(Budapest: Magyar Protestns Irodalmi Trsasg, 1940).

    7 A good overview of the whole process, including issues of religion and their inter-connection with other conflicts, is given by Lszl Kontler, Millennium in CentralEurope. A History of Hungary (Budapest: Atlantisz Publishing House, 1999). On thereformation in Hungary: Alexander Sndor Unghvry, The Hungarian Reformationin the Sixteenth Century Under the Ottoman Impact. Essays and Profiles (Lewiston, NY:Edwin Mellen Press, 1989); and Graeme Murdock, Calvinism on the frontier. 16001660.International Calvinism and the Reformed Church in Hungary and Transylvania (Oxford:Clarendon Press, 2000). For more detail on laws concerning religion, see MihlyZsilinszky, A magyar orszggylsek vallsgyi trgyalsai, vols 14 (Budapest, 188197).I. 15231608 (Budapest: Franklin, 1881); 2. 16081647 (Budapest: Hornynszky,1891); 3. 16471687 (Budapest: Hornynszky, 1893); 4. 16871712 (Budapest:Hornynszky, 1897). A shorter account of the development of HungarianProtestantism is given by Mihly Bucsay, Der Protestantismus in Ungarn 15211978.III (Vienna: Bhlau, I. 1977; II. 1979).

    8 Juliane Brandt, Verfolgung, Minderheitsposition und die langfristige Formulierungkonfessioneller Identitt Thesen am Beispiel der ungarischen Protestanten, inJoachim Bahlcke, ed., Glaubensflchtlinge. Ursachen und Auswirkungen religiserMigration im frhneuzeitlichen Europa (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2007 (forthcoming)) andJuliane Brandt, Die ungarischen Protestanten und das Millennium. Nationaleund konfessionelle Identitt bei Reformierten und Evangelischen im Spiegel derTausendjahr-Feiern der Landnahme, in Jahrbcher zur Geschichte und KulturSdosteuropas, 1 (1999), 5793.

    9 Today, the church is called Mathias Church, and is the centre of a tourist cult.10 See Blint and Barna, Bcsjr magyarok, p. 326.11 Katalin Sink, Zur Entstehung der staatlichen und nationalen Feuertage in Ungarn

    (18501991), in Emil Brix and Hannes Stekl, eds, Der Kampf um das Gedchtnis.

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  • ffentliche Gedenktage in Mitteleuropa (Vienna: Bhlau, 1997), pp. 25171. For moredetail on literary cults in Hungary and their cultural and historical context, seeZsuzsa Kalla, ed., Kegyelet s irodalom (Reverence and literature) (Budapest: PetofiIrodalmi Mzeum, 1997); and Zsuzsa Kalla, ed., Az irodalom nnepei. Kultusztrtnetitanulmnyok (Budapest: Agroinform, 2000).

    12 Even Calvinist and Lutheran ministers did so, obviously referring to linguistic usage.Living before the Reformation and promoting the successful development of hiskingdom, Stephen, as well as several other rulers of the rpd dynasty, could well beintegrated into the Protestant narrative of national history. Brandt, Die ungarischenProtestanten, and Die Wrdigung des Groen Toten: Lajos Kossuth in der protes-tantischen Presse und in Gelegenheitspublikationen der Jahrhundertwende,Berliner Beitrge zur Hungarologie 9 (1996), 63111.

    13 Coronation articles; esp. 12; see Corpus Iuris Hungarici (CIH), or, as in the casesalready mentioned: Zsilinszky, A magyar orszggyulsek; also Mihly Zsilinszky, A Linczi bkekts s az 1647-ki vallsgyi trvnyczikkek trtnete (Budapest:Hornynszky, 1890).

    14 As an illustration of that emblematic range of personalities, see Jzsef S. Szab et al.,A protestantizmus Magyarorszgon (Budapest: Bethlen Gbor Szvetsg, 1928), pp. 7383, on modern writers, p. 82.

    15 As understood by Luhmann (Niclas Luhmann, Funktion der Religion (1977). 3rd edn(Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 1992), esp. pp. 22571).

    16 After guaranteeing them equal civil and political rights in Art. 17/1867, the Jewswere given a position equal to other religious groups with Art. 42/1895.

    17 These are figures for 1910. If we add Greek Catholics about 11 per cent in theoverall population, but only 3 per cent among Magyars about 60 per cent of the overall population and about 62 per cent of Magyars were followers of theRoman Catholic Church. (Magyar Statistikai Kzlemnyek; 61, 15. tblzat, A jelen-levo npessg anyanyelve; Tab. 22, A jelenlevo npessg anyanyelve sszevetve avallssal).

    18 As Hungarys Regent Mikls Horthy (by denomination a Calvinist) expressed it in 1938: Also today, St Stephens blessed right gives guidance on the nationsthousand-year-long way. And if we, the respectful descendants, want to pay trib-ute to his blessed and wise guiding spirit, we can only do this in a way worthy ofour ancestors and ourselves by a solemn promise to use all our abilities and unitedpower to gain back the former glory of St Stephens country . . . (Horthy Miklskormnyz Szent Istvn napi beszde) in Szent Istvn s az llamalapts,pp. 5412.

    19 For details see Kontler for an instructive analytic overview; see, moreover, GeorgeSchpflin, Politics in Eastern Europe (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), pp. 5774.

    20 For example Trtnelemtanrok munkakzessge, Trnelem az ltalnos iskola 6.osztlya szmra, pp. 2731, but: rpd Balla, Trtnelem s llampolgri ismeretekaz ltalnos iskola 6. osztlya szmra (Budapest: Tanknyvkiad, 1981), pp. 848;or Bla Bellr, Trtnelem 1. Trtnelem a dolgozk kzpiskolai I. osztlya szmra(Budapest: Tanknyvkiad, 1982), pp. 26574.

    21 See rpd v. Klim, The Kings Right Hand. A Religious Relic and the Conflictbetween the Communist Party and the Catholic Church in Hungary (194548),in Karin Friedrich, ed., Festive Culture in Germany and Europe (Lewiston, NY: EdwinMellen Press, 2000), pp. 34362.

    22 Works such as Aladr Md, 400 v kzdelem az nll Magyarorszgrt (Budapest:Szikra, 1943); 3rd edn (Budapest: Szikra, 1947) illustrate this line of thought.

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  • 23 Gyrgy Gyarmati, Mrcius hatalma a hatalom mrciusa. Fejezetek mrcius 15.nneplsnek trtnetbol (Budapest: Paginarum, 1998).

    24 Jan Assmann, Das kulturelle Gedchtnis (Mnchen: Beck, 1997), pp. 3466.25 Ibid., pp. 5053 and 54.26 Hartmut Lehmann, Von der Erforschung der Skularisierung zur Erforschung von

    Prozessen der Dechristianisierung und der Rechristianisierung im neuzeitlichenEuropa, in Hartmut Lehmann, ed., Skularisierung, Dechristianisierung,Rechristianisierung im neuzeitlichen Europa. Bilanz und Perspektiven der Forschung(Gttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1997), pp. 916.

    27 For instance one resembles the monastery of Jk.28 Emericus (Zoltn Krasznai), Jnos a kirly, avagy rad a kegyelem fnye rank,

    Hrmond 5 (1984), 5, newly edited in Szamizdat 8189. Vlogats a Hrmond cmufolyiratbl (Samizadt 198189. A Selection from the Journal Newsteller) (Budapest:ABBeszlo, 1990), pp. 8691.

    29 Ibid., pp. 86 and 88.30 Ibid., p. 88.31 Ibid.32 Ibid., p. 89.33 Most mr elg, tl sok itt az//rtalmas emlkezs//Hosi mlttal egytt jr az//

    ruls s zendls.//Barbr dallam, pogny nek.//zlstelen nem vits.//Fogjtokmeg mind a kettot//nem turm a lztst! (The Hungarian text is available on theInternet at several sites, for instance at www.zikkurat.hu, a theatre agencys website.)(Translation by the author)

    34 This interpretation would thus hint at post-1956 emigration from Hungary, a waythat many intellectuals, writers and artists chose.

    35 Beside the story itself, this national reading can also refer to the explicit state-ments on the message of the film: another hint in the introductory text points tothe survival of Hungarians as speakers of Hungarian and inhabitants of their ownstate because of Stephens decisions.

    36 Emericus, Jnos a kirly, p. 90.37 The textbook entries and the credit titles call them aristocrats (fourak), but in

    their appearance they rather resemble everybody, three men of a medium pos-ition somewhere in society. They sing: Man is mean (. . .) he always follows theone who promises more (. . .). (Translation by the author)

    38 In more detail: I brought a bloody sword,//the bloody sword of our ancestors,//the people is ready for the decisive battle.//We defend our independence//andwithstand Stephen,//we dont need a pale god.//rpds free people is of the blood ofconquerors,//and doesnt tolerate the foreign bridle.//Our dreams become true,//or we all get lost,//but rather death, than slavery (szolgasg).//Koppny, when youdefeat Stephen//, our heroes will not perish in times to come (majd).//The peoplehere will be powerful//from Rome till the Greek Byzantium,//from the Rhine tillLevedia//will they fear the name of your descendants.//We will win at Mohcs//Gyrgy Dzsa will become our king.//We become a great power over centuries.//Rkczi will conquer the world//with Kossuth becomes true//the Republic of theCarpathian basin.// (Translation by the author)

    39 In more detail, and analysing the differences concerning interpretation of historyand artistic solutions, see Noemi Kertsz, Attila s az egysges Eurpa, Uj Holnap43 (1998), 12937.

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  • 81

    Few states can look back on a continuity of such personified state symbolismas the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, now the Czech Republic: Wenceslas(Vclav/Wenzel) was looked upon since the eleventh century as protector-in-battle, an eternal ruler, and a symbol of the Bohemian state.1 The Bohemianprince Wenceslas urged the spreading of the Christian faith in the tenth cen-tury and defended his country against invasions by the Bavarians in 922.2 Hebecame a martyr on 28 September 929 (or 935), when he was slain in a clashwith his conspiring brother Boleslav at Star Boleslav (Altbunzlau). In thebackground of this bloody conflict apparently stood both the forced conver-sion to Christianity and Wenceslass readiness to submit to the rule of theSaxon kings in 929, paying a tribute of 500 pounds in silver and 120 oxen.It is the fratricidal Boleslav, who successfully ruled the country for over30 years, who went down in history as the real founder of the state. Historically,Wenceslas can only boast of having converted to Christianity nothingmore than his small territory, and of a limited knowledge of Latin. But eversince the tenth century, he has been venerated as a martyr and, as early asthe tenth and eleventh centuries, he has been revered as a most powerfulruler. His vita was first written in the tenth century both in Old ChurchSlavonic and Latin (commissioned by Emperor Otto II). Although there islittle historical evidence to support this joined Slav and German tradition of worship, Wenceslass cult continued unbroken until after 1945. The purposeof this chapter is to examine the fate of Wenceslas as a symbol of the Czechstate.

    The making of a cult

    German settlers started coming to Bohemia in small groups in the tenth century merchants went to Prague, priests arrived with the progress of thefaith, and there was also intermarriage in the ranks of the nobility. The searchfor a symbol seems to have been present since medieval times, thereby stylizing

    5The Quest for a Symbol Wenceslasand the Czech StateStefan Samerski

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    Wenceslas as a state symbol; in its full boom, this symbolism is documentedfrom Charles IV onward. Therefore, Wenceslas belongs to that group of princelyor royal saints, who like Istvn of Hungary (10001038), Olaf of Norway(101530), and Eric of Sweden (115060) started or encouraged the progressof Christianity in their countries, had churches and monasteries built, andworked together with the local clergy.3 Three of them died violently becauseof their Christian faith and were soon venerated as patrons of their country.Star Boleslav, where Wenceslas was martyred, became a national place ofworship and his tomb on the Hradcin further enhanced the religious andpolitical importance of Prague. He was, like Istvn, Olaf and Eric, a figure onwhom national identity was conferred because of their autochthonousprincely birth. It was exactly these ingredients of the aristocratsaint and theideal of chivalry that secured the continuation of his outstanding cult overthe centuries.

    Bohemia was not a politically and ethnically homogeneous country thatwas trying to maintain its sovereignty, but there was one very popular elementin the Middle Ages that strengthened his cult: working miracles. Cosmas ofPrague had already noted this in 1120.4 In fact, Wenceslas surpassed theother two partly earlier patron saints of Bohemia, Vitus and Adalbert,who lacked a thaumaturgical quality equalling that of Wenceslas. Hence thelatter became a popular saint. Since the eleventh century, he was remem-bered as a state patron of the type of Eternal Ruler, who transferred his powerto the ruling monarch, and also as patron of the Primates Bohemienses, thepolitical and social elite of the country. In the high and late Middle Ages, hewas still leading the group of the by now six Bohemian patron saints, buthe also had to accept certain losses.5 As a state saint, he bore the state symbol,so the crown jewels were entrusted to him. In 1346, Charles IV expressed hiswish to have the crown placed on the saints reliquary skull and he obtained acorresponding papal bull. The king borrowed the crown only on festiveoccasions.6 In view of his relation to the ruling monarch, Wenceslass vener-ation spread beyond Prague, and he was raised in rank, becoming the mainpatron of Olomouc Cathedral.7 In the late Middle Ages, the veneration ofWenceslas passed through a phase of opposition to the king and the Germanurban patricians. As a result, the saint became the patron of the peoples ofthe Bohemian Lands and his cult managed to survive the Hussite andReformation periods.8

    The state patron in the era of confessionalism

    His multiple patronage as a symbol of the state, of the country and of sov-ereignty allowed both parties during the Hussite wars to appeal to Wenceslas.The Catholics invoked him to help them, before Almighty God, to root outheresy; the Utraquists called him their prince, protector and patron. ThusWenceslass image appeared on the Hussite shields underneath the chalice

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  • and, while entering the battle against the Catholics, they sang the medievalSt Wenceslas Chorale (Svat Vclave), even though the Hussites had abolishedthe cult of saints.9 In the sixteenth century, Wenceslas was also a symbolicfigure which, as the countrys patron, conferred identity on both Lutheransand the Bohemian Brethren.10 In contrast to St Adalbert, Wenceslass vener-ation persisted through the religious wars but diminished when compared tothe late Middle Ages.11 Apart from the relevance of his cult for state politics,it is his eminence in the peoples veneration and prayer that may have keptthis cult alive during the religious wars. The richly illustrated Wenceslas Codex,dedicated by Matthias Hutsky12 of Prglitz in 1585 to Archduke Ferdinand IIof Tyrol (152995), Lieutenant of Bohemia,13 illustrates the political andconfessional importance of this princely saint. Under the very first picture,the text reads: As soon as St. Wenceslas ascended the throne, he made greatefforts to restore and strengthen the growth of good religion, which had beenthwarted by the heathen mother and impious brother.14 These lines suggestthe influence of the Jesuits: Wenceslas is reported to have sent priests to teachmanners and culture to the people in the churches and to the pupils in theschools.15 In various comments, the motive of an exemplary new piety isintimated as well as the defence and spreading of Christian teaching, by forceif necessary. Two pictures give a hint of the transubstantiation of the BlessedSacrament, which means that Wenceslas cared for wheat plantations and abakery for hosts.16 Communion is called the Holiest of Sacraments andlater on it is described as bread that had been transformed into the Lordsflesh, the Corpus Christi, by secret words and mystic consecration as well asby the descent of the Holy Spirit. Here you have a good example of a typicalCounter-Reformation idea expressed in a commented picture!

    After the battle of White Mountain in 1620 and the spreading of Counter-Reformation in the Bohemian Lands under the Habsburgs, Wenceslass cultexperienced a new development and a changed status. This was brought aboutby the ruling dynasty and various religious orders. The Friars of St AugustineEremites in the New City of Prague ordered a series of 32 paintings portrayingWenceslass vita. In addition, a most impressive via sacra comprising of 44chapels with themes from Wenceslass legend and the life of the Virgin wasbuilt between Prague and Star Boleslav, representing the typical Counter-Reformation symbiosis of the two cults.17 Between 1679 and 1690, threebooklets containing copper prints illustrating Wenceslass legend were pub-lished in different languages. There was a vita written in German in 1644. Thevera effigies of the saint were adored in various churches in Prague. Wenceslasscult was promoted by secular priests as well as by regulars.18 During the years1670 and 1729 it seems that the Jesuits tried to bring the cult of St Wenceslascloser to the Czech population: among other things, they also educated Czech-speaking priests in their St Wenceslas College to promote this objective.19

    For example, Josef Balbn S.J. ended his dissertation in 1775 with a prayer inCzech: You are the foremost Protector of the country of Bohemia . . . , give

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  • back the long lost glory to your Czechs! This was a legitimate request, as thecrown of Wenceslas a legal entity of the Bohemian Lands since the MiddleAges was kept abroad, in Vienna, since Maria Theresas coronation in 1740.After the death of Joseph II in 1790, the Bohemian Lands asked for it to bereturned. The crown was received in Prague with frenetic applause.20 Butduring the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the crown jewels were once againdeposited in Vienna and only returned to the Hradcin a year later, this timewith big religious, state and military pomp. This was the time of the consti-tutional debates, when the crown came to symbolize Bohemian state law; thisremained so until the Second World War.21

    The nineteenth and twentieth centuries

    It was due to his close ties with the Bohemian state that Wenceslas could pre-serve his relevance to both parts of the population, Czech and German.However, with the Czechs, Jan Hus became even more popular in the nine-teenth century, because he was regarded as the personification of oppositionto the Germans. Anti-Habsburg elements also entered into the cult ofWenceslas. In November 1848, a mass was celebrated on Wenceslas Square,next to his statue, and this marked the beginning of the revolts. Ever since,Wenceslass Square has been the place for political demonstrations underliningthe national myth the continuity of the Bohemian crown and the countryssovereignty.22 Christian symbolism was taken away in 1902, when a newstatue of Wenceslas was erected: instead of the flag with a cross, the princecarries a simple banner. The Middle Ages and the baroque era messages are stillpresent, but the artist subjected them to a political programme: secular legit-imacy is no longer a copy of the divine order.23

    Habsburg rule caused the rise of national tendencies in the nineteenthcentury and also during the First World War: the Viennese government bannedthe singing of the medieval St Wenceslass Chorale because the imperial gov-ernment perceived it as a manifestation of national protest. Not surprisingly,Wenceslas was designated the State Patron of the First Czechoslovak Republic(CSR). The first and only gold coin produced in 1923 showed the image of St Wenceslas, thus embodying the beginnings of Bohemian statehood. The FirstCSR stood for liberalism, laicity, and also in opposition to Habsburg-backedRoman Catholicism. In 1929, the Social Democrats opposed Wenceslas as asymbol of national identity because his cult also intimated Roman Catholicism,foreign (Habsburg) domination, and the lack of progressive thinking.24 Onthe other hand, the Catholic Church preserved his tradition without anymodifications well past 1990, as it sought to oppose the secularization of thecountry and society.25

    The late 1920s saw many economic and political accomplishments in theyoung republic, which had also achieved a modus vivendi with the CatholicChurch by paying more attention to the Catholics in Moravia and Slovakia,

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  • and the Germans living in the border regions. The extreme nationalism andanti-Catholicism of the first years came to an end. The celebration of themillennium of the state was also an occasion to celebrate the cult of St Wenceslas in a wider context, surpassing in splendour the festivities for JanHus in 1925.26 The celebrations began at the end of September 1928 to com-memorate the tenth anniversary of the republic. After that, the just-completedSt Vitus Cathedral (the costly works had been financed mostly by the state)was inaugurated with a celebration in honour of St Wenceslas. The exhibitionof the crown jewels also brought to the Hradcin masses of people from all socialstrata.27 The exhibition had been planned by the state as a cultural and polit-ical event celebrating itself, but, given the background of the tradition, thepopulation regarded it as a religious procession. It was praised even in the pressbecause of the religious atmosphere in which the state insignia was presented.The public interest was overwhelming: over 750,000 people participated in theprocession that brought back the skull reliquary to the Cathedral on 29 October.But this is not to be regarded as a religious comeback. President Tom G.Masaryk gave an example of unusual moderation when he mentioned thespecial relationship between church and state.28 In his speech on St WenceslasDay, he intentionally ignored national options, pointing out the saints human-ity and the written tradition; he added: a nations healthy national life is basedon education and manners.29 Apart from the religious issue, the state claimedfor itself all the other elements present in the medieval cult of St. Wenceslas:the eternal ruler Wenceslas as a symbol of statehood, the identity of theBohemian Lands, and Bohemias continuous political tradition up to the FirstRepublic. In 1929, St Wenceslas was still a figure unifying Czechs and Germans.

    Ten years later, the situation had changed drastically. In March 1939, Germantroops occupied Bohemia. There was a spontaneous gathering of the peopleof Prague who came to Wenceslas Square in silent protest, reminiscent of 1918,when the republican state was founded. Thus Wenceslas Square finally estab-lished itself as the proper place for hoisting the flag of national identity andself-assertion, and equally, the St Wenceslas Chorale became a way of express-ing silent protest. The Germans did not fail to instrumentalize Wenceslasfor their own needs, pointing out that the Czechs had pledged submission tothe Germans by paying a tribute (500 pounds in silver, 120 oxen), as writtenin the saints vita. The crown was taken away from its depository in St VitusCathedral and brought to Count Sobeslavs castle. This meant the secular-ization of the crown jewels, preceding their transport abroad, thus pointingto the diminished national identity of the Czechs.

    After the war, the crown was brought back to its former depository in St VitusCathedral, having first been presented to a more than pleased public on NationalDay on 28 September 1945.30 On the same day the whole country cele-brated, together with the US forces present, the liberation of Czechoslovakia.This was done with great pomp, including church symbolism: for example,in Cesk Krumlov (Bhmisch Krumau), the bells tolled for half an hour the

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  • night before and a mass was celebrated. In Prague, the faithful went fromtheir local churches to Wenceslas Square singing the St Wenceslas Chorale,and here the commanders of both the Czechoslovak and the US armies spoke.On the next day there were military parades followed by mass in St WenceslasChurch commemorating the war dead.31

    During the Communist period, Wenceslas was removed from the publicpolitical sphere. The religious and moral aspects of his cult remained relevantonly for the Church, and for the Czech political and social elites he was noth-ing more than an anti-German state symbol. For example, the expulsion of theGermans after 1945 was taken up by the newly founded satirical journalDikobraz (Porcupine) in a cartoon showing them as they pass the frontierstogether with a tribute of 500 pounds in silver and 120 oxen exactly thetribute Wenceslas had paid to the Saxon king Heinrich I in 929.32 Past historywas dealt with vindictively in this period. Nevertheless, for reasons of legit-imacy, the state still wished to make use of the political state symbolism in theWenceslas myth and therefore exhibited the crown jewels thrice to the public,also reminding it that it was impossible to view them in their depository inSt Vitus through all the nineteenth century. The crown was shown at theCommunist Party Congress in 1955; there was an exhibition of archival docu-ments in the Hradcin in 1958 and another one dedicated to Emperor Charles IVin 1978. The crown was the object of highest interest in each of these manifes-tations, illustrating peoples respect in front of the symbol of state sovereignty.33

    Wenceslas in the post-Communist period

    After the fall of Communism, known as the velvet revolution, which includedpublic demonstrations on Wenceslas Square in November 1989 similar tothe Prague Spring in 1968 the most prominent patron of the countryexperienced a tentative renaissance. Once again, political self-assertion and his-torical consciousness joined in a symbiosis, similar to the situation in theFirst C SR. But it took some time for Wenceslas to come back as a patron ofthe state. Some elements in his myth had to be rectified, for example hissympathy for the Germans, or the Catholic religious component. In thisrespect, it was noticed that the President of Czechoslovakia, Vclav Havel,on the way to taking office in 1989, was seen to take the path of the medievalBohemian kings en route to their coronation ceremony in St Vitus Cathedral.In 2000, Petr Pithart, President of the Senate, called Wenceslas Square a magnet which attracts us to the patron of the country, he, who unites andunifies us, who from time to time gives us a still existing we feeling.34

    Nevertheless, soon after 1989, it was the commemoration of Jan Huss deaththat was introduced as the first new national holiday. A proposal made by theCzechoslovak Hussite Church (THK) in April 1990 suggested that the Hussite,that is to say the Czech, reform should be a part of national tradition andstatehood. Hus was called one of the greatest figures of the country and the

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  • embodiment of its moral and religious heritage; for this reason he was neededin order to renew state awareness.35 July 6 was proclaimed a national holidaythe same year, and two years later, the Bethlehem Chapel in Prague, where Hushad been preaching, was reopened after 200 years.36 In 2005, Vaclav Klaus,President of the Czech Republic, clearly underlined Jan Huss role in mar-shalling identity: Hus more than most of the others had managed to influenceour spiritual life and consciousness as a nation. . . . His struggle for truth is wellknown to everybody, and he had always been a good example to the others.37

    The main goals of the new state were political stability and cultural reform.In 1993, the rupture between the Czech and the Slovak parts of the Republichad shown what a failure post-socialist Czechoslovakia had been. But evenafter this event, it seemed that Czech statehood and society still appeared to belacking in homogeneity. The Catholic Church had diminished in importance,especially after suffering a tremendous setback to secularization, mainlyunder Communism, with the result that the Czech Republic became one ofthe most de-Christianized countries in Europe: only approximately 26 per centof the population still claim to profess the Catholic faith. Ever since 1918,successive governments have fought against Catholicism, especially Communistones.38 Until 1989, the Catholic Church had been gaining prestige in societybecause of its consistent criticism of the regime, but afterwards any hope ofre-establishing its past fame simply failed. It was unable to convince theCzech public after 1990 that its prime interest was not the restitution ofproperty, but the establishment of a new legal framework on which to set upthe relationship between church and state.39 In the 1990s, the double functionof a religious and political centre in the construction of the Hradcin led tosomething like a small cultural revolution between the government and theChurch: in 1995, St Vitus Cathedral and some other important churcheslocated on the Hradcin were returned to church ownership, having been inthe states possession since 1954 as national monuments.40

    It is interesting to note that only the Church maintained the veneration ofWenceslas through the centuries; after the political transition, it was the onlyinstitution that still celebrated Wenceslas Day.41 Seen from a Catholic point ofview, he embodied martyrdom, was linked to the spread of the faith in Bohemia,and was the first Christian ruler committed to the Christian code of virtues.Nevertheless, at the turn of the millennium, a Catholic veneration of Wenceslashad become meaningless to a pluralist and secularized Czech society.

    Whereas the day commemorating Hus had been rather smoothly accepted asa state holiday, the situation was different with 28 September. Its introductionwas discussed freely but it did stir political emotions in society at large towardsthe end of the 1990s. Politicians could not agree whether to honour Wenceslasas the founder of the state or to ban him as a German collaborator.42 The leftthought that a return of 28 September might revalorize and strengthenCatholic positions in the country.43 Milo Zeman, the late Czech prime min-ister, called him a traitor who voluntarily paid allegiance to Heinrich I by

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  • paying a tribute: If 28 September was to become a national holiday, this wouldnot enhance Czech statehood, but servility and collaboration! But Zeman lostthe debate and his argument was rejected in an emotionally conducted sessionin Parliament. In 2000, Wenceslas Day was reclaimed as a state holiday, moreaccurately as the day of Czech statehood. In this way, the secularization of thesaint had come full circle. There was no sacral depreciation of Wenceslas bystoring his insignia inaccessible to the public in the same depository in St Vitus,where they had been in the nineteenth century. It was the state, and notthe saint and martyr, that ended up de-Christianized. Tradition, as well as thesearch for a symbol, was ultimately decisive for reintroducing Wenceslas Dayas a national holiday, even though there were doubts about this in all socialgroups, except the Catholic Church and the Sudeten Germans who still ven-erate him as a symbol of identity.

    The Czech historian Duan Tretk argues that returning to the commem-oration of the supposed founder of the state represents a public demonstra-tion by many Czechs in times of political crisis, as well as a clear politicalmessage to the world.44 Lately, there have been additional signs to indicatethe revalorization of Wenceslas: St Vitus Cathedral is now called Vitus,Adalbert, and Wenceslas Cathedral. Apart from the one in Star Boleslav, thiscathedral is the centre of the cult for most of the Bohemian state patrons.Wenceslas today seems more popular with the Czech social and religious elitesthan ever, conferring a sense of orientation and identity in both a religiousas well as in a political setting. The name of Vclav is currently in eleventhposition among Christian names for boys in the Czech Republic.45

    Nevertheless, doubts still linger, due primarily to the fact that all socialgroups ever connected to the Bohemian Lands still regard Wenceslas as a fig-ure giving identity. Cults of some other state patrons reaching back to theMiddle Ages are available, but in the post-Communist era they were pushedto the edges of society, except in the Church. Apart from this ambiguity, itseems that with Wenceslas the decisive criterion is exactly the quest for aunifying symbol and it is because of this that he was reinstated as a statesymbol, albeit to the detriment of his religious component. There are a num-ber of parallels to be found with the First CSR.

    On the other hand, there are dangers of acting by government decree thatmust be taken into account: the state depends on specific social groups as wellas the churches whenever it wishes to convey certain values to society. Thus thecult of Wenceslas already experiences outside the religious sphere a certain cul-tural erosion. According to polls taken in 2004, most people did not know why28 September is a state holiday, other than as a day that prolongs a weekend.46


    Wenceslas has been since medieval times the uncontested symbol of theBohemian state. As patron of the country, he had a number of rivals ever since

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  • the high Middle Ages, but he always imposed himself as the embodiment of theconcept of state and national sovereignty. Charles IV transformed Wenceslasscult into a state cult by enhancing the sacredness of the crown insignia. Sincethe eighteenth century, Wenceslas came to be more closely linked to the Czechpart of Bohemias heterogeneous society, and this is why the Habsburgs pro-hibited manifestations of the cult of Wenceslas towards the end of theirreign in the Bohemian Lands. As a result, he experienced a somewhat delayedrenaissance in the First CSR because of his close connection to the CatholicChurch, once a pillar of the state. The German occupation as well as theCommunist period made use of Wenceslas for their own ends, regardless ofhis popularity. At that time, his veneration as a state symbol had already madesuch progress that he would fit in wherever needed a result of the longevityof his legend.

    Post-Communism offers many parallels to the era of the First CSR. In bothcases, the government was sceptical with regard to Wenceslass religious linksand decisions were delayed. After the post-Communist transition, the CatholicChurch suffered a social setback, which explains why Wenceslas Day became asecular state holiday only in 2000. In the most unreligious European society,this was done by taking a religious symbol and stripping it of its religiouscontent. But, as in medieval and early modern times, Wenceslas still carried theidea of state and independence with him, and has remained a national sym-bol conveying identity in a pluralist society. Czech legislators totally ignoredthe fact that Wenceslas also stands for certain moral values and religiousaffirmation. His veneration by the Sudeten Germans is also an obstacle forhis cult in the Czech Republic, with the exception of the Catholic Church.Historical debates on this topic are, however, useless: he is neither the realpolitical founder of the state, nor had he ever stood for a specific orientationof the Church, to the West or to the East, and he also does not belong specif-ically to any of the ethnically defined parties. All these elements taken togethermake him a unifying figure, even though he is still not undisputed in the CzechRepublic. If the symbol is not well received by the people and if the people haveto adjust the symbol in the same way as the Hussites took over a saint, as layliberals took over a martyr and promoter of the faith, as the Slavs adopteda saint who was a friend of the Germans, and as medieval knights adored aweak ruler, then a modern state is justified in making use of a figure that hadbeen venerated uninterruptedly by the Church. What this means is that trad-ition stands for helplessness in the face of uncertainty or pending danger.


    1 For the worship of Wenceslas in the Middle Ages see Frantisek Graus, LebendigeVergangenheit. berlieferung im Mittelalter und in der Vorstellung vom Mittelalter(Cologne/Vienna: Bhlau, 1975), pp. 14558; Frantisek, Graus, St. Adalbert undSt. Wenzel. Zur Funktion der mittelalterlichen Heiligenverehrung in Bhmen, in

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  • Klaus-Deltlev Grothusen and Klaus Zernack, eds, Europa Slavica Europa Orientalis.Festschrift fr Herbert Ludat zum 70. Geburtstag (Berlin: Aufbau, 1980), pp. 20531; F. and M. Machilek, Der heilige Wenzel: Kult und Ikonographie, in Alfried Wieczorekand Hans-Martin Hinz, eds, Europas Mitte um 1000. Beitrge zur Geschichte, Kunstund Archologie, vol. 2 (Stuttgart: Theiss, 1980), pp. 88894.

    2 See his Vita: Duan Tretk: Poctky Premyslovcu (The Beginnings of the Premyslides)(Prague: Polygrafia 1997); M. Blhov: Wenzel, in Lexikon des Mittelalters, vol. 8(Stuttgart/Weimar: Metzler, 1999), pp. 21857.

    3 J. Petersohn, Politik und Heiligenverehrung im Hochmittelalter, in Vortrge undForschungen des Konstanzer Arbeitskreises fr mittelalterliche Geschichte, vol. 62(Sigmaringen: Thorbecke, 1992).

    4 Cosmas von Prag, Die Chronik Bhmens, vol. 1, ed. Alexander Heine (Essen/Stuttgart:Phaidon, 1987), p. 80.

    5 Gbor Klaniczay, The Uses of Supernatural Powers. The Transformation of PopularReligion in Medieval and Early-Modern Europe (Princeton, NJ. University Press, 1990),pp. 12122. Their number and persons are not to be regarded as canonicallyapproved. In some medieval martyrologies other feast days for Wenceslas andAdalbert are reported, Vitus, Cyril and Method, Procopius, Ludmilla, the FiveBrethren and Sigismund being added. See Graus, St. Adalbert und St. Wenzel, p. 216.

    6 Karl Schwarzenberg, Die Sankt Wenzels-Krone (Vienna/Munich: Herold, 1982), p. 19.7 Graus, Lebendige Vergangenheit,. p. 169.8 Ibid., pp. 1746; Graus, St. Adalbert und St. Wenzel, pp. 21819.9 E. Petru, The Legends and Cult of St Wenceslas, in The Life and Martyrdom of Saint

    Wenceslas, Prince of Bohemia, in Historic Pictures (Prague: Polygrafia, 1997).10 J. Royt, Die Verehrung der bhmischen Landespatrone im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert,

    in Cesk Nebe Bhmischer Himmel. Andachtsbilder aus dem KunstgewerbemuseumPrag (Neukirchen b. Hl. Blut: Perlinger Druck, 1995), p. 5.

    11 Graus, Lebendige Vergangenheit, p. 177.12 Karel Stejskal in The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Wenceslas.13 Son of Emperor Ferdinand I and Anna Jagiello and Lieutenant of Bohemia from

    1547 to 1566.14 Figura 1 in The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Wenceslas.15 Ibid.16 Figura XI and XIII in The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Wenceslas.17 See Royt, Die Verehrung, p. 5; W. Hartinger, Marien-, Wenzel- und Nepomukwall-

    fahrten in Bhmen, Jahrbuch fr ostdeutsche Volkskunde 22 (1979), 378.18 Royt, Die Verehrung, p. 7.19 P. Rychterov, Mittelalterliche Hagiographie auf der Leinwand: Der Film Svat Vclav

    (1929) als gescheiterter Versuch, ein Nationaldenkmal zu erstellen (Caustance: Uni-Press,2001), p. 4.

    20 Schwarzenberg, Die Sankt Wenzels-Krone, pp. 312.21 Ibid., p. 34.22 K. Kallert, Landesheilige in Bhmen. Das Denkmal und die Denkmler, in Walter

    Koschmal, ed., Deutsche und Tschechen. Geschichte, Kultur, Politik (Munich: Beck,2001), p. 164.

    23 Ibid., pp. 1656.24 Ibid., p. 171.25 Ibid.26 C.J. Paces, Religious Images and National Symbols in the Creation of Czech Identity.

    PhD Dissertation, (New York: Columbia University, 1998).

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  • 27 Ibid., pp. 298310.28 Ibid., p. 310.29 Rychterov, Mittelalterliche Hagiographie, p. 1; Kallert, Landesheilige in

    Bhmen, p. 171.30 Schwarzenberg, Die Sankt Wenzels-Krone, p. 36.31 P. Jelnek, St.-Wenzels-Tradition in Cesk Krumlov, Infozentrum Cesk Krumlov,

    4 September 2003.32 P. Becher and J. Dzambo, eds, Gleiche Bilder, gleiche Worte. Deutsche, sterreicher und

    Tschechen in der Karikatur 18481948 (Munich: FIBO, 1997), p. 267.33 Schwarzenberg, Die Sankt Wenzels-Krone, p. 36.34 K. Bock, Der Heilige Wenzel, Czech Radio 7, Radio Prague, 28 September 2002.35 Glaube in der 2. Welt, Zrich: 6, 1990, p. 12.36 Glaube in der 2. Welt, Zrich: 7/8, 1994, p. 16.37 B. Prochzkov, Gleich drei Nationalpatrone auf einen Schlag, Czech Radio 7,

    Radio Prague, 7 July 2005.38 Glaube in der 2. Welt, Zrich: 4, 2005, p. 19. See the statement of an eyewitness:

    T. Halk, Du wirst das Angesicht der Erde erneuern, Kirche und Gesellschaft an derSchwelle zur Freiheit (Leipzig: Benno, 1990); O. Mdar, Wie Kirche nicht stirbt.Zeugnis aus bedrngten Zeiten der tschechischen Kirche (Leipzig: Benno, 1993).

    39 See Glaube in der 2. Welt, Zrich: 4, 2004, pp. 16ff.40 Glaube in der 2. Welt, Zrich: 1, 1995, p. 11.41 R. Schuster, Der Heilige Wenzel und die Wenzeltradition in der tschechischen

    Geschichte, Czech Radio 7, Radio Prague, 28 September 2003.42 Bock, Der Heilige Wenzel.43 Schuster, Der Heilige Wenzel.44 Ibid.45 K. Bock, Der heilige Vaclav und seine Namensvetter, Czech Radio 7, Radio Prague,

    25 September 2004.46 R. Schuster, Medienstimmen zum Auftritt des knftigen EU-Kommissars Spidla in

    Brssel und zur Verleihung der Ehrenbrgerschaft an Otto von Habsburg, CzechRadio 7, Radio Prague, 1 January 2004.

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  • 92

    In most South-East European countries, the institution of a patron saint hasseen a revival in the post-Communist period. After 1990, representatives ofmedieval national cultures formed the object of redefined cults, amongthem founding kings, martyrs, men of the church with outstanding reputa-tion, and also popular heroes from national history. With the Romanians, aselsewhere, medieval patrons were usually saints and martyrs of the earlychurch such as Nicholas, Andrew and George; national patron saints werethe exception. In the Principality of Moldavia, the Greek neo-martyr Johnthe New of Suceava was adopted by the ruling prince in 1415 as the countryspatron saint. A cult was created and reactivated several times from the fif-teenth to the twentieth century. At the end of the last century, John was can-onized properly, declared a pan-Romanian saint, but, in fact, lost his primarymedieval functions as a patron and protector to far better-known, muchmore popular, heroes taken from national Romanian history. The purpose ofthis chapter is to examine why and how a medieval hero became a nationalsymbol in post-Communist Romania.

    The cult of medieval patrons in Romania

    The large majority of Romanias citizens, namely 88 per cent, adhere today tothe Greek Orthodox faith. Modern Romania is a construction of the nineteenthcentury, even if its history goes back to the fourteenth, when the two RomanianPrincipalities of Walachia and Moldavia were founded. In contrast to their Slavicneighbours Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, or Serbs the Romanians hadneither national saints nor patrons from their own ranks.1 Certain figures martyrs venerated as saints such as John the New of Suceava, Paraskeva ofIas i , or Philothea of Arges , were imported from the Balkans. Yet none of thesewas canonized in accordance with Orthodox tradition, and the shrines withtheir relics were only known and worshipped locally.2 Nevertheless, John theNew was proclaimed patron of Prince Alexander the Goods capital Suceavain 1415 and was soon held to be the patron of the Principality of Moldavia.

    6Moldavian Prince Stephen andRomaniaKrista Zach

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    His reputation as state patron was discontinued and restored several times,the last time by Metropolitan Varlaam in the seventeenth century, and he wasalso remembered as patron of the Habsburg Bukovina with a local cult at hisshrine.3 As far as Walachia is concerned, no martyrs career as a state symbolmatching that of John the New was ever reported.

    Alongside the discontinued line of martyrs as Romanian state symbols orpatrons, there is another line that reflects secular state symbolism and civicinitiative, the inspiration arising from patriotic and national feelings. In thenineteenth century, with the influx of the ideals of liberty, human rights andsovereignty, as well as Western culture and civilization, inspired by the FrenchRevolution of 1789 and more particularly by that of 1848, Romanians lookedback on their own history for symbols of nationhood and political independ-ence. Ruling princes such as Stephen of Moldavia (14571504) and Michael ofWalachia (15931601) were appropriate in this context and were also foundmaking a lasting impression on the public. In a process that used a more or lessinspired politically minded rhetoric, they became substitutes for the absentpatron saints.

    The defining moment of this substitution took place in the nineteenthcentury, when Romania was in the process of becoming a nation-state andacquiring a monarch. The reception speeches for Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen after his arrival in Bucharest (he stayed on as the new Prince Frst) on 10 May 1866 used well-known political symbolic rhetoric a mixture of national pathos and martial notes. The prince responded in kind,saying that, for him, Romania had become sacred soil and he was a Romanian.He declared: By setting foot on this sacred soil, I became Romanian.4 TheMayor of Bucharest presented the foreign prince, who was to become thefirst king of Romania, with a symbolic crown; there was in fact no crown topresent. He said:

    Sovereign of Romania! We hereby present to you the crown of our greatestruling princes, the crown of Stephen the Great and the crown of Michaelthe Brave, whom you may regard as your ancestors from this day on. Inreturn, we ask you to restore the former splendour to this crown!Transform this beautiful country into a bridgehead of modern liberties, abulwark of Western civilization!5

    However, the absence of religiously based state symbols or patrons wasfelt by the newly founded monarchy of Romania of 1881 and again after theGreat Unification that created Greater Romania in 191820. After 1881, whenRomanias Parliament proclaimed Romania to be a sovereign kingdom, andmore so after 1925, when the national Orthodox Church declared itself auto-cephalous, scholars and men of the church took up the idea of creatingnational Romanian saints of their own, as all the neighbouring states haddone in the past, and some more recently.6

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    Such attempts continued in the Communist and post-Communist period.An attempt at promoting Romanians as saints was made in 1955, when localpatrons such as John the New of Suceava and Philothea of Arges, whoserelics had long since been installed in the medieval capitals of Moldavia andWalachia, were declared Romanian saints with a countrywide cult.7 Butearly Communist times did not offer a proper climate for acclaiming saints,let alone national ones, and it was clearly understood that the Communistauthorities would frustrate any such endeavour by the Church. A proper can-onization process, respecting the tradition and the rules of the Church, tookplace only in the transition period, in June 1992.8 This was the first real actof canonization, carried through by the Holy Synod, resulting in the procla-mation of more than 40 national or Romanian saints,9 as well as a Sunday ofthe Romanian saints in the Orthodox calendar.10

    Among the figures found worthy by the Romanian Orthodox Church werebishops known locally, monks and hermits some of them imported fromsouth of the Danube in earlier times. The communiqu issued by theRomanian Patriarchal See on 21 June 1992 indicated:

    A number of important confessing hierarchs, Pravoslav ruling princes, piouscharacters, and martyrs, who have remained present in the memory of therighteous Romanian people as saints, will now receive their confirmation.They lived, confessed, and defended their faith, even at the cost of theirlives.11

    None of the persons proposed for canonization was a martyr of the recentCommunist persecution. Personalities such as Nicolae Steinhardt,12 whoeventually became an Orthodox cleric after escaping imprisonment, andothers were simply ignored by the Synod. This decision by the RomanianOrthodox Church was widely criticized in the Romanian press. There wasalso a polemic,13 started by some members of the Orthodox clergy, againstthe canonization process initiated by other Romanian confessional groups,mainly Catholics and Greek Catholics (Uniates) who proposed personalitiesof the twentieth century for beatification, such as rn Mrton, CatholicBishop of Alba Iulia in Transylvania, or Iuliu Cardinal Hossu and MonsignorVladimir Ghyka, put forth by the Uniates.

    The emerging cult of Stephen the Great

    Confessional canonization procedures were started, without exception, at thebeginning of the transition period in Romania. The process in the RomanianOrthodox Church caused a considerable stir, provoking a strong echo inchurch as well as secular papers for two reasons: first, because among the can-didates were two very prominent figures from medieval Romanian history,

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    and second, as already mentioned, because of the absence of martyrs ofCommunism. Why?

    Ranging high above the whole field of recently created saints of the RomanianOrthodox Church, Stephen the Great, ruling Prince of Moldavia (14571504),was everybodys undisputed candidate for a prominent place in the pan-theon of national veneration. No one in Romania even thought of contest-ing his importance and role in national history. If Stephen was at all challenged,it was only by Prince Constantine Brncoveanu of Walachia (16881714).People remembered, however, that Prince Stephen was called the Good evenduring his lifetime, and, soon after his death, he was known as the Great(meaning the Old), and even the Saint, especially in folklore,14 as thechronicles report.15 There were, of course, comments to the effect that, accord-ing to tradition, certain necessary elements were missing in both cases, suchas a pious conduct in life, or miracles. These elements caught the attention ofthe public and of a secularized Westernized intellectual elite in the country,as we show below.

    With Stephen the Great, the Romanian Orthodox Church was choosing ahero from Romanian history who, in the consciousness and the pantheon ofhis people, had long taken his place as a symbol of national identity.Stephens reputation as a figure of national cultural eminence was created inthe nineteenth century, among others by two young students in Vienna whowere to become two of the most famous Romanian poets, Mihai Eminescuand Ioan Slavici.16 As a symbol of national glory, Stephen was thereafter sup-ported by the intellectual elites,17 in schoolbooks,18 in canonical Romanianliterature learned widely by heart,19 and remembered on various monu-ments.20 Serban Papacostea, one of the most prominent scholars of medievalRomanian history, singled out four essential elements on which the reputa-tion of Prince Stephen resided: state-building, resulting in a powerful andsovereign state, respected by its neighbours; raising strong fighting forces,respected in battle; fostering a national Moldavian culture, including thebuilding or restoring of a very considerable number of ecclesiastic monu-ments (churches as well as monasteries); and prestige as a fighter against theOttoman Empire that endangered the whole of Europe. He writes thatStephens creative endeavour resulted not only in the building of a powerfulstate, a remarkable military force and great international prestige, but also inthe development of culture and the establishment of a specific Moldaviancultural tradition.21 In a recently published school book, we read: The nameof Stephen the Great is a symbol of the Moldavian Principalitys fight for sov-ereignty.22

    In other school books and in the writings of historians such as Papacostea,Giurescu, Iorga23 and Xenopol, the same symbolism and metaphors are usedwhen singling out Stephen the Great as the symbol of national glory. Theyemphasize the virtuousness of the good ruler, his strong personality, thefact that he was the builder of a centralized state, that he was a skilful diplomat,

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    warlord, fighter for political independence, and protector of the Orthodoxcreed and Church.24 These elements from the princes biography have longbeen integrated to form the myth of Stephen the Great.

    In addition, the choice of Stephen by the Romanian Orthodox Churchwas further justified when we consider the functions that medieval nationalpatron saints performed.25 Two predominate: first, accumulating evidencethat a given region or state belongs to Christendom; and second, providingidentity, cohesion and protection to the territory or the people. This hasbeen to the benefit of the emerging cult of Stephen. The chronicles26 as wellas the poets have contributed to form an image, which has long sincedeclared and preserved Stephen the Great as the most important ruler inRomanian history. He has his place in Romanias national patrimony sincethe chronicles of the seventeenth century. Hence, in 1992 this medievalrulers biography did not have to be rewritten to match a saints vita and le-gend. It is not surprising to find the use of symbolic political rhetoric in con-nection with the proclamation of Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1866as Prince of Romania and also in the prelude to the coronation festivities in1881. Before the coronation of Romanias first king, Charles I, a campaignwas started by the Ceremonies Department to track down the so-calledcrown of Stephen the Great, seen in an illuminated miniature from a Book ofPrayers of the fifteenth century. No crown could be found, neither in Moldaviancollections, nor abroad, in Krakow, Prague or Vienna. Such a symbolic objectwould have fitted in quite neatly in 1881 to link historical tradition with thenew dynasty, thus creating ties of legitimacy. The proclamation was done ina democratic manner, namely by the Romanian Parliament.27 Such a prece-dent, however, was ignored for a long time: It is interesting to note, for exam-ple, that during the Communist period, President Nicolae Ceausescu refusedfour times the canonization of Stephen the Great.28

    Could this medieval prince be a saint?

    There are dark parts and sinful incidents in Stephens life. He was rash, chol-eric, a ladies man, and also known as one who, when in a temper tantrum,had his boyar adversaries killed.29 In the opinion of some of the commenta-tors on the canonization, an accentuation of Stephen as a hero was appropri-ate in order to emphasize his spiritual integrity and his good intentions.30

    It was argued that he was remembered among Romanians all over the worldfor his unflinching Orthodox faith Stephen is reported to have built 47churches and to have fought numerous battles against the Ottoman Turks.Many commentators maintained that his well-known shortcomings shouldbe no obstacle because in the Orthodox faith God is merciful, especiallytowards sinners.31 Other commentators held the opposite view concerningStephens aptitude for saintliness, among them Gabriela Adamesteanu andthe poet Mircea Dinescu.32 For his part, without mentioning the sanctification,

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    Papacostea dwells largely on the surviving glory of Stephen the Great in thecollective memory of his people:

    When, on 2 July 1504, Stephen passed away at Suceava and a few days laterwas taken to his final resting place, accompanied by the pious mourningof an entire people, he was starting a new kind of posthumous existencein the affection and collective memory of his contemporaries and of thefollowing generations as one of the nations great heroes. . . . The mythbegan to take shape. A people of peasants . . . placed their ruler in a realmof tales and legends, but their creative imagination actually did nothingelse but to project the salient features of his real character into the worldof miracles, . . . endowed with supernatural powers, . . . protected in bat-tle by supernatural forces, . . . a mythical hero who cut down the Turksand Tatars in the wars, the undaunted prince who would destroy anyonethat dared invade his country, the ruler of the land. . . . After his death(the chronicle went on), until this day, they call him Prince Stephen theSaint, not for the sake of his soul which is in the hands of God, becausehe has sins, too, but for his brave deeds, which no prince, either before orafter him, has ever equalled.33

    The sainthood proclamation of Prince Stephen theGreat in 1992

    Among the traditional attributes of a patron, the protection of the territoryand the people in question are included, in addition to his or her aptitudeto confer a feeling of identity and belonging.34 These elements were brought tothe fore on the occasion of the sainthood proclamation of Prince Stephenthe Great at Putna monastery on 2 July 1992, the day of Stephens death. Thefestive proclamation service took place in the presence of masses of localpeople as well as numerous secret police agents, as the press reported. Theentire hierarchy of the Romanian Orthodox Church from Bucharest waspresent, headed by Patriarch Teoctist and Metropolitan Daniel from Iasi. Inattendance from Northern Bukovina in Ukraine and the Republic ofMoldova both of them medieval Romanian (Moldavian) territories wereArchbishop Vladimir of Bassarabia and Archbishop Onufrie of Crnevsky, aswell as Bishop Petre of Balti. Together with these high-ranking representa-tives of the Romanian Orthodox Church were also former Prime MinisterPetre Roman and Romanias President Ion Iliescu, both former Communistsand outstanding figureheads in the transition process, together with localpoliticians. Ironically, or perhaps in a show of good manners, ex-King Michaelof Romania refused the invitation to attend the ceremony at Putna.35 Whilethe whole setting was traditionally religious, the message of this highly symbolicceremony was mostly secular and political.

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  • Finally, in Putna there were many symbolic aspects incorporated into theproclamation service for Stephen the Great and Saint (in Romanian: binecu-viosul) at a monastery, which has been linked with his name as founder,donator, burial place and also as the main site of national remembrance andworship since Habsburg times.36 The public witnessed a number of specif-ically historical and confessional symbolic gestures: the sword of PrinceStephen was brought from the Topkap Museum in Istanbul and waved byMetropolitan Daniel to indicate tradition as well as the struggle for inde-pendence and sovereignty; a delegation from Mount Athos in Greece pre-sented an icon of the Holy Virgin in which a particle of the true cross hadbeen included; and a huge Cross of the Romanian people, carried by three ladsfrom different Romanian provinces, all the way from Bucharest to Chisinau,stopped over at Putna, and was added to the Proclamation Service.37 TheRomanian Cross was intended to be put into the Church of all Romaniansin Chisinau, which was to be built from donations coming from all orthodoxparishes in Romania.38 The public was also informed that a saint-like cult hadstarted spontaneously around Prince Stephen and various modern prayerswere invented for the occasion.39


    According to a long-standing tradition, saints are created, constructed, re-defined, or revitalized in response to changing political times and cultural situ-ations. This was the case with many post-Communist countries, namelyPoland, the Czech Republic and Russia. Likewise, national patrons wereadopted, re-installed, or even canonized in Romania and in most of thenewly formed nation-states in Central Europe, for example, Slovakia as wellas the Balkan Republics.40 In Romania, a real effort was undertaken in 1992,under the leadership of the Orthodox Church, to make of Prince Stephen amodern patron saint. This was mainly done by making use of well-knownmedieval patterns. A conservative, retrospective procedure was chosen canonization and a traditional, familiar-sounding narrative was buildaround Prince Stephen the Great and Saint. One who had long since becomethe most splendid secular hero of Romanian national history and cultureseemed to be lacking one more element to his glory: the aura of sanctity.This he was given in 1992. In doing so, the Church declared him a protectorof the Orthodox faith and, in modern political terms, a symbol of state unityand independence.

    There was a virtual competition for the creation of national saints at thattime, where the Church commanding the biggest audience, the RomanianOrthodox Church, was trying to win this race 40 saints were presented inone single occasion. This was one way that the Romanian Orthodox Churchsought to come back in the public sphere (including the political scene) afterdecades of Communist atheism.

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  • There also arose a polemic against the GreekRoman Uniates as schismatics.That smaller Romanian confession group (whom the Orthodox Churchabolished in 1948) was reinstalled in 1990.41 And they too had beatificationprocedures pending at the Vatican. While supporters of the traditional, ret-rospective narrative were found among the Orthodox Romanian clergy, andRomanians by and large more or less accepted Stephen as a saint, theattempt by the Romanian Orthodox Church to bring itself back into thepolitical sphere was countered by sharp protest. Cultural elites and the polit-ical opposition (with few exceptions) objected to this usage of veneratednational symbols. It was argued that this attempt paralleled the way Ceausescuhad redefined narratives of national history to celebrate his personal leader-ship, and also suggested a too evident effort by the leading establishment of thestate and the Church to cover up their own involvement with the Communistregime. Others argued that such strategies to foster identity were obsolete ina modern civil society.

    Patterns for constructing a national identity make reference to traditionalnarratives from the time of medieval as well as modern state-building. Theyoften present an amalgam of secular and (pseudo-)religious concepts includ-ing sovereignty, territorial integrity, purity of the faith, or ones own sin-gular cultural tradition. It was the secular intellectual elites rather than theOrthodox Romanian Church42 that kept alive the myth of the medieval heroStephen. In the post-Communist period, the Church tried to compensate itslost importance in a secular civic society by canonizing national saints.Thus there was in Romania a reversal of the normal process, which took a secu-lar national hero to his sanctification. Fifteen years later, on 1 January 2007,when Romania became a member of the European Union, Stephen the Greatstood out unquestionably as this countrys most prominent champion fornational as well as European integration.

    Still, it is not clear whether Stephen the Great is a religious the patronsaint or merely a state symbol of modern Romania. One thing is clear: he hasbeen treated as a state symbol since the nineteenth century. The recentchurch ceremony of canonizing a national hero as a patron saint of theOrthodox Church in secular Romania had a certain ambiguity. It suggestedthat Romania on its road to the EU remains a country at a crossroadsbetween modern political and traditional cultural options and challenges.


    1 Teoctist (Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church), Sfintii n Biserica OrtodoxaRomna, in Biserica ortodoxa romna (BOR) 40 (1992), 2021 and Actul sinodal alBisericii Ortodoxe Autochefale Romne privind canonizarea unor sfinti romni, inibid., pp. 717.

    2 Krista Zach, Funktionalittswandel vom christlichen Mrtyrer zum Nationalpatron der Moldau Johannes der Neue von Suceava, in Edda Binder Iijima andVasile Dumbrava, eds, Stefan der Groe Frst der Moldau. Symbolfunktion und

    Moldavian Prince Stephen and Romania 99

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  • Bedeutungswandel eines mittelalterlichen Herrschers (Leipzig: Leipziger Univer-sittsverlag, 2005), pp. 6177.

    3 Ibid., pp. 61 and 745.4 Edda Binder Iijima, Die Institutionalisierung der rumnischen Monarchie unter Carol I.,

    18661881 (Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 2003), p. 27 (quotation in French).5 Ibid., p. 28.6 Nestor (Metropolitan of Oltenia), Sfinti romni canonizati n anul 1992, BOR 40

    (1992), 245. In the transition period, such prominent figures as Andrej Rubljov inRussia, Simeon and Sava in Serbia, or Ivan Rilskij in Bulgaria were added to theranks of medieval saints.

    7 Teoctist, Sfintii n Biserica Ortodoxa Romna, p. 20.8 Ibid., pp. 212 and Actul sinodal, pp. 912.9 Ibid., p. 22.

    10 The second Sunday after Pentecost; see ibid., p. 15.11 Adevarul, 18 June 1992, no. 677, p. 1.12 Nicolae Steinhardt, Jurnalul fericirii (Cluj-Napoca: Editura Dacia, 1992).13 Popa Calist, The last ones will be the first ones, Adevarul, 2021 June 1992, pp. 1

    and 3.14 Mihai Alexandru Canciovici, Domnitori romni n legende (Bucharest: Editura Rosetti,

    2005), pp. 88233.15 Serban Papacostea, Stephen the Great, Prince of Moldavia 14571504 (Bucharest: Ed.

    Enciclopedica, 1996). The Good (Rom. cel Bun), see the Chronicles by GrigoreUreche, Letopisetul Tarii Moldovei, ed. Petre P. Panaitescu (Bucharest: EdituraAcademiei, 1958) and Ion Neculce, Letopisetul Tarii Moldovei si O sama de cuvinte, ed.Iorgu Iordan (Bucharest: Editura Academiei, 1955). In the last, chapters 19 beginwith Stefan cel Bun.

    16 Anghel Popa, National Feasts at Putna (Cmpulung Muscel: Editura FundatieiCulturale Alexandru Bogza, 2004), Chapter I. Serbarea din 1871, pp. 1794.

    17 Ibid.18 Mirela-Luminita Murgescu, Intre bunul crestin si bravul romn. Rolul scolii primare n

    construirea identitatii nationale romnesti, 18311878 (Iasi: Editura A 2, 1999).19 Eminescus Stefan cel Mare. Sketches for a Hymn (ca. 1883), in Mihai Eminescu, Poezii

    (Bucurest: Editura Perpesicius, 1958), p. 6313.20 Andi Mihalache, Stefan cel Mare n cultura istorica a nceputului de secol XX,

    Anuarul Institutului de istorie A.D.Xenopol, 41 (2004), 3165.21 Papacostea, Stephen the Great, p. 69.22 Corneliu Popovici and Angela Popovici, Istorie. Manual pentru clasa a VI-a. (Chisinau:

    2005), p. 90.23 Wim van Meurs, Die Entdeckung Stefans des Groen, in Iijima and Dumbrava, eds,

    Stefan der Groe, p. 81. Nicolae Iorga added to the heros myth in preparing his400th birthday festivities in 1904; see Popa, National Feasts, pp. 95126.

    24 Popovici and Popovici, Istorie, pp. 9092. See also Papacostea, Stephen the Great,pp. 689.

    25 Arnold Angenendt, Patron, in Lexikon des Mittelalters, vol. 110 (Munich Zrich:Artemis Verlag, 198099), here: vol. 6, tr. 1807.

    26 Ureche and Neculce (see above, note 15).27 Iijima, Die Institutionalisierung, pp. 5845.28 Evenimentul, 3 July 1992, no. 285, p. 1.29 Grigore Ureche and Simion Dascalul, Letopisetul Tarii Moldovei, ed. Constantin C.

    Giurescu (Craiova: Scrisul romnesc, 1939), p. 61: au fost om cu pacate.

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  • Moldavian Prince Stephen and Romania 101

    30 Sorin Dumitrescu, Meritul si mila, in Rock & Popi. Carte de veghe crestina (Bucharest:Ed. Anastasia, 1998), pp. 10315.

    31 Ibid., pp. 11415.32 Gabriela Adamesteanu, Prea Sfintitul pregateste ghipsul, 22, no. 27 (128), (1016

    July, 1992), 1: Among other belated goodies Transformation presented us with themetamorphosis of Kings into Saints. In her opinion, the leaders of the OrthodoxChurch intentionally fail to differentiate between historical and religious mattersas had been the custom under the former regime, thus manoeuvring present-daypolitics in favour of the post-Communist candidate Iliescu, who was running forthe Presidency once more. Mircea Dinescu is present with a bon-mot in the satiricalpaper Catavencu: [Here,] the Lord is bashing with Saints instead of sticks,Catavencu 25 (2) (1992), 1.

    33 Papacostea, Stephen the Great, pp. 778 (quotations from Chronicle of the Land). Seealso Ureche and Dascalul: Letopisetul, p. 61; Dinu C. Giurescu, Istoria Romniei ndate (Bucharest. Ed. Enciclopedica, 2003), p. 71.

    34 Angenendt, Lexikon, passim.35 In umbra lui Stefan, in: Romnia libera, 3 July 1992, p. 1.36 Popa, National Feasts, pp. 17128.37 Evenimentul, 3 July 1992, no. 285, p. 1.38 Roxana Iordache, Sarbatoare la Putna, in Romnia libera, 4 July 1992, pp. 1 and 3.39 Ibid.40 Stefan Samerski and Krista Zach, eds, Renaissance der Nationalpatrone. Errinerungs-

    kulturen in Ostmitteleuropa im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert (Vienna: Bhlau, 2007).41 Patriarch Teoctist in his sermon at Putna, in Evenimentul, 3 July 1992, no. 285, p. 1.

    See also I. David, Sfintii Brncoveni, in BOR 107; Popa Calist, in Adeva rul, 2021June 1992, p. 3.

    42 Mihalache, Stefan cel Mare n cultura istorica a nceputului de secol XX, passimand Popa, National feasts, passim.

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  • 102

    Between 1918 and 1939, the date of 11 November was increasingly regardedas the principal patriotic anniversary in Poland, marking the return of inde-pendence after more than a century. However, the Second World War inter-rupted this commemoration and after 1945 the Communist authoritiespreferred to ignore the occasion. Only since the re-establishment of a trulysovereign government has 11 November regained something of its pre-1939importance.2

    However, it is problematical that 11 November marks the birth of Polishindependence. The person most closely associated with the events of thatday, Jzef Pilsudski, for a time did not agree with this coincidence.3 IgnacyPaderewski, one of Polands other patriarchs, seems never to have acknow-ledged the date at all; Wincenty Witos, thrice premier, specifically deniedthat 11 November had any historical importance. During the Second Republic(191839), political factions and the scholarly community debated the cor-rect anniversary of their countrys rebirth and did not arrive at a satisfactoryresolution.4 However, for the followers of Pilsudski, 11 November was unques-tionably the day upon which Poland was reborn because it signified themoment when their hero dramatically intervened in a confusing concatena-tion of events. Hence, 11 November 1918 became the commemorative dateof a Pilsudskiite conception of Poland.

    The historical background

    In the final stages of the First World War, the Central Powers were in posses-sion of most of Polish territory. Two years before, on 5 November 1916, theyhad proclaimed the creation of a Polish kingdom, but without clear bordersand obviously dependent upon its authors. The rudimentary Polish governmentthat grew up within these constrained circumstances, the so-called ProvisionalState Council later transformed into a Regency Council was never able tocreate an independent regime and its close association with the occupiersprecluded it from gaining any moral authority among Poles. The three Polish

    7The Invention of Modern Poland:Pilsudski and the Politics ofSymbolism1Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski

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    regents good and decent men but without any public following instinctivelyunderstood their position in the autumn of 1918 and made no effort to proclaim themselves the government of Poland at the moment of theGerman defeat.

    On 10 November, Pilsudski returned to Warsaw. A socialist-turned-soldier,Pilsudski had become the leading political figure in Poland during the courseof the war. Working first with the Austrians then with the Germans, Pilsudskihad always kept his political options open and created an undergroundPolish Military Organization (Polska Organizacja Wojskowa POW) to coverany eventuality. His prominence during the war ultimately rested on the factthat he was able to epitomize an essentially military response to Polandsgeopolitical dilemma. Creating legions at the very start of the war whichfought alongside the Austrians and against the Russians, Pilsudski adoptedin both form and substance a militarized political programme that capturedthe imagination of Poles everywhere. This transformed him from a factionalleader into a national hero.5 However, his wartime cooperation with theCentral Powers could have discredited him as it did the Regency govern-ment. But, in July 1917, he dramatically refused to take an oath of loyalty tothe occupying powers, which led in turn to his arrest and imprisonment atMagdeburg whence he returned to Warsaw only at wars end. Having foughtagainst the Russians alongside the Austrians at the beginning of the war, andthen worked with the Germans, Pilsudski was thus conveniently arrested bythe Germans. This made him politically the perfect Pole opposed simulta-neously by all three partitioning powers. No other prominent political figurehad so marketable a pedigree.6 Moreover, Pilsudski was a man of the left butregarded by the conservatives as the guarantor of order, the only man whocould master the revolutionary wave . . . [and] the only person probably able to stop the conservative nationalists from overthrowing a socialist government .7

    In the autumn of 1918, it was in the interests of the Germans, whose gov-ernment was descending into chaos, to help Pilsudski return to Warsaw. Forthe very numerous German forces stretched over a vast territory in the east, acooperative arrangement with any new authority in Warsaw was vital. In thewords of Harry Kessler, who was dispatched to persuade Pilsudski to cooper-ate with Germany, only a national hero in Poland could avert a catastrophethere.8

    Pilsudski arrived in Warsaw by train early on 10 November; the Germanshad informed the Regency government only the night before.9 It was obviousthat for the Germans the regents whom they had installed were no longer of use.Pilsudski was met at the station by one of them, Zdzislaw Prince Lubomirski,as well as a group of his devoted lieutenants. Lubomirski was in a state of agi-tation and his meeting with Pilsudski made it clear that he was prepared towelcome Pilsudski as a deus ex machina. Lubomirski wanted only some gracefulway of exiting from history.

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  • 104 The Legacy of the National State

    Describing himself in terms both vague and grand, as the representativeof the Polish nation,10 Pilsudski met with representatives of the disintegratingand thoroughly demoralized German administration to discuss the end ofthe occupation regime.11 The POW had prepared an elaborate plan for thedisarming of all of the troops of the Central Powers in occupied Poland.12

    This was a monumental task because the POW and its allies had perhapsonly 15 000 men, armed largely with enthusiasm facing 80 000 Germans andmore than 100 000 Austrians.13 As the Germans began either to disarm occasionally with sharp fighting or simply abandoned their posts, Warsawfell increasingly under Polish control. Hence the disintegration of Germancontrol in Warsaw, and in many other areas of Poland, was substantially reck-oned to Pilsudskis account although he did this without acting in any officialcapacity.14 If any one act established Polish independence, it was this freeingof the capital from the Germans.15 The role of Pilsudskis POW in this processwas central.16

    The regents were painfully aware of their lack of popular support and oftheir reputation as German puppets. Moreover, the disintegration of Germancontrol in Warsaw threatened the breakdown of law and order. Lubomirskilater recalled that all parties, from the most radical right to the left wanted usto give Pilsudski control.17 At first, on the evening of the 11th, the regentsceded to Pilsudski only command of the armed forces, an authority he wasalready exercising de facto.18 With this step the regents, all three conservativemonarchists, joined the radical leftists in recognizing Pilsudski as the militaryleader of Poland. Pilsudski bided his time, wishing to manoeuvre to gainmastery over the situation without acquiring any debts of gratitude to anyonein the process.19

    Three days later, on 14 November, the regents relented and entrusted theresponsibility before the nation to Pilsudski, granting him thereby totalpower although it is not clear on the basis of what authority of their ownthey did so.20 Pilsudski responded two days later by informing the majorpowers of the existence of an independent Polish state. He did so withoutany date of its inception being noted, and he issued this announcement in hiscapacity as commander in chief of the Polish army, not as head of any gov-ernment as, in fact, one did not exist.21 Hence this document, which morethan any other announced the rebirth of Poland, gives us no birth date andindicates no parents. Only on the 18th did the first modern Polish govern-ment, presided over by Jedrzej Moraczewski, a friend of Pilsudskis and act-ing at his behest, convene. It was only on 22 November that Pilsudskideclared: As the Provisional Head of State, I assume supreme authority in thePolish Republic, and I shall exercise it until the summoning of the LegislativeParliament.22 Pilsudski enjoyed the title of Chief of State and effective controlof the only instrument that mattered, the army.

    Although the exact moment of Polands rebirth is far from clear, the chiefevents of the chaotic November days in Warsaw featured Pilsudski. In 1923,

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  • with his characteristic feigned nonchalance, he commented on his own rolein these events:

    In November 1918 something happened, not the least historical, just atypical event . . . a man walked from the Vienna station who, it turns out,was named Jzef Pilsudski. In the course of the next several days, withoutany efforts on the part of this man, without any pressure, plotting, or anykind of permission, something most untypical occurred. This man becamea dictator.23

    Thus 11 November represents only the day when the regents granted Pilsudskipowers he already had and which they had a problematical moral and legalauthority to grant. Hence the day marks only technically the beginning ofPilsudskis command of Polands armed forces and really nothing else. It wasonly eleven days later that he became head of state, and that happened byhis own hand.24

    It is Pilsudski and not Roman Dmowski or Ignacy Jan Paderewski who islinked with 11 November, despite the fact that these two figures are certainlypatriarchs of modern Poland and deserve a good deal of credit for Polandsreappearance on the map of Europe. Dmowski was successful in winning forthe Polish National Committee (Komitet Narodowy Polski KNP) whichhe created and dominated the support of the Western powers, includingthe USA, in the closing stages of the war. But Dmowskis KNP was never rec-ognized as the provisional government of Poland. Nor was Dmowski in Polandat the crucial moment when the war ended, and authority in Poland was stillfluid and capable of being grasped and shaped. Similarly, Paderewski, whosecharismatic eloquence did much to make Poland a good cause in the West,particularly in the USA, was also far from Warsaw when the capital was re-emerging from foreign occupation.25 By the time Paderewski returned toPoland the best he could arrange was to serve as Prime Minister in a governmentdominated by Pilsudski, a post to which he was preposterously unsuited andfrom which he resigned an embittered man less than a year later. In addition,no matter how successful Dmowski had been in Western Europe orPaderewski in the USA, no foreign power could grant Poland its independ-ence; or in other words, no independence granted by a foreign power wouldever be fully satisfying to the Poles. This is something that the Communistswould discover after 1944 when they tried to rouse the Poles to commemo-rate what amounts to the Soviet granting of Polish independence. To be anational holiday, the independence commemorated had to be somethingthat the Poles had crafted by themselves. Hence, of all the significant Polishpolitical figures in 1918, only Pilsudski was in the right spot at the righttime.26 Whereas we may well quibble about the actual work he contributedto the project of Polish independence, he was still the best situated to receiveany personal credit available.

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  • 106 The Legacy of the National State

    Hence, 11 November is a Pilsudskiite day by necessity, and the only argumentis over degree. This means that 11 November became politically partisan fromits inception and symbolized less a certain date than a certain historiographicaland political tradition. This was the date that sanctified a certain schema toexplain Polands rebirth: first, it was essentially a Polish national project, thePoles were the efficient cause; second, the chief agency by which this result wasworked was the Polish military, and here we should understand the militarybroadly to mean the reanimation of the martial spirit; and finally, and centrally,the directing will was Pilsudski, who thus becomes the architect and inspirationof modern Poland. Perhaps the most devoted Pilsudskiite of them all, BoleslawWieniawa-Dlugoszowski, epitomized this interpretation in his memoirs:

    November 11, 1918 arrived. A day of liberty and freedom, disarming theGermans and the Commandants return from captivity, and, at the sametime for both him and all of Poland, the day of the fruits of his extraordin-arily far-seeing preparations.27

    Jan Lechn, soon to become Polands leading poet, had been working on a longwork filled with allusions, often dark, to Polands past, was overcome by theevents of 11 November. An ardent devotee of Pilsudski, he was in patriotictransport, suffered a virtual breakdown, and, in a state of extreme agitationentitled the last portion of Karamazynowy poemat simply Pilsudski.28 Hisreconsideration of Poland ended and began with Pilsudski. But the simplestexample of this attitude is the remark of Wincenty Solek, a humble forester,a soldier of the Legions, who lived and died in obscurity. He remembered11 November this way: After years of slavery, Poland was Free. All the patriotspaths converged at one place whose name was Independence. The man whoembodied it was Jzef Pilsudski.29 Even those who were not loyal to Pilsudskibefore 1918 and were his most mordant critics afterwards admitted the extraor-dinary power he commanded at that moment. Marian Romeyko, a lifelongopponent, noted:

    On that day a large segment of society acknowledged Pilsudski as the saviourof the Fatherland, as the leader of the nation. On that day he secured recog-nition for himself from everybody, regardless of origin, profession, or reli-gion, with lightening speed, automatically, without any effort. . . . Weforgot about everything that had been said against Pilsudski. On that daywe became his sincere partisans, blindly ready to obey his orders withcomplete confidence in the future. . . . [Pilsudski] was a panacea, a uni-versal remedy for every pain, every need whether it be in Warsaw or in all ofPoland.30

    Such a historico-philosophical understanding of Polish independence is radi-cally divisive. Accepting it, you become perforce a Pilsudskiite, not merely

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  • Pilsudski and the Politics of Symbolism 107

    a supporter of the marshal but an acolyte.31 The date 11 November is ren-dered simultaneously a national holiday and a quasi-bonding ritual for thedevotees of the Pilsudski cult. However, for those who see Polands rebirtheither as largely the work of other forces or other men, 11 November becomesprofoundly disquieting, its celebration a political apostasy.

    Creating a national holiday

    In 1919 a committee of prominent citizens was organized to present a nationalgift to Pilsudski on the first anniversary of the restoration of the state.32 Itwas obviously not yet a national event and certainly not a day that Pilsudskiregarded as warranting unusual attention. He was not even in Warsaw, but inWilno, where he was attending the re-inauguration of the university there.33

    Polish Independence Day was first celebrated only in 1920, marked by theformal conferring on Pilsudski of the baton of Marshal of Poland. It wasexclusively a military celebration and ended with Pilsudski convivially visit-ing the soldiers of the garrison in their barracks. Significantly, the day chosenfor the celebration was 14 November.34 The next year a number of featureswere added that became standard components of the commemorations,including a parade, a theatrical performance and the conferring of decora-tions. In 1921, these were principally for POW veterans who had played a rolein disarming the Germans in Warsaw in 1918.35 In the Polish parliament,dominated by the political right disinclined to Pilsudski, the Novemberanniversary went largely unnoticed in the early 1920s.36

    In 1923, Pilsudski retired from actively political life and 11 November becamea day for the embittered Pilsudskiites to gather round the marshal, remem-ber past glories, and excoriate the government.37 Meanwhile the govern-ments that followed Pilsudski were not keen on celebrating the day of theirnemesiss triumph. Wincenty Witos, thrice premier in the 1920s, whoreferred to 11 November as the day unjustly fixed as the anniversary of there-establishment of Poland, harboured an abiding dislike for Pilsudski andall his supporters.38

    During the 192326 interlude, Pilsudski, acting as a private citizen, wouldmark the occasion by giving speeches or press interviews recalling the events of1918, but official commemorations were relatively modest. In 1924 Pilsudskidelivered a lengthy analysis of the events of 1918 in which he argued thatthe precise date for the restoration of independence was most likely between22 and 28 of November 1918.39 It would seem that 11 November was in dan-ger of being excised as the national holiday of the Second Republic. However,in 1925, a huge procession of over 1000 officers made a pilgrimage to Pilsudskisbucolic residence and the veterans gave passionate speeches celebrating hisrole in the 1918 events.40 The ostensible purpose of their efforts was to cele-brate the anniversary of Pilsudskis return from Magdeburg on 10 November1918. It was essentially a Pilsudskiite rally. Scarcely six months later, he returned

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    to power via coup dtat and many of the officers who had gathered on the10th played leading roles in the May coup. It was with Pilsudskis return topower in 1926 that 11 November became transformed into the embodimentof not only Polish independence but a theory of how it was regained, manumilitari, and who was its spiritus movens.41

    The institutionalization of 11 November began in 1926 when schools andgovernment offices were closed for the first time. The evening before, incommemoration of Pilsudskis return from Magdeburg, the practice was startedof having the officers of the Warsaw garrison report to Pilsudski at his resi-dence, Belvedere (Belweder). Although the chief political dignitaries joinedthe soldiers, the ceremony was brief and rather modest.42 Public commemo-ration of the event began with a mass in Warsaw at the Cathedral. Pilsudski,not then a Roman Catholic, was absent. A military review followed. The day,as has often been the case in Warsaw, was cold and rainy. Festivities con-cluded with a patriotic theatrical performance and then a soire at the RoyalCastle.43 The prominent populist politician, Maciej Rataj, no Pilsudskiite,concluded that 11 November has substantial legitimacy because it is con-nected with the freeing of the capital. However, Pilsudski, by ordering theformal celebration of this day, has connected it with his person it was alsothe anniversary of his return from Magdeburg. Poland began with him andrests upon him.44

    The initiating event that raised 11 November to sacramental status was anextraordinary live radio talk Pilsudski gave on 11 November 1926, just a fewmonths after seizing power.45 Ostensibly presenting a fairy tale for Polishchildren, Pilsudski concocted a bizarre story about magical things occurringon 11 November, featuring a leader riding a horse called Chestnut, whorose from obscurity to command a great army in an enchanted world, trans-formed.46 Pilsudski explained that the restoration of the body and the soulsrebirth will invigorate the fearful, and concluded by wishing that the magic11th of November will make all Poles, not just children, great-souled andreborn. Pilsudski thus presented a vision of himself, the army and 11November as having magically reanimated Poland.47 He had often despaired atthe failure of the Poles to rise to the greatness he thought worthy of them, buthere he attempted to induce it by an act of ritualization in which 11 November1918 became literally magical. It was the birth of a new conception of thenational holiday, not as a historic anniversary but as an enchantment.

    As recently as 1924, Pilsudski had denied that 11 November was the correctdate of Polish independence, but after regaining power he elevated it to tal-ismanic status. This was part of the conscious creation of a pedigree for modernPoland, which put the army and Pilsudski at the centre. Although personalvanity and the desire by Pilsudskis entourage to establish themselves asthe elect of modern Poland certainly played a role in this transformation, themotives are rather more complex.48 Long before 1926, Pilsudski had con-cluded that it was necessary to create a mythic status for himself, both for

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    reasons of practical politics and also to respond to what he concluded werethe psychic cravings of the Polish people, long demoralized by partition anddefeat.49 This conviction was only strengthened by the failure of Poland after1918 to gain an international position sufficient to protect it from a danger-ous world. Polands failure to become the pre-partition Commonwealthreborn a failure that Pilsudski may well have personalized haunted himand made him increasingly critical of Polish realities: Poland after 1918 wasnot the country Pilsudski thought history demanded it be, given unalterablegeopolitical realities.50 Hence it was all the more imperative that Poland beunited, self-confident, and purged of the weaknesses which had doomed the oldCommonwealth centuries earlier. Hence 11 November was part of a Pilsudski-ite project to reanimate the Polish spirit.

    Thereafter 11 November was the emblem of a newly explained Poland, andPilsudskis role was cast in a more profound category. The year 1928 markedthe tenth anniversary of independence and it is not surprising that that yearwitnessed the first really large-scale commemorations of 11 November.51

    Festivities extended over several days. The first and most symbolic step wasthe decision by the city council of Warsaw on 8 November to change thename of the main square in the city from Saxon to Pilsudski Square (PlacPilsudskiego). Just a few months previously the Senate had elected a newmarshal, the Pilsudskiite physician Julian Juliusz Szymanski, who replacedthe endek Wojciech Trapczynski. Trapczynski loathed Pilsudski and they hadbarely managed to remain on speaking terms.52 By contrast, Szymanski wasan unabashed admirer. In 1928, he radically changed the atmosphere in par-liament when he opened the legislative year of the Senate, on 11 November,with a paean dedicated to his hero: Today, on the tenth anniversary, allthoughts turn to him who is the symbol of our independence and withwhom the idea of independence grew. A tablet was unveiled in Pilsudskis hon-our in the chambers: From the Senate to the Creator of the Polish Parliament.53

    The commemoration in 1928 began on 10 November with a large meetingof the former political prisoners, whose leader was Kazimierz Sosnkowski,Pilsudskis former fellow inmate at Magdeburg. In the evening of that day,Pilsudski attended a screening of a film version of Mickiewiczs Pan Tadeusz, thenational epic set in Pilsudskis native region near Wilno. Both that day and thenext were filled with parades, diplomatic receptions, musical performances,award ceremonies, and visits by foreign dignitaries.54

    The themes of the occasion were displayed unequivocally. Polish inde-pendence was associated with the efforts and sacrifices of the adherents in theprewar independence movement. The chief actor in this effort was Pilsudskihimself, whose long career was crowned by martial triumphs in the East overthe eternal Russian enemy, a historic mission for Poland celebrated in the mov-ing and nostalgic Pan Tadeusz. After ten years, the Pilsudski government hadcreated an entire ethos of the context and meaning of Polish independencewhich was to characterize the Pilsudskiite.

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    The notion of beginning the celebration of independence on the eve of itsanniversary is also full of symbolic significance. To be sure it was that day,and not the 11th, when Pilsudski actually returned to Warsaw. Hence, not-ing the occasion has a certain historical logic. But since it was the 11th andnot the day before which was chosen as epitomizing independence, theevening of the 10th became perforce the vigil of the holiday, a recapitulation ofthe Polish Roman Catholic practice of attaching great attention to 24 Decemberas the vigil (Wigilia) of the Lords birth. By political syncretism therefore, 10November became the Wigilia of a profane national salvation, completewith a redeemer appearing from humble circumstances, a German prisonrather than a manger.

    Once again in power after 1926, Pilsudski made sure the 11 Novembercommemorations were both grand and martial. His wife later recalled thathe had long been convinced that the Poles did little to commemorate thegreat victories in our history, and attached too much sentimentalism to ourtragic anniversaries. Hence it was at his initiative that a major military reviewwas organized to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Sobieskis 1683victory at Vienna.55 For him, it was a bold declaration of Polish militaryglory against a background of increasing international danger.56 Similarly,11 November was commemorated by a huge military review, either in thecentre of Warsaw, or at the open Mokotw field in the south. Pilsudski regularlyattended, appearing on horseback until 1929.57 His military aide, MieczyslawLepecki, recoded this adulatory reaction to observing Pilsudski at the 1932commemoration.

    I could not control my emotions when I looked at him during the militaryreview. I am not a scholar, and I do not know whether the proponents ofthe theory are right or wrong who argue the connection which developsbetween the physical body and the psyches structure, but when I gazedupon the physically superb form of the Marshall so well harmonized withthe greatness of his spirit, I knew they were right.58

    For the devoted Pilsudskiites, 11 November was a spiritual bonding ritual.In the capital this became particularly significant as the international situ-

    ation deteriorated in the 1930s and military bravado was increasingly a psy-chological substitute for tanks and planes.59 The Independence Day celebrationsevolved into an increasingly solemn ritual, with little resemblance to a joy-ous celebration. The commemorations always began on the evening of the10th, to mark the return from Magdeburg. Parades, dominated by militaryunits, marched through the streets of Warsaw converging on the Belvedere.Pilsudski then made his appearance, usually rather fleeting, to acknowledgethe marchers and receive the military delegations. Although the concerts,parades and large military review of the next day provided a celebratoryatmosphere, in the 1930s Pilsudski was becoming increasingly distant, the

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  • Recluse of Belvedere. Whether it was his wish, in the last yeas of his lifePilsudski was behaving more like a shadowy national legend than a livingpolitical actor.60 The 1934 celebration was focused on a huge military reviewin Mokotw, which Pilsudski, already gravely ill, attended. His wraith-likeappearance and collapse from exhaustion made the day unusually emotional.61

    Pilsudski emphasized on the eve of his last 11 November that for him theanniversary was essentially a celebration of the militarys role in Polandsrebirth.62

    Creating a national symbol

    Pilsudski died on 12 May 1935. The ceremonies later that year represented a fur-ther development in the relationship between 11 November and the cult of themarshal. During his lifetime the Pilsudskiites had striven to claim for Pilsudskithe central role in regaining national independence. However, in 1935 for themost devoted Pilsudskiites 11 November was worthy of commemoration notbecause it brought independence, but rather because that independence wasthe major achievement of their hero. Thus 11 November became the celebra-tion of Pilsudski, with independence merely serving as the occasion.

    On 10 November 1935, now named POW Day, the entire front page of thequasi-official Warsaw daily Gazeta Polska contained a drawing of Pilsudskiwithout a caption.63 Masses were celebrated in various parts of the city, fol-lowed by concerts and academic presentations.64 A military tattoo late in theafternoon heralded the major events: a mass meeting at Pilsudski Square,two minutes of silence in Pilsudskis honour and then a long, solemn marchto Belvedere. At 8:00 pm a large delegation of senior military officers con-gregated and, at precisely 8:45, the moment of Pilsudskis death the previousMay, silence was observed for The Creator of Independent Poland.65 StefanStarzynski, mayor of Warsaw and a passionate devotee of the late Marshal,presented a large crowd in the centre of the city the Pilsudskiite interpretationof what was being celebrated:

    Seventeen years ago the man returned from Magdeburg to whom wethank for reawakening in the nation faith in an independent Poland, forcreating, through the Legions and the P.O.W., a Polish army, for winningby bloody sacrifice the borders of Poland, for building the countrys internalstrength, for preparing us to live when the moment came when we wouldnot have Him.

    Starzynski concluded by calling on the population to be loyal to Pilsudskisinspiration and to epitomize this faith in the erection of a monument in hishonour in the Square.66 Later Starzynski spoke again, with redoubled fervour:Pilsudski was the only one to thank for 11 November and hence the day was a day of honour and homage by the whole nation for the Great Marshal who

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  • was, Starzynski concluded, The greatest Man in the course of our history.67

    At no point in his brief remarks did Starzynski mention any faction notassociated with Pilsudski in his evocation of the birth of modern Poland.68

    It was a completely Pilsudskiite genealogy of the state: Poland had beencreated manu militari by soldiers under Pilsudski. Not only were Dmowskiand Paderewski omitted, but the entire significant Polish military traditionnot associated with the Pilsudskiites had disappeared from the nationalmythology. Indeed, 11 November was no longer celebrating Independence, itwas celebrating Pilsudski.

    The next day was to be dominated by a massive military review. In theplace once occupied by Pilsudski was his successor as Inspector General ofthe Armed Forces, Edward Smigly-Rydz, Pilsudskis favourite general.69 Inaddition to the review, there was a morning mass, lectures, military concerts,parades by uniformed societies, formal placing of flowers on the graves offallen defenders of the capital, and the bestowing of innumerable state deco-rations by the President.70 Statues of Pilsudski were unveiled, accompanied bythe playing of martial music.71 All of these events were transmitted by radio.72

    There was no school in session, and no state offices functioned. In reality theevents were structured to make 11 November Pilsudski Day with independenceas its reason. Schools throughout Poland were to read a proclamation whichdescribed Pilsudski as the directing genius of the rebuilding of the State . . .whose greatness is to be the object of admiration and pride for future gener-ations. The Gazeta Polska elevated Pilsudskis 11 November achievements tovirtual salvation proportions. The religious overtones are unmistakable:

    It was a different people to which Jzef Pilsudski appeared on November11, 1918 different from those that live today. The martyrdom of his life,for his life was martyrdom, has changed the nation. . . . He who does notact [to serve Poland] betrays the Leader, even if he had been loyal to himduring his lifetime. And only he who acts [for Poland] serves Him.73

    With Pilsudskis death the servants of his memory transformed the meaningof 11 November. They completed the reconceptualization of the birth of mod-ern Poland, which had been developing, episodically, since 1918. After 1935it became a fully integrated ideological doctrine. Pilsudski was the embodi-ment of the Polish insurrectionary tradition, whose distant spiritual heir wasTadeusz Kosciuszko. Pilsudski re-knitted the patrioticinsurrectionary tradition,last in evidence in the January Rising of 1863. It was he who reanimated thisspirit by founding the movement which led to the Legions of the First WorldWar. These formations and these alone were the organizational, and more-over the spiritual, framework of the modern Polish army. And it was the armythat created Poland, not an army as understood in the West, but the armyas the embodiment of the most exalted Polish ideals of heroism, sacrifice anddedication. Pilsudski was the leader of this quintessentially Polish army and it,

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    and no other force, no other actor, was responsible for Polish independence.But it did not act alone. Rather, by his return on 10 November Pilsudskiignited the latent patriotic resources of the nation; he revivified his country.Hence his coming was a salvation event. The next day he succeeded to hisrightful position as head of the nation; the technicalities and responsibilitiesof his function were insignificant details. He was deprived of his rightfulposition by sordid politicking in 1923, the temporary recrudescence of aperennial national failing, an episode of unworthiness reminiscent of thecivic laxity which led to ruin in pre-partition Poland. But he returned in1926 and order was restored in both practical and spiritual terms. It was withhis return that the nation took on its proper form, adopted those signs andsymbols which made it what it was and, latently, had always been: the anthem,the newly designed eagle, the exaltation of the army as a moral example.These were all the symbolic creation of a new Poland, based on the reanima-tion of the best traditional elements, which Pilsudski alone had crafted and reanimated. Because Pilsudski had worked this manu militari, the army hadbecome central to the meaning of Polish life. The army was thus the centralelement in the creation of the cult of Pilsudski within Poland.74

    To be sure, the usual trappings of vainglory associated with dictatorial regimeswere present in post-1926 Poland, as are the elements of praetorianism amongthe veterans of the Legions. However, the motives behind the cult were rathermore complex, and perhaps less squalid, than they first appear. The princi-pal goal was to create integrating mechanisms to allow Poland to surviveafter 1918. The same motive could be attributed to several initiatives associ-ated with Pilsudski, or later his epigones, aimed at political mobilization andconsolidation, most obviously the 1928 creation of the Non-Partisan Bloc forCooperation with the Government (Bezpartyjny Blok Wsplpracy z Rzadem BBWR), and the more ambitious and disparate 1936 Camp of NationalUnity (Obz Zjednoczenia Narodowego OZON). But the creation andmanipulation of symbols was the most subtle and most fundamental of allthese efforts as it attempted to inveigle itself directly into the national con-sciousness. It attempted to structure the understanding of contemporaryreality through the creation of a series of explanatory symbols. It was, in effect,an effort to reinvent Poland, to provide Poles with a national genealogy toreplace the confusing and often lugubrious clutter of pre-partition history,and the heroic yet vain martyrdom of the insurrectionary era that followed.In this effort, 11 November was the central element. By focusing on that dayas the beginning of Poland, it made it possible to suggest new paradigms forthe nation however fashioned on the material provided by a lengthy past.Pilsudski was the architect of this new creation, and hence it was necessaryto explain 11 November as peculiarly his work, purged of the contributionsof others. Increasingly solemn and religious overtones accompanied the 11November observations as Pilsudski himself was transformed into a transcendentbeing, truly a providential figure.

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  • This introduced a paradoxical element into the Pisudskiite conception ofPolands rebirth, which is the symbol represented by 11 November. If the figureof Pilsudski transcended the significance of the event, the whole projectrisked self-annihilation as the death of Pilsudski clearly left the nation bereft.Hence there is an inevitable logic in the fact that the Pilsudski cult reachedits apogee in 193537 and declined thereafter.75 This would correspond to areadjustment to the relative weights of the Pilsudski symbol as against thatof Independence Day. The first major step in this process was the designa-tion of a new commander for the Polish military. Ironically, to preserve theessence of the Pilsudskiite version of Poland the centrality of Pilsudski hadto be reduced.

    In 1936, the 1011 November commemoration was used to announce theelevation of Smigly-Rydz to the rank of Marshal of Poland.76 Here we see aneffort at multiple manipulations of symbols. Pilsudski had been the first andonly marshal. Now Smigly-Rydz assumed the same title on the very day thathad been associated with Pilsudski. The fact that the event was accompaniedby much military pageantry was a further strengthening of the notion of11 November as the product of military efforts directed by the devotees ofPilsudski who, now in the person of Smigly-Rydz, were still watching overthe fortunes of Poland.77 This effort at symbolically transferring the charismaof Pilsudski to Smigly-Rydz was at best a partial success: even old comrades-in-arms resented this too rapid elevation, which was for many a profanationof Pilsudskis memory rather than its institutionalization.78

    The intended meaning of this ceremony was conveyed by an anonymouscontemporary painting entitled The Apotheosis of Jzef Pilsudski. Three figuresare displayed against a dark background. At the centre, slightly elevated, isPilsudski, staring directly ahead. In his right hand he holds the White Eagleof Poland, which stands astride a globe rotated to present Poland, enormouslyenlarged, in the centre. Accepting the globe is President Ignacy Moscicki,who is below Pilsudski and to his right. Moscickis expression, unlike thefixed stare of the marshal, is rather wistful. On the same plane as Moscicki, andhence to the lower left of Pilsudski, is Smigly-Rydz, he is receiving, ratherclumsily, the marshals baton from Pilsudski. Like Moscicki, he stares,benignly, into space. Gracing Pilsudskis shoulders are what appear to beangel wings, though the nimbus that enshrouds him prevents complete dis-cernment. Five of the great warrior kings of Polish history float just overPilsudskis shoulder but hovering nearest is Kosciuszko, literally at the ear of themarshal.

    Quite apart from the obvious graphic trinitarianism, we see the entrustingof the state by Pilsudski to Moscicki and military responsibility to Smigly-Rydz, each with an appropriate symbol. Whereas Pilsudski has already risento the exalted ranks of the royal shades, he communes most closely withKosciuszko, who was linked to Pilsudski since the historical genealogy of theLegion era.79 Whereas the canvas is dark, Pilsudski is lucent and he alone stares

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  • arrestingly at the viewer. He has centred Polish history and represents thelink between the glories of the past and the present. No longer fully of the earth,he has not become only a shade but remains a powerful, indeed seraphic,presence guiding Poland. Although artistically quite dreadful, the painting ispolitically the perfect post-Pilsudski evocation of 11 November. The decision toelevate Smigly-Rydz to the rank of marshal on that day is here elaboratelyexplained in symbol.80 Smigly-Rydz is linked via Pilsudski to Kosciuszko, andhence Pilsudskis main role is transformed from the embodiment of thePolish tradition to its demiurge.

    The final step in the process of institutionalizing the linkage betweenIndependence Day and Pilsudski was on 23 April 1937, when the followinglaw was adopted:

    The date of November 11 as the anniversary of the Polish Nation regain-ing independent state existence and as the day for all time associated with the great name Jzef Pilsudski, victorious Leader of the Nation in the Struggle for Freedom of the fatherland, is the date for celebratingIndependence Day.81

    This decree is reflected in the film Sztandar Wolnosci (Banner of Freedom),released in 1937. It is a cinematic presentation of the Pilsudski legend andthe centrality of 11 November through the use of documentary footage withspare narration. Ostensibly the film is a history of the origins of modern Polandin the struggle for independence since 1863; in reality, it is rather a highlyinterpretive presentation of the era stressing only the Pilsudskiite element. Itis preceded by a text which concludes its analysis of the Polish struggle for inde-pendence: And always at the forefront was the same man in a grey uniform,with his brow furrowed by great care, his eagle eye fixed on the distantfuture.82

    The film begins with massed cavalry on review under Pilsudski in the early1930s. Stressing the current strength and success of Poland, exemplified bythis military might, the film begins a retrospective journey through the latenineteenth century in which Pilsudski and his devotes dominate, virtually tothe exclusion of all other groups and factions. As the films chronology reacheslate 1918 it creates an extraordinary series of images to mark the transitionfrom the war to the reborn Polish state. As we reach the autumn of 1918, thestrains of the national anthem are heard and they grow in volume as march-ing troops are shown, followed by still pictures of Pilsudski gazing at us witha penetrating stare. Then the screen is filled with the words: 11 November1918 superimposed over the version of the Polish eagle worn by the Pilsud-ski Legions of the First World War. This eagle emblem is transformed intothat of the Second Republic and the word Poland fills the screen, followedby Free and Independent. Finally Pilsudskis distinctive powerful profile is blended with the outlines of the eagle to make the two images one and

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    inseparable. This is a very powerful and ingenious series of interpositionsand woven symbols, and is the epitome of the entire film. Pilsudski and hisLegions created Poland; he is Poland and has become part of it. The film hasblended the biography of Pilsudski, the conspiratorialmartial tradition, theanthem, and the eagle symbols quite deftly to make it clear that the transi-tion from struggle to the victory of independence has only one possible expla-nation: 11 November is the central, linking symbol between sacrifice andvictory the tribulation of the past and the glory of the present.

    Thus by 1939 the invention of a Pilsudskiite Poland, with 11 November itscentral symbol, was well established. The war, and subsequent Communistoccupation, submerged but did not destroy this conception of Polish historyand politics, which was consciously resurrected by the authorities of post-Communist Poland after 1989. In that year 11 November was restored as thenational holiday. All the major candidates for the 2005 presidential electiongave Jzef Pilsudski as their choice for the model Polish statesman, and hisname is now everywhere after decades of suppression. Does this mean thatthe Second Republic has been revived or merely invoked? Is contemporaryPoland the reanimated version of the Pilsudskiite creation that was over-whelmed but perhaps not destroyed after 1939? The historian Janusz Pajewski,whose extraordinarily longevity allowed him to outlast Communism, recalledhis youth in 1918:

    People, who like me, lived through those wonderful never to be forgottenNovember days of 1918, see in Jzef Pilsudski . . . the vision of PolandResurrecting, the vision of Poland Resurrected. People who lived throughthe victorious war in defence of the freshly regained Independence discernin Jzef Pilsudski the victorious Leader, who adorned Polish standardswith laurels the like of which it had not known since the era of Chocimand Vienna. Todays generation certainly cannot understand what theVision of Poland Resurrecting meant for us. But for everyone, Jzef Pilsudskiis a figure in Polish history who devoted the work and effort of his wholelife to Poland, who, his entire life, taught national dignity and nationalpride, who taught contempt for those who would bow to the East or theWest, who taught, to be defeated and not give up is victory, but to winand rest on your laurels is defeat. He was often defeated, but he never surrendered.

    Complete with the Christian religious symbolism, geopolitical presuppo-sitions and martial references, Pajewski has expressed the essential Pilsudski-ite understanding of 11 November. Fittingly, Polish Radio recently describedPilsudskis grave as a shrine.83 Religion and politics again are interpene-trated; again we witness the sacralization of 11 November and all its trap-pings together with its patron. What it means for contemporary Poland isuncertain.

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    1 This is part of a larger study now in preparation devoted to the significance of11 November in the formation of Polish political consciousness since 1918.I should like to thank Jadwiga M. Biskupska of Yale University for editorial assis-tance in the preparation of this chapter.

    2 Some have speculated that national holidays in Poland have a different psycho-social function than in the West. Joyful in the West, in Poland they are reallyremembrances of national martyrology and hence sombre. Those who find suchexplanations too cosmic may prefer the explanation that 11 November has trad-itionally lacked an enthusiastic following in Poland because the weather in thatmonth is often unpleasant; see Mariola Flis, Smutni w swieto?, Dziennik Polski,12 November 1998; a meteorological exegesis is provided by Zdzislaw Koscielak,Smuta narodowa, Wprost, 17 November 2002.

    3 Pilsudski concluded that the most appropriate date for the creation of the Polishstate was 28 November; see Pierwsze dni Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej: Wyklad pier-wszy, in Jzef Pilsudski, Pisma zbiorowe, vol. 8 (Warsaw: Instytut Jzefa Pil sudskiego,1937), p. 105.

    4 Adam Prchnik, Powstanie panstwa polskiego (Warsaw: Warszawska spldzielniaksiegarska, 1939). Some of the most devoted lieutenants of Pilsudski argued thatnot until the decisive victory over the Russians in 1920 could true independence beestablished; see Waclaw Lipinski, O dzieje odbudowy panstwa polskiego,Niepodleglosc 6 (2) (1932), 16176.

    5 See M.B. Biskupski, The Militarization of the Discourse of Polish Politics and theLegion Movement of the First World War, in David Stefancic, Armies in Exile (NewYork: Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 71101.

    6 Pilsudskis political opponents were slow to realize how his arrest by the Germanshad freed him from the awkward political baggage of his close association withthe Central Powers during the war; see Ryszard Wojdalinski, Jeszcze o powstaniuTymczasowego Rzadu Ludowego (7.XI.1918), Spotkania: Niezalez.ne pismo mlodychkatolikw 78 (1979), 63.

    7 Remarks of Wojciech Roszkowski in Independence Day Broadcast, Polish Radio,English-language service, Monday, 11 November 2002.

    8 Quoted in Anna M. Cienciala, 11 listopada 1918 roku: Jzef Pilsudski i niepodlegloscPolski, Przeglaad Polski (8 November 2002). Online at www.dziennik.com-PrzegladPolski, p. 3.

    9 This according to Adam Koc, inter alia; see Waclaw Jedrzejewicz, Kronika z.yciaJzefa Pilsudskiego, 18671935. Tom pierwszy, 18671920 (London: Polish CulturalFoundation, 1977), p. 387.

    10 For example in his meeting with the German Soldiers Council early in the morningof 11 November; see Jedrzejewicz, Kronika, p. 389.

    11 Piotr Lossowski, Jak Feniks z popiolw: Oswobodzenie ziem polskich spod okupacji w listopadzie 1918 (Lowicz: Mazowiecka Wyz.sza Szkola Humanistyczno-

    Pedagogiczna, 1998), p. 9.12 Tomasz Nalecz, Polska Organizacja Wojskowa, 19141918 (Wroclaw: Ossolineum,

    1984), p. 170ff.13 Lossowski, Jak Feniks, p. 27ff.14 The disarming of the Germans throughout Poland and the establishment of

    Polish authority in November is a very complex story which has produced a largeliterature; see the summary in Piotr Lossowski and Piotr Stawecki, Listopad 1918

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    we wspomnieniach i relacjach (Warsaw: Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej, 1988),pp. 5ff; Norbert Michta, Polityczne uwarunkowania narodzin Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej(listopad 1918styczen 1919 (Warsaw: Ksiaz.ka i Wiedza, 1980), pp. 57ff.

    15 Marceli Handelsman insisted upon this many years ago as the central event in a wel-ter of factors which, in essence, made Poland free; see his Odkad Polska jest panst-wem niepodleglym?, Niepodleglosc, vol. 5, p. 305.

    16 A Pilsudskiite source certainly makes this claim; see Waclaw Lipinski, Walka zbro-jna o niepodleglosc Polski w latach 19051918 (Warsaw: Volumen, 1990[1935]), pp. 169ff.

    17 Lubomirski made these remarks in 1923; see Andrzej Garlicki, Jzef Pilsudski,18671935 (Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1990), p. 202.

    18 The regents made it clear that he was being appointed only to command thearmed forces, nothing more, on 11 November; see Daria and Tomasz Nalecz, JzefPilsudski, Naczelnik Panstwa, 22 XI 191814 XII 1922, in Andrzej Chojnowskiand Piotr Wrbel, eds, Prezydenci i premierzy Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej (Wroclaw:Ossolineum, 1992), p. 22.

    19 A good summary of Pilsudskis actions is Wlodzimierz Suleja, Jzef Pilsudski(Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 1995), pp. 174ff.

    20 Halina Janowska and Tadeusz Jedruszczak, eds, Powstanie II Rzeczypospolitej: Wybrdokumentw (Warsaw: Ludowa spldzielnia wydawnicza, 1984), p. 440.

    21 Powstanie, pp. 4412; cf. Daria Nalecz and Tomasz Nalecz, Jzef Pilsudski legendyi fakty (Warsaw: Mlodziezowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1986), p. 22.

    22 For the decree of 22 November see K.W. Kumaniecki, Odbudowa panstwowosci polskiej.Najwazniejsze dokumenty 1912styczen 1924 (Warsaw: J. Czernecki, 1924), p. 136.

    23 From a July 1923 speech by Pilsudski reprinted in Z. Zygmuntowicz, ed., JzefPilsudski o sobie (Warsaw: Omnipress, 1989 [1929]), p. 91.

    24 Nalecz, Pilsudski, p. 22.25 M.B. Biskupski, Paderewski as Leader of American Polonia, 19141918, Polish

    American Studies 18 (1) (1986), 3756.26 Wojdalinski, Jeszcze o powstaniu Tymczasowego Rzadu Ludowego (7.XI.1918),

    pp. 634.27 Boleslaw Wieniawa-Dlugoszowski, Wymarsz i inne wspomnienia (Warsaw: Biblioteka

    Wiezi, 1992), p. 229.28 See Liliana Osses Adams, Jan Lechn, poeta romantyczny, Zwoje 3 (28), 2001,

    online at http://www.zwoje.com/zwoje28text04.htm, 67 (of 36).29 See Wincenty Solek, Pamietnik legionisty (Warsaw: Instytut Wydawniczy Pax, 1988),

    p. 252.30 Marian Romeyko, Przed i po maju, 3rd edn (Warsaw: Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej,

    1967), p. 81.31 Irena Panenkowa as early as 1922 described the Pilsudskiites as those who

    regarded their hero as the creator of Polish independence, the moral ideal, a liv-ing standard, a symbol, the greatest contemporary Pole, and one of the greatest,and possible simply the greatest Pole in history; quoted in Nalecz, Pilsudski,pp. 910. This characterization, the authors argue, remained accurate two genera-tions later.

    32 The marshal of the Sejm made a speech marking the anniversary of independence toopen the parliament on 12 November 1919; see Sprawozdanie stenograficzne z 97posiedzenia Sejmu Ustawodawczego z dnia 12 listopada 1919r., p. 1.

    33 See Zygmunt Kaczmarek, Marszalkowie Senatu II Rzeczypospolitej (Warsaw:Wydawnictwo sejmowe, 1992), p. 86.

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  • Pilsudski and the Politics of Symbolism 119

    34 For the national gift of 1919 as well as comments about the 1920 conferral of thebulawa symbolizing his new rank of Marshal see Boleslaw Limanowski, Pamietnik,19191928 (Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza, 1973), pp. 21, 42; cf. Waclaw Jedrzejewiczand Janusz Cisek, eds, Kalendarium z

    .ycia Jzefa Pilsudskiego, 18671935. Tom II,

    19181926 (Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 1994), p. 217.35 Jedrzejewicz and Cisek, Kalendarium, II, 270.36 The parliamentary proceedings contain no commemorative remarks for either 1920

    or 1921; see Sprawozdanie stenograficzne Sejmu Ustawodawczego for 11 November1920 and the sessions of 8 and 15 November 1921.

    37 Independence Day celebrations of 192224 were minimal. In 1923 serious riotingswept through Poland in November; several regions were briefly placed undermartial law. The most dramatic events were in Krakow, where a number of soldierswere killed in clashes with rioters.

    38 Wincenty Witos, Moja tulaczka, 19331939 (Warsaw: Ludowa spldzielniawydawnicza, 1967), p. 116.

    39 Jedrzejewicz and Cisek, Kalendarium, II, pp. 37980.40 Waclaw Jedrzejewicz, Kronika z.ycia Jzefa Pilsudskiego, 18671935. Tom drugi,

    19211935 (London: Polska Fundacja Kulturalna, 1977), pp. 1867; Jedrzejewicz andCisek, Kalendarium, II, p. 410. For discussion see Joseph Rothschild, PilsudskisCoup dEtat (New York: Columbia University Press, 1966), pp. 3840.

    41 Romeyko noted this some years ago; Przed i po maju, p. 84n.42 Jedrzejewicz and Cisek, Kalendarium, III, p. 56.43 Ibid, pp. 567.44 Maciej Rataj, Pamietniki (Warsaw: Ludowa spldzielnia wydawnicza, 1965), p. 442.45 This was Pilsudskis first live radio broadcast. The on-location broadcast from

    the Belvedere Palace in Warsaw was a very daunting technical undertaking forPolish radio; see Maciej Jzef Kwiatkowski, Narodziny polskiego radia: radiofonia w Polsce w latach 19181929 (Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1972), pp. 41011.

    46 The fairy tale is a continuous series of symbols, colours, names, places, and ofcourse dates, many referring to specific events in 191418. For the document seePrzemwienie przez radio w sma rocznice odzyskania niepodleglosci (11 listopada1926) in Pisma zbiorowe 9, pp. 4852.

    47 The contemporary reaction to Pilsudskis address was puzzlement: [it made] themost bizarre impression. . . something was not right here people said pointing totheir heads, mused Rataj. See Rataj, Pamietniki, p. 442; cf. the comments inJedrzejewicz and Cisek, Kalandarium, III, pp. 567.

    48 Regarding the elevation of both days, see the comments by Andrzej Garlicki, Sporyo niepodleglosc, in Rok 1918: tradycje i oczekiwania (Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1978),pp. 3031. Garlicki characteristically attributes the meanest possible motives toboth Pilsudski and his entourage.

    49 An excellent discussion of this theme is Alina Kowalczykowa, Pilsudski i tradycja(Chotomw: Verba, 1991), pp. 169ff. and passim.

    50 See Andrzej Friszke, O ksztalt niepodleglej (Warsaw: Biblioteka Wiezi, 1989), p. 72ff.51 Wojciech Kossak, of the famous family of artists, painted the best-known of all

    pictures of Pilsudski astride Kasztanka, on Independence Day, 1927. However,shortly after the session the horse suffered an accident and had to be destroyed.See Jedrzejewicz and Cisek, Kalandarium, III, pp. 934.

    52 Kaczmarek, Marszalkowie Senatu, p. 73.53 Ibid., p. 93.

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    54 See the entries in Jedrzejewicz and Cisek, Kalendarium, III, pp. 1312.55 Aleksandra Pilsudska, Wspomnienia (London: Gryf, 1960), p. 356; Janusz Jedrzejewicz,

    W Sluzbie idei: Fragmenty pamie tnika i pism (London: Oficyna poetw i malarzy,1972), pp. 190ff.

    56 Adam Ludwik Korwin-Sokolowski, Fragmenty wspomnien, 19101945 (Paris:Editions Spotkania, 1985), p. 109.

    57 See Jedrzejewicz, Kronika, Vol. I pp. 257ff.; 2856; 32021; 3467; 377; 408; 427; 465.58 Mieczyslaw Lepecki, Pamietnik adiutanta Marszalka Pilsudskiego (Warsaw: PanstwoweWydawnictwo Naukowe, 1987).59 The Independence Day celebrations of 192933 presented no new features from

    those already begun after Pilsudskis return to power in 1926. See Jedrzejewicz andCisek, Kalandarium, Vol. II, pp. 167, 200, 232, 257, 2945.

    60 The political columnist of the Warsaw daily, Nasz Przeglad, Bernard Singer, has lefta very acute portrait of the Independence Day observations of the 1930s in essayDo kogo? published 12 November 1934 and reprinted in Bernard Singer, OdWitosa do Slawka (Paris: Instytut Literacki, 1962), pp. 21215.

    61 Pilsudski was in such poor health that his attendance was unsure until the lastmoment. He had instructed Gen. Edward Smigly-Rydz to be ready to stand in for him.Pilsudski apparently personally planned the military review; see Jedrzejewicz,Kronika, 2, pp. 4934; c.f. Lepecki, Pamietnik, 237ff. The front page of the illus-trated weekly, Kurjer Poranny, showed a strikingly vigorous Pilsudski on the grand-stand reviewing the troops. In reality he was in need of his adjutants support toget through the day and was exhausted for several days thereafter; see the firstpage of Kurjer Poranny, Dodatek do No. 320.

    62 Pilsudskis rambling observations made just four days before the 11 Novembermilitary review are recorded in Korwin-Sokolowski, Fragmenty, pp. 1223. It is notsurprising that one of the radical authoritarian Pilsudskiite political groupings inthe 1930s called itself 11 November; see Edward D. Wynot, Jr, Polish Politics inTransition: The Camp of National Unity and the Struggle for Power, 19351939(Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1974), p. 42.

    63 Gazeta Polska, 10 November 1935, p. 1. The drawing was by Glowacki. The GazetaPolska was a Pilsudskiite organ edited by one of the late Marshals most devoted,and controversial lieutenants, Boguslaw Miedzinski.

    64 Akademje, Gazeta Polska, 11 November 1918, p. 4. See also the other articles forthis day carried in Gazeta Polska.

    65 W przededniu Swieta Niepodleglosci, Gazeta Polska, 10 November 1935, 6;Pochd do Belwederu, and Hold armji, Gazeta Polska, 10 November 1935, p. 4.

    66 Przemwienie prezydenta miasta, Gazeta Polska, 11 November 1935, p. 4.67 Przemwienie prezydenta miasta St. Starzynskiego, Gazeta Polska, 12 November

    1935, p. 8. Starzynski was completely under the spell of Pilsudski and, in the wordsof one old comrade he could see no future without him [Pilsudski]; see ZygmuntZaremba, Wojna i konspiracja (London: Swiderski, 1957), pp. 723.

    68 Starzynski had been an officer in Pilsudskis Pierwsza Brygada during the FirstWorld War. His heroic service as mayor of Warsaw during the German invasion of1939 has won him great respect; see Edward Henzel, Stefan Starzynski: NiezlomnyPrezydent Warszawy, Zwoje 7 (11), 1998, online at http://www.zwoje.com/zwoje11/text11htm.

    69 See Program dzisiejszych uroczystosci, Gazeta Polski, 10 November 1935, p. 4; Rewjawojsk w dniu Swieta Niepodleglosci complete with a picture of Smigly-Rydz onthe reviewing stand in Gazeta Polska, 12 November 1935, p. 1. (As regards Pilsudskis

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  • Pilsudski and the Politics of Symbolism 121

    opinion of Smigly-Rydz, see his oft-quoted glowing 1922 evaluation quoted inPiotr Stawecki, Slownik biograficzny generalw wojska polskiego, 19181939 (Warsaw:Wojskowy Instytut Historyczny, 1994), pp. 1516); Zbirka organizacji spolecznychna pl. J. Pilsudskiego, Gazeta Polska, 11 November 1935, p. 4. A valuable recent essayon this theme is Wieslaw Jan Wysocki, Marszalek Jzef Pilsudski a EdwardSmigly-Rydz, in Adam Suchonski, Pilsudski i jego wsplpracownicy (Opole:Uni.wersytet Opolski, 1999) pp. 10513. That Pilsudski had decided Smigly-Rydzwould be his military successor was bruited in the Polish press before theMarshals death; see Singer, Od Witosa, p. 214.

    70 Dzisiejsze uroczystosci na Pradze; Odznaczeni w dniu Swieta Niepodleglosci;Odznaczenia zlotym krzyzem zaslugi, Gazeta Polska, 10 November 1935, p. 6;Uroczystosc w M.S. Wojsk., Gazeta Polska, 11 November 1935, p. 2; Rewja wojskna polu Mokotowskiem, Gazeta Polska, 12 November 1935, p. 12.

    71 See Odsloniecie popiersia Marszalka Pilsudskiego w lokalu cechw warszawskichand Odsloniecie pomnika Marszalka Pilsudskiego w Rembertowie, both inGazeta Polska, 11 November 1935, p. 7.

    72 Audycje radjowe w dniach 17-ej Rocznicy Niepodleglosci, Gazeta Polska, 11November 1935, p. 8.

    73 Nowy listopad, Gazeta Polska, 11 November 1935, p. 1.74 Piotr Cichoracki, Z nami jest On: Kult Marszalka Jzefa Pilsudskiego w Wojsku

    Polskim w latach 19261939 (Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 2001).75 Ibid., p. 18.76 Smigly-Rydz was promoted to general broni, i.e. a three-star general officer, on

    10 November and hours later on 11 November was given the baton of Marshal ofPoland. (Some sources suggest that both promotions occurred on the 11th.) Also on11 November 1936 Kazimierz Sosnkowski, who had shared Pilsudskis Magdeburgimprisonment, was promoted to general broni. Both Sosnkowski and Smigly-Rydz had been in rank as two-star generals (general dywizji) since 1 June 1919.Sosnkowski was probably Pilsudskis closest military collaborator until 1926, afterwhich the two were rather alienated. The government did this, it seems, to dis-tract in some measure from the unseemly haste with which Smigly-Rydz wasadvanced; see Waclaw Jedrzejewicz, Wspomnienia (Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 1993),p. 271. Regarding the dates of service for the two generals see Tadeusz Kryska-Karski and Stanislaw Z

    .urakowski, Generalowie Polski niepodleglej (Warsaw: Editions

    Spotkania, 1991), pp. 19 and 26.77 See Wynot, Polish Politics in Transition, p. 64ff. A fascinating view of how this

    appeared from the perspective of the political left is furnished by JanuszZ.arnowski, Polska Partia Socjalistyczna w latach 19351939 (Warsaw: Ksiazka

    i Wiedza, 1965), p. 155. Many of the most devoted Pilsudskiites were appalled bySmigly-Rydzs elevation to the rank of marshal regarding it as usurping a status ofwhich only Pilsudski was worthy; see Jedrzejewicz, W Sluzbie idei, pp. 2234; c.f.the remarks of his brother, also a devoted Pilsudskiite, in Jedrzejewicz, Wspomnienia,p. 271. Allies of the new marshal thought he spoke with unusual eloquence onthis day, the zenith of his career; see Henryk Gruber, Wspomnienia i uwagi (London:Gryf, [1968]) p. 360.

    78 See Hanna and Tadeusz Jedruszczak, Ostatnie lata Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej (19351939)(Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza, 1979), pp. 2289. A fellow officer referred to Smigly-Rydzas becoming a Marshal on credit; see Stanislaw Kopanski, Moja sluz

    .ba w Wojsku

    Polskim, 19171939 (London: Veritas, 1965), p. 236.79 Biskupski, Militarization of the Discourse, p. 74.

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  • 80 A handsome reproduction of the painting can be found in Rzecz najwieksza Polska IIRzeczpospolita, 19181939 (Warsaw: Muzeum Niepodleglosci, 1998), plate 47. The history of the canvass display is not known. It is currently on display at theMuzeum Niepodleglosci in Warsaw and has frequently been reproduced since thefall of Communism. The Museum has attributed the date of 1935 to the canvaswhich is almost certainly incorrect as it was obviously inspired by the elevation ofSmigly-Rydz and hence the depiction of handing over the Marshals baton inNovember 1936.

    81 Dziennik ustaw RP, 30 April 1937, note 33. I should like to thank WojciechMaterski of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Polska Akademia Nauk) for providingthis information to me.

    82 Sztandar Wolnosci, 1937, Falanga, distributed by Patria-Film (Warsaw), directed byRyszard Ordynski with Marja Jehanne Wielopolska and Halina Ostrowska-Grabska,Music by Jan Maklewicz. Ordynski was a well-established and highly regardeddirector whose several films included the 1928 Pan Tadeusz which Pilsudski, as wehave noted, saw on the Independence Day ceremonies of that year.

    83 See the remarks by Krystyna Kolosowska in Independence Day Broadcast, PolishRadio, English-language service, 11 November 2002.

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  • 123

    National self-determination: the concept

    The concept of national self-determination combines the ideas of democracywith those of nationalism. Both have a common source in the FrenchRevolution of 1789, which first articulated the principles of a democraticnational government. Whereas initially the democratic element predomi-nated, that is the right by people to choose their own type of governments,1

    in the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in practice itcame to mean the right of nations to have their own state.

    Considerations of international peace as well as democracy suggested atten-tion to the right of nations to their own state. Unresolved demands for nationalself-determination seemed to be a destabilizing force in international politicsand even a cause of the First World War. During the war the idea of nationalself-determination became the focus of widespread discussion and a propa-ganda tool against the enemy. Before the war ended, President WoodrowWilson saw the promotion of national self-determination as his mission andthat of his country. As a result, national self-determination received fullglobal acceptability during the post-World War I period.2

    The inability to apply the principle of national self-determination per-fectly in all cases logically raised the question of the fate of the resultingnational minorities. One means of preventing minorities from disturbingthe peace involved their permanent resettlement. A convention betweenGreece and Turkey concluded at Lausanne in January 1923 dropped all pre-tence of self-determination by making the exchange compulsory. Nationalself-determination was reduced to a nationalist form without a democraticcontent. The widespread acceptance of the principle of national self-determination allowed Hitler to cloak his aggressive demands for Czechoslovakterritory in the mantle of righteousness. Yet, despite Hitlers abuse of theconcept, statesmen continued to see national self-determination as a com-ponent of the creation of a more peaceful world. This chapter looks at theapplication of the principle of national self-determination in Poland in

    8An Ethnic Poland: a Failure ofNational Self-determinationJohn J. Kulczycki

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    the postwar era, when the countrys geographical configuration differed fromwhat it had been before the war.

    Polish Communists and national self-determination

    Alfred Lampe, a leading prewar Polish Communist, published on 5 March1943 an article entitled Freedom is Indivisible invoking the principle ofnational self-determination in which he wrote:

    Inscribing our banners with the slogan of the freedom and independenceof Poland, seeking the unification and rebirth of the Polish nation in itsown state, standing on the principle that the Polish nation, and notsomeone else, should decide the fate of the Polish nation and the Polishstate we at the same time support the freedom, independence, andnational unification of neighbouring fraternal nations3

    In another article published in April 1943, he stated unambiguously: Therebuilt Polish state will be a nation-state.4 In June 1943, the declarationpassed at the first congress of the Union of Polish Patriots formed by PolishCommunists in the Soviet Union sketched the outline of the territorialchanges, which would bring about the unification of the Polish nation Lampereferred to. The Communists in occupied Poland who created the PolishWorkers Party (Polska Partia Robotnicza PPR) in January 1942 took a simi-lar, if less explicit, position in the PPR programme What Are We FightingFor?, published in Warsaw in November 1943, in a section under the head-ing All Polish lands must be united with the Polish State.

    On 22 July 1944, Polish Communists and their allies meeting in Moscowformed the Polish Committee of National Liberation (Polski KomitetWyzwolenia Narodowego PKWN), which declared itself to be the govern-ment of Poland. On 27 July, the PKWN signed a secret agreement with theSoviet government accepting the so-called Curzon line, with minor changes,as the border between the two countries. By the agreement, Poland lost justover 46 per cent of its prewar territory, leaving millions of ethnic Poles in theSoviet Union.5 As a result, the PKWN signed agreements for an exchange ofpopulation with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the BelarusianSoviet Socialist Republic on 9 September, and with the Lithuanian SovietSocialist Republic on 22 September 1944.6 In all three agreements, the par-ties contracted to begin the evacuation of all Poles and Jews who were Polishcitizens until 17 September 1939 . . . and want to resettle in the territory ofPoland. The agreements emphasized the voluntary nature of the resettle-ment: The evacuation is voluntary, and therefore coercion either direct orindirect cannot be applied.7 Later, an agreement signed on 6 July 1945 bythe governments of Poland and the Soviet Union extended the right of resettle-ment to Poland to former Polish citizens residing in the rest of the Soviet

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  • Union, which benefited primarily those who had been deported to Siberiaand Kazakhstan in 194041.

    The Polish authorities officially referred to the process of population trans-fer as repatriation, signalling its nationalist justification; however, the vastmajority of those who were to be repatriated were not returning to theirhomeland. They were more likely to feel that they were leaving their home-land rather than returning to it. At issue here were two different concepts ofhomeland, two different roles played by territory in national identity.8 Formany people, the tie between culture and territory is what creates a home-land, makes it part of the cultural identity, and gives it emotive power. Inthe rhetoric of the Polish and Soviet authorities, the territory of the statedelimited the homeland. In this way, homeland became an attribute of thestate instead of the nation.9 Thus the reparation involved moving peoplefrom one concept of a homeland to another. The Polish Communist author-ities would seek to give the newly defined Polish homeland (and thereforethe state) emotive power by identifying it with the supposedly ethnicallyhomogeneous Poland of the Piast dynasty that at one time ruled over terri-tory with a roughly similar western border in the eleventh century.10

    Repatriation from the Soviet Union

    The agreements between the Polish and Soviet authorities had to be repeatedlyextended due to various factors that delayed the resettlement. Nevertheless,the exchange of population left a substantial portion of the Polish nation,as imagined by the Polish authorities, in the Soviet Union, outside the bordersof the intended Polish nation-state. According to one estimate, Polands LostLands had 2.7 million ethnically Polish inhabitants, constituting nearlyone-third (31 per cent) of the total population of the territory.11 Moreover,those eligible for repatriation emphatically did not include the prewar eth-nically Polish citizens of the Soviet Union, whose number the Polish author-ities before the war estimated at 1.15 million.12 The PKWN did not seek therepatriation of these Poles, which would have put it on a collision coursewith its Soviet patron. Thus the Communist-dominated Polish governmentitself limited its vision of which Poles their fatherland should encompass.

    The results of the evacuation of the eligible Polish population varied fromone Soviet republic to another. On 12 November 1946, the Polish embassy inMoscow reported to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Lithuanianauthorities regarded repatriation as over. Statistics vary, but according tothe final protocol of the agreement between Poland and Soviet Lithuania,the repatriated constituted 45.1 per cent of those who registered for departure.Another source gives a higher figure, but even so repatriation from SovietLithuania remained far from complete at the end of the process. Similarly, inBelarus, only about half (5355 per cent) of those registered actually resettledin Poland. Ukraine presents a very different picture. In a memorandum to

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  • the Soviet leadership, including Joseph Stalin, dated 31 October 1946, theSoviet Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that 90.6 per cent of those eligibleand 91.9 per cent of those who registered left Ukraine for the new Poland.

    Objective obstacles to repatriation from the Soviet Union

    The report that the Soviet peoples commissar of internal affairs submitted toMolotov on 28 February 1946 cited the shortage of railway cars as the mainhindrance to the resettlement of the Poles. The attitudes of Soviet officialsposed another obstacle to repatriation of all Poles eligible. From the verybeginning the Soviet authorities gave priority to security considerations. Worse,local Soviet officials did not always strictly follow central directives: oftenarbitrary and/or corrupt, sometimes hostile toward the Polish population, attimes simply incompetent, they often stood in the way of resettlement. Sovietofficials saw the rural population as a valuable resource. While they clearlywanted to de-Polonize large urban centres such as Wilno and Lww, theysought to limit the departure of the rural population, which would adverselyaffect agricultural production. Some officials even threatened to arrest appli-cants or draft them for forced labour. As a result, in some regions people whoregistered for evacuation requested that their names be removed from thelists. Soviet authorities also required documents indicating nationality, docu-ments that a large percentage of the Polish inhabitants, particularly in ruralareas, did not possess. According to an inspector of the Polish office for repat-riation from Belarus, this requirement prevented thousands of Polish peasantfamilies from resettling in Poland, causing great bitterness among them.13

    The influence of subjective factors on repatriationfrom the Soviet Union

    Poles in the Soviet Union eligible for repatriation of course had no say in theborder change or in the agreements to exchange populations, and it seemssafe to assume that at least initially they did not respond favourably to thesedecisions. A reluctance to abandon what many of them regarded as theirhomeland probably played a crucial role in the decision of those whorefused to leave and in the delay that marked the departure of others. Theconflict over the political future of Poland between the PKWN in Lublin andthe Polish government-in-exile in London, which for the overwhelmingmajority of Poles was the legitimate government, heightened the dilemma ofthose eligible for evacuation of whether to remain in what they regarded astheir homeland or to resettle in what the PKWN defined as their homeland.On 1 November 1945, about 200 Poles gathered at the tomb containingJzef Pilsudskis heart in Wilno and decorated it with a banner that read, We will not leave our fatherland.14 According to the Belarusian NKVD(Peoples Commissariat of Internal Affairs), agents of the London government

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  • reinforced such attitudes by claiming that England and the USA guaranteedthe recreation of Poland within its 1939 borders.15 Uncertainty about thefuture above all promoted procrastination.

    On 17 December 1944, after Prime Minister Winston Churchill endorsedin the House of Commons Soviet annexation of Polands eastern border-lands, Ryszard Gansiniec, a professor of classical philology at the universityin Lww, wrote in his daily notes to his wife, who had already left for the newPoland:

    Our bitterness is great. Such are our allies. But no one thinks of runningaway from Lww. One thing is certain: Poles will never agree to the parti-tioning of Poland and the loss of Lww. And it has become clear that afterthis war, before it is even over, it will come to a second war; there will bea fight over our land with the Moscovites. To these ranks I will also report;I will remain faithful to the land in which I have lived and worked.16

    Gansiniec stayed in Lww until 10 June 1946, although his family haddeparted for the new Poland two years earlier. In his daily notes to his wife,he repeatedly refers to his duty as a Pole to remain in Lww as long as poss-ible. That Poland would be forced to give up its major urban centres in theeastern borderlands, Lww and Wilno, seemed particularly inconceivable tosome.17 Even after the Yalta Conference, the NKGB (the Peoples Commissariatof State Security) in Rwno quoted on 12 March 1945 a local inhabitant assaying that Poles in Lww had taken up the slogan Lww was and willremain a Polish city.18 News of the decisions at Yalta did not necessarilymake it easier to leave. As one individual later put it, So began a struggle ofconscience with every Pole who loved his true fatherland, but he loved hisnative village, where he came into the world, his forests . . . the plot ofground of his ancestors . . . the graves where their remains lie.19

    Some Poles, however, saw the new Poland as a place where they could liveamong their own people, a refuge from violence. In the spring of 1943, whilethe area was still under German occupation, Ukrainian nationalists initiateda campaign of terror directed against the Polish population of Volhynia withthe goal of creating an ethnically homogeneous Ukrainian region as a steptowards the creation of an independent Ukraine. This set off a wave ofmigration of the Polish rural population, fleeing to urban areas and to eth-nically Polish areas further west. Ukrainian nationalist partisans continuedtheir campaign against the Polish population after the area came under Sovietcontrol, dovetailing with the official Soviet policy of evacuating the regionsPolish population. In fact, particularly in the eastern counties of Volhynia,repatriation was nearly universal.20 The experience of the Soviet occupa-tion of 193941 also played a role as some saw resettlement as an obvious, ifpainful, choice to escape a repetition of that experience. One scholar whoconducted extensive interviews some 45 years after the war with 30 repatriates

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  • found that a decided majority regarded their resettlement in this way.21

    Their fears were not without justification. According to a report of an officialof the Soviet NKVD, dated 15 April 1945, the number of Polish citizensarrested and sent to detention camps since January amounted to 3461, two-thirds of them from the district of Lww.22

    The terror proved largely effective. On 11 January 1945, 24-year-old native-born Polish Lvovian Alma Heczko wrote in her diary:

    Massive arrests since eight days ago. . . . People are seized with panic.They stand in line at the Repatriation Office and sign up for departure forPoland. . . . Rumours are circulating that it is no better in the West.Although we are afraid, we plan to leave. No one knows how long thearrests will continue. We are not guilty of anything for which we could bearrested, but they dont have to have a reason. Every knock on the doorfills me with dread. We are all afraid.23

    Nevertheless, the expectation of a new war remained high in Lww andeven intensified, according to Gansiniec. He wrote the following note: on22 February 1946: Lww is starting to go mad in the square there areunheard-of scenes: everyone is buying fat, salt pork, supplies. The word is war is coming. Prices are rising, the profiteers are having a great holiday; on16 April he added:

    Everyone is waiting for war as for salvation. Previously one prayed: Fromhunger, pestilence, and war preserve us, Lord today we ask: Send uswar, Lord, even if with hunger and pestilence! The latest prediction isthat there will be a war a year, a month, a day and six hours after the sur-render of Germany; that is, supposedly on 17 June.24

    On 12 April 1946, the Italian ambassador to Poland reported to his ministryin Rome that apparently agents of the Polish government-in-exile in Londonhad intensified their activity to persuade people not to leave the eastern bor-derlands by spreading improbable rumours of the approach of a BritishSovietwar that would bring about the reunification of the territory with Poland.25

    Hysteria peaked in Lww in May. On 11 May 1946, Gasiniec noted thatalthough the authorities had fenced off the Virgin Marys statue in MarySquare, people put flowers at the foot of the statue daily. Then in his noteson 14 May he wrote: Lww is experiencing mass psychosis and reported thatthere were claims of sightings of Mary in several places in Lww. At one site,

    Crowds gathered there, and the militia cordoned it off and beat people all in vain because everyone wants to see the Mother of God. The militiaclaims that there is nothing in the window [where the image appeared],that they dont see anything and the old women reply: What? She should

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  • reveal herself to pagans? . . . Everyone claims that they see the Mother ofGod in the window. One has the impression that Lvovians are at the endof their rope and crossed over into the realm of open hallucinations. Thesevisions are connected with the hope of liberation. Because this is possibleonly after a new war, they conclude that it will soon begin. Meanwhile,diplomats dont even dream of this.26

    When Gansiniec notified the university that he was resettling to Poland,the authorities made offers to him that, if they had been made earlier, heclaimed that he would have accepted and stayed on despite the fact that hiswife and family had already left for Poland. In a note to his wife, dated30 May 1946, after asserting his love for her, he added: But with an equallove I also love Poland, and Lww is now my Poland. With a bleeding heartI view the beauty of this noble city, which is slowly drowning in the barbar-ian steppe. Just over a week before he finally left Lww, on 10 June 1946, hewrote: I sit in the ashes of my life and feel the longing of someone dying.I didnt even know how this land bred in my bones, how this city squeezedinto my heart. I look at her and cannot understand or believe that I mustpart with Poland here. This whole liquidation looks like cleaning up afterthe dead.27 Evidence of how difficult the decision to leave their homelandmust have been is illustrated by a survey taken in 197778 among a repre-sentative sample of 1960 individuals who resettled to Poland in the years1945 to 1948, which found that a significant number left a close familymember in the Soviet Union: 2.3 per cent a spouse, 17.1 per cent a parent,and 17.7 per cent a sibling.28

    The unrepatriated

    Fear stoked by violence on the part of Ukrainian nationalists and arrests bythe Soviet authorities resulted in a much higher rate of repatriation fromSoviet Ukraine than from the rest of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, even inSoviet Ukraine some of those eligible for resettlement stayed. Earlier, somewho refused to resettle simply denied that they were Poles, arguing that theywere born in western Ukraine and had no desire to live in a Polish state.29

    Passing for Ukrainian to avoid resettlement seems to have been a more com-mon occurrence among Poles than those who insist on the supremacy ofallegiance to ones nation-state over all other considerations would expect.Uncertainty about the future led some to hedge their bets; in June 1946, theNKGB in Drohobycz noted that in some cases only part of a family left forPoland while other family members stayed behind to guard the familysproperty.30 An investigation of others who stayed behind found that mostdid so for family reasons, that is, a spouse with local ethnic ties, or for otherpractical considerations, such as to continue their education at institutionsof higher learning.31 No doubt some who initially decided to stay changed

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  • their minds and, along with others, found out too late that they could not leave.Some, however, still continued to harbour illusions about the future of theirhomeland. As late as mid-April 1947 some Poles were spreading rumours of animminent war in which England and the USA would force the Soviet Unionto restore Poland to its 1939 border, according to the NKGB in Drohobycz.32

    In a memorandum dated 4 December 1947, sent to Politburo memberRoman Zambrowski, the director of the Foreign Department of the CentralCommittee of the PPR reported that petitions asking Polish authorities tointervene on behalf of relatives in the Soviet Union who want to resettle inPoland had taken on massive proportions in the second half of 1947. Butnone of the interventions of the Polish authorities with the Soviet author-ities in these individual cases succeeded. As an example, he cited the case ofa party member who learned upon return from a German prison camp afterthe war that his wife had died in Wilno, yet the Lithuanian authorities wouldnot allow his nine-year-old son to resettle in Poland.33 Frustrated in theirefforts, some individuals asked for permission to return to their homelandsin the Soviet Union so as to be reunited with their families.

    Statistics vary on how many former Polish citizens eligible for repatriationremained in the Soviet Union. According to a memorandum of February1947 that the vice chairman of the Polish National Council of the Homelandpresented to Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet UnionMolotov, it is estimated that, of those eligible to resettle in Poland under theagreements of 1944 and 1945, 553 800 remained in the Soviet Union.34 Onescholar gives a higher estimate of 680 000.35 This means that in the years194448, only about 60 per cent of those eligible under the repatriationagreements actually resettled to Poland.36 None of these estimates, however,includes ethnic Poles who held Soviet citizenship before 1939, whom thePolish authorities made virtually no attempt to repatriate. When an organizedrepatriation again became possible in the years 195659, 248 000 ethnicPoles and 18 000 Jews left the Soviet Union for Poland.37

    The natives of the Recovered Lands

    Just as the Polish authorities sought to repatriate all of the Polish popula-tion that was eligible under the agreements with Soviet authorities, so toothe Polish government sought to retain the ethnically Polish population thatresided in the so-called Recovered Lands, the formerly German territoryand the Free City of Danzig that came under Polish administration after thewar. A recent study suggests an equivalence between the fate of repatriatesfrom the Soviet Union and the German population in the Recovered Lands.38

    In the East, the population could theoretically choose whether to leave or tostay, with eligibility for repatriation determined by the Polish authorities incooperation with the Soviets. In the formerly German territory, however, thefate of the population was largely in the hands of Polish officials.

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  • The goal of all Polish political camps, Communist and non-Communist,in exile and in the homeland, with regard to the population of the RecoveredLands was unequivocal: We dont want even a single German; we wont giveup even a single Polish soul.39 Despite centuries of German rule over the ter-ritory of the Recovered Lands and the German citizenship of its inhab-itants, no political leader or publicist doubted that there were large numbersof Poles among the territorys inhabitants. The universal use of the termautochthon or native by the Polish authorities and publicists of all polit-ical orientations to designate exclusively the inhabitants of the territory pre-sumed to be Polish, as distinguished from the German inhabitants, whowere therefore by definition alien intruders, fostered the acceptance of thisbelief as axiomatic by the rest of the population of Poland. During the warthe number of autochthons was estimated at 1.5 to 2.3 million.40 Articles inthe press claimed that Polish dialects had survived throughout the RecoveredLands. In a report he submitted after a brief inspection tour, commissionedby the legal department of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers at theend of February and the beginning of March 1945 of areas inhabited byMazurians, the governor of the province of Warsaw referred to the Mazuriansas Polish-speaking and to the necessity of rescuing this population, whichdespite six hundred years of Germanization did not lose its Polish speech,although he quotes the Mazurians as saying of themselves, we is Mazurians(my som Mazurzy).41

    Even those who had not preserved all aspects of their Polish identity werenot beyond redemption. The Catholic writer Wladyslaw Grabski proposed ina book he published in 1945 that it was the mission of the Polish nation toliberate the Slavic blood flowing in the veins of Germanized Silesians andPomeranians, making them abhor the foul poison of Germanism, disinfect-ing them and returning them to health by teaching them the native tonguein order to incorporate them back into the mother country, not as prodigalsons but as victims rescued from the ultimate outrage.42 This process of dis-infection and restoration to health went by the name of re-Polonization, notPolonization, since it involved a return to the Polish nation, not a denation-alization of Germans. With the defeat of Germany, it was expected that thenumber of inhabitants identifying themselves as Polish would increase.German influences, artificially imposed on the population, would disappearand be replaced with fresh traditions of Polish origin.

    The dilemma

    Polish raison dtat and the social consensus demanded both the widest pos-sible inclusion of German citizens of Polish origin and the strictest exclusionof all Germans. The dilemma, nay, the contradiction lay in the reality of theRecovered Lands, which did not match the assumptions derived from theideology of nationalism that underpinned these policies, assumptions that

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  • state that everyone has a durable national identity and that the presumedmembers of a nation necessarily share in a stable, palpable, homogeneousnational identity, in this case either German or Polish, and that this identityprovides a basis for sorting a population, retaining those of the desired nation-ality and expelling the undesirable.

    Some natives had a primarily regional identity and regarded the questionof their nationality as a relatively trivial matter to be changed as practicalneeds dictated. According to the report of an SS officer in September 1943, asthe fortunes of the war turned against Germany, many Mazurians in EastPrussia, who had earlier manifested a loyalty to Germany, began to recalltheir Slavic roots and to return to the language of their forefathers.43 Shortlyafter the end of the war, asked to fill out cards declaring their nationality,inhabitants of one Silesian village showed their pragmatic approach to thequestion by returning blank cards and explaining that they did not yet knowwho governed the area Poles, Russians, or Germans.44 Some, who identifiedthemselves as Polish in 1945, later came to reconsider their choice and to optfor a German identity.

    In 1945, only months after the end of the war, the sociologist StanislawOssowski investigated the question of identity among the inhabitants ofone of the largest villages of the Opole region of Silesia, which had the heav-iest concentration of so-called autochthons in the Recovered Lands.45

    Here he found a different concept of national identity than the one acceptedby the Polish authorities and publicists. For a significant majority of peoplein the area, nationality did not have the character of a permanent trait of anindividual but rather something like membership in a political party oracceptance of a political ideology, which might well depend at a particularmoment on the balance of political forces well beyond the power of theindividual to control or even influence. For them, only their regional UpperSilesian identity had a permanent character that marked them from birth,and this regional identity took precedence over any fleeting nationalidentity.46 In their usage, they applied the terms Pole or Polish either tosomeone from Poland (within its prewar borders) or to that minority of localresidents who chose to be active in the Polish national movement inGermany.47

    Some regional or local identities had more tenuous ties to the hallmarksof the Polish national identity than in Opole Silesia. The Kashubs andSlovins of Pomerania were regarded as Poles though the majority lacked aPolish national consciousness.48 Germanization had progressed much fur-ther, for example, among the Mazurians, and their Protestant religion markedthem off more sharply from the majority of Poles, many of whom regardedProtestantism with deep hostility after the war as something short of theNazi ideology.49 Ultimately, the view prevailed that the granting of Polishcitizenship to inhabitants of the Recovered Lands should occur on a case-by-case basis.

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  • The consequences of being German

    Late in 1944 and in the first months of 1945, Soviet forces entered and tookcontrol of the territory east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers that had been partof the Third Reich. The Red Army regarded all the territorys inhabitants asGerman and vented their full fury on the population. Wanton violence, pil-lage, rape, murder and arson were the order of the day. The Soviet militarymade no distinction as to nationality. The ethnographically Polish inhab-itants suffered along with those of German origin. In his investigationsamong the residents of the Opole region, Ossowski found that when someinhabitants, especially women, referred to the period before the war, theymeant the period before December 1944.50

    In many areas of the Recovered Lands, particularly those adjacent to theprewar PolishGerman border, the first contact that natives had with Polesfrom Poland, even before the areas came under Polish administration, waswith looters. A prewar activist in the Union of Poles in Germany recordedher impressions as follows:

    Already in March [1945] the first looters appeared in Olsztyn. They loadedeverything they could onto trucks and drove away. They went from houseto house, looking for treasures. They took the best carpets, china, glass,and pictures from the houses everything that fell into their hands. Theirgreed was so great that sometimes they took things that they then dis-carded in the street, looking for other things.51

    Whether the houses were abandoned or occupied, or belonged toGermans or to natives, the looters asked no questions they just took whatthey wanted. The Gazeta Robotnicza claimed in June 1945 that the Polishpopulation of Opole Silesia currently is beginning to disparage Polishnessand is filling out forms requesting to be listed as Germans. They dont wantanything to do with those Poles who bring with them the greatest disgrace looting to the heroic name of Pole.52

    On the heels of the Soviets and the looters came the Polish security forcesand administrators, among them people with little experience and no famil-iarity with the conditions under which the natives had lived under Germanrule. In Silesia, the Polish Citizens Militia and the Office of Public Securitysometimes interned whole villages in forced labour camps, including oneswhere the Silesian Polish dialect predominated. More than ignorance of localconditions marked the performance of some newly appointed officials. Comingfrom Polish provinces adjacent to the prewar German border, some had tieswith the looters who plagued the area and even joined them in plunderingwhat had not already been taken. In a special report to the presidium of theNational Council of the Homeland in January 1946, the executive officer of

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  • a county in East Prussia lamented, The Citizens Militia . . . allows itself suchabuses of authority as ordinary plundering and robbery [and] commits actsof extreme arbitrariness, that in my opinion one should bring indictmentsagainst 80 per cent of the functionaries.53

    As a result, in November 1945, the county committee of the Polish WorkersParty in Opole observed that Silesians see the state authorities as occu-piers.54 In one Silesian county, where the local population originally wel-comed the arrival of a Polish administration, this attitude began to changewith the detention of natives in camps and the arrival of repatriates from theEast, so that by March 1946, the State Office of Information and Propagandareported that the natives constantly complained that we had it better underthe Germans.55

    A decree on land reform designed to win the support of the Polishpeasantry issued by the PKWN on 6 September 1944 confiscated not onlylarge estates without compensation but also the property of Germans, trai-tors and collaborators.56 On the assumption that those who fled the advan-cing front were Germans, the Communist authorities likewise confiscatedvacant or abandoned farms, which, in the Opole region, amounted to atleast half of all farms.57 With Poles from central Poland and the East flowinginto the territory and taking over what they claimed were German farms,often forcibly moving in with the owners on the assumption that the latterwould soon be expelled as Germans, much of the native population of theRecovered Lands entered into bitter property disputes. In some villages,every single farm had two farmers, a native and a migrant. In the years 1945to 1948, some 24 000 farms were involved in such disputes. Not until thedecree of 6 September 1946 did the Polish government rule that disputedfarms not initially abandoned by their owners should remain in the posses-sion of natives who had been certified as being of Polish nationality. Thisdecree, however, did not end all the disputes. As late as 1950, in the provinceof Olsztyn, several hundred legal proceedings of natives with Polish citizen-ship, demanding the return of their farms taken over by settlers, remainedundecided.58

    Disputes over the ownership of property took place under the guise of ques-tions of ethnic identity, which even officials at times disputed. In a report tothe plenipotentiary of the province of Gdansk, dated 31 December 1945, theplenipotentiary of the district of Sztum claimed that many germans [sic]bearing Polish names and trying to speak Polish did not apply for verifica-tion or deliberately did not apply in time, waiting for some change in thepolitical situation. But as they saw that no change was coming, they beganapplying for verification: This element, despite the pretence of Polishness,does not have anything in common with Poles and should not be admittedin Polish society, all the more because the desire to acquire the rights of aPolish citizen is dictated by personal interest, namely to recover his farm,which meanwhile was given to a repatriate or settler.59

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  • Expulsion and verification

    Large-scale expulsion from the Recovered Lands of the population regardedas German commenced in May and June 1945, well before any systematicverification of the nationality of the areas prewar inhabitants took place andbefore the Allied Powers sanctioned expulsion at the Potsdam Conference.Some 400 000 inhabitants of the area were expelled during this unauthor-ized, wild, phase of the expulsion.60 That the expulsion of Germans caughtin its net numerous natives stands to reason. At a trial of guards from thenotorious Lambinowice camp in 1957, a witness testified that, at the end ofAugust 1945, military and civilian personnel at dawn ousted him and some400 others, including women, children, and the elderly, from the villageof Kuznica Ligota in a brutal manner, beating them and robbing them ofclothes, watches, rings and other valuables. Forced to walk the 12 kilometresto Lambinowice, where camp guards greeted them with further beatings, theysang the Polish religious hymn Pod Twoja obrone (Under Your Protection).61In the summer of 1945, such incidents were common enough for the Ministryof Recovered Lands to issue memoranda in January and March 1946 declaringthat the expulsion of even one person of Polish nationality, simply becausehis membership in the Polish nation had not yet been verified, would be inflagrant contradiction with a well understood Polish raison dtat and there-fore temporarily halting expulsions from regions with the largest concentrationsof native population and directing the creation of verification commissionsin camps where the Germans were being gathered prior to expulsion.62

    Yet incidents continued to occur. A Silesian provincial control commissionreported that, when a rail transport of expellees departed for Germany at theend of August 1946 from a transit centre with 1700 detainees, 80 per cent ofthem of Polish origin according to the commission, the people sang popu-lar songs in Polish, a flawless Polish, and one had the impression that theseare not deportees leaving for Germany, rather some kind of excursion ofPolish youths setting off to conquer the world.63

    Not until 6 April 1946, nearly a year after much of the territory came underPolish administration, did the Ministry of Recovered Lands issue a detaileddirective to provincial authorities concerning the granting of provisionalcertificates of Polish nationality to the territorys inhabitants.64 Article 3 ofthe directive stated: Persons will be recognized as having Polish nationalitywho file the appropriate application and prove their Polish origin or showconnections with the Polish Nation and in addition submit a declaration ofloyalty to the Polish Nation and State.65 The directive instructed provincialauthorities, in evaluating an application, to seek the opinion of the countyOffice of Public Security and of the county or town verification commissionwhere the applicant resided.66

    The process of verification of the nationality of the inhabitants of theRecovered Lands was itself fraught with difficulties and contradictions.

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  • Under the conditions of war, many lost documents attesting to their Polishness,and local archives were often destroyed. Because migrants and settlers fromthe territories of prewar Poland did not have to undergo any analogous processof certification, many of the natives regarded the requirement of verifica-tion as a form of discrimination, and some refused to submit to the process.Those who had been active in the Polish national movement in Germanybefore 1945 and had been subject to persecution in Germany felt humiliatedby the process, particularly by the requirement that they sign a declarationof loyalty to Poland.67

    In general, the excessive suspicions of local officials, often from outside of thearea and ignorant of local conditions, had a negative influence on the verifi-cation process, discouraging autochthons from applying. Despite the effortsof verification commissions, a majority of autochthons in three Lower Silesiancounties left for Germany. In addition, fewer than half the applicationssubmitted for verification in Lower Silesia by the end of August 1946 wereapproved. Furthermore, verification did not dispel the fear of the decisionbeing revoked resulting in expulsion, which discouraged others from evenapplying. At the end of 1946 officials estimated that over 8000 individuals inLower Silesia entitled to verification did not apply.68

    There was a tension between the desire to expel as many Germans as quicklyas possible and to avoid expelling Poles. A memorandum from the Gdanskgovernors office in July 1946 noted that expulsion was not proceeding fastenough but at the same time directed officials to make sure that only Germansleft, not individuals with the right to verification.69 Sometimes the verificationof nationality came at the last minute, after individuals received an expulsionorder and had been gathered at a transit camp, where they were registeredand their baggage was inspected by customs officials prior to transportation asa group out of the country. But such verifications may not have always beenpossible because of the chaotic conditions in many transit camps.70

    The deprivation of the war years, the destructive passing of the front, theplunder of anything of value by Soviets and Poles left many of the inhab-itants of the Recovered Lands destitute. With the re-establishment of postalcontact with family members in Germany in 1946, the number of natives,whose Polish nationality had been confirmed, particularly women with chil-dren living in tragic material circumstances, seeking to emigrate to Germanyto join family members there began to grow.71 By that time, massive num-bers of natives passing as Germans had already left for the West.72 In 1949,the authorities estimated that 6900 families 2030 000 inhabitants in theterritory of the former East Prussia under Polish administration wished toleave.73

    Before 1950, an unknown number of natives were among the hundreds ofthousands of German citizens who were evacuated or expelled or who eitherfled or departed voluntarily from their homeland in the Recovered Lands.Among those who remained, some later identified themselves as Germans,

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  • whether in the hope of obtaining permission to leave for Germany or inreaction to their postwar experience of Polish rule. As a result there is moretruth than fiction in the widely repeated maxim with regard to the German-ization of the natives of the Recovered Lands: what the Germans were notable to accomplish in 700 years, the Polish Peoples Republic accomplishedin less than a decade.74 The census of 3 December 1950 put the number ofnatives in the Recovered Lands at 1 104 134, or 18.3 per cent of the terri-torys population.75 Relying on the extant statistical sources, one scholar esti-mates that of the 1 037 000 former citizens of Germany whose Polishnessthe authorities had verified by mid-1949, when the process of verification ofnationality formally ended, only about 200 000 could be considered nation-ally conscious Poles in 1950. At least one-third were Germans or possessed aGerman national consciousness and had undergone the process of verifica-tion solely to avoid expulsion from their homeland. The remaining two-thirds had primarily a regional identity and treated the question of nationalityopportunistically.76 As a 70-year-old woman in the Opole region told thePolish sociologist Ossowski in 1945: Let us be Poles, let us be Germans, let usbe Russians, let us be Prussians, just so we can work, that there is peace, thatthere is something to eat, and that there is sugar for the children.77

    A new law, promulgated on 8 January 1951, conferring citizenship on allthose determined to be of Polish nationality, closed the matter as far as thePolish authorities were concerned. As a consequence of the law, individualshad to fill out forms and provide photos for personal identity cards. Butnatives wishing to leave for Germany feared that Polish citizenship wouldsimply put another obstacle in the way of their departure. According to areport of the central bureau of the Citizens Militia, as of 12 May 1952, 114 000natives in the provinces of Opole, Olsztyn and Katowice declared theirnationality to be German and refused to fill out the necessary forms orrefused to sign them.78 In the following years some of these were allowed toleave. Based on an official estimate of the number of Germans still in Poland in1950, well over 100 000 natives who, according to the criteria of the govern-ment, qualified to be certified as Poles were among the 320 000 who emi-grated to one of the two German states from 1950 to 1958.79


    Invoking the principle of national self-determination, Polish Communistssought the unification and rebirth of the Polish nation in its own state. Tothis end, they signed exchange agreements with Polands Soviet neighboursand set up a procedure to separate the Polish from the German inhabitantsof the Recovered Lands. For the individuals involved, there was little in thatprocess that could be called self-determination. For most, circumstancesbeyond their control forced a decision on them. A leading Polish scholar,Krystyna Kersten, speaks of przymus sytuacyny (force of circumstances), which

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  • she sees as always a part of any resettlement based on nationality.80 LouisSnyder makes a somewhat more qualified claim: In general, it may be saidthat self-determination is seldom achieved by logical argument. Force andpower are the deciding elements.81

    But even relying on force and power, Polish Communists still fell short oftheir nationalist goal. Despite the fraternal relations between Polish Com-munists and the Soviet authorities, the agreements that they reached did notcover all ethnic Poles in the Soviet Union, only those who had held Polishcitizenship before 1939. Moreover, a significant portion of those eligible forrepatriation remained in the Soviet Union when the exchange of popula-tion covered by the agreements came to an end. In addition, some repatri-ates did not accept the new Polish nation-state as encompassing what theyconsidered their homeland. Similarly, in the Recovered Lands, where thePolish authorities had full control over the process of re-Polonizing the ter-ritory and its inhabitants, a significant portion of the population that theauthorities regarded as Polish was expelled, fled, or refused to identify itselfas Polish. The nationalist dream of self-determination proved to be, one sus-pects not just in this case, a nightmare of suffering and loss for a substantialnumber of those for whom it was intended.


    1 Thomas Spira, Nationalism and Ethnicity Terminologies: An Encyclopedia Dictionaryand Research Guide (Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 1999), p. 416;see also Oren Yiftachel, The Homeland and Nationalism, in Alexander Motyl,ed., The Encyclopedia of Nationalism, vol. 1: Fundamental Themes (San Diego, CA:Academic, 2001), p. 364; and Derek Heater, National Self-Determination: WoodrowWilson and his Legacy (New York: St. Martins Press, 1994), pp. 327.

    2 Yiftachel, The Homeland and Nationalism, p. 364.3 Quoted in Krystyna Kersten, Polska panstwo narodowe. Dylematy i rzeczywis-

    tosc, in Marcin Kula, ed., Narody. Jak powstawlay i jak wybijaly sie na niepodleglosc(Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1989), p. 474.

    4 Krystyna Kersten, The PolishUkrainian Conflict under Communist Rule, ActaPoloniae Historica 73 (1996), 139.

    5 As a British government employee, Arnold Toynbee prepared a memorandum inwhich he compared the number of ethnic Poles and ethnic Ukrainians left on thewrong side of the border under several options, including the 1939 GermanSovietborder; it is reprinted in Jacek Tebinka, Brytyjskie memoranda z 1944 r. w sprawiezmian linii Curzona, Dzieje Najnowsze 29 (1997), 166.

    6 Reprinted in Antony Polonsky and Boleslaw Drukier, The Beginnings of CommunistRule in Poland (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980), p. 291. After an evacueefiled a claim for compensation for an estate he left near Vilnius, the District Courtin Gdansk ruled on 14 August 2002 that the 1944 accords, which provided forcompensation, were invalid because Poland never ratified them: RFE/RL Newsline 6,No. 153, 15 August 2002.

    7 The agreement with Ukraine is reprinted in Eugeniusz Misilo, ed., Repatriacja czydeportacja: Przesiedlenie Ukraincw z Polski do USSR 19441946, vol. 1, Dokumenty

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  • 19441945 (Warsaw: Oficyna Wydawnicza Archiwum Ukrainskie), 1996, pp. 3038;the quotes are on pp. 30 and 31 respectively. The agreement with Lithuania isreprinted in Stanislaw Ciesielski, ed., Przesiedlenie ludnosci polskiej z kresw wshod-nich do Polski, 19441947 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo NERITON, Instytut HistoriiPAN, 1999), pp. 5562; the quotes are on p. 55.

    8 The following is based on Jan Penrose, Nations, states and homelands: territoryand territoriality in nationalist thought, Nations and Nationalism 8 (July 2002),27797.

    9 Ibid., p. 289.10 See the map in Wladyslaw Czaplinski and Tadeusz Ladogrski, eds, The HistoricalAtlas of Poland. (WarsawWroclaw: Panstwowe Przedsiebiorstwo Wydawnictw

    Kartograficznych, 1986), p. 54, which shows that the western borders of post-1945 Poland coincide more closely with the Piast state of 1018 than do the bordersof the states of 1939 or 1634. The map omits the borders of the PolishLithuaniaCommonwealth of 1772, whose western border more closely resembles that of1939 than of 1945.

    11 Kazimierz Piesowicz, Demograficzne skutki II wojny swiatowej, Studia Demograficzne25, No. 1 (1987), 107; Jan Czerniakiewicz, Przemeszczenia ludnosci polskiej z terenwprzylaczonych do ZSRR po 17 wrzesnia 1939 roku (Warsaw: Uniwersytet Warszawski,Centrum Badan Wschodnich, [1990]), p. 15, puts the number of those that cameunder the agreements in 1944, both ethnic Poles and Jews, at about 2.5 million.

    12 Edward Kolodziej, Dzieje Polonii w zarysie 19181939 (Warsaw: Ksia zka i Wiedza,1991), p. 76.

    13 Wllodzimierz Borodziej, Stanislaw Ciesielski and Jerzy Kochanowski, Wstep, inCiesielski, Przesiedlenie ludnosci Polska p. 31; ibid., p. 304.

    14 Reprinted in Tatiana Cariewskaja et al., Teczka specjalna J.W. Stalina: RaportyNKWD z Polski 19441946 (Warsaw: Oficyna Wydawnicza RYTM, 1998), p. 88.

    15 Ibid., p. 61.16 Ryszard Gansiniec, Na strazy miasta, Karta 13 (1994), 8.17 Zuzanna Gajowniczek et al., Polska i Ukraina w latach trzydziestych-czterdziestych

    XX wieku: Nieznane dokumenty z archiww sluzby specjalnych, vol. 2, PrzesiedleniaPolakw i Ukraincw 19441946 (WarsawKiev: Archiwum Ministerstwa SprawWewnetrznych i Administracji Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej; Panstwowe ArchiwumSluzby Bezpieczenstwa Ukrainy, 2000), p. 201.

    18 Ibid., p. 389.19 Quoted in Jan Czerniakiewicz, Repatriacja ludnosci polskiej z ZSRR 19441948

    (Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1987), p. 37.20 Ibid., pp. 47, 56, 1312, 228.21 Kaja Kazmierska, Doswiadzenia wojenne Polakw a ksztawltowanie tozsamosci

    etniczne. Analiza narracji kresowych (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo IFiS PAN, 1999),pp. 104, 166, 169, 172, 184.

    22 Grzegorz Hryciuk, Ciezkie dni Lwowa. Akcja masowych aresztowan we Lwowiew styczniu 1945 r., in Studia z historii najnowszej. Profesorowi WojciechowiWrzesinskiemu w 65.rocznice urodzin, Krzysztof Ruchniewicz et al. (Wroclaw: GAJTWydawnictwo, 1999), p. 29.

    23 Alma Heczko, Pozegnanie Lwowa, Karta 13 (1994), 5.24 Gansiniec, Na strazy miasta, pp. 18 and 24.25 Eugenio Reale, Raporty Polska 19451946 (Warsaw: PIW, 1991), p. 192.26 Gansiniec, Na strazy miasta, pp. 256; the quotes are on p. 26.27 Ibid., pp. 267; the quotes are on p. 27.28 Czerniakiewicz, Repatriacja, pp. 21112 and 223.

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  • 29 Ibid., p. 249.30 Ibid., p. 837.31 Ibid., p. 887.32 Ibid., p. 931.33 Reprinted in Ciesielski, Przesiedlenie, pp. 43033.34 Reprinted in ibid., pp. 41314.35 Czerniakiewicz, Repatriacja, p. 47; Piesowicz, Demograficzne skutki II wojny swia-

    towej, pp. 1078, comes to a similar conclusion in estimating that there were 2.7million ethnic Poles in the Soviet Union at the end of the war, 1.4 million repa-triated in 1945, and 0.6 million in the years 194650.

    36 N.S. Lebedeva, The Deportations of the Polish Population to the USSR, 193941,in Alfred J. Rieber, ed., Forced Migration in Central and Eastern Europe, 19391950(London: Frank Cass, 2000), p. 44; Czerniakiewicz, Przemieszczenia, p. 15; an ear-lier publication, Czerniakiewicz, Repatriacja, p. 47, estimates that about 65 per centof the eligible population resettled to Poland.

    37 Czerniakiewicz, Repatriacja, p. 19; Andrzej Sakson, Socjologiczne problemywysiedlen, in Hubert Orlwski and Andrzej Sakson, eds, Utracona ojczyzna: Przy-musowe wysiedlenia, deportacje i przesiedlenia jako wsplne do swiadczenie (Poznan:Instytut Zachodni, 1997), p. 159, puts the total for 195558 at about 220 000.

    38 Philipp Ther, Deutsche und polnische Vertreibene. Gesellschaft und Vertriebenenpolitikin der SBZ/DDR und in Polen 19451956 (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht),1998; see also Jan Misztal, Wysiedlenia i repatriacja obywateli polskich z ZSRR awysedlenia i przesiedlenia Niemcw z Polski prba bilansu, in Orlowski andSakson, Utracona ojczyzna, pp. 4574; Jan Misztal, Podobienstwa i rznice przy-musowych wysiedlen Polakw i Niemcw, in Wlodzimierz Borodziej and ArturHajnicz, eds, Kompleks wypedzenia (Cracow: Wydawnictwo ZNAK, 1998), pp. 17984.

    39 Czeslaw Osekowski, Spoleczenstwo Polski zachodniej i plnocnej w latach 19451956:Procesy integracji i dezintegracji (Zielona Gra: Wyzsza Szkola Pedagogiczna im.Tadeusz Kotarbinskiego, 1994), p. 108; Waclaw Dlugoborski, Polen Zwischenzwei Besatzungsdiktatoren, in Ulrich Herbert and Axel Schildt, eds, Kriegsende inEurope: Von Beginn des deutschen Machtzerfalls bis zur Stabilisierung derNachkriegsordnung 19441948 (Essen: Klartext, 1998), p. 135.

    40 Grzegorz Strauchold, Polska ludnosc rodzima ziem zachodnich i plnocnych. Opinie nietylko publiczne lat 19441948 (Olsztyn: Osrodek Badan Naukowych im. WojciechaKetrzynskiego, 1995), p. 11.

    41 Reprinted in Tadeusz Baryla, ed., Warmiacy i Mazurzy w PRL: Wybr dokumentw:Rok 1945 (Olsztyn: Osrodek Badan Naukowych im. Wojciecha Ketrzynskiego, 1994),pp. 46; Osekowski, Spoleczenstao Polski, p. 90; Strauchold, Polska ludonosc pp. 914;the quotes are on pp. 12 and 10, respectively.

    42 Quoted in ibid., p. 35.43 Leszek Belzyt, Miedzy Polska a Niemcami: Weryfikacja narodowosciowa i jej nastepstwa

    na Warmii, Mazurach i Powislu w latach 19451960 (Torun: Wydawnictwo AdamMarszalek, 1998), p. 35.

    44 Piotr Madajczyk, Przylaczenie Slaska Opolskiego do Polski, 19451948 (Warsaw:Instytut Studiw Politycznych PAN, 1996), p. 99.

    45 A pamphlet, Upper Silesia (London: The Polish Research Centre, 1941), p. 30,claims that 60 per cent of the population of this region was Polish.

    46 Stanislaw Ossowski, Zagadnienia wiezi regionalnej i wiezi narodowej na SlaskuOpolskim, in Stanislaw Ossowski, O ojczyznie i narodzie (Warsaw: PanstwoweWydawnictwo Naukowe, 1984), p. 123; Kevin Hannan, Borders of Language and

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  • Identity in Teschen Silesia (New York: Peter Lang, 1996), presents a similar view ofthe importance and longevity of the regional identity in another part of Silesia.

    47 See Wojciech Wrzesinski, Polski ruch narodowy w Niemczech w latach 19221939,2nd rev. edn (Wroclaw: Zaklad Narodowy imienia Ossolinskich Wydawnictwo,1993).

    48 Ingo Eser and Witold Stankowski, Einleitung, in Wlodzimierz Borodziej andHans Lemberg, eds, Unsere Heimat ist uns ein fremdes Land geworden . . . DieDeutschen stlich von Oder und Neisse 19451950: Dokumente aus polnischen Archiven,vol. 4 (Marburg: Verlag Herder-Institut, 2004), Wojewodschaften Pommerellen undDanzig (Westpreussen). Wojewodschaft Beslau (Niederschlesen), and Ingo Eser, WitoldStankowski, Claudia Kraft and Stanislaw Jankowiak, eds, p. 53. The Slovins(G: Slowinzen) were a subgroup of the Kashubs who were Lutheran rather thanCatholic and made their living by fishing, p. 212, n. 12.

    49 Edmund Dmitrw, Niemcy i okupacja hitlerowska w oczach Polakw. Poglady i opiniez lat 19451948 (Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1987), p. 34.

    50 Ossowski, Zagadnienia, p. 119.51 Quoted in Belzyt, Miedzy Polska a Niemcami, p. 57.52 Quoted in Jan Misztal, Weryfikacja narodowosciowa na Ziemiach Odzyskanych

    (Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1990), p. 96.53 Belzyt, Miedzy Polska a Niemcami, p. 69.54 Jack Ruszczewski, Nacjonalizm, szowinizm, czy syndrom odwetu i odpowiedzial-

    nosci zbiorowej? (Konflikty miedzygrupowe na przykladzie Slaska Opolskiego wlatach 19451949), in Bernard Linek, Jorga Luera and Kaia Struve, eds, Fenomennowoczesnego nacjonalizmu w Europie Srodkowej (Opole: Wydawnictwo InstytutSlaski, 1997), p. 115.

    55 Madajczyk, Przylaczemie Slaska Opolskiego do Polski, p. 104.56 Osekowski, Spoleczenstwo Polski, p. 111; Andrzej Korbonski, Politics of Socialist

    Agriculture in Poland: 19451960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1965),pp. 756.

    57 Misztal, Weryfikacja, p. 99.58 Leszek Belzyt, Zum Verfahren der national Verifikation in den Gebieten des ehe-

    maligen Ostpreussen 19451950, Jahrbuch fr de Geschichte Mittel- und Ostdeutschlands39 (1990), 261.

    59 Reprinted in Daniel Bockowski, ed., Nasza ojczyzna stala sie dla nas obcympanstwem . . . Niemcy w Polsce 19451950: Wybr dokumentw, vol. 4 (Warsaw,Wydawnictwo NERITON, 2001), Pomorze Gdanskie i Dolny Slask, Ingo Eser, WitoldStankowski, Claudia Kraft and Stanislaw Jankowiak, eds, p. 115.

    60 Detlef Brandes, Der Weg zur Vertreibung 19381945: Plne und Entscheidungen zumTransfer der Deutschen aus der Tschoslowakei und aus Polen (Munich: R. OldenbourgVerlag, 2001), p. 397.

    61 Ruszczewski, Nacjonalizm, Szowinizm, p. 118.62 Quoted in Misztal, Weryfikacja, p. 230; Osekowski, Spoleczenstwo Polski, p. 93.63 Misztal, Weryfikacja, pp. 23031; the quote is on p. 231.64 Reprinted in ibid., pp. 35162.65 Ibid., p. 351.66 Ibid, p. 355.67 Bernard Linek, Realizacja idei polskiego panstwa narodowego na Grnym Slasku

    po II wojnie swiatowej, Sprawy Narodowosciowe, nos 1213 (1998), 24.68 Stanislaw Jankowiak, Die Jahre 19461950, in Borodziej and Lemberg, Die

    Deutschen ostlich von Oder und Neisse, vol. 4, pp. 43031.

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  • 69 Reprinted in ibid., p. 232.70 See the reports of the director of the camp at Gdansk-Narwik of 20 November

    1946 and of the MZO commission on the camp at Lebork of 24 September 1947reprinted in Bockowski, Niemcy w Polsce, vol. 4, pp. 148 and 177.

    71 Linek, Realizacja, p. 26.72 Belzyt, Miedzy Polska a Niemcami, p. 67.73 Misztal, Weryfikacja, p. 191.74 For one version, though not the earliest, of this popular saying, see Joachim Georg

    Grlich, Autochtoni, Kultura nos 12 (1964), 136.75 Osekowski, Spoleczenstwo Polski, p. 97.76 Leszek Belzyt, Die deutsche Minderheit nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg: Das

    Problem der sogenannten Autochtonen, in Hans van der Meulen, ed., Anerkanntals Minderheit. Vergangenheit und Zukunft der Deutschen in Polen (Baden-Baden:Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1994), pp. 56 and 58.

    77 Ossowski, Zagadnienia wie zi regionalej, p. 103. My translation does not conveythe flavor of the original in Silesian dialect: Niech my sa Poloki, niech my saNiemce, niech my sa Ruski, niech my sa Pruski, zeby my tylko mogli pracowac,zeby byl spokj, zeby bylo co jesc, zeby byl cukier dla dzieci.

    78 Reprinted in Andrzej Sakson, Tajny plan wysiedlen ludnosci rodzimej(mazurskiej) z 1952 roku w swietle dokumentw Archiwum Akt Nowych wWarszawie, in Zbigniew Kurcz, ed., Mniejszosci narodowe w Polsce (Wroclaw:Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wroclawsiego, 1997), pp. 1246.

    79 Osekowski, Spoleczenstwo Polski, pp. 134 and 138.80 Krystyna Kersten, Przymusowe przemieszczenia ludnosci prba typologii, in

    Orlowski and Sakson, Utracona ojczyzna, p. 22.81 Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of Nationalism (New York: Paragon House, 1990),

    p. 363.

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  • Part III

    The Challenges of EU Membership

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    Trying to understand European integration and enlargement without reference to the concept of Europeanization is at best an incomplete processand at worst a fruitless one, especially as there is a growing literature onEuropeanization since the 1990s. It is, broadly speaking, a term that isemployed to label or describe a process of transformation, but many scholarshave also used it as a tool to analyse different aspects of its social reality. Manydraw our attention to the development of distinct structures and policy net-works in the creation of authoritative European rules, pointing to institu-tional and policy analysis with a primary focus on domestic organizationalstructures,1 while others speak of a process through which the EuropeanUnions (EU) political, social and economic dynamics become part of a domestic discourse, identities, political structures and public policy,2 with-out making any special reference to organizations as such. The latter under-standing of Europeanization as a process encompassing cultural, political,psychological and socioeconomic domains seems more useful to explainEuropeanization in Central Europe.

    At the outset, one has to consider to what extent the Europeanization ofthe political spaces3 in the Central European Countries (CEC) is equivalent tothe EU accession process. Or does it entail many more cultural or deep-rooteddimensions? In this respect, the first reference must be to the conceptualizationof Europe by the intellectuals who focused on the region in the 1980s and1990s. It is essential to find out how, culturally speaking, the CEC were per-ceived vis--vis Western culture. Were these states considered as a part ofEurope whose Europeanness had merely been delayed in the post-Yalta orderand whose existence under Soviet domination was not enough to erase theirEuropean history? If so, have they simply returned after the fall of Communismto where they belong, and the Communist period was nothing more than ashort interval in a big European continuum? Or are they taking their part ina play about a family with respectable and upstanding members, the

    9Intellectual and Political Europe:Rupture or Continuity in CentralEurope?*Basak Z. Alpan

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    Western Europeans, and a set of embarrassing and annoying relatives, theEast Europeans?4 Are they just members of a Europe that requires to beknown, but not a Europe that knows, as Voltaire reminds us?5 If so, havethey been trying to return to where they never belonged? How Europe wasconceptualized by the intellectuals who focused on the region in the 1980sand 1990s is found in the arguments of the dissidents6 and in the transitionliterature, which this chapter examines.

    In addition to the intellectual debate, this chapter also investigates the cur-rent conceptualization of the idea of Europe by looking at the politicalprocess in two Central European states: Hungary and Poland. The aim is to dis-cover the ways in which Europe was articulated by the political parties andhow it became part of the political discourse. This approach helps to explainthe extent of impact of political Europeanization in the region.

    The irresistible lightness of being European?

    With the dismantling of the Communist regimes in the CEC after 1989, theremnants of a state-socialist and totalitarian past were substituted with a neo-liberal and pluralist parliamentarian political system that included a full-fledged civil society, an uncensored press, equal citizenship rights, andother liberties. This return to Europe discourse was identified with aEuropeanization discourse. In the literature about the Europeanization ofthe political space of the CEC there are two lines of thought on whether theycould be Europeanized or not.

    The first line of thought starts from an EastWest dualism and the corres-ponding counter-factualism of an usthem polarity.7 It was especiallyaccelerated in the post-Yalta order, where the Berlin Wall actually demar-cated a clear-cut line between East and West. In the 1980s and, especiallyafter 1989, this line disappeared, at least as a symbol, and a vast literary andintellectual discourse arose on the putative transformation that the coun-tries in the region had to be engaged in order to be Western. The case wasmade that a transformation of the economic, political and social areas wasessential but there was no guarantee that such a transformation would besuccessful in enabling these countries to acquire some features that Europehas par excellence. The transition literature in the 1990s was abundantlypunctuated with historical, cultural, geographical, political, and even emo-tional comparisons and distinctions between East and West. The transitionliterature also used the adjective Eastern to describe this region of Europe.

    The East Europeanness of Eastern Europe is found in the writings ofGeorge Schpflin.8 He saw the conceptualization, generation, legitimationand exercise of power as the source of different political traditions betweenEast and West. According to him, the West was characterized by the frag-mentation of power while in the East, power was highly concentrated. Forthis reason, according to two other authors, Mary Kaldor and Ivan Vejvoda,

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  • the trials and tribulations of democracy in the West have a direct impact onthe image and influence of democratic ideas in the CEECs [sic].9 The adap-tation of these institutions by the CEC has thus been set as a preconditionfor the democratization attempts in the region. The transplantation of aWestern-style economy and its institutions is seen as cumbersome due to thenew cultural values and rules that the individuals living in the CEC have toaccept in order to arrive at a Western-style democracy, especially if civil soci-ety and a society based on class cleavages in the Western sense is said neverto have existed there. As the economic transition followed the democratizationprocess in these countries, a democratic transition, which had preceded theeconomic transition (Poland was the first country to introduce shock ther-apy in 1992), could only be a cause not a result of the economic liberaliza-tion. With such a democracy lacking the financial basis of a burgeoningmiddle class or diversified forms of interest differentiation, a political societywas built around an identity, not interest.10 Interests were intrinsicallyshaped by the state, not against it.11 Despite early moments of freedomunder Communism (the Prague Spring, Solidarity), the prospective premiseof a neo-liberal system, of a weak state, and a strong civil society, was non-existent in the CEC. There had been different segments in the society, butthere existed no natural conflicts between social groups. As David Ost writes:Take away the old regime in state socialist society, you do not have naturalconflicts between different social groups.12 Martin Krol, for his part, under-lined the adversity of the political and economic structures of the Westerndemocracies in the CEC. According to him, the liberal tradition grew as a result of social and economic changes and not as their cause,13 and led tothe imposition of a civil society from above, not as a natural requirement ofthe society and associations. He adds: After the elections [in 1990], I tried tofind out why Walesa was successful. The answer is simple. Perhaps thoseof us who were engaged in the struggle for independence and freedom weremistaken about the values for which people were yearning. We thought theywanted freedom, and to an extent we imposed it on them, but it seems nowthat people do not know what to do with the freedom they have regained.14

    Europeanness was the emphasis the second group of intellectuals placedon Central Europe. In this line of thought, Central Europe shared the samehistorical and cultural trajectory as the Western part, and the main aim wasto distinguish it from Eastern Europe, meaning primarily Russia. PiotrWandycz argues that the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland belonged toWestern civilization since they experienced all great historical currents suchas the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment.15 For his part,Peter Hanak calls Central Europe the Eastern zone of the West rather thanthe Western rim of the East.16 The point of reference is again the same: Theidea of a unified East European region does not take into account the exist-ence of two genetically, structurally and developmentally different regionalentities: the Central European and the East European.17

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  • For the dissidents of the Communist regimes, writing in the 1980s, theEuropeanness of Central Europe was perceived in the same way. MilanKundera spoke of Soviet domination and Western ignorance of the region.For him, what was at stake during the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956was not the political regime, but Hungary and Europe, something hethought was too hard for a Frenchman or an American to comprehend.According to Kundera, during the invasion, Hungarians could die for theircountry and for Europe thats a phrase that could not be thought in Moscowor Leningrad; it is precisely the phrase that could be thought in Budapest orWarsaw.18 At that moment, Hungary was no longer European (meaningWestern) since it was driven from its own destiny and losing the essence ofits history and identity. What took place in Prague and Warsaw was not adrama of Eastern Europe, of the Soviet bloc, or of Communism, but thedrama of the West kidnapped, displaced and brainwashed. . . . in each of therevolts in Central Europe, the collective cultural memory and the contem-porary creative effort assumed roles so great and so decisive far greater andfar more decisive than they have been in any other European mass revolt.Kundera adds: Europeanness could be prized not by those who took it forgranted, but by those who lived in the greatest fear of losing it. The threatof Soviet power had been a factor fortifying the Europeanness of CentralEurope. The Europeanness of the region appeared in the difference withRussia, both historically and culturally: on the eastern border of the West more than anywhere else Russia is seen not just as one more Europeanpower but as a singular civilization, another civilization.19

    A natural development of the emphasis on the common cultural and civi-lizational traits of Central and Western Europe appeared in the idea of a retreatfrom politics in its narrow sense. It was Vclav Havel who set up the mainpillars of this doctrine in his anti-politics.20 His point of departure is thehuman being, with his conscience and subjectivity. According to TimothyGarton Ash, Havels retreat from politics was concretized in his use of moralcategories and Judeo-Christian individualism. In this way, man was abstractedfrom his political, social and cultural endowments, which represented hisdownfall. Within the framework of this subjectivity, Havel criticized those inCharter 7721 who overestimated the importance of direct political work in atraditional sense and still conceived their activity primarily as a matter ofseeking power in the state.22 Similarly, he rejected categories such as right orleft, finding them outdated, and proposed categories such as right or wrong.Since the point of departure is the universal human being and since he/she,either Western or Central Eastern, is threatened by the same malady, being adissident was for Havel a necessity that cut across the artificial boundariesimposed by the very same threat. By the same token, by making reference tothe Western peace movements, he argued that the danger of war arises notfrom the existence of weapons but from the political realities behind them.As Garton Ash writes: The main political realities in question are the division

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  • of Europe and the continued Soviet domination over half of it.23 UsingHavels reference to the concept of peace and arguing that Havel creates alinkage with the aim of overcoming the divisions in Europe, Garton Ash adds:

    What threatens peace in Europe Havel agrees, is not the prospect of changebut the existing situation. The key to a lasting peace lies not in disarmamentor arms control as such, but in changing these political realities. In thelong term this must mean overcoming the division of Europe . . . andmoving toward what Havel calls the ideal of a democratic Europe as afriendly community of free and independent nations.24

    Gyrgy Konrad was another important figure in Central Europes quest to beEuropean and to possess European traits such as civil society. His approach isfound in his insistence on the politics of anti-politics. He writes:

    [I]t was East Central Europes historical misfortune that it was unable tobecome independent after the collapse of the Eastern, TatarTurkish hegem-ony and later the GermanAustrian hegemony of the West, and that itonce again came under Eastern hegemony, this time of the SovietRussiantype. This is what prevents our area from exercising the Western optiontaken out a thousand years ago, even though this represents our pro-foundest historical inclinations.25

    Konrads reference to the politics of anti-politics was an attempt to give acrucial role to civil society as these states opted for the Western option.Pronouncing the concept civil society and attributing to it a special featurevis--vis the unwanted enemy, namely totalitarianism, provided him withthe characteristic premise of the Euro-discourse of the dissidents. Accordingto Michael Walzer: Konrad urged his fellow dissidents to reject the very ideaof seizing or sharing power and to devote their energies to religious, cultural,economic and professional associations. Civil society appears in his book[Antipolitics] as an alternative to the state, which he assumes to be unchange-able and irredeemably hostile.26

    What mattered after 1989 was not whether Western scholars or CentralEuropean dissidents were correct in their understanding, definition anddescription of Central Europe, but rather how the newly created politicalparties, in this case those in two post-Communist states, used the conceptu-alization of Europe in the political process that eventually led to accessionto the EU. While Europe was conceptualized with reference to historical cul-tural and political processes by Central European intellectuals and with almostideal and magical connotations, the very same concept became identified,more often than not, with reference to the EU in Poland and Hungary. Thediscrepancy between the conceptualizations of Europe by Central Europeanintellectuals in the 1980s and early 1990s on the one hand and in the political

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  • spaces of Central Europe in the late 1990s and early 2000s on the other isfound in the discourse and activities of political parties in Poland and Hungary.

    Europe in Poland and Hungary

    More often than not, the concept of Europe was articulated by the politicalparties of Poland and Hungary within the framework of political Euro-peanization in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Europeanization of theCEC gained a new impetus with the start of negotiations and the prospectiveaccession of these countries and represented a second landmark in theirhistory since their withdrawal from the Soviet sphere of influence in 1989.The accession and negotiation periods were of utmost influence in theEuropeanization process and the social projections attached to it. In thiscontext, one of the main components of the Europeanization process emergedin the form of the term Euroscepticism. It is defined by Paul Taggart and AlexSzczerbiak as a contingent or outright opposition to the process of theEuropean integration.27 It would be hard to find in the 1990s a political partythat would have offered an alternative to the EU, but a decade later the picturewas a bit more complicated. In May 2000, around 69 per cent, 59 per cent and49 per cent of the population in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republicrespectively reacted positively to the pronunciation of the name EU, whilethe percentages dropped to 54 per cent, 44 per cent and 42 per cent in May2001.28 As a result of these changes in public opinion, a distinction wasmade between soft and hard Euroscepticism. Hard Euroscepticism is the onethat entails a categorical and outright denial of the entire project of the EU.29

    On the other hand, Taggart and Szczerbiak also argue that there is softEuroscepticism, which is defined as opposition towards a certain policy or ruleand is usually accompanied by a discourse on national interest: If someonesupports the EU as it currently exists and opposes any further integration,they are effectively [soft] Eurosceptic, because this is at odds with what is thedominant mode of integration that is on-going.30

    There are four observations to make about Euroscepticism both in memberstates and candidate states.31 First, Euroscepticism is an established elementof all EU member states party systems except in Spain. Eurosceptic parties inmember states have an average vote of 5.66 per cent; many of these are partiesof protest and whose position on Europe may be evaluated as a secondaryconcern.32 On the other hand, Eurosceptic parties have a more significantaverage vote share of 25.9 per cent and higher levels of support in the can-didate states, which is linked to an automatic association between negotiationand national interest.33 This picture in which soft Euroscepticism is a morecommon feature than hard Euroscepticism in both cases takes such a formthat the mean level of support for soft Eurosceptic parties is over twice thatof hard Eurosceptic parties (with the means being 14.13 per cent and 5.42per cent respectively) [for both member and candidate states].34 When

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  • comparing the candidate states to member states in this respect, softEurosceptics emerge as more important to their party systems in the CEC thanin member states. By the same token, hard parties articulating Euroscepticismare only derisory in the Central and Eastern Europe but are significant insome member states.35

    Second, in terms of the location of the parties in the poweropposition spec-trum, the parties at the margins of party systems and minority parties usuallyseem to employ hard Euroscepticism while soft Euroscepticism is expressed bymainstream parties. In the member states, major government parties are absentfrom the list and mainstream parties only exist in factional form.36Accordingto Taggart the absence of the governing parties among the Eurosceptical par-ties does not hold true for the CEC.37 Parties at the margins of party systemsand minority parties employ hard Euroscepticism while soft Euroscepticismis expressed by major parties of government within the context of CEC.38

    Third, Eurosceptic parties are usually on the right spectrum in the CEC, whilethey are evenly spread in member states.39 Euroscepticism is, therefore, notmonopolized by a right-wing ideology. For instance, while giving the list ofpolitical parties with Eurosceptic positions, Taggart and Szczerbiak put theRepublican Party of the Czech Republic on the same list as the Workers Partyof Hungary.40 Finally, there is no direct correlation between party-basedEuroscepticism and the levels of popular Euroscepticism for both memberand candidate states.41 Euroscepticism is a strategically political concept.

    In the September 2002 parliamentary elections in Poland, Szczerbiakpoints to a misfit between party-based Euroscepticism and level of popularanti-EU stance.42 According to him, the fact that 2530 per cent of Polishpublic opinion is critical of the EU is not directly reflected in the electoralresults: Even if one accepts that Self-Defence is a de facto hard Euroscepticparty, the share of the vote won by openly anti-EU parties (18.07 per cent)still understated the levels of public opposition to EU membership.43

    Despite the high percentage of parties that are critical of or hostile to the EU,the results of the September 2001 elections cannot be evaluated as aEurosceptic backlash.44

    Speculating about the erosion of the consensus on the question ofEuropean integration, Kopecky and Mudde argue that Euroscepticism doesnot mean a degree of rejection of the basis upon which the EU is constructed,but only opposition to accession at a certain time or in a certain context.They argue that Taggart and Szczerbiaks definition of soft Euroscepticism istoo broad and that they fail to distinguish between European integrationand accession. However, Taggart and Szczerbiak introduce two different axes,one on the attitude to European integration and the other to the EU respect-ively, and argue that although parties may change their position on the lat-ter axis, they are very unlikely to do so on the former as this would involvea substantial re-orientation of their entire political ideology.45 Instead,Kopecky and Mudde offer a new classification defining those who believe in the

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  • general ideas of European integration and support the EU as Euroenthusiasts;those who believe in the general ideas of European integration but are pes-simistic about the present EU as Eurosceptics; those who subscribe neither tothe ideas underlying European integration and the EU itself as Eurorejectionists;and those who do not believe in the ideas of European integration butapprove of the EU as Europragmatists.46 Although they end up with the argu-ment that Euroscepticism is something ideological, it emerges as a strategicconcern, as the criticism of the EU at a moment rather than the Europeanintegration itself, and an opposition to the current rather than the ideal.

    Party-based Euroscepticism in general and, its most viable form, softEuroscepticism are employed by political parties not in the form of a denialof or a resistance to the European project, but usually as a critique of a par-ticular policy (such as the Common Agricultural Policy or the CommonForeign and Security Policy) or as a reference to national interest. Party-basedEuroscepticism is engaged on pragmatic and strategic grounds. It does notentail a questioning of the belonging to Europe as discussed above.

    Leader discourses

    The different ways in which Europe is conceptualized is also found in partyleaders discourses or in party programmes. Consider the political manoeuvresof FIDESZ,47 which was in power between 1998 and 2002 together with itscoalition partners the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) and theIndependent Smallholders Party (FKgP):

    From what had started out as a radical alternative youth movement,and then as a party that often described itself as a social-liberal, bythe late 1990s, FIDESZ . . . was transformed into a centre-right catch-allparty espousing conservative and nationalist values at least as much asliberal ones. Reflecting this, in 2000 the party decided to leave the liberalInternational of which it had been a member since 1992 and theEuropean Liberal, Democratic and Reform Party (ELDR) and join the centre-right European Peoples Party.48

    Notwithstanding the fact that the previous SocialistFree Democrat coalitionwas known for its universalist, pragmatic and modernizer stance, whichimplied an imperative to catch up with Europe,49 FIDESZ began to use a dis-course with cultural references and conservative patterns, which was alsoreflected in its Europe discourse: While FIDESZ had unequivocally stated inits 1994 manifesto that Hungarys fastest possible integration into Europewas its primary foreign policy objective, a centrepiece of its programme forthe 1998 elections was standing for the national interest.50 Similarly, theirreconcilable attitude that the party leader Viktor Orbn had during 2002autumn and winter before the 2003 EU Referendum was replaced by a more

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  • superficial dialogue with the electorate discourse during the referendum. AsBrigid Fowler states:

    FIDESZ became more positive than in late 2002, using many of the samethemes as the Socialists [such as higher incomes and living standards,greater life opportunities, EU transfers etc.], but laying more stress on dia-logue with the voters. With his domestic constituencies in mind, Orbn alsooften played down the significance of the Yes or No? choice, continuingto focus on the longer-term domestic policies he claimed would be neededto make accession a success, and not saying explicitly that prospectiveNo voters were mistaken. FIDESZ was explicit, however, that the referen-dum was not to be used as a vote on the governments performance,although this position represented a reversal of the us or them tendencyof the partys recent politics.51

    Polish politics was marked by similar shifts in terms of political party dis-courses and affiliations with regards to Europe. The Polish Justice and LawParty (PiS), which declared that it would vote No in the EU Referendumunless the Polish candidacy conditions in terms of agricultural subsidies andthe transition period that is required for the Polish workers in order to jointhe free movement of labour were met, accepted at its January 2003Congress the motto: A Strong Poland in the European Union.

    Similarly, the main actor in the anti-EU camp, the League of PolishFamilies (LPR), initially employed an anti-EU discourse, claiming that animportant segment of our national assets has been given away while theremainder is (now) being taken over about the association agreement andthat the policies of previous Polish governments were directed by the inter-ests of foreign capital.52 Nevertheless:

    During the election campaign . . . LPR leaders were much less ambiguousabout their outright opposition to EU membership. LPR chairman MarekKotlinowski, for example, argued that for us, the alternative to takingPoland into the EU is respecting the rights of the sovereign states . . . Weare for cooperation with everyone who wants to build social relationswith Poland on a Christian basis. Similarly, LPR vice-chairman RomanGiertych argued that, we did not fight for our independence for all thoseyears only to now give away a portion of our sovereignty to some kind ofsupranational organization.53

    The LPRs previous outright opposition to the EU was converted to a moreambiguous and indirect reaction during the electoral campaign of September2001.

    It is clear from the Europe discourses of the political parties that Europecannot be used as leverage for claiming that the opposition to the idea of

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  • Europe in the form of an opposition to the EU constitutes the basis for anoutright denial of political Europeanization; the conceptualization of theissue is highly volatile. We are faced with a totally different picture than theone offered by the intellectuals on the question of belonging or not belongingto Europe examined above.


    Since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in March 1957, the study of Europeanintegration has focused on the debates on the nature of its construction.Equally important are the content and the extent of Europeanization in notonly the founding member states of the EU, but also in the new membersand candidate states in order to assess the nature of the future of the EU. Theobjective has been to determine whether the term Europe is equated withEuropeanization and whether it plays a role in the activities and processestaking place in the political spaces of these countries.

    The main argument in this chapter is that the ideological and cultural con-cerns or discussions attached to the idea of Europe in the late 1980s andearly 1990s in the Central European countries were irrelevant to the forma-tion of the political space of the EU, especially in the late 1990s and the earlytwenty-first century. As Alexandra Laignel-Lavestine54 indicates and as out-lined in the introduction of this volume, pressing invitations to return tothe European spirit and the definition of the European project on a human-isticphilosophical basis were the main characteristics of the concerns ofCentral European intellectuals before EU enlargement. When the CentralEuropean countries became a part of this unification project in the 1990s,the depiction of Europe in Central Europe experienced a complete trans-formation. In the latter period, Europe was articulated only with referenceto certain policies, stereotypes and discourses, which were not related to anyculturally or ideologically driven question of belonging. Europe was notpresented as a question of ideological affiliation but as a slogan for short-term gains or manoeuvres.

    In the transition literature of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the main ref-erence point was the EastWest distinction. Broadly speaking, it presentedthe ways in which Eastern Europe could be transformed so as to have thefeatures that the genuine Europe had par excellence. In that evaluation, theEast was seen as inferior to the West and what characterized the East emergedas that which did not characterize the West. The second line of thinkingrevolved around the idea of the Europeanness of Central Europe and wasadopted by Central European intellectuals, the so-called dissidents. Theypresented the disintegration of socialism as a unique chance to return to theplace to which these countries already belonged historically, politically and,most important of all, culturally. The main aim was to use the alleged com-mon cultural, historical and intellectual Central European heritage as a leverage

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  • to prove the Europeanness of Central Europe, so much so that Europeacquired an almost sacred and magical connotation. The word cultural mustbe underlined here, as the cultural commonality between Western Europeand Central Europe was the main feature that established this discourse anddesignated Europe as an element of allegiance.

    However, as it turned out in Poland and in Hungary, the situation wasquite different at the political level. Another concept entered the picture, thatof Euroscepticism. It was intrinsically strategic and thus could not pose athreat to political Europeanization. Except for the parties that showed a de factoor outright opposition to the EU, Euroscepticism carried strategic and short-term concerns. Moreover, there was a shift in the Euro rhetoric of the polit-ical parties. This shift in the party discourses showed that the conceptualframework regarding Europe was characterized by a limited set of referencesand by a slippery rhetoric. Europe was conceptualized around certainstereotypes, which made Europe an ordinary issue on the political agendato be exploited politically.

    In this chapter, the concept of Europeanization was chosen to find outwhether and to what extent the Europeanization of the political spaces inthe CEC was equivalent to the EU accession process or whether it entailedmuch more cultural or deep-rooted dimensions. In the end, the depiction ofEurope by the dissidents and the scholars of transition literature in the late1980s and early 1990s in existentialist and identity terms that questionedthe extent of belongingness/non-belongingness to Europe seems as unre-lated with the main premises of the use and articulation of Europe by thepolitical parties in the post-1990 period.


    * I wish especially to thank Stanislav Kirschbaum, Thomas Diez and Kursat Ertugrulfor their valuable comments and suggestions.

    1 See Maria Cowles, James Caporaso and Thomas Risse, eds, Transforming Europe:Europeanization and Domestic Change (Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell UniversityPress, 2001); Tanja Brzel, Towards Convergence in Europe? Institutional Adaptationto Europeanization in Germany and Spain, Journal of Common Market Studies37 (4) (1999), 57356; Tanja Brzel and Thomas Risse, Conceptualizing theDomestic Impact of Europe, in K. Featherstone and C. Radaelli, eds, The Politics ofEuropeanization: Theory and Analysis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); andJohan Olsen, The Many Faces of Europeanization, Journal of Common Market Studies40 (5) (2002), 92152.

    2 See Claudio Radaelli, The Europeanization of Public Policy, in Featherstone andRadaelli, The Politics of Europeanization, pp. 2756; and Claudio Radaelli,Europeanization: Solution or Problem?, European Integration Online Papers(EIoP), 8:16, 2004, available at http://eiop.or.at/eiop/texte/2004-016a.htm (lastviewed on 11 April 2006).

    3 The concept of political space is widely used in recent studies in the social sciences.Yet there is no fixed categorization of this term. In this chapter, the concept is used

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  • in terms of the terrains in which political processes, debates and reflections takeplace. In this sense, party politics is the empirical basis of this concept in this chapter.

    4 Tony Judt, A Grand Illusion? An Essay on Europe (New York: Hill and Wang, 1996), p. 60.5 Quoted in ibid.6 The term dissidents is used for those intellectuals, among whom are political sci-

    entists, sociologists, historians and political activists in the countries of Centraland Eastern Europe in the early 1980s, who were dissatisfied with totalitarian rule.Their articles and debates contributed to the formation of an intellectual world oflearning and culture independent of the state. Although they differ in nodalpoints and references, their main argument is that Central Europe does appeal tothe values and processes that make Europe Europe. Milan Kundera with his Thetragedy of Central Europe, Gyrgy Konrad with his Antipolitics, Adam Michnikwith his Notes from the Prison and Other Essays and Vclav Havel with his Power ofthe Powerless are in the vanguard in this respect. This intellectual strand could bedenoted, broadly speaking, as the predecessor of the Return to Europe discourseof the 1990s, which stressed the Europeanness of the Central European candi-dates for EU enlargement.

    7 Gerard Delanty, Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality (London: Macmillan, 1995),p. 16.

    8 George Schpflin, The Political Traditions of Eastern Europe, in StephenGraubard, ed., Eastern Europe . . . Central Europe . . . Europe (Boulder, CO: WestviewPress, 1991), pp. 5994 and Schpflin, Central Europe: Definitions Old and New,in George Schpflin and Nancy Wood, eds, In Search of Central Europe (Cambridge:Polity Press, 1989), pp. 729.

    9 Maria Kaldor and Ian Vejvoda, Democratization in Central and East EuropeanCountries: an Overview, in Maria Kaldor and Ian Vejvoda, eds, Democratization inCentral and Eastern Europe (London: Pinter, 1999), p. 2.

    10 David Ost, The Politics of Interest in Post-Communist East Europe, Theory andSociety 22 (1993), 45386.

    11 Ibid.12 Ost is very careful in using the term class, ibid., p. 460.13 Martin Krol, Democracy in Poland in Kaldor and Vejvoda, Democratization, p. 75.14 Ibid., p. 74.15 Piotr Wandycz, The Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from the Middle

    Ages to the Present (London: Routledge, 1992), p. 3. This is also the case of Slovakia,according to Stanislav J. Kirschbaum in this volume, Chapter 1.

    16 Peter Hanak, Central Europe, in Schpflin and Wood, In Search of Central Europe,pp. 5769.

    17 Ibid., p. 57.18 Milan Kundera, The tragedy of Central Europe, New York Review of Books, 26 April

    1984, p. 33.19 Ibid., p. 34.20 Vaclav Havel, The Power of the Powerless: Citizens against the State in Central-Eastern

    Europe (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1985) and Vclav Havel, Anatomy of a Reticence(Stockholm: Charter 77 Foundation, 1985).

    21 The movement known as Charter 77 took its name from the title of a documentinitially circulated within Czechoslovakia in January 1977. Appearing as a mani-festo in a West German newspaper and signed by 243 Czechoslovak citizens representing various occupations, political viewpoints and religions, the docu-ment had been signed by 1,200 people by the mid-1980s. Charter 77 criticized thegovernment for failing to implement the human rights provisions of a number of

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  • documents it had signed, such as the Czechoslovak Constitution and the FinalAct of the 1975 Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Vclav Havelis one of its founders, the first post-Communist leader of Czechoslovakia after theCommunist Party of Czechoslovakia quietly and peacefully transferred politicalpower, in a process that was later dubbed as the Velvet Revolution, also knownas the Gentle Revolution in Slovakia.

    22 Timothy Garton Ash, Does Central Europe Exist?, in Schpflin and Wood, InSearch of Central Europe, p. 198.

    23 Quoted in ibid., p. 203.24 Ibid.25 Quoted in ibid., p. 194. The title of Konrads book is Antipolitics: an Essay.

    Translated from the Hungarian by Richard E. Allen (San Diego, CA: Harcourt,Brace, Jovanovich, 1984).

    26 Michael Walzer, The Concept of Civil Society, in Michael Walzer, ed., Towards aGlobal Civil Society (Oxford: Bergham Books, 1995), p. 21.

    27 Paul Taggart and Alex Szczerbiak, Europeanization, Euroscepticism and PartySystems: Party-based Euroscepticism in the Candidate States of Central and EasternEurope, Perspectives on European Politics and Society 3 (1) (2002), 2341.

    28 The data are compiled by Petr Kopecky and Cas Mudde, Empty Words orIrreducible Core? Euroscepticism in East Central Europe, paper presented at theAnnual Meeting of American Political Science Association, San Francisco, 30August 2001, pp. 78.

    29 Taggart and Szczerbiak, Europeanization, p. 7.30 Ibid., p. 8.31 Apparently, the designation candidate states is used for the CECs that became

    full members on 1 May 2004, and is used in the Euroscepticism literature.32 Paul Taggart and Alex Szczerbiak, The Party Politics of Euroscepticism in

    EU Member and Candidate States, Sussex European Institute Working Paper 51(2002), 12.

    33 Ibid., p. 15.34 Ibid., p. 22.35 Ibid., p. 32.36 Ibid., p. 12.37 Paul Taggart, A Touchstone of Dissent: Euroscepticism in Contemporary Western

    European Party Systems, European Journal of Political Research 33 (1998), 372.38 Taggart and Szczerbiak, Europeanization, pp. 2341.39 Taggart and Szczerbiak, Party Politics, passim.40 Taggart and Szczerbiak, Europeanization, p. 21.41 Taggart and Szczerbiak, Party Politics, p. 22.42 Alex Szczerbiak, After the Election Nearing the Endgame: The Polish Euro-Debate

    in the Run-up to the 2003 EU Accession Referendum, Sussex European InstituteWorking Paper 53 (2002), 18.

    43 Ibid., p. 12.44 Ibid., pp. 714.45 Taggart and Szczerbiak, Party Politics, p. 34.46 Ibid., p. 319.47 FIDESZHungarian Civic Forum (FIDESZMPP) is the original name of the party in

    question but it will be referred as FIDESZ for the sake of simplicity, as it is oftenused in the relevant literature.

    48 Agnes Batory, The Political Context of EU Accession in Hungary, Briefing Paper(London: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, November 2002), p. 4.

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  • 49 The coalition was in power between 1994 and 1998 under the premiership ofGylua Horn. According to Agnes Batory: In the view of the Socialists, there is noother way of modernization for Hungary and more broadly Central Europe thanjoining the process of European integration as soon as possible, voluntarily givingpart of sovereignty and transferring that to the institutions of European integration.See Agnes Batory, Hungarian Party Identities and the Question of EuropeanIntegration, Sussex European Institute Working Papers 49 (2001), 19. Together with itsjunior partner, the Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz), which most openly revealedits pro-Europeanness, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) appeared as the mostliberal and secular party in outlook during this period.

    50 Agnes Batory, Political Context, p. 4.51 Brigid Fowler, The Hungarian EU Accession Referendum 12 April 2003, Referendum

    Briefing, No. 4, Opposing Europe Research Network, no date, p. 6.52 Quoted in Szczerbiak, After the Election, p. 8.53 Ibid.54 Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, Esprits dEurope. Autour de Czeslaw Milosz, Jan

    Patocka, Istvn Bib (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 2005).

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  • 159

    The study of Euroscepticism is one of the main bodies of a larger literaturethat focuses on the attitudes of political parties towards European integrationin old and new member states of the EU.1 Far from being an analytical notion,the term Euroscepticism has a strong normative and polemical dimension thatqualifies it as a political tool. Moreover, it presents a risk of conceptual stretch-ing because it lumps together parties that have various political identities,express diametrically opposed views on European issues, and show differentdegrees of opposition to the European project. This chapter offers a criticalanalysis of a category that is simultaneously a buzzword in scholarly literatureand a term used to disqualify political opponents.

    Generally speaking, three phases can be distinguished in the debates aboutEuropean Union (EU) affairs in the Central European Countries (CEC): a broadconsensus in favour of the return to Europe in 198990 was followed by dissensions about European integration, as new competitors emerged in thepolitical sphere and unpopular socioeconomic reforms were justified bythe preparation for EU accession. The last period, starting with the launchingof the accession negotiations in 1998, saw the success of Eurorealism, that issupport for the principle of European integration and disapproval of the acces-sion conditions offered to the CEC. How to account for the development ofconflicting but ambiguous political views on European integration in the newEU member states? What are the factors that caused parties to adopt Euroscepticpositions in party competition?

    This chapter first focuses on political discourses in the Czech Republic,Poland and Hungary since the fall of Communism. After a short criticalreview of the literature on Central and Eastern European Euroscepticism basedon theoretical and empirical arguments, it provides an alternative approach toanalyse the usages of European integration in political competitions before andafter accession to the EU, especially during the June 2004 European elections.

    Critical discourses on European integration during the pre-accession period

    Two main perspectives can be distinguished in the studies of Euroscepticismdeveloped in the CEC: analyses based on cleavage theories and typologies that

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    distinguish various forms of disapproval of European integration. The cleavagetheory has been applied to the Hungarian case by Gyrgy Markus. He claims thatthe Hungarian party system was structured around a normative division betweennation and modernization that coincided with the division between anti/pro-integration attitudes.2 He labels liberal modernizer parties pro-European,whereas conservative national parties are called Eurosceptic. Yet a detailedempirical analysis of party manifestos during the 1990s in Poland, Hungary andthe Czech Republic does not confirm the thesis of stable links between ideo-logies and positions on European integration; some parties changed theirvision of European integration during the 1990s, going either from criticismto full support (some ex-Communist parties) or the other way round (someconservative parties lost their enthusiasm for the EU as the pre-accessionprocess unfolded). Moreover, all conservative parties were not Eurosceptic.3

    A second approach, focused on typologies of Euroscepticism, shows thatcritical approaches to European integration in Western Europe are common toseveral political families. Taggart offers a seminal definition of Euroscepticism,as [expressing] the idea of contingent or qualified opposition, as well asincorporating outright and unqualified opposition to the process of Europeanintegration.4 He establishes that a partys position on the leftright scale is notdecisive when determining whether a party shall be considered as Euroscepticor not, and distinguishes several sources of Euroscepticism along two ideologi-cal dimensions. Identity politics opposes those who conceive of the nationas the primary source of identity to those who identify themselves morebroadly as Europeans or citizens of the world. The second opposition con-cerns a collective versus an individualist orientation, depending on whetherthe individual is believed to derive from the community, or the community isseen as a collection of individuals. Ideologies that are the closest to a nationaland community orientation are expected to be the least favourable to Europeanintegration. Euroscepticism is more frequent for national-community andglobal-community orientations, and to a lesser extent, for national-individual ideologies. Parties that support the current European integrationmainly have individual-global ideologies. These hypotheses are valid in theCEC; although the leftright opposition does not determine party positionson EU integration, community- and national-oriented parties are the mostoften critical of European integration.

    In order to break down a category often considered as over-inclusive, Taggartand Szczerbiak distinguish two types of euroscepticism in a later work focusingon the CEC:

    hard Euroscepticism is a disapproval of supranational integration as such,that is, a principled opposition to the project of European integration asembodied in the EU, in other words, based on ceding or transfer of powersto a supranational institution such as the EU. This party position is simplycalled euroscepticism by politicians in the CEC.

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  • soft Euroscepticism is a disapproval of the EU as a specific political system,that is, an opposition to the EUs current or future trajectory based on thefurther extension of competencies that the EU is planning to make. Thereis no principled opposition to membership here, but concerns or criticismare expressed as regards EU policies that amount to a qualified opposition.This party position is called Eurorealism in the CEC.5

    Drawing on Taggarts terminology, three types of Euroscepticism can be dis-tinguished in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic (all the parties andtheir political orientation are shown in Table 10.1).

    In Central Europe after 1989, conservative parties that labelled themselvesEurorealist supported European integration under the condition that nationalinterests were protected. This vague and encompassing notion, which wasrarely defined in party manifestos, revealed a general mistrust of Europeanintegration that touched upon three issues common to all conservative parties:

    1. These parties rejected the idea of catching up with Europe, they advocateda national path of development for their country based on its specific cultureand national identity.

    2. They were afraid of consequences of EU integration for national sovereign-ties and identities.

    3. They criticized the EU for being a disloyal partner in the accession nego-tiations and refused to join this organization at any cost. They opposedquick accession and profitable accession.

    Differences appeared according to the specific political identity of theseconservative parties. Two types of parties expressed a national communityideology:

    agrarian parties such as the Polish Peasant Party (Polskie StronnictwoLudowe PSL) and the Smallholders Party (Fggetlen Kisgazda-,Fldmunks- s Polgri Prt FKgP) defined themselves at representativesof the farmers interests and claimed that their support for accessiondepended on its costs and benefits for agriculture. They had contrastingviews on the acquis communautaire; they criticized land ownership by EUnationals but praised the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP);

    traditionalist parties such as the Law and Justice Party (Prawo iSprawiedliwosc PiS) in Poland and the Hungarian Democratic Forum(Magyar Demokrata Frum MDF) promoted values such as religion, familyand national traditions. They criticized the materialism of the EU and itsneglect of national identities. They also denounced the loss of sovereigntyand the federalist conception of the Maastricht Treaty as a trend towardsthe disappearance of nation-states.

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  • 162Table 10.1 Orientation of political parties in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic


    Far left Social-democrat Liberal Liberal Conservative Far rightconservative

    MP (Workers MSzP (Hungarian SzDSz (Alliance of FIDESZMPP (Alliance of MDF (Hungarian MIP (HungarianParty) Socialist Party) Free Democrats) Young Democrats Democratic Forum), Justice and Life

    Hungarian Civic Party) FKgP (Smallholders Party)and Rural Workers Independent Party)


    Social-democrat Liberal Conservative Far right

    SLD (Alliance of the UW (Freedom Union), ZChN (National Christian Union), LPR (League of Polish Families)Democratic Left) PO (Civic Platform) AWS (Solidarity Electoral Action),

    PSL (Polish Peasant Party), PiS (Law and Justice)

    Czech Republic

    Far left Social-democrat Liberal Liberal Christian Far rightconservative democrat

    KSC M (Communist C SSD (Czech Social- US (Freedom ODS (Civic Democratic KDUC SL (Christian SPRRSC (MovementParty of Bohemia Democratic Party) Union) Party) Democratic Union for the RepublicMoravia) Czechoslovak Popular Czechoslovak

    Party) Republican Party)

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  • The national individual ideology was embodied by conservativeliberalparties such as the Civic Democratic Party (Obcansk Demokratick Strana ODS) in the Czech Republic and the Alliance of Young DemocratsHungarianCivic Party (Fiatal Demokratk SzvetsgeMagyar Polgri Prt FIDESZ) thatwere in favour of free trade and intergovernmental cooperation in the EU.They developed a realist conception of international relations based on thebalance of power among nation-states. They advocated a British conceptionof European integration, consisting in the protection of national sovereignty,the promotion of economic deregulation and the limitation of the role of EUinstitutions. These parties criticized the European bureaucracy, the demo-cratic deficit of the EU and the social market economy as a fallacious thirdway between socialism and capitalism.

    The former ruling parties, the Communist Party of BohemiaMoravia(Komunistick Strana C ech a Moravy KSCM) in the Czech Republic and theWorkers Party (Munksprt MP) in Hungary, respected democratic principleswhile remaining faithful to the Communist ideology. They defined themselvesas representatives of the losers of post-Communist transformations and of themost vulnerable social groups. Their political identity was based on an inter-ventionist vision of the economy, a strong rejection of North Atlantic TreatyOrganization (NATO) membership, and a will to protect the national economyfrom global capitalist pressures. These parties hesitated in their positions on EUissues after 1989 and hovered between hard and soft euroscepticism: on the onehand they feared stigmatization as old guard if they rejected European integra-tion, but on the other hand they rejected the EUs economic liberalism. Theseparties avoided taking any clear stance on EU issues until the late 1990s, whenthey adopted a left-wing Eurorealist position. They recommended the post-ponement of accession until their country was strong enough, politically andeconomically, to resist any domination by some of the member states. They alsorepeated that the decision to join the EU should be based on a precise costsbenefits analysis and an apolitical assessment of the accession conditions.

    Contrary to Eurorealists, far right Eurosceptic parties fully rejected the EUas a symbol of economic liberalism, of the loss of sovereignty, and of the weak-ening of national identity and culture. They suggested the development ofregional cooperation as an alternative to accession to NATO and the EU, andfrequently created equivalence between the lack of freedom during Commun-ism and the forced homogeneity imposed by EU institutions to Europeannation-states. These parties framed their disapproval of European integrationwith nationalist and anti-European symbols embedded in their national history anti-German feelings in the Czech Republic, Catholic proselytism in Poland,and concerns for national minorities living outside the borders of Hungary.

    European integration as a political tool

    Although this approach gives some clarity to the multiple contents of dis-courses critical of European integration, several caveats need to be pointed

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  • out. Empirically, the line between the hard and the soft components of Euro-scepticism is hard to draw and many parties hover between the two. There isa high degree of vagueness in these classifications and second-guessing aboutwhat party positions really are. On a theoretical level, this perspective inad-equately considers the respective influence of strategy and ideology in Euro-scepticism. Taggart and Szczerbiak convincingly argue that there is a markedtendency for Eurosceptic parties to be located on the periphery of party politics,and that party strategy matters in EU positions. But they also differentiatebetween underlying party positions on Europe and the usage of the issue ofEurope in party competition. The former are determined by a blend of thepartys ideology and what it perceives the interests of its members to be,whereas the latter depends on the partys electoral strategy and coalition-formation and government participation tactics.6 This sharp distinctionbetween positions and discourses on Europe needs to be qualified because ofthe close interrelation between party ideology and party strategy. To do so, it isnecessary to focus on the role of European issues in the creation of the politicalidentities that enabled parties to appear legitimate enough to participate inpolitical games in post-Communist Europe.

    This research design breaks with the characterization of parties according tobroad ideological categories such as liberalism or conservatism, which positsthat parties reflect pre-existing social interests. Parties do not automaticallyemanate from the interests they claim to defend. These interests are shaped bypolitical actors who define them in such a way as to appear like the naturalrepresentative of some social groups.7 Although Communist societies wereinternally differentiated, political parties redefined the main social and politicallines of division after 1989 in order to accumulate political capital (legitimacyand various forms of support from citizens such as votes, party membershipsand so forth). Newly established political parties needed to show how theydiffered from one another by framing issues distinctively in their discourses.European integration, as a symbol of the changes that occurred after 1989 inthe geopolitical, political, social and economic spheres, was a major politicalresource that various actors used in order to build party identities and disqual-ify competitors. This is why there is no straightforward relationship betweengeneral party ideology and party position on Europe; politicians used Europeanissues as a tool for political competition and ideological differentiation, accord-ing to their position in national party politics. Euroscepticism was simultan-eously an ideological and a strategic choice.

    Moreover, the development of pre-accession further blurred the relationshipbetween party identities and positions on EU integration. Supporting EU inte-gration was a condition of being able to take part in the democratic politicalgames at the beginning of the 1990s. European issues were seen as a principleof classification that set apart political actors who could participate in the com-petition and those who could not. A pro-European stance became a politicalnorm acting as a normative theme, that is, a general rule that determined the

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  • behaviour of political actors.8 Mainstream political parties could not cross theline and criticize the EU as such for fear of being accused of Euroscepticismand disqualified in the political competitions. They created new political cat-egories, such as Eurorealism, that would shed a positive light on themselves.But the structure of political games changed as the pre-accession processunfolded. After the opening of the accession negotiations in 1998, domesticpolicies were increasingly influenced by EU rules. This shift from foreign policyissues to concrete socioeconomic controversies increased the value of Europeanissues as a source of political capital, because EU accession was framed moredirectly according to the interests of the partys constituencies. WidespreadEurorealism was the result of this tension between a necessary collusionbetween parties, which moderated their criticisms in order to appear legit-imate political actors, and the instrumentalization of EU issues to gain electoralsupport at the expense of competitors. Saying yes, but to accession to the EUbecame a pragmatic rule of the political game during the late 1990s, that is, a setof rules of a lesser importance that actors could freely define and redefine, with-out any risk of exclusion from political competitions.9 European issues werethen used in various forms of power struggle among mainstream parties (com-petitions for a constituency, for office positions, intra-partisan rivalries).

    European integration as a tool for inclusion and exclusion frompolitical competition

    In view of the fact that European integration was understood as a symbol forpeace, market economy and democracy, political parties were classified aslegitimate or illegitimate political actors based on their attitude towards the EU:

    Politicians symbolically associated with the Communist regimes were dis-tinguished from politicians from dissidence or from newly establishedpolitical parties.

    Initially, former Communist parties were not in favour of a quick associ-ation, not to mention integration in the European Community (EC). Parties thatsucceeded to former ruling parties, such as the Alliance of the Democratic Leftin Poland (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej SLD) the Hungarian SocialistParty (Magyar Szocialista Prt MSzP) or the KSCM in the Czech Republic didnot take a pro-European stance right at the fall of Communism. But they couldnot bear the cost of an anti-European position that would have highlightedtheir connection with the former regime and their reluctance towards thechanges of 1989. As a result, they were very vague about relations with the ECand more vocal in their criticism of NATO. Later on, former Communist partiesinvested in the European debates depending on their conversion strategy.European issues, as a sign of break with the past and support of democracyand the market economy, was a major tool in the construction of a social-democratic identity for the Polish SLD and the Hungarian MSzP. Support for

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  • European integration was simultaneously framed as a break with the past, aninsertion in the international social-democratic family, and a respect for thesocialist values inherited from the former ruling parties. The constraints inthe usage of European issues were particularly strong for these parties andimposed a tight official pro-European consensus despite internal divergences.The Czech case was very different. The KSCM, which did not follow the samepath to social democracy and developed a neo-Communist identity,10 wasstigmatized because of its lukewarm attitude to European integration. Simul-taneously the historical Czech Social-Democratic Party (Cesk Strana SocilneDemokratick C SSD), which had been maintained in exile during Communism, strongly invested in European issues in order to redefine itsidentity, distinguish itself from KSCM and gain international recognition.

    EU issues helped distinguish mainstream political actors from protestparties.

    Extremist actors had no reason not to oppose accession to the EU, sincesuch a position reinforced their rejection of post-Communist transform-ations. The Hungarian Justice and Life Party (Magyar Igazsg s let Prtja MIP) for example, was the result of a split from the conservative MDF thatwas partially motivated by European issues. One of the MDF leaders, IstvnCsurka, disagreed with the partys support for a Europe of fatherlands. As headof the newly created MIP, he presented any form of European integration asa threat to the independence of the Hungarian nation and even as a secondTrianon Treaty.11 MIP also interpreted the consensus of political and admin-istrative elites on EU issues as a form of collusion leading to a dangerous neglectof national interests.12

    European issues as a source of distinction between mainstreampolitical actors

    Political struggles led some parties to alter their positions on European issuesin order to frame a new political identity. Moreover, far from being monolithicentities, political parties are collections of individuals, groups and coalitionsthat hold partly divergent views and interests.13 Several lines of distinctionabout European integration existed simultaneously in Central Europeanpolitical systems, owing to inter- and intra-party competitions.

    Parties that compete for the same constituency

    After the fall of Communism, parties that competed to be recognized as theonly representative of liberal, conservative or social-democrat constituen-cies used their positions about European integration to disqualify their com-petitors. According to their emerging political identity, they accused theirrivals either of being too flexible and servile towards the EU, or too tough and

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  • nationalistic. EU issues were especially used by conservative parties todelegitimize liberal parties by accusing them of neglecting national inter-ests in the process of European integration. Because they depended on thestructure of political games at a given point in time, party positions onEuropean integration evolved during the 1990s.

    Positions on European integration were used to justify the split of theCzech party Freedom Union (Unie Svobody US) from the ODS in February1998. The new party, which was ideologically close to the ODS and tried toattract its voters, highlighted two points of distinction: a greater respect forethics in politics (it had been created after a corruption scandal) and a morepro-European stance. The new party attempted to create a political identityby defining itself as the only Czech pro-European centre-right liberal party andaccused the ODS of Euroscepticism. It also criticized the governing social-democratic party, C SSD, for the gap between a pro-European discourse andpublic policies that did not conform to the acquis communautaire. Thus USdisqualified its main competitors and opened the way to an alliance with theChristian Democratic UnionCzechoslovak Popular Party (Krestansk aDemokratick UnieC eskoslovensk Strana Lidov, KDUC SL) based onthe promotion of European integration.

    On the other hand, the ODS claimed that its conception of European inte-gration was the only truly liberal one because it rested upon a realist visionof international cooperation based on free trade, economic deregulation andprotection of national interests. The theme of national interests enabled theODS to define itself as simultaneously liberal and national in its Europeanmanifesto: [National interests] dont mean any form of nationalism or anyoutdated category from the nineteenth century. National interests are a realityin todays world and todays Europe, not a dream from the past. We know howto define them and therefore, we know how to protect them. This reflection ledto a criticism of the current sources of inspiration of the EU, i.e. Habsburg nos-talgia, German federalism, or pan-Europeanism and to a call for new directionsfor European integration.14

    Parties that compete for government positions

    European issues were used by parties that had been previously marginalizedin the political sphere and needed to regain some legitimacy to be consideredas potential coalition partners in a future government. This phenomenon con-cerned various parties:

    Former Communist parties, the SLD in Poland and the MSzP in Hungary,made a move towards pro-integration positions that allowed them to regainpower, respectively in 1993 and 1994. In return, office responsibilities fixedtheir pro-European positions: these parties managed to turn a Europeanconstraint into a resource.

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  • Agrarian parties such as the PSL in Poland and the FKgP in Hungary toneddown their criticism of European integration in order to be considered aspotential junior partners in coalition governments. The FKgP had adopteda strong anti-European discourse, especially during the 199596 economiccrisis that its leaders attributed to the EUs negative influence. As of 1997,the party softened its criticism of European integration in order to get toa mainstream position that allowed it to join the FIDESZMPP government.It advocated a Europe of nations that would protect the interests of theHungarian agriculture. The FKgP kept its political identity as a representa-tive of farmers interests, while obtaining ministerial portfolios that werecrucial to the preparation for EU accession.

    Parties that gained or lost power also changed their positions on Europeanissues, respectively towards milder or harsher criticism of the EU:

    Acceding to power led some parties, such as the National Christian Union(Zjednoczenie Chrzescijansko Narodowe ZChN) in Poland, to more mod-erate criticism of European integration and to splits from anti-integrationfactions. This shift happened after Ryszard Czarnecki, the leader of thisparty that belonged to the conservative coalition Solidarity Electoral Action(Akcja Wyborcza Solidarnosc AWS) and was known for its criticism ofthe materialism and atheism of the EU, became head of the Office of theCommittee for European Integration in 1997. This decision, linked to power-sharing issues inside the AWS, was meant to reassure the Eurorealists bygiving them a say in the management of EU affairs. The ZChN toned downits disapproval of European integration. Yet the dismissal of Czarnecki in1998 strengthened the most radical current within the ZChN. Claimingthat the ZChN was not able to protect Polish national interests, its memberscreated a radical group called the Polish Agreement (PP).15 This split allowedthe ZChN to stay in government without being challenged from within.

    Conversely, losing power led to a stronger criticism of European inte-gration in the case of the Czech party ODS after 1998. During its 1999 ideological conference, the party leaders insisted more strongly on the neg-ative aspects of European integration.16 Denouncing the technical andnon-ideological perspective on European integration of the ruling social-democratic party allowed the ODS to exist in the political sphere and com-pete with pro-integration opposition parties such as the US and the KDUC SL.

    Opposition parties also used EU affairs to criticize governing parties,particularly after 1998, when the European Commission started releasingRegular Reports on the progress of [each candidate country] on the pathtowards accession. Governments quoted their positive elements, whileoppositions picked the Commissions reproaches to strengthen their ownpositions on various issues. These reports were external sources of legitimacythat were converted into domestic political capital. But the tones of thedebates varied from country to country: from 1998 to 2002, for example,

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  • the ODS reproached the C SSD for a lack of concern for national interests,while the MSzP criticized the FIDESZ for having a pro-European discoursethat was not followed by policies conforming with the acquis communautaire.

    Multiple lines of division, linked to the institutional and ideological positionsof parties, overlapped in CEC political spheres. The structure of the politicaldebates was therefore unique in each country, as is shown by the complexsituation of Poland between 1997 and 2001. At that time, the country wasgoverned by a coalition formed around the liberal party Freedom Union (UniaWolnosci UW) and the conservative coalition AWS. Three lines of divisionwere created in political struggles: a distinction between the former Communistregime and the former dissidents (SLD versus AWS UW) that coincided witha split between the government and the opposition; a distinction betweenthe pro-integration and the Eurorealists (SLD UW versus AWS); and a dis-tinction between liberals, conservatives and social democrats (UW versus AWSversus SLD). Although the UW and the SLD presented themselves as themost pro-European parties, they could not fully cooperate with each otherbecause of their opposition about Communism. The SLD, on the other hand,denounced the internal conflicts over European issues within the UWAWScoalition as a source of weakness for the Polish position in Europe. Someleaders of AWS criticized the hidden coalition between SLD and the UW andsuspected them of trying to impose a left-wing utopia European integrationinstead of the Christian Europe advocated by the AWS.17 This led the UW todistance itself ostensibly from the SLD for the sake of governmental stability.

    Intra-party oppositions

    Another reason for the ambiguity and the shifts of party positions on Europeanissues was their internal division regarding European integration, regardlessof their official enthusiasm for this process. Any discussion on the finalit ofEuropean integration would have undermined the balance between currentsinside political parties. These differences were linked to party members per-sonal histories and ideological preferences. Internal divisions had variousconsequences for the patterns of party competition on EU issues:

    Splits happened when party leaders or would-be leaders seized on the EUas an opportunity to create their own competing party therefore reshapingthe structure of political games to start new political careers based either ona more pro-European stance, or on a more critical position on EU accession.Although it developed vague positions on EU accession to allow for internaldifferences, the AWS coalition experienced several splits over EU issues.The former Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski left the AWS in June 1997,denouncing its leaders hesitations about the EU and advocating a deepen-ing of European integration.18 On the other hand, the former head of theOffice for the Committee for European Integration, Ryszard Czarnecki,

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  • left the ZChN to join the radical peasant party Self-Defence (Samoobrona)before the 2004 European elections.

    Changes in the internal balance between party currents over time causedsoftening and sharpening of criticism of EU integration, such as in the CzechODS. The most Eurorealist current, around Vclav Klaus and Jan Zahradil,had been strengthened by the 1997 split. It advocated the partys increasingstress on national interests issues after 1998. Yet this current was weakenedafter Klaus became President of the Republic in February 2003, and Zahradilwas elected MEP in June 2004. A more moderate current around the leaderof the party, Mirek Topolnek, then got the upper hand on European issues.

    Criticizing the EU from the inside: the 2004 European elections in Poland and the Czech Republic

    Ambiguous party positions labelled Eurorealist or Eurosceptic, as well aspolitical conflicts over those terms, demonstrate that European issueswere prominent sources of political capital that could, nevertheless, be usedonly in certain circumstances. Party attitudes toward European integrationwere determined by a tension between collusion and instrumentalization ofEuropean themes during the 1990s.19 During the 2004 elections to the EuropeanParliament (EP), there was also a strong continuity with the pre-accessionperiod as regards the divisions, labels and classifications that structuredpolitical discourses.

    The 2004 electoral campaigns were characterized by a weak mobilizationof political actors. Voters were rarely given detailed political programmes andthe European elections had a strong domestic dimension: they were consideredmainly as second-order elections or tests of popularity for the various politicalgroups. These elections presented the Eurorealist parties with the followingparadox: competing for positions in an institution that they simultaneouslycriticized for its democratic deficit, whose legitimacy they denied. Yet very fewEurosceptic or Eurorealist politicians recommended boycotting the elections one exception being the National Movement (Ruch Narodowy RN) inPoland. They tried instead to gain seats at the European Parliament and switchfrom critical outsiders to critical insiders.

    Eurorealism got the upper hand in the electoral debates in Poland andthe Czech Republic, where the conservative opposition parties sharply criti-cized the accession treaties signed in 2003 by the social-democratic govern-ments. Eurorealists benefited from a certain popular disappointment withthe accession and from conflicts between old and new member states (whichenabled them for example to denounce the FrenchGerman hegemonic ten-dencies regarding the EU constitutional treaty). These politicians presented theelections as a second referendum on accession, and promised their supportersthat they would change the EU from within. The debates dealt mainly withthe protection of the national interest in the EU: the economic dimension of

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  • European integration was predominant and political actors competed to showthat they would best use EU funds. The Polish conservative party PiS, forexample, presented itself as a party that is happy that Poland is in the EU, butis not satisfied with the place that our country has in Europe. We want moremoney from the structural funds, more influence of Poland on the EUs deci-sions, and we want Poland to be better prepared to use the funds of theUnion.20

    Similarly, the Czech conservativeliberal party ODS held an ambiguousposition on EU affairs during the campaign, in an attempt to attract opponentsas well as supporters of accession. Its TV spot was the following:

    Did you vote for accession to the EU? Or did you vote against it? The fact is,we are now members of the EU. Whether you like it or not, we are now partof an entity where the EP plays an important role. You are the ones who willdecide if we have an important position in the parliament or not. You arethe ones who will decide if we become a full EU partner or not. We wantto defend our interests. We want, for the Czech Republic and its citizens,equal rights and obligations. We want the same chances for everyone. TheEP elections concern each of us!21

    Finally, the Communist party KSCM justified rather awkwardly its partici-pation in the European elections. During the 2003 referendum on EU acces-sion, the KSCM had advocated a temporary no because of disadvantageousaccession conditions, while making it clear that it would accept the resultsof this popular consultation. In 2004, it claimed that the party would join otherleft-oriented political forces to develop a critical viewpoint on Europeanintegration and the European constitution:

    The KSCM considers the conditions of the accession of the Czech Republicto the EU as disadvantageous in many fields. But our position concerningthe elections to the European Parliament stems from the results of the 2003referendum on the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU. The problemsof Europe, and not only of the EU countries, are objectively becomingthe problems of the Czech Republic and similarly, the long term aims of theKSCM will be to unite in many fields . . . to left-wing political struggles andto other socially-oriented initiatives. That is the reason why the KSCM willstrive to have a representation as high as possible within the EP and its activeleft-wing groups. Through a critical position on the process and the modal-ities of what is called the European constitution, to the possibility for theCzech Republic to influence the action of the EU, the KSCM aims at takingpart in shaping positive solutions to the complex questions of social, demo-cratic and peaceful cooperation between European countries.22

    The tension between collusion and instrumentalization produced ambiva-lent positions on European integration during the June 2004 elections.

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  • Although all Eurorealist parties call for a Europe of nations and high EUfunding, domestic political contexts also gave specific nuances to Eurorealistdiscourses in Poland and the Czech Republic.

    The accession conditions: against second-class membership

    Eurorealist parties criticized the accession treaties, and especially the transitionperiods imposed by the EU in the CAP and the free movement of workers.The Polish party PiS even denounced the conditions of accession negotiatedby those who wanted to work in the EU institutions. Its candidate MichalKaminski complained that the Polish civil servants accepted disadvantageousaccession clauses in the perspective of their future careers in the EU, and theirattitude constituted a conflict of interests.23

    The Polish radical peasant party Self-defence requested a renegotiation ofthe accession treaty, especially concerning production quotas, free purchaseof land, direct CAP payments to farmers, free movement of workers and anindependent Polish economic policy. If this was not possible, it called for awithdrawal from the EU:

    The accession to the European Union under conditions of equality, of part-nership, could be advantageous for Poland. But the entry into the EU underthe negotiated conditions condemns Poland to a role of third-rate countryin the long run. Of a country which, in a post-colonial manner, will provideyoung managers to work in the ageing societies of the EU, and a marketfor the surplus goods produced in the EU. . . . Under the negotiated condi-tions, Poland will be a permanent net contributor to the EU, that is to saythat we, with our limited means, will have to finance the economies ofGermany, France, Italy, England and other EU countries.24

    The EU constitution: federalism and the loss of sovereignty

    Eurorealist and Eurosceptic parties criticized the European constitution as asymbol of a federal Europe and the disappearance of sovereignties. The far-right party League of Polish families (Liga Polskich Rodzin LPR) referred to itsslogan for 2003 the accession referendum, Yesterday Moscow, today Brussels,and coined a second motto: For Poland to be Poland, even in the EU. Thisparty presented the constitution as the first step towards a European super-state. Its candidate, Cyprian Gutkowski, justified the partys participation inthe European elections by the theme of the national interest: We were againstEuropean integration. Why are we nonetheless candidates to the EU? So thata strong Polish voice gets heard in the EU. We want to fight for Polish nationalinterest. We want to create a strong bloc of opponents to the federation, toprevent the adoption of the Constitution and to put an end to the regionaliza-tion that destroys the unity of our country.25

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  • The vice-president of the traditionalist conservative party PiS, KazimierzMichal Ujazdowski, called for a return to

    a reflection in terms of national interests, of strengthening internal statestructures and of questioning the Euroenthusiast ideology. We talk in ourprogramme of going back to the source of European integration, to thevision of the founding fathers: a Christian Europe founded on solidarity andpartnership. The PiS is a political party that promotes these values that arethe basis of European integration and are now threatened by hegemonicand selfish tendencies of some countries.26

    Although it criticized current EU policies, the PiS presented itself as theonly truly European party.

    National specificities of Eurorealist discourses

    In Poland, the European elections coincided with strong diplomatic tensionswith France and Germany due to Polands participation in the war in Iraq,and to Polish positions on the EU constitution. Two elements of the consti-tutional treaty were deeply controversial: the calculation of qualified majorityvoting in the Council of Ministers, different from the one decided in the NiceTreaty, and the lack of references to the Christian legacy of Europe. There wasa strong consensus among opposition parties against the governments searchfor a compromise with other EU members. The liberal party Civic Platform(Platforma Obywatelska PO) coined the very popular slogan Nice or death.Its president, Jan Maria Rokita, also adopted a proactive position concerning thefuture conflicts in the EU and used an anti-German and anti-French rhetoric:

    A conflict about the constitutional treaty is awaiting us, and we do not wantto give up the conditions of our presence in the EU that were defined inNice. There will be a conflict on the 20072013 budget, and we want topressure the European Commission, against some rich and selfish EU coun-tries, so that this budget does not decrease. The third conflict will touchupon the FrenchGerman initiative to harmonize taxes, which we refuse.The strength of the PO representation will be decisive for all these issuesthat touch upon Polish interest in the EU. The PO is the only Polish party thatwill join the main political group in the EP, the European Peoples Party.27

    The PiS was one of the few Polish parties that prepared a detailed Europeanmanifesto, entitled the Cracow declaration. This programme was centredon three requests:

    a Europe of solidarity with substantial financial help from richest to less-developed countries;

    the defence of historical truth about the Christian legacy of Europe; and

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  • a criticism of the constitution and a promotion of an intergovernmentalEuropean integration. The PiS criticized the constitutional treaty in thefollowing way:

    We do not accept the so-called compromise for the European constitu-tion that the left and its supporters want. We mention once again theconditions that have to be met for the constitutional treaty not to weakenthe economic and political position of Poland:

    keep the position of Poland in the EU that has been defined by the NiceTreaty

    confirm the Christian dimension of the European culture and civilizationin the preamble of the Constitution

    define precisely the regulations that give EC law primacy over the PolishConstitution

    keep unanimity voting for any changes to the European Constitution protect the sovereignty of our Republic in foreign policy keep NATO as the main institution that guarantees the security of Europe maintain the independence within the internal market of Polish

    economic policy.28

    In the Czech Republic, Eurorealist positions were deeply rooted in the conservativeliberal party ODS. Three elements defined its ideological orien-tation: the interpretation of Communism as an unnatural order, the wishto go back to pre-Communist values through a radical break with the past,and the promotion of free market as a national value.29 The ODS denouncedthe fetishization of EU and the dissolution of the nation-states betweenBrussels and the regions. The declarations of its leaders during the Europeanelections echoed the positions of Vclav Klaus, who had pointed out theexpected loss of independence of the country a few days before the 1 May2004 deadline.30

    The ODS held a critical view of European integration as regards the institu-tions and the policies of the EU. In order to defend national interests againstthe other member states, it offered its voters a Decalogue of the main dutiesof the ODS at the European Parliament:

    1. We want to abolish quickly the unequal conditions (for example the freemovement of workers and services, direct payments to our farmers, partici-pation in the Schengen system) that were defined during the accession nego-tiations with the EU.

    2. We will only approve a constitutional treaty that would not jeopardize ourposition in the EU compared with the situation guaranteed by our accessiontreaty.

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  • 3. We will always advocate clear and simple European laws, instead of flowsof directives that go towards excessive regulation and a growth in theEuropean bureaucracy.

    4. We do not want Europe and North America to compete on the politicaland security level, but to cooperate closely so that NATO remains the pillarof transatlantic relations.

    5. We support the strengthening of the EU capacities in the fight againstinternational terrorism, without curbing more than necessary the citizensindividual freedoms, and without any additional bureaucracy.

    6. We will strive to promote major reform of the EU common agriculturalpolicy, which discriminates against our farmers, is disadvantageous toconsumers and disrupts the EU internal market.

    7. We want to keep tax policy, including healthcare, social services andpensions, in the exclusive competences of national institutions (govern-ments and parliaments) because their harmonization at the Europeanlevel is not in the interest of the Czech Republic.

    8. We will strive towards a reasonable and effective split, without waste orincrease, of the funds from the EU budget, to which the Czech Republicwill also contribute.

    9. We favour a sensible utilization of the EU funds, particularly for theprojects of development of the regions, the towns and the villages, forthe construction of transport infrastructures and for the protection of theenvironment.

    10. We will collaborate at the European Parliament with its main fraction,the EPPDE, but we will always act first in the interest of the CzechRepublic.31

    Drawing on its criticism of the lack of social dimension and the inequalitybetween member states in the EU, the KSCM had five main requests:

    1. We are in favour of a democratic cooperation based on equality.2. A Europe of solidarity, social rights and equality.3. We want a Europe of productive economy, sustainable development,

    protection of the environment.4. We favour a Europe open to the world, a Europe of peace and cooperation.5. Together for a common programme of the European left.

    The KSCMs programme ended thus:

    Let us not leave the European structures to the anti-social left, which doesnot hesitate, in the interest of its economic sphere of influence, to benefitfrom ethnic conflicts and to start local wars.32 . . . The current form ofEuropean integration is not final. The development of European integrationand its results to date show the necessity of a radical change of orientation.

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  • The EU needs to make a new strategic choice, especially after its enlarge-ment to new members. . . . We cannot accept passively the contradictoryaspects of the EU, nor can we fully reject them. We are opening a newchapter in the history of our nations, of Europe and of the world. Our maingoal is to strengthen the influence of the left on the European and inter-national scene, through an active participation in the work and the unionof the programs of the European left, to create new social and politicalrelations.33


    Cleavage theories and typologies of Euroscepticism have been used toaccount for the development of political debates about EU affairs in the CECafter 1989. Cleavage theories tend to downplay the dynamics of party positionson European integration during the 1990s. On the other hand, some typologiesuse over-inclusive categories and explain only partially why parties adopt crit-ical positions on European integration. In order to understand better the linksbetween party ideology and strategy in Euroscepticism, and the dynamics ofthe criticism of European integration in the 1990s, this chapter examined therole of European issues in shaping the rules of party competition in CEC afterthe fall of Communism.

    European issues were prominent sources of political capital that were usedby political parties to disqualify their competitors and create their identities,along three main divisions:

    1. dissident parties and new parties versus successors of Communist parties:this distinction became less prominent when some former Communistparties became social-democrat, i.e. pro-European, or turned to a left-wingEurorealism;

    2. mainstream parties versus extremist parties: this distinction, symbolized bythe opposing labels Eurorealism and Euroscepticism, remained valid dur-ing the whole pre-accession period. It accounts for the semantic creativity ofparties to disqualify their competitors and promote themselves (Euronaive,Euroenthusiast and so forth);

    3. mainstream parties against each other: this principle of political distinctionalso remained valid during the whole of the 1990s. Parties expressedambiguous visions of European integration either to create a constituency,take office positions, or manage intra-party rivalries.

    What has changed with EU accession and participation of the CEC in the2004 European elections? There was a strong continuity with the pre-accessionperiod as regards the divisions, labels and classifications that structuredpolitical discourses. Eurorealists switched from critical outsiders to criticalinsiders. Presenting the elections as a second referendum on EU accession,

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  • they claimed that they would change the EU from within, either to create aEurope of nation-states or to strengthen the social dimension of Europeanintegration. Despite these criticisms, their participation in the European elec-tions tended to increase the legitimacy of the community institutions suchas the European Parliament by showing that the game is worth playing. Onemight wonder about the longer-term implications of this shift from outsiderto insider in the European Parliament: whether the role of Member of theEuropean Parliament (MEP) is a source of socialization and moderation inthe critics of the EU, or a tribune to advocate against further European integra-tion, remains a question for further research.


    1 See Robert Harmsen and Menno Spiering, Euroscepticism. Party Politics, NationalIdentity and European Integration, European Studies 20 (2004), special issue andAleks Szczerbiak and Paul Taggart, eds, Opposing Europe: The Comparative Party Politicsof Euroscepticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

    2 Gyrgy Markus, The Typology of Political Cleavages in East Central Europe a Blueprintfor the West? The Case of Hungary, Working Papers of Political Science, No. 15,Budapest: Political Science Institute, Academy of Sciences, 1997.

    3 Laure Neumayer, Lenjeu europen dans les transformations postcommunistes Hongrie,Pologne, Rpublique tchque 19892004 (Paris: Belin, 2006).

    4 Paul Taggart, A Touchstone of Dissent: Euroscepticism in contemporary WesternEuropean party systems, European Journal of Political Research 33 (1998), 366.

    5 Aleks Szczerbiak and Paul Taggart, Theorising Party-Based Euroscepticism: Problems ofDefinition, Measurement and Causality, SEI Working Papers in Contemporary EuropeanStudies No. 69, Brighton, Sussex European Institute, 2003.

    6 Ibid., p. 21.7 Pierre Bourdieu, La distinction. Critique sociale du jugement (Paris: Minuit, 1979);

    Michel Offerl, Les partis politiques, 3rd edn (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France,1997).

    8 Frederick G. Bailey, Les rgles du jeu politique: tude anthropologique (Paris: PressesUniversitaires de France, 1971).

    9 Ibid.10 Michel Perottino, Un visage pratique du no-communisme tchque: la propa-

    gande lectorale du Parti Communiste de Bohme et de Moravie depuis 1990, RevuedEtudes Comparatives Est-Ouest 31 (3) (2000), 4368.

    11 Istvn Csurka, A nemzetptollam a MIP programja, Havi Magyar Frum, 1998.12 Similarly, the far-right party Polish Agreement (Porozuminie Polskie PP) opposed

    in its 1999 manifesto the politicians who wanted to maintain and strengthen theindependence of the state and the sovereignty of the Polish nation to those who[worked] towards the gradual disappearance of Poland, Its programme was clear:We reject the prospect of integration to the European Union because it leads tothe liquidation of the independence of Poland and to the disappearance of thesovereignty of the Polish nation in its own state. cf. Zaloz enia Programu dlaniepodleglej Polski, October 1999.

    13 See Offerl, Les partis politiques.

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  • 14 Jan Zahradil et al., Odpoved kritikum Manifestu ceskho eurorealismu, October

    2001, zahradil.cz/cze/download.php.15 This grouping created the League of Polish Families (Liga Polskich Rodzin LPR)

    in 2001.16 ODS, Zpravodajsk zprva z jednn zahranicnce

    bezpecnostn sekce, May 1999.

    17 During the 2000 presidential campaign, the head of Solidarity trade union MarianKrzaklewski denounced the unionist ideology developed by the SLD and thewest wing of UW, which considered EU accession as a goal in itself at the expenseof the protection of Polish interests, cf. Unijna ideologia, Unia & Polska, 24 July2000, p. 4.

    18 Odchodzac z AWS, Gazeta Wyborcza, 13 June 1997.19 See Bailey, Les rgles du jeu politique.20 EUROPAP, 5 June 2004.21 ODS, Stejn ance pro vsechny, modra ance pro Evropu, April 2004.22 KSCM, S vmi pro vs, doma i v EU, May 2004.23 EUROPAP, 17 May 2004.24 Samoobrona, Stanowisko partii Samoobrona RP w sprawie przystapenia Poski do

    Unii europejskiej na wynegocianych warunkach, May 2004.25 EUROPAP, 17 May 2004.26 Ibid., 1 June 2004.27 Ibid., 7 June 2004.28 PiS, Deklaracja Krakowska, April 2004.29 See Neumayer, Lenjeu europen.30 Vclav Klaus, C ei ztrat v EU samostatnost (The Czechs lose their independence

    in the EU), Mlad Fronta Dnes, 22 April 2004.31 ODS, Stejn s

    ance pro vechny, modra ance pro Evropu, April 2004.

    32 This is an allusion to the intervention of NATO in Kosovo in 1999.33 KSC M, S vmi pro vs, doma i v EU, May 2004.

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  • 179


    This chapter focuses on the pre-accession measures of the European Union(EU) on the question of gender equality in the Czech Republic and Slovakiaduring the years 19962004, with a view also to contributing to our under-standing of the manner in which this area can be Europeanized. The main partof the chapter focuses on the quality of gender equality implementation inthe two countries before accession in 2004. It is just one of the many projectsthat the candidate countries from Central Europe had to deal with, and in theprocess demonstrated clearly the differences and specific conditions of each.Invariably, this had implications not only for the enlargement process butalso for the meaning of Europe. As the European Commission put it:

    Throughout the enlargement process, discussions and negotiations on gen-der equality have implied more than candidate countries just catching upwith EU legislation and process. The creation of an ever closer union of thepeoples of Europe and inclusion of these countries within the EuropeanUnion brings a wealth of experience and achievements from which theexisting member states can also learn. This process of mutual amalgamationof what has been achieved across so many countries can be expected torefocus gender equality in Europe and to provide a fresh and promisingimpetus towards a gender equal society.1

    In other words, the candidate countries, especially the Czech Republic andSlovakia, brought different developments and outcomes to the EU. Alongwith the question of gender equality, these are some of the issues that thischapter examines.

    During the Communist period, there was no comprehensive concept ofgender equality in the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC). Thegeneral policy was that women are equal through paid work, which meansthat if women do have paid work, they do not need any extra measures to be

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  • 180 The Challenges of EU Membership

    situated equally to men. The socialist government in Czechoslovakia declared the woman question to be solved with the emancipation of women undersocialism.2 But in fact there was no real gender equality since it was neverquestioned that it is the womens responsibility to do the housework3 andwomen were only marginally represented at higher political levels. After 1989,many far-reaching changes were taking place because of the transformationfrom a planned to a market economy, from authoritarian rule to a democraticsystem and because of the opening up to the West. These changes also influ-enced the area of gender equality, unfortunately in many areas not improvingthe conditions for women. For example, the abolition of the quota systemcaused a sharp drop in the number of female politicians, unemployment figuresrose, and kindergartens and crches were closed. To lessen the impact of thesenegative changes support came from outside; among the influential actors wasthe EU. This assistance succeeded in making the topic understood as important.Since the accession in 2004, representatives from Slovakia and the CzechRepublic occupy two of the prominent positions dealing with gender equalityat the EU level: Vladimir pidla, former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic,is the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and EqualOpportunities, and Anna Zaborska, former member of the Slovak parliament,is now head of the Committee of Womens Rights and Gender Equality at theEuropean Parliament.

    The meaning of Europeanization in the accession process

    Comparative Europeanization research offers explanations why nationaladaptation to EU legislation occurs and why national differences in theEuropean area exist. Europeanization affects EU member states and the sur-rounding countries, especially the candidate countries: The possibility ofextending studies of Europeanization to the CEE [Central Eastern European]accession countries arises out of the nature of the EUs conditionality towardsthese countries, which now requires changes to their structures of governanceand the implementation of specific public policies.4

    The scope of activity for the relevant actors is therefore increased by theEuropean facet.5 This chapter analyses the development of gender equalityin the framework of the pre-accession strategy from the perspective ofEuropeanization. Europeanization follows from a combination of adaptationpressure from the EU and broadening the horizon of individual countries.The national circumstances in Slovakia and the Czech Republic are exploredsince the implementation of the EU guidelines is dependent on the respectivenational policies and norms which are the domestic bottlenecks throughwhich EC equality norms need to pass.6

    There were no comprehensive programmes to facilitate the fulfilling of the accession criteria7 during the former accession rounds. The extensive pre-accession strategy for the EU Eastern enlargement in 2004 was a novelty.

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  • It mainly helped to transpose the acquis communautaire, the common Europeanlegislation. Even though the EU and EU enlargements follow mainly politicaland economic motives and not social political principles, one small part of theacquis communautaire deals with gender equality.8 It is a topic that has beenclassified as one of the fundamental principles of a modern democracy by theEuropean Commission.9 The European Commission also emphasized severaltimes that without equal rights for women and men and the mechanisms forthe implementation of these rights, accession is not possible.10 The legislationin the area of gender equality is seen as one of the most successful parts of thesocial policy and its implementation on the European level.11 Especially afterthe accession to the EU of the Northern European countries and the Treaty ofAmsterdam, gender equality became one of the focal points of the EU.

    Two countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, were chosen as case studiessince these two countries offer the possibility to explore the different develop-ments regarding Europeanization in the past ten years since their division in1993 after their common socialist past.12 The common cultural and historicalbackground of the Czech Republic and Slovakia leads to the assumption thatsimilar factors during the Europeanization process led to similar changes inall areas of the acquis communautaire, and also in the area of gender equality.

    From the beginning, the Czech Republic was seen as one of the role modelsof the CEEC regarding the development of economic and democratic trans-formations.13 In 1996 it was described as a country that follows a Europeanpolicy, supersedes the simple utterance of the wish for accession and followsit through.14 That is why more measures were implemented there during thepre-accession strategy than in Slovakia.

    Slovakia was lagging behind because of the policies and style of rule of theMeciar government15 and remained unchanged until a new government waselected in 1998. Even in 2002 it was still widely thought that Slovakia wouldnot be part of the first round of accession.16 Despite this, both countries did inthe end belong to the first round of accession since Slovakia quickly caught up.The accession negotiations with the Czech Republic started in 199817 andwith Slovakia two years later, in 2000.18 Since 2002 there existed concreteaccession negotiations with both countries, since they had mainly imple-mented the acquis communautaire.

    The accession period

    The wish to be part of the EU led to the need for change in most of the areasof the acquis communautaire and also in the area of gender equality. The EUscommitment to gender equality was seen as strong because of its existing legis-lation and proclamations: The motivation to gain access to the EuropeanUnion (EU), in the context of the Unions strong commitment to structures ofgender equality, has been important to many transitional democracies in theCEE region.19 This forced politicians to deal with gender equality, especially

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  • legislation in that area, and it increased womens expectations of the influenceof the EU in CEEC: Women from accessing countries . . . have great hopes asso-ciated with joining the EU. Most of all they hope for the introduction of demo-cratic mechanisms, which would allow for implementing gender and economicjustice on the national levels.20 Furthermore, NGOs could use the existing EUlegislation and prescriptions of the EU as a tool to put pressure on politicians tochange things: If we as womens activists from NGOs are talking to them, wedo use the EU as a very strong lobbying tool (because without the internationalpressure mainly from the EU our politicians wouldnt even think about it.21

    Transformations took place on several levels. The most important change wasthe incorporation of EU legislation into national legislation. Several countries,among them the Czech Republic and Slovakia, had to pass new labour codes toencompass the EU legislation, which then included new legislation, e.g. legis-lation against sexual discrimination in the labour market. All ten new memberstates implemented chapter 13 of the acquis communautaire before accession.The positive influence of these legal changes is emphasized widely by peopleworking in the area of gender equality.

    On the institutional level, too, many changes took place.22 Several countrieshad to create new institutions to deal with gender equality and gender main-streaming. For example, in the Czech Republic a Government Council for EqualOpportunities was created to help shape gender equality policy; in Slovakiaa subsection for equal opportunities in the Ministry of Labour and SocialAffairs was created for the same purpose. The introduction of these institu-tions was important in the process of EU accession, enabling the countries towork actively towards the transposition of EU legislation and the achievementof gender equality in general.

    In general the influence of the EU on the changes in the candidate countriessince 1993 is regarded as far-reaching23 and positive: The accession process,with its clear criteria for entry to the EU, has played a positive role in helpingcountries to navigate through the stormy waters of the transition process,thereby speeding up their economic and political transitions.24

    The formal implementation of the gender equality part of the acquis com-munautaire has taken place in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Thenine directives have been transposed into national legislation. The furtherimplementation of gender equality is supported by additional pre-accessionmeasures of the EU. Both countries have reached the same goal: the imple-mentation of chapter 13, Employment and social affairs of the acquis, andaccession in 2004. Nonetheless, there are differences in implementation onthe level of the institutional structures, resources and sustainability.

    The Czech Republic had more time for the transmittance of the acquis sinceit was invited earlier than Slovakia for accession negotiations. The Czech Republicopened chapter 13 in September 1999 and implemented it in December 2002.Slovakia opened it in February 2001 and closed it also in December2002. Therefore a much faster formal transformation took place in Slovakia.

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  • Slovakia had endured a political setback, since it was seen as antidemocratic25

    and as a problem case under the authoritarian rule of Meciar. After the politicalchange of 199826 Slovakia again welcomed the promise of EU accession.Therefore it had fewer years than the other candidate countries for changes,which these had already started.27 The Czech Republic, on the other hand,was one of the leading transformation countries amongst the CEE reformstates.28 Thus the change here was much more intensive, and accompaniedby additional measures.

    Accession programmes of the EU

    Even though the legislative and institutional changes are the basis for achievinggender equality, other measures are needed for active application of the newlegislation and implementation of gender equality.

    The accession strategy of the EU consisted of three main financing instruments:

    Phare: focused on the implementation of the acquis and preparation for theStructural Funds, the most important support programme of the EU forcandidate countries.

    ISPA (Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-accession): preparation ofthe Cohesion Funds and support for traffic and environmental projects.

    SAPARD (Special Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development):support of rural development and the adoption of the common agriculturalpolicy.

    Gender equality projects were only funded by Phare, not by ISPA or SAPARD.Furthermore, some community programmes were open to the candidatecountries, e.g. the 4th Framework strategy of the EU to further gender equality(19962000). The funded projects in the area of gender equality were mainlytraining workshops, seminars and conferences (see Table 11.1).

    The Czech Republic took part in the programmes with a specific focus ongender equality (Medium Term Community Action Strategy, EQUAL), whereasSlovakia only funded single projects and did not take part in these specificprograms. Nonetheless, Slovakia joined the 5th Framework Strategy on GenderEquality and, after accession, took also part in EQUAL II and started a twinningproject on gender mainstreaming.

    In both countries projects in the area of gender equality were made pos-sible through politicians from socialist parties. On the whole, more projectsin the Czech Republic than in Slovakia were realized in the area of genderequality before accession. Even after accession the Czech Republic continueswith gender equality projects; therefore there is more continuity there thanin Slovakia. The projects in Slovakia started later than in the Czech Republic,mainly after accession. The consequences of this difference in dealing with

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  • 184Table 11.1 Comparison of the EU projects implemented in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

    Programme Czech Republic Slovakia

    Community EQUAL I (20012005) 1 project on gender equality (out of Did not participateprogrammes 10 selected projects):

    Reconciliation of work and family life, project leader: NGO Czech Womens Union

    4th Action Programme on Equal 3 projects: Did not participateOpportunities for women and 1. Training of ministry officials men (19962000) (EuroProfis)

    2. Brochures (Czech Womens Union)3. International conference (Agentura Gaia)

    Community Programme on 1 conference, end of 2004, Ministry 2 projects:Gender Equality (20012005) of Labour and Social Affairs 1. International Centre for Family Studies:

    Human and citizen rights of women in Slovakia: on the way to equal opportunities; one publication and one conference 2002.2. Research Institute of Labour, Social Affairs and Family entitled Challenge for Social Inclusion: From Dependence to Work (scheme of social assistance and incentives for work) research and national conference in summer 2005

    EIDHR I, II (European Initiative 0 (ProFem: AdvoCats for women; 0for Democracy and Human provides legal counselling for women Rights) who are victims of domestic violence;

    lobbies for change in the existing legislation concerning domestic violence)

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  • 185Phare Twinning Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:

    CZ1.08.01 Twinning for the improvement of public and institutional mechanisms for the implementation of equal opportunities, Sweden, 20022003

    Access 19992001 3 NGO projects ( ProFem) 0 (1 project: women affected by abuse)(Strengthening of civil society and preparation for accession)

    Phare small projects 1 project: Women and information 2 grants:from the internet, 2003, Czech 1. National Gender Centre: Gender Womens Union mainstreaming: best practices and policies

    29 November 2004, part of the pilot project in Slovakia on gender mainstreaming in national policies and programmes, held inpartnership of MoLSAF and UNDP, co-financed by Representation of the EC in Slovakia 2004/2005; duration 6 months; grant 5245, total eligible action costs: 78.65%2. Stredoeuropsk nadcia, Bratislava: Europe for Women Women for Europe; 9 months; grant: 8100, total eligible costs 78%

    Civil Society Development Supported several NGOs and gender No specific gender equality projectsProgramme equality projects; exact number not


    TAIEX (Technical Assistance 1998: seminar organized by TAIEX in Seminar by Sheila Wilde at MoLSAF: Information Exchange Unit) Brussels on institution building in the Equality of treatment of men and

    area of gender equality for the then 11 women, 2002candidate countries

    Compilation by the author.

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  • gender equality is already apparent: in the Czech Republic small changes arenoticeable, mainly on the institutional level, in Slovakia nearly none.

    Apart from the political factor mentioned above, that Slovakia startedaccession negotiations later than the Czech Republic, two other main factorscan also be held accountable for the difference in implementation: first, thepolitical system of the Czech Republic is influenced by secular-conservativeopinions, whereas Slovakia is shaped by Catholic-conservative ideas. In theCzech Republic it has become the norm for women to work. In Slovakia, eventhough in most families it is not the norm or even impossible to live on thewage of just the husband/father, the image of the woman as a housewife isstrongly supported and the idea of the traditional family is upheld. If peoplefear the destruction of the family and of tradition, it is difficult for them tounderstand or realize that measures for gender equality such as equal pay oranti-discrimination strategies are important. Furthermore, it limits the pos-sibility for change on the political level. Second, the economic system in theCzech Republic is more stable than in Slovakia and unemployment is lower.In 2003 the unemployment rate in the Czech Republic was 5.9 per cent for menand 9.0 per cent for women, whereas in Slovakia the figure was more than 18 per cent for both men and women. The economic factors are influentialsince gender equality is sometimes regarded as a luxury to be added on later,after the economic and political changes have taken place.

    Nonetheless, since accession to the EU, Slovakia has started several genderequality projects. It remains to be seen if in the long run time is the only realinfluential factor explaining the difference in implementation.


    This chapter has outlined the pre-accession strategy and its impact on thetwo candidate countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in the area of gen-der equality. The similarities and differences between the two countries wereshown and explanations offered for the difference in implementation. Bothcountries implemented gender equality formally, which means they haveincorporated EU legislation into national legislation. Nonetheless, genderequality in real life was not achieved at the same level: this is shown in thedifference in the number of projects dealing with gender equality that weresuccessfully carried out. If only the number of EU projects dealing with gen-der equality is taken into account, the Czech Republic has so far been moreEuropeanized than Slovakia, as more projects were completed.


    1 Commission of the European Communities, COM(2003) 98 Final. Report from theCommission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and SocialCommittee and the Committee of the Regions: Annual report on Equal Opportunities forWomen and Men in the European Union 2002 (Brussels, 2003), p. 3.

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  • 2 Georgina Waylen, Women and Democratization: Conceptualizing Gender Relationsin Transition Politics, World Politics 46 (1994), p. 344; see also Alena Heitlinger,Womens Equality, Work, and Family in the Czech Republic, in Barbara Lobodzinska, ed., Family, Women, and Employment in Central-Eastern Europe(Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995), pp. 879.

    3 Barbara Einhorn, Cinderella Goes to Market: Citizenship, Gender and WomensMovements in East Central Europe (London: Verso, 1993), p. 5; Barbara Lobodzinska. Acknowledgements, in Lobodzinska, Family, Women, andEmployment, p. xv; Sharon L. Wolchik, Women and the politics of transition inthe Czech and Slovak Republics, in Marilyn Rueschmeyer, ed., Women in thePolitics of Postcommunist Eastern Europe (New York: Sharpe, 1994), p. 221.

    4 Christopher Puzey, Creating a Civil Service in Post-Communist Poland: DomesticInterests, Political Memory and the Impact of Europeanization, paper preparedfor the ECPR General Conference, Marburg, Germany, 1821 September 2003.http://www.essex.ac.uk/ecpr/events/generalconference/papers/15/2/Puzey.pdf., p. 4.

    5 Vernica Tomei, Europisierung nationaler Migrationspolitik: eine Studie zur Vernderungvon Regieren in Europa (Stuttgart: Lucius und Lucius, 2001), p. 16.

    6 Ulrike Liebert, Gendering Europeanisation: Patterns and Dynamics, in UlrikeLiebert, ed., Gendering Europeanisation (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2003), p. 260.

    7 The candidate countries have to fulfil the Copenhagen Criteria, as follows:

    The political criterion: institutional stability, a democratic and constitutionalsystem, protection of human rights as well as respect and protection of minorities.

    The economic criterion: a functioning market economy and the capacity towithstand competition within the EU common market.

    The acquis criterion: the capability to fulfil the responsibilities and aims of anEU member state, which means the incorporation of the acquis communautaire,the common EU legislation, about 80,000 pages of legislation, into national legislation (Federal Government of Germany, Kopenhagener Kriterien, inRegierung online, 2003. http://www.bundesregierung.de/emagazine_entw,-454218/Kopenhagener-Kriterien.htm, p. 1.

    8 In the area of gender equality, chapter 13, Labour and Social Affairs, of the acquiscommunautaire encompassed nine directives, which had to be transposed intonational legislation, as well as several recommendations and suggestions. Theydeal mainly with gender equality on the labour market (equal pay for equal work,allowing women to work at night etc.).

    9 Directorate-General for Education and Culture. European Commission, People onthe Move: European Employment and Social Policy: a Policy for People (Luxembourg:Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2000), p. 24.

    10 Europische Kommission, Jahresbericht der Kommission: Chancengleichheit frFrauen und Mnner in der Europischen Union (Luxemburg: Amt fr AmtlicheVerffentlichungen der Europischen Gemeinschaften, 1998), p. 30.

    11 Gillian Pascall and Nick Manning, Social Europe East and West, in Hilary Inghamund Mike Ingham, eds., EU Expansion to the East: Prospects and Problems (Cheltenham,UK: Edward Elgar, 2002), p. 134.

    12 Barbara Lobodzikska, The Family and Working Women During and After SocialistIndustrialisation and Ideology, in Lobodzinska, Family, Women, and Employment, p. 3.13 John S. Dryzek and Leslie Holmes, Post-communist Democratization: Political DiscourseAcross Thirteen Countries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 223.

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  • 14 Anneke Hudalla, Beitritt der Tschechischen Republik zur Europischen Union: EineFallstudie zu den Auswirkungen der EU-Osterweiterung auf die finalit politique deseuropischen Integrationsprozesses (Hamburg: Lit Verlag, 1996), p. 13.

    15 For more on the policies and style of governing of the Meciar government, seeStanislav J. Kirschbaum, A History of Slovakia. The Struggle for Survival, 2nd edn(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 27395.

    16 Cameron Ross, Introduction, in Cameron Ross, ed., Perspectives on the Enlargementof the European Union (Leiden: Brill, 2002), p. viii.

    17 SCADplus, Zusammenfassung der Gesetzgebung: Erweiterung Die Beitrittspartnerschaftmit der Tschechischen Union, 2002, europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/de/lvb/e40107.htm, p. 1.

    18 SCADplus, Zusammenfassung der Gesetzgebung: Erweiterung Einleitung, 2001.europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/de/lvb/e40001.htm, p. 1.

    19 Zuzana Jezerska, Gender Awareness and the National Machineries in the Countriesof Central and Eastern Europe, in Shirin M. Rai, ed., Mainstreaming Gender,Democratizing the State? Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women(Manchester: Manchester University Press., 2003), p. 180.

    20 Kinga Lohmann, Dialogue on the Future of Europe: Visions and Reality in the Ageof Globalization, in Karat. Regional Network of Womens NGOs in Central and EasternEurope, 2002. karat.org/links/pages/Detailed/173.html, p. 1.

    21 Michaela Marksova-Tominova, What am I Expecting from the Future EU?, inKarat. Regional Network of Womens NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe, 2002.karat.org/eu_and_economy/michaela_tominova.html, p. 1.

    22 Employment and Social Affairs, Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in theEuropean Union: Annual Report 2000 (Luxembourg: Office for Official Publicationsof the European Communities, 2001), p. 8.

    23 Rdiger Kipke, Die politischen Systeme Tschechiens und der Slowakei: Eine Einfhrung(Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2002).

    24 Lenka Anna Rovna, The Enlargement of the European Union: The Case of theCzech Republic, in Ross, Perspectives, p. 194 ff.

    25 Caroline Robertson-Wensauer, Slowakei heute: Standort zwischen Grndung undRegierungswechsel, in Caroline Robertson-Wensauer, ed., Slowakei: Gesellschaftim Aufbruch: Nation Kultur Wirtschaft (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1999), p. 11.

    26 Ivo Samson, Discussion Paper: Der widerspruchsvolle Weg der Slowakei in die EU. DieSlowakei vor der Marginalisierung in Zentraleuropa? (Bonn: Zentrum fr EuropischeIntegrationsforschung, 1999), p. 27.

    27 Ibid., p. 32.28 Kipke, Die politischen Systeme Tschechiens, p. 45.

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  • 189


    In December 2003, during the Italian presidency, the intergovernmentalconference (IGC) on the constitutional treaty for the enlarged EuropeanUnion (EU) failed. One of the countries leading the impasse in the negoti-ations was Poland. Together with the Spanish representatives, the Polish dele-gation stubbornly refused to come to a compromise on the new weighting ofvotes in the Council, as proposed by the Convention. In doing so, the Polesseemed to confirm the expectations about them in many member states,where fears of an unmanageable enlarged EU were increasingly voiced.1

    Before they officially entered the EU, some people believed that the candi-date countries from Central Europe (CEC) would indeed behave as anti-federalists after accession. With a sizeable number of Eurosceptical parties inparliament, reflecting increasing Euroscepticism among the population, itwas expected that many of them, especially Poland, would defend their sovereignty to a maximum degree and be reluctant to hand over more power to the supranational level. Surprisingly enough, half a year later, in July 2004, two months after the official entry of this alleged Euroscepticalcountry, an agreement was reached rather smoothly on the same contro-versial issue.

    The objective of this chapter is not to explain why the first summit on the EUconstitutional treaty failed and the second under the Irish presidency suc-ceeded. The reasons for this are manifold and others have dealt with it.2 Themain purpose is to analyse the participation of the Polish delegates in theConvention to determine to what extent the role they played corresponds tothe stereotypes that the first intergovernmental conference (IGC) fiasco seemedto confirm. Our main argument is that the Polish view on the future of Europewas much more balanced than is generally assumed in some parts of Europe. Aswill be demonstrated, the vision on the EU of the Polish delegates during thedebate clearly spoke of a balance between the intergovernmental and thecommunity method. By acting in this way, they went beyond the expectations

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  • 190 The Challenges of EU Membership

    of some member states. Instead of behaving as convinced anti-federalists,they defended a far-reaching community approach in some policy areas.

    The Convention

    The main tasks, organization and characteristics of the Convention differedto a great extent from normal intergovernmental treaty negotiations in theEU. The European Council in Laeken had called the Convention into life inorder to prepare a new constitutional treaty for the enlarged Europe.3 TheAmsterdam and Nice Treaties had not been satisfactory and had left a numberof issues on the table. With the upcoming enlargement, the leaders of the EUfelt increasing pressure to resolve these leftovers. They established for thispurpose a broad Europe-wide forum or Convention. It had to address a hostof questions ranging from the complexity of the decision-making systemand the incorporation of the charter of fundamental rights to the abolitionof the pillar structure and the role of the national parliaments in the EU. Thedebate started on 1 March 2002 and had a one-and-a-half-year period todraw up a final document in preparation for the 2004 IGC.4 The main prob-lems the Convention had to tackle were: (1) a simplification of the Unionsinstruments and decision-making system in anticipation of the upcomingenlargement; (2) a better division and definition of the Unions powers includ-ing a debate on the global role of the EU-25; and (3) more democracy, trans-parency and efficiency so as to bring the EU closer to its citizens.

    The Convention met in Brussels regularly. In contrast with the practice of theIGC, all its discussions and official documents were in the public domain.5 Theforum consisted of 105 full members in total: 15 representatives of the headsof state or government (one per state) and 30 representatives of the nationalparliaments (two per state) from the member states; 13 representatives of theheads of state or government (one per state besides the ten countries thatentered the EU on 1 May 2004, also Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey) and 26representatives of the national parliaments from the candidate states (two perstate); 16 members of the European Parliament (the candidate countries hadno delegates in the EP yet), two representatives of the European Commission,one chairman (Valry Giscard dEstaing), and two vice-chairmen (GiulianoAmato and Jean-Luc Dehaene). The three-person presidency did not repre-sent anyone. They were intended to be an independent motor and frame-work for the Convention. Each full member (except for the chairman and hisvice-chairmen) was shadowed by an alternate or substitute, effectively nearlydoubling the numbers involved. These alternates had more or less full par-ticipation rights and many of them engaged as much in the debate as the fullmembers.6 In addition to the members, observers were invited to theConvention: three representatives from the Economic and Social Committee,six observers from the Committee of the Regions, three delegates representingthe social partners, and the European Ombudsman.

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  • The fact that the candidate countries were granted participation in theConvention before their accession was the result of the Laeken deal. Thisconsisted of a typical EU compromise between intergovernmentalists andsupranationalists. The first had insisted on the full participation of the CEC inthe Convention in the belief that their representatives would become potentialallies. The latter claimed in turn a special clause which limited the impact of theacceding countries in the Convention. They felt that the CEC would not beable to prevent any consensus which may emerge among the member states.7

    Some authors define the representatives of the candidate countries as guestsof the Convention.8 In practice, though, the clause made no difference, as itnever actually came to a vote in the Convention. This was because theConvention used deliberation based on consensus. In this regard, it differeda great deal from the practice of bargaining, typical of a traditional IGC.9

    Another characteristic in which the Convention differed from the inter-governmental method was that its members were in theory apolitical. Theydid not have a mandate and could express their personal views. GiscarddEstaing pointed out the importance of this feature in his inaugural speechin Brussels on 28 February 2002:

    The members . . . of our Convention must not regard themselves simplyas spokespersons for those who appointed them . . . Each person will ofcourse remain loyal to his or her brief, but must make his or her personalcontribution to the work of the Convention. . . . It needs to become themelting-pot in which, month by month, a common approach is workedout. . . . the members of the Convention will have to turn towards eachother and gradually foster a Convention spirit.10

    The Convention was meant to be a kind of supranational institution (similarto the Commission), in which national interests and the search for the low-est common denominator were left at home. These were made subordinateto the search for the common European good. The reason behind this pro-cedure was partly to curb the member states monopoly of treaty reform andgive more power to the supranational level, the European Parliament (EP)and the Commission. This succeeded to a certain degree: a sense of commu-nity, of shared values and identity was felt among the Convention members.Some delegates even went so far as to describe the Convention as a family.11

    In practice, however, especially towards the end of the Convention, nationalinterests increasingly started dominating the debate and the spirit wassomewhat lost. The stance of the delegates was increasingly debated and pre-pared in the national parliaments and governments. This restricted theirroom for manoeuvre. Where many EU governments had originally consideredthe Convention as a kind of discussion club of little importance since themain decision had to be taken at the IGC, towards the end they started takingit more seriously, especially when controversial institutional questions were

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  • discussed. They scrutinized and even replaced their initial delegates and putmore reliable persons in their place.12 The different governments did thisbecause they were afraid that the Convention would put them before a faitaccompli, which would be difficult to change afterwards, as their representa-tives had been part of it. Due to these changes, the Convention increasinglyreflected the national priorities of the different states and in the end clearlybecame a debate between supranationalists and intergovernmentalists, like anormal IGC.13

    The special clause notwithstanding, the candidate countries delegates weretreated in the same way as their counterparts from the member states. Theirremarks and proposals were taken as seriously as those of the member statesdelegates. After all, the candidate countries also had to ratify the final constitu-tional treaty, according to the Copenhagen Council decision of December2002. This does not mean that in practice the candidate countries were not ina weaker position than the member states. They were. First, they could notchoose delegates among members of the EP, because before accession theydid not yet have Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). This was notonly a quantitative disadvantage (one delegate fewer than the EU-15) but alsoa qualitative one, as these parliamentarians were well versed in EU matters andconsidered Brussels as their second home. The candidate countries could onlydelegate one government representative and two national parliamentarians;the latter lacked any European experience. Just like their colleagues from themember states, they found themselves in the weakest position. As they had tofly to Brussels every month, they had little or no opportunity to have regularmeetings with their international colleagues. Nor were they backed by anefficient administration as the government representatives were. A seconddisadvantage for the candidate countries was the timing of the Convention.They were still negotiating with the EU on accession and were therefore prima-rily concerned with implementing all the necessary conditions for accession,rather than thinking about the future of Europe. A last minor disadvantagefor the acceding countries was that they had to supply their own interpreters,even though they were allowed to use their mother tongue.

    There was some inequality in practice in the Convention, which was tothe disadvantage of the new member states, or, as Klaus Bachmann indicates,there was some hierarchy.14 In the analysis of the Polish participation, thesefeatures of the Convention must be taken into account, as they situate thePolish actors and help explain their behaviour.

    The Polish role in the Convention

    To see how far the stereotypes commonly heard in Western Europe duringthe accession process of the CEC are reflected in the behaviour of the Polishrepresentatives, it is necessary first to identify these beliefs and see how theyappeared in the Convention. One of the stereotypes, which existed in Western

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  • Europe about the acceding CEC, was that they were extremely attached totheir recently regained independence. This is what their nationalistic dis-course during the accession process seemed to suggest. Therefore they would bereluctant to deepen integration and hand over more powers to Brussels. Theywere expected to oppose firmly the strengthening of the community methodand in this way they would become natural allies of the Eurosceptics. Asmentioned earlier, it was exactly because of this belief that the Europeanintergovernmentalists had insisted on their participation in Laeken.15 Theseassumptions about the CEC led to the formulation of three hypotheses aboutthe expected Polish behaviour in the Convention, which are tested below.

    Hypothesis 1: low activity by the Polish delegates in the debate

    As a result of their anti-federalist attitude, acceding member states represen-tatives were expected to keep silent in order to reserve their arguments forthe upcoming IGC, convinced that the Convention was no more than a dis-cussion club preparing for the IGC. As the CEC were still in the final and mostcontroversial phase of the accession negotiations when the Conventionstarted, it was expected that they would remain rather passive and cautiousin the debate, unwilling to unveil their opinions for fear of negative reper-cussions during the accession negotiations. They would try to be on theirbest behaviour in order to ease the final negotiations, or at least not to com-plicate them. In this regard, they were supposed to be susceptible to influencesfrom the more experienced delegates, especially in the first half of theConvention, when they themselves were still green.

    This hypothesis can be easily tested by counting the number of contribu-tions, amendments and speeches the Polish delegates made. The results ofthis quantitative analysis (presented in Tables 12.1 to 12.3) show that thethree full Polish delegates16 were not passive at all. On the contrary, theywere diligent in proposing amendments, putting forward contributions, andoutlining their main points in the plenary sessions of the Convention. Oneof the Polish representatives, Danuta Hbner, was especially active.

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    Table 12.1 Number of contributions by the six Polish delegates (found with thesearch function of the official Convention website)

    Personal Bilateral* Group Total

    Danuta Hbner (full member) 4 0 8 12Jzef Oleksy (full member) 1 0 9 10Edmund Wittbrodt (full member) 1 4 12 17Janusz Trzcinski (alternate) 1 0 7 8Marta Fogler (alternate) 1 4 9 14Genowefa Grabowska (alternate) 0 0 9 9

    * The bilateral column refers to the close cooperation between Wittbrodt and Fogler (both fromopposition party PO) in putting forward contributions.

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  • The numbers for the Polish delegates have to be examined in the contextof the total number of contributions, amendments and speeches of otherdelegates. This is a difficult, if not impossible, task; for this reason; the analysisin Table 12.4 juxtaposes only the numbers of contributions (not of the amend-ments or speeches) of the three Polish delegates (not their alternates) withthe number of contributions of randomly selected Convention members.The number of contributions by Hbner is compared with that of her coun-terparts, the government representatives of the EU-15 and of the candidatestates. The number of contributions by Jzef Oleksy and Edmund Wittbrodtis juxtaposed with the number of contributions from their counterparts, thenational parliament representatives of the EU-15 and from the other candi-date states.17 Klaus Bachmann examined the number of contributions fromthe other candidate member states delegations and analysed the participationof the eight CEC in the Convention that entered the EU on 1 May 2004. Foreach of these countries, he counted the contributions of the government rep-resentatives and those of one of the two national parliament representatives.18

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    Table 12.2 Number of speeches/interventions in the 27plenary sessions by the six Polish delegates (based on theverbatim reports of the EP)


    Danuta Hbner 19Jzef Oleksy 15Edmund Wittbrodt 15Janusz Trzcinski 0Marta Fogler 4Genowefa Grabowska 2

    Table 12.3 Number of amendments (found with the search function of the officialConvention website)

    Personal Bilateral* Group Total

    Danuta Hbner 80 0 4 84Jzef Oleksy 22 2 6 30Edmund Wittbrodt 7 16 112 135Janusz Trzcinski 0 0 0 0Marta Fogler 0 16/17 112 128Genowefa Grabowska 0 0 9 9

    * Bilateral refers to amendments on the initiative of both Oleksy and Grabowska (both membersof the ruling SLD), or on the initiative of both Wittbrodt and Fogler (both members of theopposition party PO). A column labelled Trilateral could have been added to represent thecooperation between Oleksy, Grabowska and Hbner, but these are considered as groupamendments in order not to complicate matters.

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  • In another study, Andreas Maurer19 calculated an average of 10.4 contri-butions for the EU-15 member states government representatives. As thissource could not be retrieved, the method Maurer used to arrive at this aver-age could not be checked. Nevertheless, presuming that Maurers calculationsare correct and that he included both personal and group contributions in hisresearch, Hbner scored two contributions (12) above the EU-15 government

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    Table 12.4 Number of Polish contributions in comparative EU-15 and CECperspective

    Personal Group Total

    Danuta Hbner 4 8 12

    EU-15 (government representatives) no average available 10.4Jacques Santer (Luxemburg) 0 11 11Lena Hjelm-Walln (Sweden) 3 15 18Ernni Lopes (Portugal) 1 7 8

    CEC (government representatives) 0.875 7.5 8.375Pter Balzs (Hungary) 0 9 9Ivan Korcok (Slovakia) 0 6 6Sandra Kalniete (Latvia) 1 5 6Lennart Meri (Estonia) 0 14 14Rytis Martikonis (Lithuania) 1 7 8Jan Kohout (Czech Republic) 1 6 7Dimitrij Rupel (Slovenia) 0 5 5

    Jzef Oleksy 1 9 10Edmund Wittbrodt* 5 12 17

    EU-15 (national parliament representatives) no average availableJosep Borrel Fontelles (Spain) 1 6 7Karel De Gucht (Belgium) 2 11 13Elio Di Rupo (Belgium) 0 8 8Peter Skaarup (Denmark) 0 7 7Frans Timmermans (Netherlands) 1 6 7Gisela Stuart (United Kingdom) 1 5 6

    CEC (national parliament 1/1.625 8.5/8.875 9.5/11.25representatives)**

    Jzsef Szjer (Hungary) 1 11 12Jn Figel (Slovakia) 0 7 7Rihards Piks (Latvia) 0 8 8Tunne Kelam (Estonia) 1 7 8Vytenis Andriukaitis (Lithuania) 5 12 17Jan Zahradil (Czech Republic) 0 8 8Jelko Kacin (Slovenia) 0 6 6

    * Wittbrodts bilateral contributions with Fogler are counted here as personal contributions. ** The average is first calculated with the contributions of Oleksy and then with thecontributions of Wittbrodt. The latter gives significantly higher averages.

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  • representatives average (10.4) and four more than her counterparts in theCEC (8.375). It is worth underlining that one-third of her contributions arepersonal initiatives. The number of contributions of the two other Polishdelegates is similar to that of their counterparts in the EU-15 and is higherthan the CEC average.

    The contributions of the Polish delegates do not confirm the first hypothesis.They were not passive at all. On the contrary, Hbner was even more activethan the EU average. In this respect, the Polish Convention representativessharply contrasted with the other CEC representatives, who according toDavid Krl and Bachmann kept a low profile in the Convention, especially atthe beginning.20 Fraser Cameron and Antoinette Primatarova, who studiedthe accession states in the Convention on their contributions on the CommonForeign and Security Policy (CFSP), reach a similar conclusion.21 Where theother CEC kept a low profile, the Polish representatives were very active andassertive, also on issues such as foreign affairs. According to Rafal Trzaskowski,this can be explained by the difference in human resources for whichPoland, as a big country, is better off than the other relatively small candi-date states, and by the far-reaching EU aspirations of this country which hasthe potential of becoming a powerful EU member.22

    Hypothesis 2: the Polish group spoke with one voice

    It was expected that the delegates, coming from a rather anti-federalist-minded state, would unite and speak with one Polish voice. They were sup-posed to behave as if they were given a mandate to attend an IGC, ratherthan a Convention, where members sought consensus through deliberation.This meant that the government delegate and the delegates of the Polish par-liament, independent or detached from their political party, would form aPolish group, rather than take part in transnational ideological joint actions,proposed by corresponding European political parties. It was expected that theother Polish representatives would regularly support the position of the gov-ernment representative because he had his administration behind him. Thismeant that the three Polish delegates and their three alternates were sup-posed to make several joint contributions or sign the same joint contribu-tions of the others. This hypothesis can be tested quantitatively by countingthe number of joint contributions and amendments, and qualitatively bylooking at the content of separate individual contributions of the Polish dele-gates and comparing them.

    Evaluating the hypothesis quantitatively, there was only one amendmentthat was a group initiative of all six Polish delegates and alternates, inde-pendent of their party affiliation. This joint amendment proposal concernedthe reference to Christian values in the preamble of the constitutional draftand received the support of another 31 Convention members.23 Only fourjoint contributions initiated by other Convention members were supportedby all six Polish delegates. One contribution concerned The initiative for the

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  • incorporation of the Charter of fundamental Rights into the EuropeanConstitution.24 The second referred to the Proposal submitted to theConvention on transparency by Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde,25 which pro-posed the inclusion into the Constitution of the procedure for derogationsfrom openness and transparency, already adopted by the European Parliamentin the MartinBourlanges report, signed by 168 members and alternatives ofthe Convention. The third concerned the same proposal on transparency,submitted by Bonde on 10 July 2003 and signed by 200 delegates.26 Thefourth concerned the initiative of Bonde that every member state shall haveone representative each in the commission,27 supported by 118 members intotal. Although Bonde was known in the Convention for his Euroscepticalviews, his four contributions, supported by the Polish delegates as a group,do not support his anti-federalist opinion.

    Of all 84 amendments proposed by Hbner, representing the Polish gov-ernment, only three were supported by two other Polish representatives,Grabowska and Oleksy, both members of the same Polish political party, theruling SLD (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej Democratic Left Alliance). Therepresentatives of the Polish centre-right opposition party PO (PlatformaObywatelska Civic Platform), Fogler and Wittbrodt did not support these amendments. Instead, they supported the majority of amendmentproposals and contributions of the European Peoples Party (EPP), a ChristianDemocratic party. They worked in close cooperation with it and made severalbilateral contributions. In light of the hypothesis about the emergence of a Polish group, this is meaningful. Rather than following the Polish gov-ernment position, Fogler and Wittbrodt followed the EPP. By seekingtransnational cooperation, they did not confirm the hypothesis of a united Polish voice.

    Despite these quantitative results, it is possible that the Polish delegatesspoke with a similar voice or expressed the same opinions on certain issuesindependently of each other. In order to check this, a content analysis of theircontributions and speeches is needed.28 The results of this qualitative analysispoint to consistency among the Polish members. On a number of issues,their basic ideas were similar, although the proposed methods and solutionswere at times different. Although they made only one joint contribution,signed only four other joint contributions, and hardly supported their gov-ernmental representative, they often expressed similar opinions. It is inter-esting that they did not make a joint contribution on the issue of weightingthe votes in the Council. This was an issue that was equally or more import-ant to Poland at the IGC than the Christian reference in the preamble. Thefact they did not form a Polish front on this controversial item, not even atthe very end of the Convention, when the intergovernmental approach gen-erally prevailed, contradicted the hypothesis of the emergence of a Polishgroup, defending national interests. The opinions that the Polish delegatesshared do not confirm a hypothesis of anti-federalism either.

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  • Hypothesis 3: the Polish delegation was anti-federalist

    A third hypothesis to test is whether the Polish delegates behaved as anti-federalist delegates. Although the gap between federalists and anti-federalistsis somewhat blurred as both exist in varying degrees across the various EUpillars and countries,29 the distinction is made here for operational reasons.In terms of the Convention this meant that an anti-federalist Conventiondelegate was someone who wanted to reduce the power of the EP to theadvantage of the Council, or alternatively of the national parliaments; wasin favour of the intergovernmental approach; wanted the Commission toshare the right of initiative with the member states and reduce its democraticlegitimization; opposed the extension of qualified majority voting (QMV)and fought to keep the veto power in the Council; was against enhanced cooper-ation; was sceptical about handing over more powers to the supranationallevel such as the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), EuropeanSecurity and Defence Policy (ESDP), Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) and SocialPolicy, and pleaded for flexibility in these areas; used the term ConstitutionalTreaty or Treaty and avoided words such as federation.

    A federalist delegate was someone who wanted more power for the EP(extension of co-decision); was a supporter of the community method; triedto reserve the right of initiative for the Commission and wanted a strongerdemocratic legitimization for it; wanted the extension of qualified majorityvoting in the Council; supported enhanced cooperation; was enthusiasticabout developing policy areas such as CFSP, ESDP, JHA, Social Europe andwanted compelling measures in these fields; and used the terms Constitutionand federal.

    As the new CEC were behind the EU-15 in most policy areas, it wasexpected that their delegates would plead for flexibility (such as the opencoordination method) and solidarity in these areas (environment, social pol-icy). Similarly, they were supposed to oppose enhanced cooperation, as itwas seen by them as an attempt to keep the Cold War division alive, reducingthem to second-class membership in the periphery of Europe. The generalassumption before enlargement in some EU states was that the CEC saw theEU primarily and solely as an economic union, and would refuse to supportits ambitions for a CFSP and ESDP.30

    In order to get a more accurate view of which criteria are confirmed andwhich are refuted, a detailed content analysis of the contributions andspeeches of the Polish delegates is needed. While the criteria are intercon-nected, they are handled separately. This systematic way of working makes itpossible to draw a line between the interventions, which are rather anti-federalist minded, and those which are rather federalist minded.

    The Polish delegates often expressed similar opinions in different policyareas, which simplifies the analysis. On the other hand, there is more thanonce confusion and incoherence, complicating the research. The Polish dele-gates often made contradictory statements, while withdrawing and changing

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  • previous positions. To illustrate this point, Oleksy constantly zigzaggedduring the Convention between the community and the intergovernmentalapproach. This is surprising as he was a member of the ruling SLD with execu-tive experience and was expected to cooperate with, or at least consult, thePolish government representative. One expected him to have a rather fixed,well-considered view in line with the official position of this party. This wasnot the case. At first he defended the retention of the three pillars, then hedemanded their abolition. Once he wanted more EU powers, then he wasvery cautious about taking away powers of the member states. This kind ofbehaviour suggests that he was sometimes not aware of the consequencescertain decisions would have for Poland, due to the fact that its administra-tion was still in transformation and adaptation to the EU membershiprequirements. He went through a kind of learning process. Alternatively, itsuggests that he had not yet made up his mind whether Poland, being acountry with a high democratic but low economic potential, would be bet-ter off playing the intergovernmental rather than the community card. Or,increasing government controls may explain his shifts. As already men-tioned, the debate became more intergovernmental towards the end, whenthe institutional questions were handled. The Polish delegates were notinsensitive to this general trend. In this respect they all contradicted them-selves on the definition of QMV in the Council.31 At the beginning of 2003,Oleksy signed a joint contribution on the initiative of British MEP AndrewDuff, called Key elements of Institutional Reform.32 This document firmlystated that QMV must be the norm and that this QMV should be deter-mined as a majority of member states representing a majority of the popula-tion of the Union. This meant that Oleksy supported the double majority,instead of the triple majority of Nice. Four days later he repeated this claim.33

    However, four months later, he contradicted himself and withdrew his pre-vious statements by arguing in the plenary session that the Nice formula shouldnot be changed at all, as it could become a source of great controversy, ham-pering the agreements on issues of great constitutional importance.34

    It is unlikely that Oleksy signed Duffs joint contribution merely in orderto be a good convention delegate. The fact that some signatories opposedparticular statements in the joint contributions (signalled in the footnotes ofthe document) means that these controversial parts were discussed amongthe signatories. Oleksy did not formulate any exception and repeated thesame stance a few days later, which proves his conviction. That he changedhis opinion abruptly afterwards has probably more to do with the increasinginfluence the Polish government and political scene exerted on him. In themonths preceding the accession referendum on 78 June 2003, the domesticPolish Euro-debate became increasingly polarized due to the presence ofsome hard anti-European opposition forces in the Polish parliament.35

    The same is true for Wittbrodt. Similarly to Oleksy, he contradicted himselfon the QMV issue. Together with Fogler and Grabowska he signed the joint

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  • contribution Premises and principles of EU institutional reform in which asimple double majority (majority of EU population and majority of Memberstates) should be the rule when the Council uses qualified majority.36 Thethree Polish delegates did not formulate any disagreement on this point ofthe contribution, whereas five other signatories of the document did. Thisseems to suggest that Polish support for the double majority at that momentwas well considered. Two and a half months later, on 15 May 2003, which isone month before the accession referendum, Wittbrodt stated in the plenarysession that the Nice compromise voting system should be fully respected.

    The speeches by Hbner on the definition of QMV demonstrate a similarconfusion. On 20 January 2003, she is reported to have said in the plenarysession that It is also worth reconsidering the triple system of voting introducedin the Nice Treaty. A double majority of votes and citizens would be a muchmore transparent way to make decisions.37 As this part of her interventionis only found in the Polish sources and not in the verbatim report of the EP,38

    it is assumed that Hbner did not say this in the plenary session because ofincreasing domestic pressure.39 Four months later, on 28 May 2003, Hbnersigned together with nine other government representatives the document A Union Constitution for All a Success for the Convention, which stated thatwhereas Nice was not perfect, it would be best not to give it up.40 Two weeksearlier, on 15 May 2003, she stated similarly that re-opening the well-balanced Nice compromise . . . would mean opening up the mythologicalPandoras Box with new controversies and endless negotiations. However,we should leave to the European Council the possibility to decide unanimouslyon these issues in the future.41 In several statements Hbner neverthelessgave the impression that she herself, as the Polish Minister of EuropeanAffairs, did not support the retention of the Nice system. She seemed to dis-tance herself from it and only warned the other delegates that her govern-ment would try to keep the QMV system of Nice unchanged. In the plenarysession on 9 July 2003, she stated that if we are to remain faithful to thecommunity spirit, we have to be prepared to embrace firmly qualified major-ity voting. It is far more important than the definition of the qualified majorityvoting, where, as you know, my government will strongly argue in favour of theretaining of the system agreed at Nice.42 A month earlier, Hbner warned thedelegates in a similar way.43

    All three full Polish delegates changed their opinion on the definition ofQMV. Although this is not a sound criterion for being anti-federalist or fed-eralist minded,44 the shift nevertheless seems to suggest that the delegatesbecame increasingly anti-federalist on this issue. In this way they predicted theIGC fiasco of December 2003. Increasing pressure from the domestic polit-ical scene (polarization in the run-up to the referendum) probably causedthese shifts, rather than personal changes of opinion resulting from increasingEU knowledge. Besides these factors, other ones also have to be taken intoaccount when attempting to explain the Polish delegate statements, such as

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  • high susceptibility to influence from other delegates; a strong sense ofConvention spirit; or an initial lack of media and parliament attention inPoland, allowing the delegates more personal freedom in the beginning.Anyway, whatever the explanation, the incoherence of the Polish delegatesobliges us to a cautious interpretation of their statements in the contentanalysis below, starting with the issue of less or more power for the EP andthe national parliaments.

    All Polish delegates were in favour of a bigger role for the EP in the EU decision-making process. Fogler and Wittbrodt devoted their contributionson the Simplification of the legislative and budgetary procedures of theEU45 primarily on this issue. Like the other Polish delegates, they wanted togrant the EP more power in the EU budgetary procedures, particularly in theprocedure to define the financial framework. In the matter of the annualbudget, Hbner did not see a need to increase the role of the EP.46 All Polishdelegates insisted on the extension of the co-decision procedure in the leg-islative field, going hand in hand with QMV in the Council.47

    They were all in favour of a more prominent role for the national parliamentsin the EU decision-making process. Oleksy wanted this role to become institu-tionalised.48 This meant for him concretely involving sectoral committees ofthe national parliaments in the work of the European parliaments commit-tees. He foresaw regular meetings in the future between the sectoral committees of the national parliaments (for example on defence) with the cor-responding commission of the EP. He did not define the sectors or areas of thesecommon interests. Hbner also wanted to give further thought to institution-alizing the contact between national and European parliaments.49 Next to ascrutiny of their corresponding governments in EU-related issues within thenational framework, she saw a unique task for the national parliaments in mon-itoring and checking the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. Thisidea was already mentioned in the collective contribution Hbner signed onthe issue of the division of competence together with the government repre-sentatives of Germany (Peter Glotz), the United Kingdom (Peter Hein), Ireland(Ray MacSharry) and France (Pierre Moscovici).50 Similar principles were alsoproposed in a joint contribution, signed by Oleksy and Wittbrodt,51 and turnedup again in a new version of the collective contribution on Reforming theInstitutions: Principles and Premises,52 signed by Hbner in March 2003. Thisdocument even suggests a role for the national parliaments in electing thePresident of the Commission. Nevertheless, she underlined in her personal con-tribution not to overburden the role of the national parliaments. Bothnational and European institutions have to be able to work efficiently.

    To insist on a more prominent role for the supranational EP in the decision-making process was typical of the community approach. Trying to increasethe influence of the national parliaments, on the contrary, reflected anintergovernmental approach. Whereas the Polish government in its nationalistdiscourse before the Convention seemed to prefer the intergovernmental

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  • approach, and opposed the community method,53 its representatives in theConvention left these positions and tackled the sovereignty issue in a differentway. Instead of openly opposing the community method, they promoted moreinfluence for the national parliaments.54 Nevertheless, they did not promotethis in group, but in separate (joint), contributions.

    Another question that needs to be examined is whether the Polish dele-gates were in favour of the intergovernmental or the community method.A result as ambiguous as above was achieved if one takes a look at the literalreferences the Polish delegates made to the two methods. They consideredboth approaches equally important, although they were of the opinion thatthe community method requires strengthening in the enlarged EU, asOleksy stated in his intervention in the plenary session of 21 March 2002.55

    The Polish delegates defended the community method in those areas fromwhich Poland highly benefited such as the Common Agricultural Policy(CAP) and the Cohesion Policy. In policies that were rather sensitive for thecountry, such as taxation, they opposed it. In other policies, they foresaw acarefully considered balance between both methods. To illustrate, Hbnerdescribed the CFSP as one of those areas which is not entirely intergovern-mental and, most likely, will not become a pure Community policy either. Itwill have to combine, therefore, the best of both worlds.56

    One of the features of the community method is to give the Commissionmore power in the future. Hbner was in favour of this, even though she wasa government representative. She signed the joint contribution Reformingthe Institutions: Principles and Premises, which stated that the Commissionmust remain a strong supranational, independent and collegial body. It mustkeep its sole right of initiative in what is presently known as the first pillar,but it must also be allocated a stronger role of initiative in the current secondand third pillars.57 In order to give the Commission more democratic legit-imacy, she foresaw a bigger role for the EP in the election of the CommissionPresident. Oleksy shared her view on this in the plenary session of 15 May2003.58 However, on 20 January 2003, Hbner wanted at the same time thateverything possible should be done to avoid unnecessary politicization ofthe European Commission. . . . One way to avoid such a situation would beto base the selection of candidates on the support of a given number ofMembers of the European Parliament rather than the support of the politicalgroups.59 Four months later in the plenary session, Hbner suggested thatthe European Council should at least propose two candidates for Parliamentto choose from. She also wanted a strong President of the Commission withmore power and freedom to organise the work of the college. Finally, in thesame speech, she defended the principle of a commissioner for each country,as she did not see the inevitability of the direct negative link between size andefficiency.60 Wittbrodt, in the same plenary session, defended the opposite:From the point of view of efficiency and quality, the number of commissioners

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  • should not depend on the number of countries.61 Oleksy, in his turn, pro-posed to keep the rule of each country, one commissioner.62

    All three full Polish delegates wanted more power for the Commission inthe future, which was typical of a Euro-enthusiastic conventionnel. Similarly,they all favoured more democratic legitimization for the Commission. OnlyHbner expressed some scepticism. In this way, the Polish delegates did notconfirm expectations. On the other hand, they disagreed on the number ofcommissioners. Oleksy and Hbner stuck to the principle of one country,one commissioner, which was not supported by Wittbrodt. Although thenumber of commissioners is not a criterion as such of anti-federalist or fed-eralist views, one could argue that Oleksy and Hbner tended to be moreintergovernmental than Wittbrodt in this regard.

    On the question of being against or in favour of the extension of QMV inthe Council, all Polish delegates defended an extension of the QMV and co-decision in the enlarged EU to nearly all policy areas (including ESDP, JHA,CFSP), while restricting the unanimity rule to a minimum of areas. In one ofher final interventions in the plenary session in June 2003, Hbner under-lined the importance of this as follows: if we are to remain faithful to thecommunity spirit, we have to be prepared to firmly embrace qualified major-ity voting. As a matter of fact, this is the single most important condition ofenhanced efficiency.63 There was, however, a minimum of areas in whichunanimity should be preserved. On 3 June 2003, Hbner contributed to adocument in which she opposed the application of QMV in the areas ofadministrative cooperation and tax fraud.64

    The fact that all Polish delegates were in favour of the extension of QMVand co-decision made them proponents of the community method. Yet thisis a too simplistic deduction and should not be overstated. Nearly all 105 fulldelegates agreed on this from the beginning of the debate. That is why itseems unlikely that the Poles would have opposed it.65 That they opposed itfor the time being in sensitive areas such as taxation and social policy (likethe British delegates) was an acceptable and reasonable demand from thePolish point of view (high unemployment rates, transition economy).

    Whereas the Polish government before the Convention was scepticalabout enhanced cooperation, which was generally considered as a way tokeep the Cold War divide alive,66 all the Polish delegates in the Conventionwere in favour of this principle, as long as it remained inclusive and trans-parent to all. All Polish delegates supported the enhanced cooperationmechanism, even in the sphere of CFSP and ESDP. Hbner stated in the plenarysession of 9 July 2003 that she was a believer in the principle of enhancedcooperation concerning the CFSP.67 Two months earlier, on 16 May 2003,she had supported extending the mechanism of enhanced cooperation to thesphere of security and defence.68 Once again, the Polish delegates contra-dicted the hypothesis in this regard.

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  • Contrary to expectations, the Polish delegates were all in favour of moreeffective action in the policies of JHA, CFSP and ESDP, and expressed rather rad-ical views on these areas. At the very beginning of the Convention, Oleksy hadwanted the ESDP to become a real area of EU competence, which as a side-effectwould give the EU more legitimacy in the eyes of the citizens, in the belief that[t]he power that does protect is regarded as our own and can be better under-stood in daily activity.69 Nearly all Polish delegates supported the ESDP as longas it respected the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and did not leadto unnecessary duplication or rivalry. Almost all insisted on a reference toNATO and close and lasting cooperation with the USA. Only Fogler did notshare this aim, by stating that NATOs role as a security provider for Europe haschanged. The geopolitical focus of the USA has moved in the direction of Asia.Therefore the European Union needs its own defence capabilities.70 On theother hand, all Polish delegates opposed structured cooperation in ESDP. Thisis a variant of enhanced cooperation applicable to ESDP initiated by the Gangof Four Belgium, Germany, France and Luxemburg. They opposed it becauseof its more exclusive rules, by which it would become an exclusive form ofcooperation in military matters,71 according to Oleksy. Wittbrodt and Fogleragreed with him as the proposed procedure risked breaking the principle ofopenness.72 When a member state wishes to participate in this structuredcooperation, the Council will first deliberate on the request, but finally onlythe states already taking part in structured cooperation shall decide on therequest. If these do not want to cooperate, the given state is excluded. Thatis why Hbner believed that structured cooperation could be safely broughtunder the umbrella of the general enhanced cooperation provisions.73 Shewould prefer it in the form of a common European institution and not inthe form of a new restrictive structure.74 So the Polish delegates did supportenhanced cooperation in ESDP, as long as it remained inclusive for all mem-ber states, including the less prosperous ones. They neither saw a contradictionin including the whole area of Common Foreign and Security Policy in themechanism of enhanced cooperation, as Wittbrodt stated.75 On 20 December2002, he pleaded for a stronger CFSP, with its budget coming directly from theEU budget. Also QMV should be extended in the CFSP, though a clear divisionof powers was needed in this field. Similar to Oleksys view on the ESDP,developing an effective CFSP would help to bring the EU closer to its citizens,according to Wittbrodt. Institutional reforms were not enough: A couple ofpolitical steps forward are desperately needed.76 With this in mind, Wittbrodtregretted at the end of the Convention in the plenary session that [t]he deci-sion making system in the CFSP remains under the unanimity procedure ofvoting, because it is a kind of failure for the efficiency of that policy. Thecreation of the position of the Unions Minister for Foreign Affairs may meannothing if he has no appropriate tool for carrying out his function.77

    Hbner shared similar views, if not more radical ones. Besides her proposalfor a well-balanced joint border guard system in the area of JHA,78 she promoted

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  • the idea of a common diplomatic EU corps, which would lead to a more effi-cient CFSP by means of pooling the resources and work of national foreignpolicies. In the plenary session of 12 July 2002, she suggested the creation ofEuropean Union representations, staffed by diplomats from EU institutionsand Member States and reporting to the High Representative, replacing regu-lar embassies where no strong national interest exists or ensuring their coor-dination where there is a multitude of national representations.79 In thesame intervention on CFSP, she stressed that [t]he commission has to use itsright of initiative [in this area] more actively than before. Marta Fogler sharedthis opinion also for ESDP. During the plenary session of 20 December 2002,she stated:

    In my opinion, the responsibility for defence issues should lie with theCommission, but with a kind of intergovernmental control. . . . the decision-making rules in the ESDP area should be simplified and moved moretowards the Community regime. Therefore, I am in favour of moving fromunanimity to assent. When voting on military actions, the opt-out optionshould be applied.80

    All the Polish delegates wanted more synergy between the High Representativeand the Commissioner of Foreign Affairs. Oleksy urged the EU to strengthenthe CFSP and to bring the High Representative and the Commissioner ofForeign Affairs closer to each other.81 Wittbrodt stated that one voice andone face are necessary, and also supported the unification of the position ofHigh Representative and Commissioner of Foreign Affairs in one position,situated in the Commission.82 In the same debate, Wittbrodt expressedthe wish for a bigger role for the EP in the CFSP. He was convinced that theEU needs to have military capacity, which is efficient not only in PetersbergTasks.

    Next to a strong ESDP and CFSP, all Polish delegates emphasized theimportance of a far-reaching, more open-minded and constructive policyto the East, in which, according to Oleksy, Poland would function as abridge between the Union and its future eastern neighbours, sharing withthem [our] experience and know-how from the transitional period.83

    Hbner held a radical view on how far this Eastern policy should go. In hercontribution, The European Union open to citizens, open to the world,84

    she outlined the main purposes and tools of this policy. In her view, the EUshould go beyond the existing instruments of cooperation and partnership.It was necessary to design an alternative form of European affiliation (per-haps a kind of confederation) for those countries, which answered to theiraspirations and stimulated them to further internal social and economictransformations. The substantial elements of the formula she proposed werefar-reaching: (1) a deepened political dialogue in the form of a ConfederationCouncil with regular consultations in the area of economy, home affairs,

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  • energy, supported by summit meetings accompanying meetings of theEuropean Council; (2) a gradual, asymmetrical liberalization of trade in closeconnection with reforms in key areas of economic life; (3) the EUs involvementin the development of the energy and transport infrastructure in those coun-tries; (4) regular consultations on the development of the Common EuropeanSecurity and Defence Policy; (5) ensuring controlled openness of borders,cooperation between border services; (6) close cooperation in the area of homeaffairs; and (7) support for the human dimension of regional cooperation:exchange of youth, access to educational programmes. Three months latershe repeated her main points in the plenary session: but let us go beyondthe Partnership and Cooperation Agreements, let us talk free trade and coope-ration to create a yet far larger area of internal security in Europe.85

    Whereas all Polish delegates wanted more effective common action inJHA, CFSP and ESDP, some of them nevertheless preferred the intergovern-mental method in some fields. This was especially true for Hbner. She signedthe collective proposal on the issue of the division of competence, which wasagainst a rigid catalogue of powers, allowing for flexible adaptation to chan-ging circumstances and preferences in the future.86 The signatories wantedthe constitutional treaty to include an explicit statement of the present situ-ation that any matters where the EU has no competence remain the preserveof the member states. They even suggested a possible renationalization ofpowers to the member states, in cases where action by the Union would notseem necessary any longer though without defining these cases. This con-tribution was consistent with Hbners previous intervention in which shestated: I certainly would exclude neither the addition of tasks to be under-taken at the level of the Union, nor the return of authority in some areas tothe Member States.87 On tax harmonization she pleaded for maintainingthe intergovernmental approach, as this is especially important in the caseof the new Member States that have to create a favourable economic envi-ronment that supports the process of real convergence.88

    She added that social or employment policy issues should remain in thecompetence of the member states: I believe differences in national socialmodels should be respected throughout the Union. Nevertheless, all our socialsystems are based on common principles and I fully support the proposalsconcerning the basic social values of the European Union.89 She pleaded forflexibility, the use of open coordination, and self-regulation in these areas.90

    In order to face the problem of high unemployment and to improve the sit-uation in the labour market, a high level of flexibility is required, to gobeyond the Nice agreement would, in her view, make our own social policiesmore difficult today.91 This did not necessarily mean less integration in thefuture. According to Hbner, genuine subsidiarity also means that new areasof policy can see action at Union level.92

    The same opinion was expressed by Oleksy: We currently have a variety ofsocial models. Enlargement will further enrich this diversity. We should respect

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  • the need for adaptability of social systems if Member States are to maintaintheir competitiveness and high employment.93 He opposed a rigid socialEurope and stressed the need to keep this in the competence of the memberstates. He underlined the need of a continuing use of the principle of sub-sidiarity, which should not be interpreted in such a way that it leads to theparalysis of the Union or to a step backwards in the process of European inte-gration,94 and the need for an as broad as possible definition of the goalsand powers of the EU in order to make future changes possible. Hence he alsoopposed a clear, exhaustive list of powers.

    To summarize: on one hand, the behaviour of the Polish delegates con-formed to expectations. They were all convinced Atlanticists, who wantedthe continued presence of the USA in Europe. The exception to this was Fogler.On the other hand, their interventions went beyond the existing stereo-types. Instead of being sceptical towards a CFSP, ESDP and JHA, they wishedmore efficient action in these fields. In order to achieve this, they promotedhere the community method. Sometimes their proposals were far-reaching(diplomatic Euro-corps, more initiative for the Commission, a joint borderguard in JHA, and so forth). There was agreement among the Polish delegateson foreign affairs. All shared the same basic ideas and priorities. In thisrespect, it is surprising that they did not unite their voice in joint Polish con-tributions (for example on the future EU policy to the East), which probablywould have had more effect. On the other hand, they all opposed moreEurope in sensitive areas such as social, economic and employment policy,at least for the time being. In the future these policies can become EU powers.Nevertheless, at the moment of the Convention, they were cautious and pre-ferred to maintain the intergovernmental method.

    Finally, Trzcinski dedicated a paper on the benefits of a constitutionaltreaty instead of a constitution. He wanted the final document to have thelooks of a treaty and not of a constitution.95 The other Polish delegates alwaysused the term Constitutional treaty. Hbner, in turn, while she favouredreferring to the principle of an ever closer Union, expressed her reserva-tions about using the word federal to denote administration of certain com-petencies of the Union.96 The reason she gave for this were the manyinterpretations of the concept of federalism. So, whereas the Polish delegatesoften defended concepts which were typical of the community approach, asthe analysis demonstrated, they firmly refused to accept literal references toit as federal and constitution. By doing this they put themselves in theanti-federal camp in the Convention and confirmed expectations.


    The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the participation of the Polishdelegates in the Convention demonstrated that the Polish view on the futureof Europe was much more balanced than was generally assumed in Western

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  • Europe. The interventions of the Polish delegates did not always reflectexpectations. Instead of being convinced anti-federalists, they defended insome policy areas a far-reaching community approach. First, they took theConvention seriously and actively participated in it by proposing amendments,writing contributions, and intervening in the plenary sessions. Whereas theother CEC representatives kept a low profile, especially at the beginning ofthe Convention, the Polish delegates did not. Contrary to expectations,Hbner was even more active than her counterparts of the EU-15.

    Second, there did not emerge a Polish group, united to defend the nationalinterests. On the contrary, besides a few bilateral and trilateral contributions,the six delegates made only one joint contribution. Although they shared simi-lar opinions on many issues, they did not speak with one voice, not even onthe controversial issue of voting weights in the Council.

    Third, the examination of the content of the Polish contributions did notconfirm the expectations of the Polish delegates being convinced anti-federalists, as listed in Table 12.5. Neither were they convinced federalists.They combined a bit of both, although they tended to be more federalist thananti-federalist minded. Depending on the policy area, they were in favour ofthe community method. They insisted on a bigger role for the supranationalinstitutions (EP and Commission) and the strengthening of the communitymethod in policy areas such as CAP, regional policy, CFSP, JHA and ESDP. Theseareas are of large significance for Poland and therefore they often defendedin these matters far more radically pro-European views than expected(enhanced cooperation, QMV, diplomatic Euro-corps, joint border guard).

    This does not mean, though, that they rejected the intergovernmentalapproach. For a limited number of areas such as social, economic and employ-ment policy, it was their preferred method. Here flexibility was needed, atleast for an indefinite period. By insisting on more power for the nationalparliaments, they expressed a similar preference for the intergovernmentalmethod, albeit in an indirect way. It is important to underline here that theexamples of Polish Eurosceptical interpellations are moderate in character.The proposals of the Polish delegates concerning taxation and social policywere neither radical nor more anti-federalist than those of the BritishEurosceptics. On the contrary, they were fairly realistic, especially if seen fromthe Polish point of view. Moreover, the Polish delegates did not exclude theseareas from becoming EU powers in the future. They were open to change.

    During the Convention debate, the Polish delegates demonstrated a ten-dency to shift positions. While acquiring experience and going through aprocess of learning, they abandoned some of their previous, rather Eurosceptical,positions and adapted them to more federalist insights. Reverse changes alsowere noticed. Concerning QMV, they first favoured the double majority pro-posed by the Convention. Towards the end, they withdrew these statementsand defended the Nice system. In this way, they predicted the IGC fiasco ofDecember 2003. The shifts in position were presumably caused by increasing

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  • pressure from the Polish domestic political scene, which became more polar-ized in the run-up to the accession referendum in June 2003.

    Explanations such as these need further examination. The results of thePolish participation in the Convention, which in essence reflected an elitevision in a very specific context (Convention spirit, simultaneous with finalaccession negotiations), have to be put in a broader research perspective. ThePolish domestic Euro-debate (among the public, in parliament, among polit-ical parties) analysed at the different stages of the integration process willprobably lead to more sound explanations for the behaviour of the Polishdelegates and will confirm or contradict it. Nevertheless, based on our analy-sis, we cautiously argue that the Polish view on the future of Europe was stillunder construction. It is a process that is susceptible to European and domestic

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    Table 12.5 Hypothesis 3: the Polish delegation was anti-federalist

    Anti-federalist Federalist

    In favour of more power In favour of more powerfor the national parliaments for the European Parliament

    In favour of both the intergovernmentalmethod and the community method

    In favour of more power and more legitimacy forthe European Commission

    Concerning the definition Concerning the definitionof QMV (Qualified Majority of QMV (Qualified MajorityVoting) in favour of the Voting) in favour of thetriple majority double majority(at the end of the (in the beginning of theConvention) Convention)

    In favour of the extension of QMV and co-decision

    In favour of the principle ofenhanced cooperation

    Against the further In favour of further development of a Common development of the CFSPEuropean Economic, Social (Common Foreign and and Employment Policy Safety Policy), the ESDP

    (European Security andDefence Policy) and thepolicy of JHA (Justice andHome Affairs)

    In favour of the use of the term Constitutional Treaty

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  • influences. Neither was the Polish view on the future of Europe united. Thepopular saying Tam gdzie dwch Polakw, tam trzy zdania (Two Poles,three opinions) had not yet lost its relevance.


    1 Bjrn Koopmans, Kijk verder dan de uitbreiding (Look further than enlarge-ment), De Standaard, 24 May 2004 and Jan Hunin, De Poolse polonaise (ThePolish Polonaise), De Standaard, 23 April 2004.

    2 See for example David R. Cameron, The Stalemate in the Constitutional IGC overthe Definition of a Qualified Majority, European Union Politics 5 (3) (2004), 37391.

    3 For a good interpretation of the Convention see Peter Norman, The AccidentalConstitution. The Story of the European Convention (Brussels: EuroComment, 2003)and Jo Shaw et al., The Convention on the Future of Europe. Working towards an EUConstitution (London: The Federal Trust for Education and Research, 2003).

    4 Initially the Convention was given a period of one year, but this was soon pro-longed by another half-year.

    5 See the official website of the Convention: http://european-Convention.eu.int/6 Ben Crum, Politics and power in the European Convention, Politics 24 (1) (2004), 3.7 The Laeken Declaration, http://www.europa.eu.int/futurum/documents/offtext/

    doc151201_en.htm or http://european-Convention .eu.int/pdf/LKNEN.pdf8 Introduction, in Shaw, et al., The Convention, p. 14.9 In reality the difference between bargaining and deliberation is not that sharp,

    but blurred.10 Introductory speech by President V. Giscard dEstaing to the Convention on the

    Future of Europe, http://european-Convention.eu.int/docs/speeches/1.pdf, p. 12.11 Tony Brown, Convention al Wisdom What have we learned from the

    Convention Experience?, The Federal Trust Online Paper 11/4 (2004), 3,http://www.fedtrust.co.uk/eu_constitution.

    12 In autumn 2002 the Germans withdrew Peter Glotz and replaced him withJoschka Fischer. They followed hereby the example of Belgium, which sent itsMinister of Foreign Affairs Louis Michel. By May 2003 all big countries (Germany,France, the UK and nine other countries) had replaced their initial delegates witha minister, whereas in the beginning only two big countries had delegated a cabi-net member.

    13 Klaus Bachmann, Konwent o przyszlosci Europy. Demokracja deliberatywna jakometoda legitymizacji wladzy w wieloplaszczyznowym systemie politycznym (Wroclaw:ATUT, 2004), pp. 12999.

    14 Ibid., 131.15 In the same conviction the UK (under Margaret Thatcher) had promoted enlarge-

    ment to CEC in the early 1990s. An overview of the drivers and brakemen ofenlargement among the EU-15 and their respective reasons to oppose or favourthe process is given by Frank Schimmelfennig, The Community Trap: LiberalNorms, Rhetorical Action, and the Eastern enlargement of the European Union,International Organization 55 (1) (2001), 4780.

    16 Poland had three full representatives and three alternates in the Convention.These were selected both from the ruling centre left (Social Democrats SLD) andfrom the centre-right opposition (Christian Democrats Civil Platform or PO).The representative of the Polish Government was Minister of European Affairs,Danuta Hbner, who after the accession of Poland to the EU would become the

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  • EU Commissioner for regional policy. Her alternate was Professor Janusz Trzcinski.The Polish Sejm delegated Jzef Oleksy, the leading EU-watcher of the SLD. As hisalternate, Marta Fogler (PO) was appointed. Edmund Wittbrodt (also PO) representedthe Polish senate. Genowefa Grabowska from the ruling SLD was appointed as hisalternate. The analysis will concentrate on the three full members. Less attentionwill be paid to the few interpellations of their alternatives.

    17 The number of contributions of the EU-15 counterparts was found with the searchfunction of the official Convention website after correcting for wrong attribu-tions. http://european-Convention .eu.int/search.asp?langEN.

    18 Klaus Bachmann presented his results on the 5th Pan-European InternationalRelations Conference in The Hague on 911 September 2004. Bachmans paper,Deliberating or Bargaining the New Members and the Convention on theFuture of Europe, can be found on http://www.sgir.org/conference2004/papers/

    19 Andreas Maurer, Agenda Taking statt Agenda Setting. Die Neuen imVerfassungskonvent, Osteuropa 56 (2004), 11835.

    20 David Krl analyses the participation of the governmental representatives of theVisegrd Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland) and comes to theconclusion that Poland was the exception to the rule when it concerns active partici-pation in the Convention. David Krl, Profile of the Visegrd Countries in theFuture of Europe Debate, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy Working Paper,September 2003. Klaus Bachmann includes all eight CECs, which entered the EU in2004, while analysing both the government and the parliament representatives andcomes to the same conclusion. Klaus Bachmann, Deliberating or Bargaining theNew Members and the Convention on the Future of Europe, paper presented atThe Hague on 911 September 2004, http://www.sgir.org/conference2004/papers/

    21 Fraser Cameron and Antoinette Primatarova, Enlargement, CFSP and theConvention. The Role of the Accession States, EPIN Working Paper No. 5 (2003), 4,http://www.ceps.be.

    22 Rafal Trzaskowski, From candidate to member state: Poland and the future of theEU, Institute for Security Studies Occasional Papers 37 (2002), 37.

    23 Drawing inspiration from the cultural, Christian-Judaic and humanist inher-itance of Europe, which, always present in its heritage, has embedded within thelife of society its perception of the central role of the human person and his invio-lable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law: http://european-Convention.eu.int/Docs/Treaty/pdf/1000/Pre%20Wittbrodt-a%20EN.pdf

    24 CONV 607/03 CONTRIB 274 dated 11 March 2003.25 CONV 765/03 CONTRIB 342 dated 28 May 2003.26 CONV 830/03 CONTRIB 386 dated 10 July 2003.27 CONV 819/03 CONTRIB 372 dated 27 June 2003.28 No content analysis has been carried out on the amendments as the latter are basic-

    ally the technical translation of the contributions and opinions expressed in theplenary sessions. In this way the content of the amendments would only confirmthe one of the contributions and speeches. The content analysis is made more indetail in the following section (Hypothesis 3).

    29 Franziska Hagedorn, The Community Method vs. the Intergovernmental Methodin the European Constitution, text of the seminar Internal Reform and theConstitution Building Capacities, organized under the CONVEU-30 project,Warsaw, April 2003, p. 2.

    30 An Schrijvers, Polen als lid van de Europese Unie: Welke invloed op de toekom-stige transatlantische relaties, de Navo en het Europese Veiligheids- enDefensiebeleid? (Poland as member of the EU: What kind of influence on the

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  • future transatlantic relations, Nato and the ESDP?), paper presented atPoliticologenetmaal, Antwerp, 2728 May 2004.

    31 This might partially explain why the Polish delegates did not make a joint contri-bution on this issue which would become the major point of contention at theIGC following the Convention.

    32 CONV 487/03 CONTRIB 190, 16 January 2003.33 Plenary session intervention, 20 January 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.34 Plenary session intervention, 15 May 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.35 For more details on the Polish domestic Euro-debate, see Aleks Szczerbiak, After

    the Election, Nearing the Endgame: The Polish Euro-Debate in the Run up to the 2003 Accession Referendum, Sussex European Institute (SEI) Working PaperNo. 53 (2002).

    36 CONV 590/03 CONTRIB 263, 28 February 2003.37 Plenary session intervention, 20 January 2003, Polish government website on the

    Convention.38 The plenary session interventions of the Polish delegates were taken from three

    sources. The first is the Polish government website of the Convention (www.futu-rum.gov.pl), which at the moment of writing no longer exists. Fortunately, moreor less the same speeches in English can be found with the search function of theofficial Convention website (european-Convention.eu.int/search.asp?langEN).This website also supplies a link to the Verbatim Reports of Proceedings of theConventions plenary session on the website of the European Parliament (EP),which makes up a third source (www.europarl.eu.int/europe2004/index_nl.htm).There are minor and major differences between these three sources. Somespeeches are mentioned on the Polish page, but are not found back in the VerbatimReports of the EP, nor with the search function of the Convention website, andvice versa. Moreover, sometimes the content of the speeches between the sourcesis completely different. It is presumed in this case that the Polish source gives thespeech, as it was prepared and intended, but that the Verbatim Reports of the EPregistered precisely what was literally said in the plenary session.

    39 Danuta Hbner was considered a traitor of her country by some of the anti-EUopposition parties, as she did not defend the national interest well enough, intheir opinion. Later on in the EU accession process, they handed over a motion ofno confidence against her and tried to reject her candidature for the function ofEU Commissioner.

    40 CONV 766/03 CONTRIB 343, 28 May 2003. Laccord institutionnel de Nice nestpas parfait et nous le savons, mais il prsente le point dquilibre entre les dif-frents intrts en jeu et, malgr les critiques faciles de quelques uns, nous con-sidrons quil peut bien servir lUnion. Nous lanons donc un appel pressant laConvention et notamment son Prsidium pour que les consensus dj acquis enson sein ne soient pas mis en pril, . . . Working translation: The institutionalagreement of Nice is not perfect, as we know, but nevertheless it represents a bal-ance between the different interests at stake. Notwithstanding the easy criticismsof some, we believe it can serve the Union well. That is why we appeal to theConvention and more specifically to its presidium that the consensus alreadyachieved should not be put in danger.

    41 Plenary session intervention, 15 May 2003, Polish source. In the EP Verbatimreports, this is reported as As to the institution proposals made at Nice, I believewe should not risk readdressing them. Nice introduced a well-balanced compromiseon these issues. However, we should leave to the European Council the possibilityof deciding unanimously on some of these issues in the future.

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  • 42 Plenary session intervention, 9 July 2003, Polish government website on theConvention. In the version of the EP Verbatim Reports the end of the sentencewhere, as you know, my government will strongly argue in favour of the retain-ing of the system agreed at Nice, mentioned in the Polish source, is not reported.So she might not have said this, although she intended to.

    43 Plenary session intervention, 13 June 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.44 The definition of QMV is not a criterion as such of anti-federalism or federalism.

    Being in favour of the Nice weighting votes system or the double majority methodproposed by the Convention does not say much in this respect. On the one hand,though, it could be argued that the double majority system is more community-like, because deadlocks in the decision-making process are less probable with thissystem. As several studies have demonstrated, the double majority increases theeffectiveness of the decision making in the EU-25 or EU-27. But, on the other hand,and viewed from a different perspective, this statement is contradicted, as thedouble majority gives relatively more power to the largest EU members by whichthe Union might become managed by a directorate of the biggest countries.

    45 CONV 280/02 CONTRIB 99, 1 October 2002.46 Plenary session intervention, 5 December 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.47 See later in the chapter in the section on QMV.48 Plenary session intervention, 7 June 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.49 CONV 390/02 CONTRIB 135, 7 November 2002, The role of national

    Parliaments.50 CONV 88/02 CONTRIB 46, 14 June 2002.51 CONV 503/03 CONTRIB 205, 23 January 2003.52 CONV 646/03 CONTRIB 288, 28 March 2003.53 A good overview of the evolution of the Polish vision on the future of Europe is

    found in Rafal Trzaskowski, From candidate to member state: Poland and thefuture of the EU, Institute for Security Studies Occasional Papers No. 37 (2002).

    54 Klaus Bachmann, Konwent Europejski. O czym dyskutuje Konwent UE, a o czympowinien i co nale zy zrobic, aby go do tego zmusic? (The European Convention.What does the Convention of the EU discuss, what should it discuss, and whathas to be done, to force it to do so?), Centrum Stosunkw Miedzynarodowych(Center for International Relations), Raporty i analizy 1/03 (2003), 1011.

    55 Plenary session intervention, 21 March 2002, Official Convention website.56 Plenary session intervention, 12 July 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.57 CONV 646/03 CONTRIB 288, 28 March 2003.58 Plenary session intervention, 15 May 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.59 Plenary session intervention, 20 January 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.60 Plenary session intervention, 15 May 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.61 Ibid.62 Ibid.63 Plenary session intervention, 9 July 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.64 CONV 782/03 CONTRIB 353, 3 June 2003.65 Another reason for their support of the extension of QMV may lie in the fact that

    Poland received such a beneficial weighting of votes in Nice 2000. Poland got 27votes, only two votes fewer than Germany and the other big three (France, Italy, theUK). This means that the country, with a medium demographic potential and aweak economic potential, was somewhat overweighted in Nice. This overweightis only beneficial in decisions taken by QMV. When unanimity is required, Polandhas the same power as any other state. This may have been another reason fortheir support, but definitely a second minor one. It seems unlikely that the Poles

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  • would have opposed the extension of QMV if they had received a less favourablenumber of votes in Nice, as the extension of QMV was one of the least controver-sial issues in the Convention debate.

    66 At the beginning of the Convention Oleksy outlined the previous Polish percep-tion of enhanced cooperation. On 21 March 2002 he stated in the plenary debatethat As far as changes in the Union are concerned, we in Poland look through theprism of the ultimate cancellation of the effects of the post-Yalta division ofEurope. Therefore we contemplate all proposals concerned with closer cooper-ation, a hard core or a gravitation centre, by asking ourselves the question ofwhether they develop a sense of community or create conditions for new div-isions (Plenary session intervention, 21 March 2002, Convention websitehttp://european-convention.eu.int/docs/speeches/69.pdf the text here is lightlymodified). For a detailed analysis of the Polish view on the future of Europe beforethe Convention see Trzaskowski, From candidate to member state.

    67 Plenary session intervention, 9 July 2003, Polish government website on theConvention.

    68 Plenary session intervention, 16 May 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.69 Plenary session intervention, 16 April 2002, Official Convention website.70 Plenary session intervention, 20 December 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.71 Plenary session intervention, 16 May 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.72 CONV 846/03 CONTRIB 383, 7 July 2003.73 Plenary session intervention, 9 July 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.74 Plenary session intervention, 5 June 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.75 Plenary session intervention, 30 May 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.76 Plenary session intervention, 20 December 2002, Polish government website on

    the Convention.77 Plenary session intervention, 9 July 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.78 Plenary session intervention, 6 June 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.79 Plenary session intervention, 12 July 2002, Official Convention website.80 Plenary session intervention, 20 July 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.81 Plenary session intervention, 11 July 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.82 Ibid.83 Ibid.84 CONV 20/02 CONTRIB 5, 3 April 2002.85 Plenary session intervention, 12 July 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.86 CONV 88/02 CONTRIB 46, 14 June 2002.87 Plenary session intervention, 15 April 2002, Official Convention website.88 Plenary session intervention, 7 November 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.89 Plenary session intervention, 6 February 2003, EP verbatim reports.90 Plenary session interventions, 24 May 2002, Official Convention website and

    November 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.91 Plenary session intervention, 6 February 2003, EP Verbatim Reports.92 Plenary session intervention, 4 October 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.93 Plenary session intervention, 6 February 003, EP Verbatim Reports.94 Plenary session intervention, 15 April 2002, EP Verbatim Reports.95 Paper of 12 April 2002, Polish government website on the Convention.96 Plenary session intervention, 2728 February 2003, Official Convention website.

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  • 215


    Colloquially, the wars that led to the dissolution of Yugoslavia (between1991 and 1995 in the western part of the country and 1999 in Serbia) areseen as the result of an upsurge of atavistic ethnic hatreds, which for decadesslumbered below the fragile surface of the Yugoslav political and social order.However, more convincing is the argument that they had an entirelyEuropean and even a modern and rational function of creating culturallyand/or ethnically homogeneous nation-states instead of sustaining the trad-itional coexistence, communication, mixing and symbiosis of variousgroups with rather ambiguous and unstable identities. The function of thesewars was to separate the communities by various kinds of ethnic cleansing,to draw territorial borders between them, and to solidify their particularnational identities.1 This argument is all the more convincing as in Europe ingeneral and in the European Union (EU) in particular, nationalism, althoughin rather domesticated forms, is still stronger than the feeling of belonging toa common European political formation and the conviction of possessing acitoyennet europenne European citizenship.2

    In Croatia just as in the other post-Yugoslav states the upsurge of eth-nic nationalism and war disasters had negative consequences on the cultureand the mentality of the population when assessed from the perspective of the cultural, political, economic and demographic challenges that thecountry faces. The central idea of nationalists is that humanity consists ofdifferent culturally, and even biologically, rather homogeneous ethnicgroups or nations, that these groups possess the collective human right ofself-determination, that the best or even the only meaningful way of achiev-ing self-determination is the establishment of their own national state, andthat it is the most important guarantor of freedom and of all individual rightsand liberties. Correspondingly, in the thinking of the majority of the popu-lation, the ideological paradigm of ethnic nationalism dominates, based onterms such as ethnic group, ethnic community, ethnic minority, nation,

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    national state, national community, national minority, autochthonous,mother country, country of the mother people (zemlja maticnog naroda),and similar terms.3 Most of the ethnic communities and national minoritiesin Croatia are understood as fragments of larger groups, nations that possesstheir national state beyond Croatias borders.4

    The character and status of different non-Croat groups living in Croatia canbe differentiated into three categories: (i) non-Croats who have been living onthe territory of Croatia for a long time and had already been recognized asnational minorities in Yugoslavia. Such groups, like the Czechs or Italians,are understood as old-established, traditional, or native minorities. Theyhave little difficulty obtaining citizenship in independent Croatia; (ii) non-Croat members of the Yugoslav nations and nationalities,5 who migrated toCroatia in socialist Yugoslavia, whose home republic was not Croatia, andwho consequently were not native. These groups had to struggle for recog-nition as a national minority; and (iii) migrants who were foreigners both inYugoslavia until 1991 and later in Croatia, or people who migrated to Croatiaafter independence.

    The present level of cultural plurality and the perspective of its considerableincrease in the near future brought to the fore the necessity of both securingequal rights and liberties to members of all cultural groups and stimulatingintercultural communication as a means of avoiding, solving, or moderatingconflicts between them. Despite this, ethnic nationalism continues to dom-inate the political culture of the country, and liberal democracy remainsunstable. This chapter examines this situation and the influence of the EU.

    Political turnabout in 2000

    Ethnic nationalism and hatred of Serbs6 was the dominant ideological andpolitical orientation in Croatia until the end of 1999, when President FranjoTudman died and his nationalist Croatian Democratic Union (HrvatskaDemokratska Zajednica CDU) suffered an electoral defeat. The nationalidentity of the Croats was defined culturally: they are Roman Catholics whospeak Croatian, a language which is or is supposed to be distinct from theSerbian and Bosnian languages,7 and who possess distinctly Central Europeantraditions, stemming from their Austro-Hungarian heritage. Hostility towardsSerbs as representatives of eastern Christian Orthodoxy and of Communisttyranny, and Muslim Bosnians as representatives of the millennial Ottomanthreat to Christian Europe, was an additional important feature of Croatiannational identity for many Croats.

    However, ethnic nationalism, especially if combined with a readiness forethnic violence as an after-effect of ethnic wars, is certainly incompatiblewith the principles on which the EU is based: peace, respect for human rightsand liberties, democracy, legality, and politics based primarily on negotiation.In other words, Croatias integration in the EU implies guaranteeing equal

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  • rights and liberties to all non-Croat groups of citizens, including some positivediscrimination of them, and accepting the free circulation not only of com-modities and capital, but also of people, in particular EU citizens. This neces-sarily increases the cultural diversity of the population. In addition, economicdevelopment in combination with demographic deficits requires considerableimmigration of the labour force. Presumably, the largest percentage of futureimmigrants will be low-skilled workers and their families will come from therelatively poor countries with a demographic surplus such as Serbia (in par-ticular Kosovo), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Romania,Bulgaria and Turkey. Only a small percentage will come from developedWestern countries. The latter will be welcomed because, as a rule, they possessa higher professional qualification and will bring with them considerableamounts of money. At any rate, both types of immigration have to be con-sidered as highly advantageous for Croatia.8

    Until the death of Tudman, Croatia did not manage to become a candidatefor membership in the EU. In fact, Tudman, an ethnic nationalist par excel-lence, was systematically shunned by EU politicians. Only after his death didthis situation change due to the election of a new centreleft coalition of sixparties led by the Social-Democratic Party (Socijal-Demokratska Partija SDP),and a new government led by the social democrat Ivica Racan. In fact, thenew government accomplished a political turnabout at the ideological andpolitical level. It promised to lead Croatia into the EU, establish normal relationswith neighbouring countries (former war adversaries Serbia and Montenegroin the first place), revise the for the most part criminal and unjust privatiza-tion of the economy, bring to justice both economic and war criminals, boostthe economy, reduce the number of unemployed, and improve the situation ofthe poor.

    The new government also introduced a new minority policy. It is based onthe recognition that ethnic and multicultural diversity and the spirit of under-standing, recognition, and toleration contribute to the advancement of thedevelopment of Republic of Croatia9 and that national minorities representits wealth and by no means a problem.10 Several laws passed in the 1990s,which discriminated against minorities, were replaced by modern liberallaws. The term national minority was defined in the Constitutional Law onthe Rights of National Minorities in the following way: A national minority,according to the Constitutional Law, is a group of citizens of Croatia whosemembers traditionally dwell on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, pos-sess ethnic, linguistic, cultural and/or religious traits different from those ofother citizens, and are led by the desire to preserve these traits.11 Unfortunately,the conceptual basis of the new legislation is rather deficient. The definitionof national minority seems to be in contradiction with the stipulation inparagraph 4(1) of the Constitutional Law that every citizen is free to declarehis or her belonging to a national minority. A similar contradiction is foundin the preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia of 4 December

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  • 2000, where some national minorities are recognized as autochthonous,while the Constitutional Law does not distinguish autochthonous fromother minorities.12

    While Croatia made considerable progress in meeting EU requirements, theeconomic development of the country was suboptimal; the results of the rapa-cious CDU privatization remained generally untouched, the situation of thepoor and the unemployed hardly changed, and, as a result of bad economic pol-icies, both the state and the not-so-poor citizens got into a consumption eupho-ria, which let the debts both of the state and of a large number of citizens growto dangerous levels. Moreover, in view of the still virulent ethnic nationalismpresent in Croatia, the Racan government avoided all measures that couldstir it up. It avoided contacts with the minorities, especially the Serbs, andonly half-heartedly supported the return of Serbian refugees and collab-orated with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

    As a result, four years later, on 23 November 2003, the centreleft coalitionsurrounding the SDP lost the parliamentary elections and the CDU returnedto power. The government headed by Ivo Sanader of the CDU needed no coali-tion partners. Fortunately, the Sanader government continued the foreignpolicy of rapprochement to the EU, and made use of its relative popularityand the pertinent EU requirements to eliminate from power positions andfrom the CDU criminals and the most extreme nationalists. As a result, on18 June 2004, Croatia became an official candidate for EU accession andon 3 October 2005, the accession negotiations were officially opened. However,the Sanader government was unable to improve the economic situation ofthe country substantially and remained dependent on economic pressuresfrom abroad, in the first place from the EU.

    Constitutional, legal and institutional arrangements fornational minorities

    It is because the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia of 1990 did notaddress satisfactorily the rights of non-Croats that the Constitutional Law onHuman Rights and Liberties and on the Rights of Ethnic and NationalCommunities or Minorities was passed in 1991/92 and amended in 2000.13

    In 1997, Croatia ratified the European Convention on the Protection of HumanRights and Basic Liberties, and thereby recognized the authority of the EuropeanCourt for Human Rights in questions concerning the rights recognized inthe Convention; between 1997 and 2003, it passed a number of legal actsdefining the rights and liberties of the 22 officially recognized nationalminorities in Croatia.

    These legal acts guarantee the following rights and liberties for nationalminorities:14 (i) the right of every citizen of Croatia to declare freely his orher belonging to one or another national minority;15 (ii) the protection fromany kind of negative discrimination based on the membership in a national

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  • minority,16 that is the protection of all minorities from all activities thatmight endanger their existence, rights and liberties; (iii) private, public andofficial use of minority languages and alphabets;17 (iv) education and school-ing in the minority languages and alphabets, including preschool institu-tions such as kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and other formsof education. Some measures of positive discrimination of minority childrenare also allowed;18 (v) the use and exhibition of minority signs and symbols;(vi) cultural autonomy to practise and develop particular minority cultures byhaving access to the members of their cultural and linguistic group abroad,as well as with corporate entities in that country involved in educational, sci-entific, cultural, publishing and humanitarian activities;19 and (vii) the pro-tection of the way of life in accordance with the religious beliefs and culturalrequirements of the minority. In order to facilitate religious life, the govern-ment of Croatia signed treaties on matters of common interest with the relevantreligious communities, including the Islamic Community in Croatia.20

    These legal acts also include: (viii) the access to public media with publica-tions in the languages and alphabets of the national minorities: radio andtelevision stations are obliged to promote the development of and understand-ing for the minorities in their programmes, and to let their associations andother institutions participate in the creation of some programmes addressingthe minorities. On the other hand, the minority associations and institu-tions may establish their own media for public information in writing,speech and picture;21 (ix) the right of autonomous association and organiza-tion for promotion of minority interests: the Law on Civic Associationsrequires only three persons as founders of an association and the associ-ations are to be funded by local and central governmental bodies of Croatia,22

    which opens the possibility of positive discrimination of some groups;23

    (x) representation in representative bodies on state and local levels, as well asin administrative and judicial bodies;24 and (xi) participation in public lifeand local administration by way of councils and individual representatives.

    In order to secure these rights and liberties for national minorities institu-tionally, a number of governmental and self-governing institutional arrange-ments were established: Boards of National Minorities (Vijeca nacionalnihmanjina) or alternatively single Representatives of a National Minority elected inunits of local and regional self-government. These Boards and Representativesmay establish Coordination Bodies of the Boards of National Minorities. Thetasks of these bodies include the submission of proposals to the govern-mental bodies related to the interests of the minorities, nominating candi-dates for administrative functions, and being informed about all topicsconcerning minorities to be discussed in governmental bodies.25 In addition,the minorities are entitled to adequate representation in the bodies of localand regional self-government, the election of eight representatives in theCroatian parliament, and an adequate presence in administrative and judi-cial bodies.26

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  • On the governmental level, two bodies are important: first, the Council forNational Minorities (Savjet nacionalnih manjina), which is an advisory body inthe service of the government. Its functions include deliberating and makingproposals related to the interests and problems of the minorities. In order tofulfil these functions, the Council is supposed to collaborate with local andregional Boards and Representatives of the minorities and government bod-ies, with the central government, with international organizations and insti-tutions, and with the mother countries of the minorities. The 12 members ofthe Council are nominated by the Government of Croatia for a four yearsmandate. The nomination of seven of them is based on the proposals madeby the Boards of National Minorities, while five members are selected amongprominent cultural, scientific, professional and religious personalities pro-posed by various minority organizations, religious communities, corporatebodies, or individual members of the minorities. Second, the Bureau forNational Minorities (Ured za nacionalne manjine) is an administrative bodyfor the promotion of the rights and liberties of the minorities on the legaland institutional level, including the implementation of existing laws, col-laboration with other bodies in charge of minority affairs, with the Councilof Europe, and with other European institutions concerned with minorityrights, keeping track of supranational documents related to minority rights,preparation of expert analyses concerning the implementation of those docu-ments in Croatia, and the distribution of governmental funds to the variousassociations of the national minorities.

    Whereas the described constitutional, legal and institutional arrangementsconcerning the protection of the rights and liberties of minorities and the pro-motion of intercultural communication are satisfactory from a liberal demo-cracy perspective and the requirements of the EU, their implementation faces anumber of practical and legal obstacles. These obstacles result from the under-development of the political culture of liberalism and tolerance, from dominantethnic nationalism, and from the corresponding inter-group resentments.27

    These resentments affect above all Serbs and Bosnian Muslims,28 with whomthe Croats were at war between 1991 and 1995. The resentments againstBosnian Muslims are historically rooted in the struggle against the OttomanEmpire during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and in the belief ofnationalistic Croats that Catholicism is a central element of their nationalidentity and that Croatia is a sort of Antemurale Christianitatis, an outpostdefending Christianity against the Muslims. These resentments find expres-sion in the difficulties Muslim communities experience in building mosquesand cultural centres. The resentments against Serbs are of a more recent date.Serbs dominated Yugoslavia both culturally and politically before the SecondWorld War. Ethnic hatred developed during that war, when the Croats system-atically tried to exterminate the Serbs in their wartime Independent State ofCroatia, a protectorate of the Axis powers. And finally, the recent war cameabout as a result of attempts by the Serbs to gain hegemony in Yugoslavia.

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  • Other obstacles are the result of the unwillingness of some local administra-tions and courts to act according to the law, of political pressures on thecourts, of an insufficient number of judges, and also of the incompetenceand the insufficient funding of local bureaucracies.29 The situation was madeworse by the fact that Croatia ratified the European Convention on theProtection of Human Rights and Basic Liberties (only in 1997), and thus rec-ognized the authority of the European Court for Human Rights most of thecrimes against the minorities happened during the war of 199195. Negativediscrimination, particularly of the Serbian minority, can still be seen in theareas of property rights, social rights (health and pension insurance),employment, rights to compensation for war damages, and so forth. In par-ticular, Serbian refugees from 1995 meet with difficulties when they attemptto return to Croatia and to regain possession of their houses.30 Mentionshould also be made of more recent ethnically motivated incidents, includ-ing casual murders, aimed in particular at returning Serbian refugees.31

    Finally, the citizenship laws present an important obstacle. Whereas ethnicCroats can easily obtain Croatian citizenship independently of their domicilebefore the independence of Croatia, members of other groups have to passmuch more complicated procedures and satisfy more rigorous criteria.32

    Sites and forms of intercultural communication

    In the institutional spectrum between state institutions and civil society, severaltypes of institutions can be distinguished, of which intercultural communi-cation is either the main objective or an unavoidable part of their activities.On the governmental level, the functions of the Bureau for National Minoritiesare dependent on the negotiations between the representatives of minorityassociations and the employees of the Bureau, which are in essence indirectnegotiations between minority representatives. For its part, the Council forNational Minorities, as an advisory body of the government, is even moredependent on direct intercultural communication between its members.Obviously, the implication of the legal prescription that the minoritiesare represented in the Croatian parliament by eight representatives and are adequately represented in the administrative and judicial bodies means thatthese bodies also become centres of intercultural communication, both offi-cially and unofficially. Below the level of central government, the task of theabovementioned Coordination Bodies of the Boards of National Minoritiesis to harmonize the interests of different minorities, with intercultural dialogueas a necessary condition of their functioning.

    On the governmental level, several recent events demonstrate that Croatiaspoliticians are anxious to convince other countries that theirs is a modernand tolerant country. In October 2004, in the frame of the Eighth Dialogue ofthe Orthodox Church and European peoples parties, Prime Minister Sanaderdeclared that the aim of his government is to integrate all citizens of Croatia

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  • into Croatian society while preserving their identity, that for that purposeinter-religious dialogues are very important, and that Croatia, in its relationswith its neighbours, is turning a new page of reconciliation and a commonEuropean future.33 Two months later, President Stjepan Mesic participated in aconference of the presidents of six countries of South-Eastern Europe(Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia andMontenegro) with more than 100 other prominent participants, on inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue, organized in Tirana by UNESCO. Thepresidents underscored that dialogue is the key for reconciliation and per-manent peace, and promised that they would collaborate in order to avoidconflicts in the future like those of the 1990s.34 Such political acts addressingforeign countries not only improve Croatias image abroad, but their presen-tation in the media also influence public opinion at home by promotingintercultural toleration and communication.

    Below the governmental level, on 6 July 2005, a network of some 60 multi-ethnic South-Eastern European cities was founded in Zagreb. The network isa non-governmental organization supported by 140 single non-governmentalorganizations. Their common objective is the promotion of local democracy,human rights and liberties, intercultural communication, and border-crossing collaboration among the founding cities. The network enjoys broad political support: the founding documents were signed by city mayorsand representatives of local governments from all the post-Yugoslav coun-tries, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Romania. President Mesic, asthe representative of Croatia, as well as representatives of the Council ofEurope, the Organization for Security and Collaboration in Europe, and oth-ers promised to support the project.35

    Geographically, probably the most active and dynamic city in interculturalcommunication in Croatia is Rijeka (former Fiume), where 17 minority asso-ciations are active. In the frame of its financial resources, the City of Rijekapromotes educational, information, publishing and other cultural activities.36

    On 4 April 2004, the heads of nine councils of National Minorities of the Cityof Rijeka, representing the Roma, Slovenes, Serbs, Montenegrins, Hungarians,Albanians, Macedonians, Bosnians and Italians, signed an agreement on theestablishment of the Coordination Body of the Councils of National Minorities.The agreement is a confirmation and a further step in the direction of toler-ation, multiculturalism and the cosmopolitan openness of Rijeka. TheCoordination Body developed a Minority Forum in the form of a series ofevents roundtables, panels and lectures in which various aspects of life, andthe status and the problems of minorities are discussed. In the City Council,two of its members represent the minorities. One of the permanent committeesof the City Council is the Committee for Ethnic and National Communitiesand Minorities, responsible for the prosperity of the minorities.37

    After the collapse of Communism, neither the schools nor the mass mediagave up their acquired behavioural patterns of subjection to political power

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  • and ideological narrowness and intolerance. For the most part, Communistideology was replaced by the nationalism and nationalistic projects ofTudman.38 This situation began to change after his death and the electoralvictory of the centreleft coalition in 2000. The new political orientationgenerated a decrease in nationalist propaganda in school textbooks, andensured that the educational needs of minority children were officially rec-ognized and satisfied. A similar development took place at the academiclevel. The media also gradually assumed a more civic role of criticallyinforming the citizenry of important events, projects, different cultural com-munities in Croatia, and the principles of the common constitutional order.Their independence has been only gradually implemented under strongpressures from abroad, primarily from the EU.

    Thus, in 2004, the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Rijeka estab-lished a new Department of Cultural Studies and the corresponding inter-disciplinary course of studies named Intercultural Communication, leadingto the academic degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts. Besides the course onintercultural communication, the programme of cultural studies in Rijekaalso promises theoretical and practical study of various fields of culture, dis-course studies, and so forth. Unfortunately, subjects such as political cul-ture, multiculturalism, intercultural and interreligious dialogues seem tobe somewhat underrepresented.39 By the same token, Croatian Television(Hrvatska Televizija HTV) regularly transmits the programmes Ecumene(Ekumena) and Spiritual Challenge (Duhovni izazov), organized by the religiouscommunities. The programmes consist of discussions among religious lead-ers, professionals and the public on questions of religious and social rela-tionships. Their purpose is to raise the level of public tolerance for religiouslife and religious communities. These spheres of public opinion in Croatiawere until recently practically non-existent as a result of the Communistsuppression of religion and the general underdevelopment of civil society.40

    There are also secondary school projects promoting intercultural communica-tion, for instance the project Interculturality a way of living together inthe First Croatian Gymnasium of Suak41 (Prva suacka hrvatska gimnazija),launched in the autumn of 2003.42

    Still, the treatment of minorities remains unsatisfactory. In the media, theyare dealt with quite rarely, often in the context of some extreme situation. Bythe same token, their access to mass media, particularly television, in the formof special programmes in their languages and developed by their members,are essentially non-existent. In this regard Croatia is far behind other South-East European countries. For instance, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, andSerbia and Montenegro feature numerous specialized TV stations broadcastingprogrammes for the Roma in Romany.43

    Religious communities and organizations can be considered a special categoryof civil society associations that secure the cultural reproduction of societyand that mediate between the citizenry and its political representatives. The

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  • most important is the Roman Catholic Church as the largest religious organ-ization that includes almost 88 per cent of the Croatian population, andbecause it is explicitly dedicated to intercultural communication. Thanks tothe Second Vatican Council (196265), the Catholic Church is the only reli-gious organization that developed a comprehensive and systematic politicalconcept of common life with the adherents of other religions, as well as withagnostics and atheists. Pope John XXIII characterized the Roman CatholicChurch as a Church of dialogue and openness towards the world, and PopePaul VI spoke of a dialogue of redemption. Pope John Paul II was also highlyactive. He was the first to visit a synagogue and a mosque, to recognize diplo-matically and visit Israel, to pray at the Kotel haMaaravi (Western wall) inJerusalem, to affirm the validity of the covenant between God and theJewish people, and to publish several documents related to these subjects.The Roman Catholic Church in Croatia is active both ecumenically in com-munication with other Christian communities, and in communication withnon-Christian religious communities.44 Unfortunately, a large percentage oflower and local clergy are still primarily Croatian nationalists.

    Direct contacts and dialogue between religious communities, civic associ-ations and politicians are organized at the central level and in some cities, inthe first place in Zagreb, by state and city governments and other bodies. InZagreb, there are regular bimonthly meetings of the leaders of religious com-munities, where they analyse events and situations, discuss their futurework, and make proposals to politicians. Similar activities exist on lower levels.Beyond that there are unmediated irregular horizontal contacts betweenvarious communities and associations in the form of multicultural andmulti-religious events such as art exhibitions, lectures, celebrations of reli-gious holidays, mutual visits, and so forth. Such events are organized severaltimes a year and their objective is to meet and become acquainted personallywith participants with different cultural and religious backgrounds.45

    As already suggested, the City of Rijeka is a model of openness for intercul-tural communication. In 1996, the Catholic archbishopric of Rijeka foundedunder the leadership of Dinko Popovic, a priest in a local parish, aCommission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue (Povjerenstvo zaekumenizam i medureligijski dijalog) whose counterpart in the municipality isthe Ecumenical Committee of the City of Rijeka (Ekumenski odbor gradaRijeke). Together they sponsored various liturgical and educational interreli-gious events, including meetings with religious groups from abroad, lecturesand discussions in schools, common excursions, and other activities.

    On 22 July 2004, these two bodies organized the 9th InternationalEcumenical and Interreligious Gathering. Among the guests were 40Catholic and Protestant participants from Linz, Austria. The group firstvisited several Catholic and Orthodox churches in Rijeka. In the afternoon,the members of the ecumenical communities of Rijeka and Linz met in andaround the church in Rukavac, a small village in the proximity of Opatija,

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  • where a common prayer and an interreligious roundtable were held. Animam of the Muslim community in Rijeka also participated.46 On 28 October2004, the Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, theEcumenical Committee of the City of Rijeka and the Group Pax at the Schoolof Economy (Ekonomska kola) organized an ecumenical/interreligiousroundtable discussion on the theme Holiness in school, education andtraining: tolerance, dialogue, love and goodness, one year after the first dia-logue on this theme. The representatives of the Catholic and Baptistchurches and of the Jewish community in Rijeka spoke on the concept ofholiness in the sense of tolerance, dialogue, love and goodness. The partici-pants published a declaration inviting everybody to foster holiness in every-day life and in the relations with other people.47

    Mutual visits of religious communities, in most cases of their leaders, have apredominantly symbolic function. On 13 July 2004, Josip Cardinal Bozanic,the archbishop of Zagreb, visited the Islamic centre and the mosque inZagreb for the first time, where he met mufti evko Omerbaic, the presidentof the Direction (Meihat) of the Islamic Community in Croatia. The twotalked about common problems, such as the education of religious leaders andreligious education in schools. They declared that the relationship betweenthe Islamic community and the Catholic Church in Croatia is good.48

    Similarly, the rabbi of the Jewish community in Zagreb, Kotel Da-Don, paid avisit to the Islamic centre.

    Secular civic associations (non-governmental organizations), projects andactivities play an important role in the development of civic culture and civilsociety, and the strengthening of intercultural toleration. At times theengagement is direct, by promoting communication and discussions betweencultural groups and thus reducing tensions and misunderstandings betweenthem. But very often it is indirect, by offering relief to the poor and to vic-tims of war or intergroup violence, by supporting elections, monitoringhuman rights, fighting abuse and oppression of women, and organizing peaceworkshops.

    The advantage of these associations over political and religious organiza-tions is that they are less dependent on the majority opinion, which allowsthem to pursue objectives lacking majority support. This advantage is alsoenjoyed by foreign organizations whose spectrum of activities covers thesupport of grass-roots humanitarian activities, the development and funding ofscientific projects, the financing of lectures, conferences and seminars, alongwith a direct influence on political parties. Very important in this area areforeign foundations, such as the foundations of political parties from EUcountries or the Open Society Foundation.

    In the years 19982003 the German Friedrich Naumann Foundationorganized and funded the project Dialogue of the Historians (Dijalogpovjesnicara/istoricara),49 in which historians from Germany, Yugoslavia (since2002 Serbia and Montenegro) and Croatia participated. Eight scientific

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  • conferences produced eight sets of presentations. Topics of the discussions werethe conflicts in South-Eastern Europe, stereotypes of the respective other,methodological problems of historiography in an unfavourable environ-ment dominated by political tensions, nationalism and ethnic wars, the dis-solution of socialist Yugoslavia, the national identities of Croats and Serbs,50

    their social position as minorities outside their mother countries, and thepolitical role of the churches. Hans-Georg Fleck, director of the Foundationsbureau for South-Eastern Europe and spiritus rector of the project, wrote thatthe intention of the project was to initiate a scientific dialogue amonghistorians in the hope that it would influence their environments, that isgradually change the prevailing mentalities, historical myths and politicalidentities, legitimize cultural plurality, and promote intercultural dialoguesin different spheres. In particular, the project was aimed at undermining thearchaic understanding of historical science as builder of national identitiesof cultural groups by developing their national myths that give meaning totheir existence as nations.51

    Another example of this kind of activity is the association Virtual Free Stateof Rijeka, registered in December 2004. The virtual in its name indicatesthat the association does not want to separate the city and region of Rijekafrom the rest of Croatia, but strives for better integration of and more auton-omy for the region, and that it intends to base many of its activities on inter-net communication. According to the statute of the association, its purpose isto cultivate the cultural, social, historical and sport traditions of Rijeka. Thiswill necessarily bring to light the cosmopolitanism of the city resulting fromits being a port and its rather agitated history including strong Austrian,Hungarian, Italian, Slavic and other influences.52

    To conclude this section on places and forms of intercultural communicationin Croatia, it is important to note that intercultural dialogues can have verydiverse objectives, such as solving conflicts in which cultural differences playa major role, mutual information about the principal features of (ones own)culture(s), discussions of doctrinal differences in order to reach a consensusabout the most convincing doctrinal claims and, in the last analysis, aboutthe most convincing way of finding a constitutional order that secures apeaceful relationship between different cultural groups, based on a consensusabout the just distribution of available resources among different culturalgroups, and so forth.

    But due to the fact that the last Yugoslav ethnic war is recent and the war inCroatia happened ten years ago, intercultural communication is still in itsbeginnings. While intercultural contacts occur in various forms conferences,roundtables, seminars, common prayers and common excursions theircontents and objectives are quite limited. These limitations are the result ofa kind of consensus that the discussion of subjects that may result in conflicts,such as central doctrinal and political questions, should be avoided. As a result,intercultural contacts often have the character of common rituals, such as

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  • common meals, prayers, singing and excursions. But there are also encounterswhere participants of different cultural (religious, ethnic) backgrounds presentand explain to the others the central teachings of their doctrines, the particu-larities of their everyday life, the highlights of their arts and folklore, and soforth. Such presentations often include assertions that ones own culture or cul-tural group is peace-loving and non-aggressive, and that the violence initiatedor supported by adherents of that culture is only an anomaly, the result ofmisunderstandings, or the necessary reaction to the actions of an adversary.

    Deeper and more controversial discussions are rare or non-existent.Discussing incompatibilities between comprehensive doctrines, for instancereligions, is not desirable because it may result in ideological conflicts.Similarly, discussions of the political roles of communities based on suchdoctrines, and of the political system that should guarantee their peacefulcommon life and optimal collaboration are not desirable either, primarilybecause the Catholic majority believes that its Catholic privileges are justified.On the other hand, the minorities are content because of the constitutionalguarantees of their minority rights.53 Thus the aims of the intercultural con-tacts and dialogues in most cases do not exceed listening to the other side,getting acquainted, learning to accept particularities, that is to say culturaldifferences, finding a common language, developing a culture of tolerationnecessary for the continuation of the dialogue, and, finally, achieving peacefulcoexistence and reconciliation as far as possible.

    Countervailing tendencies

    Unfortunately, ethnic nationalism and intolerance based on 200 years ofEuropean nationalist traditions and resuscitated by recent nationalist move-ments and wars cannot be overcome in the span of a few years. Nevertheless,the situation is improving; among other things this is due to the fact that thenew CDU government continues the moderate and EU-friendly politics of itspredecessor. But ethnic nationalism is still rather virulent as a result of thefollowing: (i) the fact that CDU was a strongly ethnicnationalist party dur-ing the authoritarian rule of its founder and leader, Franjo Tudman, nour-ished the hopes of many Croatian nationalists that after its electoral victoryin 2004 their often violent demonstrations of ethnic superiority would againbecome acceptable; (ii) three important organized social forces still supportCroatian ethnic nationalism: several rightist parties, a large fraction of theCatholic clergy, and organizations of the veterans of the war of 199195; (iii) the mass media are still not free of incorrect and biased reporting, selectivereporting of unusual events and situations involving minorities, and rathersophisticated and concealed forms of hate speech, especially against theSerbs and the Roma. On the other hand, since 2000, the brutal and system-atic hate speeches against the minorities in the mass media, the most import-ant creator and shaper of the public opinion, have by and large disappeared.

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  • Nevertheless, minority topics are often neglected and thereby minorities aremarginalized in the public consciousness. To make things worse, Croatiancriminal law in contradiction to the Constitution does not define hatespeech as a criminal offence, and the courts are unwilling to prosecute it evenwhen the legal instruments are sufficient; (iv) the relatively new phenomenonof internet sites extolling Nazism and fascism, including the Croatian fascistmovement of Ustaa, and covering a whole spectrum of hate speech. If serverswith such websites are not located in Croatia but somewhere abroad, legalprosecution of the responsible becomes hardly possible;54 and (v) the degreeof Croatian ethnic particularism that is highly dependent on the politics ofEU towards Croatia. Thus in 2004 and the first months of 2005 the Croatshoped that the EU would schedule the accession negotiations to begin sometime in the spring of 2005. This did not happen because Croatia did notdeliver the indicted general Ante Gotovina to the International CriminalTribunal for former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Many Croats revere Gotovina asa national hero for his activities during the war of 199195, and this indict-ment and the postponement of the negotiations resulted in growth of ethnicparticularism. However, since the beginning of the accession negotiationswith the EU in October 2005 this tendency has been reversed.

    As a result, the situation of the most important non-Croatian groups isvery uneven: the worst is the situation of the Serbs, the main adversaries in thewar between 1991 and 1995. They are the biggest national minority inCroatia55 and are still considered to be a grave danger for the state. As a con-sequence, ten years after the end of the war, crimes against the Serbs stilloccurred. For instance in Karin, a village in a region in Dalmatia, which wasoccupied by the Serbs and in which there was heavy fighting during the war,Duan Vidic, an 84-year-old man, had his throat slit in a kind of ritual mur-der in May 2005. In Eastern Slavonia, which was similarly a victim of thewar, terrorist attacks occur from time to time and Croats and Serbs are livingin a kind of apartheid. In Knin, the former capital of the territories occupiedby the Serbs between 1991 and 1995, after local elections in which a Serbianparty (Samostalna demokratska srpska stranka SDSS) won a relative major-ity, the CDU refused to enter into coalition with it, formed a coalition of severalsmall Croatian parties, and thus prevented the SDSS from exercising politicalpower.56 Serbs expelled from Croatia in 1995 often face huge bureaucratichurdles upon returning, as well as private hostility, malice and criminalactivities against them, especially when they try to take possession of theirproperty or to find a job.57 An extreme case of hate speech against the Serbswas the speech by Gordana Dumbovic, former mayor of Petrinja (35,000inhabitants), teacher in the primary school in Kostajnica (15,000 inhabit-ants), and member of a rightist political party, in which she said:

    Our people are martyrs, our people are believers, they are on their patrimony.That minority guy (manjinac), the miserable Serb who came back from his

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  • mother Serbia, is neither a human, nor an animal. Animals do not deservesuch a comparison with them. No such minority guy, a Serbian Gipsy, willbe left in peace in Petrinja, nor anywhere else, where if only one motheror child were slayed or killed and Croats slaughtered.58

    The situation of Muslims, of whom some 3540 per cent define themselvesas Bosnians, is different. While physical attacks on them are very rare, in thewake of the terrorist attacks in New York in September 2001, Muslim institu-tions in Zagreb were the object of a number of telephone threats. Anothergood illustration of their situation is the project of the Islamic community ofRijeka to build an Islamic centre with a mosque. Since 1998, the project hascaused ongoing tensions over its location, size and architecture. The Islamiccommunity planned to build the centre in a residential suburb, but theinhabitants resisted construction. They referred to the disorder in urbanplanning, to the informal rule that religious and communal buildings belocated in the city centres, not suburbs, to architecture, and to democraticrights. They rejected the project by denouncing it as an aggression againstthe democratic rights of the citizens, but said that they were ready to acceptthe centre if it did not stand out architecturally from its environment, that isto say if it did not feature the traditional Ottoman mosque architecture, gen-erally characteristic of the mosques in the Balkans.59

    Finally, physical and verbal attacks on Jews of whom only a few hundredlive in Croatia are extremely rare. Croatia gradually learned the lesson fromEurope that, after the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis, harassing Jews isboth legally and morally one of the worst transgressions. Nevertheless, thereis a policeman permanently stationed at the entrance to the Jewish commu-nity in Zagreb.60

    These phenomena that endanger the peace between the cultural groupsare the reason why in many intercultural and interreligious events the par-ticipants insist that their activities and objectives should not be political.They maintain, for instance, that politics has nothing in common with reli-gion,61 yet the exercise of direct and indirect political influence by large religious communities is obviously of the greatest importance.


    The political function of the ethnicnationalist wars in the Balkans in the 1990swas the constitution of national states based on the cultural and/or ethnichomogeneity of their populations instead of cultural plurality and the ambigu-ous and unstable cultural orientations that characterized the citizens of formerYugoslavia. This is an argument against the popular thesis that ethnic conflictson the Balkans are a kind of permanent but sometimes only latent phenomena.

    Correspondingly, the political culture of Croatias population, includingits politicians, scientists and other intellectuals, that dominates in the media

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  • and in legal and other official texts, is based on the paradigm of ethnicnationalism, on concepts such as ethnic group, ethnic community, eth-nic minority, nation, national state, national community, nationalminority, autochthonous, mother country, country of the mother peo-ple, and the like. This paradigm implies that all peoples (ethnic, culturalgroups) have the right to live in their own independent nation-states, thatpersons who live outside their nation-states belong to national minorities,and that national minorities are the primary or even the only objects oftoleration, interest for intercultural communication, and so forth. At thesame time, Croatia strives for recognition as a European country, the Croatsfeel that they are somehow entitled to become citizens of the EU in clearcontradistinction to the Balkans, geographically to the east of Croatia,where Orthodox Christianity, the Serbs, the Bosnian Muslims and othergroups live.

    However, aggressive ethnic nationalism and the destabilizing after-effectsof war and violence are certainly incompatible with the principles on which the EU is based. Due to this incompatibility, during the rule of Franjo Tudman, Croatia made little progress towards membership in the EU.Only the new centreleft coalition government, constituted around theSocial-Democratic Party and inaugurated at the beginning of 2000, reori-ented Croatias politics and declared membership in the EU to be one of itsmost important political objectives. It passed laws and implemented institu-tions, which secured to cultural groups called national minorities ornational communities broad individual and group rights and liberties,political representation, and in some cases even positive discrimination.

    The new government of Ivo Sanader of the CDU, inaugurated in 2004,decided to continue the policies of its predecessor, that is to say that theprincipal objective of its foreign politics remained the membership of thecountry in the EU. On 18 June 2004, Croatia became an official candidate forEU accession and on 3 October 2005 accession negotiations began. Despitethese relatively successful official policies, there are still numerous obstacleson Croatias way towards becoming a tolerant and stable liberal-democraticcountry. Such obstacles are the political culture of the population character-ized by a traditional lack of tolerance and liberalism, ethnic nationalismstirred up during the rule of Tudman, resentment especially against the Serbsand Bosnian Muslims as a consequence of the recent war, and the still validcitizenship law inspired by ethnic nationalism.

    On the governmental level, some of the new institutions securing the rights,liberties and the representation of the national minorities are simultaneouslysites of intercultural dialogues. Such institutions are the Coordination Bodiesof the Boards of National Minorities and the Council for NationalMinorities. Similarly, local, regional and central bodies of representation,which include Representatives of National Minorities, play an importantrole. Below the governmental level, the religious communities are very active.

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  • Due to its size almost 88 per cent of Croatias population is Catholic themost important religious community and organization is the CatholicChurch. Although a considerable percentage of Catholic clerics are Croatianethnic nationalists, there are also many who take seriously the conclusionsof the Second Vatican Council and the teachings and activities of Pope JohnPaul II. Religious communities often collaborate with governmental bodiesin the preparations of interreligious and intercultural events. Less powerfuland less stable, but perhaps no less influential, are secular civic associations,because they cover a broader spectrum of intercultural activities. This spectrumextends from scientific projects to the promotion of the rights of lesbiansand homosexuals, and even mysticism. Foreign foundations have been play-ing an important role in this area.

    There are considerable differences in the openness for intercultural com-munication in Croatias population. They are dependent on differences ineducation, cultural differences between the city and the countryside, differ-ent experiences during the war between 1991 and 1995 (occupation by theSerbs, battles, war destructions, ethnic cleansings), and also on historicalexperiences in their contacts with neighbours. Generally, cultural opennessand toleration increase from east to west of the country and from the coun-tryside to large cities.

    The development of political culture in Croatia is characterized by a gradualgrowth of understanding about liberal democracy and the readiness to acceptthe fact that national minorities must be able to enjoy the same rights andliberties as the ethnic Croats. This development is the result primarily of theinfluences of politicians and mass media upon the population. However,ethnic nationalism in the political culture of the majority, in legal acts andin political institutions, still endangers the stability of the country. It could bedestabilized, for example if a cultural and/or territorial group decides that it is apeople in need of a national state, or if the majority population comes tothe conclusion that a certain national minority is loyal primarily to itsmother nation abroad instead to the state it lives in, or if the numericalrelationships and the geographic distribution of various national minoritieschange and these possibly decide that a correction of borders or of their sta-tus is necessary.

    Two lines of development could bring Croatia out of this fragile situation.The first is the development of a stable, radically liberal political culture,accompanied by corresponding legislation, in which national identity, thatis the belonging to one or another cultural group (people, nation, ethniccommunity, national minority) has become at least as much a private mat-ter as is at present religion in secular states. The second line is a culturaldevelopment back towards the ambiguous, heterogeneous, syncretic, unsta-ble, and also opportunistic cultural orientations, similar to those precedingthe dissolution of Yugoslavia. At present, the political culture in Croatia isgradually developing along both of these lines, a broadly held conviction

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  • being that ethnic nationalism can be easily combined with liberal democracy,whereas the ideas that cultural orientations are complex, syncretic, unstableand even contradictory are generally still out of sight of the majority.

    It is the vested interest of the EU, the political actor with the strongest influ-ence on the Balkans, to stimulate the development of political culture in Croatiaalong both of these lines, especially by promoting intercultural communica-tion wherever possible. Unfortunately, the EU has accepted the ethnic div-ision of Yugoslavia because most European states are not themselves free ofethnic nationalisms. Thus the EU has two presumably effective instrumentsfor the reduction of ethnic nationalism in Croatia. The first is the reductionof ethnic nationalisms in the EU countries themselves. The failure of the firstattempt to adopt democratically a European constitution could be used as anoccasion to accelerate the development of the EU towards a liberal politicalcommunity in which the influence of national states is reduced in favour ofpolitical liberalism, democracy and deliberative communication at all levelsof society. The second is the continuation of the process of bringing Croatiacloser to the EU despite the disturbances caused by the failure of the EU con-stitution, a process consisting of stimulating the development of Croatiaspolitical culture and political system that emphasizes liberal democracy, tol-erance and cultural openness, as well as legality and economic prosperity.


    1 See Ger Duijzings, Ethnic Unmixing under the Aegis of the West: a TransnationalApproach to the Breakup of Yugoslavia, Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-FaithStudies 5 (2) (2003), http://www.riifs.org/journal/essy_v5no2_Duijzings.htm.

    2 See Ute Frevert, Was ist das blo ein Europer?, Die Zeit, 23 June 2005, p. 12.3 These terms have no passably clear definitions and are used most often for dema-

    gogic reasons. For instance, in an introductory textbook in sociology the termethnic group is defined in the following words: An ethnic group is a set of individ-uals who see themselves or are seen by others as belonging to a certain social categorybecause of their common ancestry. Ancestry includes race, national origin, and reli-gion (Bernard Philips, Sociology. From Concepts to Practice (New York: McGraw-Hill,1979), p. 175). A quite different definition from the same period of time and prob-ably with no lesser scientific ambitions is the following: An ethnic group is analternative term for race proposed by the English anthropologist AshleyMontagu, approximately equivalent to a local race. An ethnic group may also bedefined as a group of persons sharing a common cultural heritage. SeeEncyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, vol. 3 (Chicago, 1980), p. 980. The semanticproblems with the other quoted terms are similar. For instance, Sinia Tatalovic, aCroatian expert on questions concerning national minorities, professor at theFaculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb, and since 2005 counsellor of Croatias pres-ident Stjepan Mesic, failed when he tried to define the term minority. See SiniaTatalovic, Prilog razumijevanju pojma manjina, Bonjac

    ka pismohrana 1 (14)

    (1999), 45161. Since it is not possible to avoid these terms in this text, for wantof a better solution I use the expression ethnic nationalism in the sense of a

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  • group possessing some however marginal or fictitious common cultural ethnic traits, having a strong feeling of solidarity based on the conviction that there are such common traits and that they are very important, and believ-ing that due to that identity it should live in and/or fight for an own, sovereign,national state.

    4 Concerning the status and the identity of Bosnian Muslims in Croatia see Edis Felic,emso Tankovic, prvi bonjac

    ki zastupnik u Saboru RH (interview), Bonjac


    pismohrana 4 (1316) (2003), 316; Sena Kulenovic, Ugovorom s Vladom RH priz-nata je autohtonost muslimana (interview with mufti evko Omerbaic), ibid., pp.6371.

    5 The standard Serbo-Croatian name for the various cultural groups in socialistYugoslavia was narodi i narodnosti.

    6 After the expulsion of some 60 per cent of the Serbian population from Croatia inAugust 1995, at the end of the war of 199195, the Croatian government introduceda number of legal and other measures whose purpose was to prevent the Serbs fromreturning to Croatia and taking possession of their property. See Tena Erceg, Polozajnacionalnih manjina u Republici Hrvatskoj zakonodavstvo i praksa, Centar zaljudska prava (2005), 37, www.human-rights.hr/dokumenti/polozajnm.htm.

    7 During the existence of Yugoslavia, these languages did not exist separately. Besidethe Slovenian, Macedonian and Albanian language, each spoken by about two mil-lion people, the dominant language in Yugoslavia was Serbo-Croatian, its officialname being Serbo-Croatian, or Croato-Serbian, or Serbian, or Croatian language.

    8 See Ante C icin-ain, Prilagodba Hrvatske vecoj prisutnosti stranaca, Mirotvorniizazov XII (3132) (2004), 1822.

    9 Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, Narodne novine, No. 155/2002, 3 (2).10 Government of the Republic of Croatia, Report of the Republic of Croatia on the

    Implementation of the Framework Convention on Protection of National Minorities,March 2004.

    11 See Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, 5.12 See Sinia Tatalovic, Nacionalne manjine u Hrvatskoj (Split: Stina, 2005), pp. 2231;

    Davor Gjenero, Evaluacija otvorenosti drutva: manjine (manuscript).13 Ustavni zakon o ljudskim pravima i slobodama i pravima etnickih i nacionalnih

    zajednica ili manjina u Republici Hrvatskoj, Narodne novine, No. 27/1992, No.34/1992, No. 51/2000.

    14 See on the following points in particular: Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnihmanjina, especially 7 and Tatalovic, Nacionalne manjine u Hrvatskoj, pp. 2289passim.

    15 See Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, 4 (1). Already between the population censuses of 1991 and 2001 a considerable number of citizenschanged their declaration of national identity (see Government of the Republicof Croatia, Report of the Republic of Croatia on the Implementation of the FrameworkConvention on Protection of National Minorities, March 2004, p. 46). A rather odd implication of this stipulation is that if a sufficiently large number of peopledecide to declare themselves as belonging to, for instance, one or anotherMicronesian cultures, or even to an ad hoc invented culture, and organize themselves in a corresponding association, the state would have no leverage to refuse to treat them as any other national minority, i.e. to finance correspon-ding schooling of their children, to secure their political representation, and soforth.

    16 See Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, 4 (4).

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  • 17 Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, 9 (2), 12 (1); Ustavni zakono ljudskim pravima i slobodama i pravima etnickih i nacionalnih zajednica ili man-jina u Republici Hrvatskoj, 810.

    18 Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, 11; Law on Education and Schoolingin the Language and Writing of National Minorities, 2; Government of the Republic ofCroatia, Report, pp. 334.

    19 Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, 16.20 While Muslims generally possess no all-encompassing religious organization,

    Muslims in Croatia established their common Islamic community in Croatia(Islamska zajednica u Hrvatskoj) with its headquarters in Zagreb. This enabled thegovernment to sign the treaty in 2002, making Croatia one of only four Europeanstates which have signed such treaties with their Islamic communities, the otherthree being Austria, Belgium and Spain. See Ugovor Vlade Republike Hrvatske i IslamskeZajednice u Hrvatskoj o Pitanjima od Zajednickog Interesa, Zagreb, 12 December 2002,Klasa: 070-03/02-03/01, Urbroj: 5030109-02-5; Bilten Medzlisa Islamske ZajedniceZagreb, No. 35, August 2004, p. 4; Law on the Legal Status of Religious Communities;Government of the Republic of Croatia, Report, p. 50.

    21 Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, 15 and 18.22 Ibid., 15 (1) and (2).23 A case in point is the governmental National Program for the Roma (Nacionalni program

    za Rome) of October 2003. The purpose of the 66 pages long Program is the reduc-tion of the discrimination against the Roma and improvement of their bad socialposition by a wide range of educational, social and economic measures, withoutthereby destroying the traditional Roma culture.

    24 Ustavni zakon o pravima nacionalnih manjina, 1922.25 Ibid., 2333.26 Ibid., 2022, 36(2); Government of the Republic of Croatia, Report, pp. 1617.27 See Marinko Krmpotic, Manjine od bremena do bogatstva drustva, Novi list, 7 June

    2005, p. 8.28 The terminological confusion in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, its citizenship,

    cultures, religions and languages, is even bigger than in the cases of other cultural(ethnic) groups. Thus, in use are the adjectives Bosnian, but also Bosniak (e.g.Bosnian or Bosniak people or language), the adjective Muslim can signify boththe religion and the traditional culture of a person, the noun Bosniak can signifyboth a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a member of the Bosniak peopleconsisting of citizens of Muslim faith or bound to Muslim traditions, Croatia hasmade the ethnic Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens of Croatia and so on.In this text I use the term Bosnian Muslims for persons of Muslim faith or trad-ition culturally and biologically originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina, forinstance persons who in socialist Yugoslavia migrated from Bosnia and Herzegovinato other Yugoslav republics.

    29 In the 1,467 war crime cases in procedure in the middle of 2003, 99 per cent of theindicted belonged to the minorities. Eighty-five per cent of ethnic Serbs sentencedfor war crimes were sentenced in absence, in many cases in group trials, while noethnic Croat was sentenced in absence. An extreme example is here the decisionof a regional court in Gospic of August 2003, that an ethnic Serb, indicted for awar crime, is guilty not only of the crime he was indicted for, but also of the geno-cide Serbs have allegedly been committing on Croats during the last 500 years,since they came to Croatia together with the Ottomans with the intention toannihilate the Croats.

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  • 30 See Sinia Tatalovic, Etnicki sukobi i europska sigurnost (Zagreb: Politic

    ka kultura,

    2003), pp. 188205.31 See Alternativni izvjetaj o primjeni Okvirne konvencije za zatitu prava nacionalnih

    manjina u Republici Hrvatskoj za period 1999.2004., June 2004, III. Opcenapomene 19992004, www.chez.com/zsr/izvjesce_4.htm.

    32 See Sinia Tatalovic, Nacionalne manjine u Hrvatskoj, p. 41.33 Hrvatska Radio-Televizija (Croatian Radio-Television), news of 21 October 2004,

    20:31h.34 News agencies AP, ATA, HINA, FENA, BTA, MIA, and Tanjug on 9 December 2004.35 See Osnovana mreza multietnickih gradova JI Evrope, Vecernji list (internet issue),

    6 July 2005, www.vecernji-list.hr/newsroom/news/croatia/326288/index.do.36 Private communication by Vojko Obersnel, mayor of Rijeka, of 28 September 2004.37 See Doprinos daljnjem razvoju suzivota, Novi list, 17 April 2004, www.chez.com/

    zsr/forum.htm.38 One weekly has to be extolled for its consequent independence and critique of the

    government from the standpoint of legality, civility and toleration, the famousFeral Tribune.

    39 See Ingrid estan, Najesen krece prva generacija studenata, Novi list, 30 March 2004,www.human.pefri.hr.

    40 See DD, Uloga vjernika u stvaranju javnog misljenja, Zvona, XLII (5/373), July2004, p. 25.

    41 Susak is the eastern part of Rijeka.42 See I.., Interkulturalnost oblik suzivota, Novi list, 7 November 2003; Lj.T.,

    Morcic i igra domina, Novi list, 27 February 2004; skole.htnet.hr/ss-rijeka-509/skola/inter.htm.

    43 See Nenad Jovanovic, Teko osvojivi mali ekrani, Novosti (weekly for Serbs inCroatia), No. 278, 15 April 2005, pp. 67; nn., Pokrece se regionalna romska tele-vizija, ibid., p. 7; Nenad Jovanovic, Ka informativnom servisu manjina, Novosti,6 May 2005, pp. 45.

    44 See Mirjana Grce, Dijalog je naa ljudska sudbina (interview with Dinko Popovic),Novi list, 24 June 2004; Michael Weninger, Dialog mit Religionen und Kirchen frErweiterung der europischen Integrationen, Mirotvorni izazov XII (312) (2004),1317.

    45 Private communication by Julija Ko of the Jewish community in Zagreb, 22September 2004.

    46 See M.G., Razmjena ekumenskih iskustava, Novi list, 21 July 2004, p. 15; DanijelDelonga, Medunarodni ekumenski i medureligijski susret u Rijeci: Ekumenizamprihvacamo i slijedimo ono sto nam je Krist zadao, Glas Koncila 31 (1571), 1 August 2004.

    47 See M. Grce, Postivanje stava svakog covjeka, Novi list, 28 October 2004.48 See Susret kardinala Bozanica i muftije Omerbasica, Informativna katolicka agencija,

    13 July 2004; I.F., Kardinal Bozanic prvi put u zagrebackoj dzamiji, Novi list, 14July 2004.

    49 The expression povjesnicara/istoricara illustrates the tense relations betweenSerbs and Croats, and more generally also those between other cultural groupspreviously united in Yugoslavia. While Croats and Serbs can very easily under-stand each other, since the dissolution of the common state they are anxious toclearly define their national identity, which includes a particular language. As aconsequence, from what in Yugoslavia used to be the Serbo-Croatian language theyattempt to make two languages, the Serbian and the Croatian. Similarly, Bosnian

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  • Muslims try to develop a Bosniak language from the Serbo-Croatian. Examples ofthese efforts are words that in Serbo-Croatian used to be legitimate synonyms andare now ascribed to only one of the languages. In the expression povjesnicara/istoricara both povjesnicar and` istoricar mean historian, but the Croats insistthat the word povjesnicar of Slavic origin is specifically Croatian, while the Serbsaccept the word istoricar of Latin origin as Serbian. In order to avoid nationalisticconflicts about the equal treatment of the two languages, in the title of the projectboth words are used simultaneously.

    50 An excellent description of the regressivity and provincialism of the still virulentSerbian nationalism, stirred up in the 1980s, is given in Olivera Milosavljevic,Autostereotipi o autenticnosti i kvarenju nacije, Dijalog povjesnicaraistoricara 5,(Zagreb: Zaklada Friedrich Naumann, 2002), pp. 8396.

    51 Hans-Georg Fleck, O Dijalogu povjesnicara/istoricara: kriticka povijesna znanost,politicko obrazovanje i drustveni pluralizam, in Igor Graovac, ed., C emu dijalogpovjesnicara/istoricara? (Zagreb: Dijalog, 2005), pp. 1737.

    52 www.rijeka-drzava.com.53 A laudable exception is Vesna Kusin, who in her article Politicka misija crkve,

    Vjesnik, 30 May 2005, p. 16, stresses the necessity of the inclusion of the CatholicChurch and other religious communities in political processes, especially in inter-religious dialogues as a condition for peace and reconciliation.

    54 On the points (iii) and (iv) see Tena Erceg, Rasna netrpeljivost i govor mrznje medunarodni i hrvatski standardi i praksa, Centar za ljudska prava (Zagreb, 2004),www.human-rights.hr/izvjestajgovor.htm; Stojan Obradovic, Manjine u procesupostkonfliktne komunikacije, Regionalni glasnik za promociju kulture manjinskihprava i meduetnicke tolerancije, No. 1, 30 July 2004, www.stina.hr.

    55 At present their proportion in the population lies around 5 per cent. This figurerepresents those remaining following the expulsion of most of the Serbs in 1995.

    56 See Damir Grubisa, Rastuca srbofobija, Novi list, 27 May 2005, p. 6.57 See Tena Erceg, Polozaj nacionalnih manjina u Republici Hrvatskoj zakonodavstvo

    i praksa, Centar za ljudska prava, (2005), 1315, www.human-rights.hr/doku-menti/polozajnm.htm.

    58 Jutarnji list, 23 December 2003, quoted in Erceg, Rasna netrpeljivost i govor mrznje , pp. 1213, www.human-rights.hr/izvjestajgovor.htm.

    59 See Predrag Blecic, Agresija na demokratska prava dijela Rijecana, Novi list, 9December 2004; Gordan Jelenic, Razlozi protivljenja izgradnji dzamije uopcenisu urbanisticki, Novi list, 15 December 2004; Damir Cupac, Ne pristajemo naHostov breg, Novi list, 16 December 2004; Mirjana Grce, U Rijeci treba naci odgo-varajuci prostor za izgradnju dzamije, Novi list, 5 February 2004.

    60 When I visited the community on 3 August 2004, he was sound asleep when Irang the door-bell, and remained so during my ten-minute visit.

    61 Dinko Popovic as quoted in Mirjana Grce, U Rijeci treba naci odgovarajuci prostorza izgradnju dzamije, Novi list, 5 February 2004.

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  • 237

    In her essay on three Central European thinkers from the Communist periodwho thought about Europe, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine puts forward the maindilemma that the European unification process faces today and for whichCentral Europe may be able to provide a solution:

    Either Europe remains obstinate in following a path that is purely institu-tional, driven by economics and accounting, and destined to become atbest a huge market dominated by the ideology of growth for the sake ofgrowth. This is the path whereby its meaning is ruled by its objectives . . .Or we understand that there is urgency in inverting the perspective andinaugurating a sort of Copernican revolution in our approach to CentralEurope . . . If the other Europe could appear in the 1980s as the place wherethe European spirit was threatened with annihilation, it appears today,through its greatest thinkers, as the place of its possible recovery.1

    This volume is about Central Europe, about some of the issues linked to itsintegration in the EU, leading ultimately to the question of the meaning ofEurope. It does not presume to bring about a Copernican revolution in ourapproach to Central Europe, although it does encourage it, but it does drawattention to the need to look at Central Europe not as a geographical, demo-graphic, or economic addition to the EU, but rather as an incoming originalentity that can make a defining contribution to European unification and,above all, to the meaning of Europe. The Laignel-Lavastine volume takes ahumanisticphilosophical approach; this volume casts a historical and empir-ical look at particular issues. It does so in the three sections, which map outspecific themes; the first deals with the area as a whole and its premise is thatCentral Europes past differs to such an extent from Western Europes that itcannot but play a specific role in defining the Europe that is in the making.

    Three years mark dramatically the history of Central Europe: 1526, 1919and 1989. The first refers to the battle of Mohcs on 29 August 1526, whichushered in the Ottoman Turkish presence with important consequences for

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  • 238 Central European History and the European Union

    the political, economic and social development of the region. The defence ofEurope against the Turks gave the Habsburgs, the ruling family from Austriathat also acquired the crowns of Bohemia and Hungary as a result of that battle, its main mission, which, even after it ceased to have any pertinence,justified their refusal to allow political development in their empire, whichattained its final definition in the second half of the nineteenth century.Feudal dynastic rule held sway until the twentieth not just in the HabsburgEmpire, but elsewhere in the region, namely in the Romanov and, eventuallybut to a lesser degree, also in the Hohenzollern lands (Map 1). In addition, thereis another important event with consequences for Central Europe, which tookplace only a few decades before, in 1492, when Christopher Columbus dis-covered the New World. The results would be far-reaching and long-lasting:the economic relations between Central and Western Europe that had hithertobeen developing and benefiting Central Europe began to decrease as WesternEurope turned to the discovered lands and exploited their mineral and agri-cultural riches for its own economic advantage. For the next four centuries,Central Europe underwent, as a result of these two events, a political andeconomic development separate from that of Western Europe, while, at thesame time, keeping in contact with its intellectual and political trends (seeChronology). The nature of this interaction and its meaning for Central Europegive an indication of the relationship between the two parts of Europe todayand what this represents for the continents future and the meaning of Europe.

    Central Europes separate development often leaves the impression that thereare few common roots for these two parts of the continent and that CentralEurope has more in common with Eastern Europe, a region of Europe thatWestern Europe regarded as different from itself, as Larry Wolff reminds us.2

    One country that is often portrayed along these lines is Slovakia. In hisChapter on Slovakias European roots, Stanislav J. Kirschbaum clearly showsthis not to be the case. He traces these roots to the role played by religion,religious orders, and especially the University of Trnava. The case of Slovakiais interesting because it brings out the ambiguities of Central Europes politicaldevelopment. Along with the Ottoman occupation of Hungary from 1526 to1699, the region experienced the religious conflicts brought about by theReformation. After the Ottoman occupation, the Hungarian archbishopric ofOstrihom was moved to the Western Slovak town of Trnava, which thenbecame the centre of the Counter-Reformation in Central Europe. Universitastyrnaviensis was a Hungarian university created to undertake this missionand it attracted students from all over the continent. It was one of CentralEuropes outstanding institutions of higher learning, and, because of its loca-tion, also greatly benefited the Slovaks. However, with the end of the Ottomanoccupation of Hungary and the consolidation of the kingdom by theHungarian nobility, it was moved to Buda in Hungary in 1777, on the eve ofmajor political changes in Western Europe. This ended the universitysEuropean role, eliminated higher education in Slovakia, and cast the Slovaks

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  • on path of national survival, which affected their overall development.Slovakias fate reflected, mutatis mutandis, that of other nations in CentralEurope, a region that, since 1526, was dealing in various ways with the politicaland economic consequences of the Ottoman invasion and the decreasingcommercial relations with Western Europe. All shared one outcome: theirnational elites faced rulers and ruling classes that rejected the WesternEuropean intellectual and ideological currents of the eighteenth and nine-teenth centuries that their populations sought to espouse; as far as the Slovaksare concerned, they had the added misfortune of being locked in a struggle forsurvival against Budapests policy of Magyarization. The example of Slovakiaunderlines forcefully the extent to which Central Europe had been cast on adifferent political trajectory from that of Western Europe.

    The political development that Central Europe underwent until the twenti-eth century, when the dynasties fell, created an important political and eco-nomic gap with the western part of Europe. Encouraged by the intellectualand political developments in Western Europe, the nations that populated theruling empires of Central Europe clamoured not only for regime change, butalso self-determination. Change came about just after the First World War,ushering in the second dramatic date in the regions history, 18 January 1919,when the Paris Peace Conference convened. Not only was the regionreorganized on the basis of new states, but democracy was espoused by all ofthem (Map 2). However, most of these new states succumbed very quickly toauthoritarianism, in part as a result of their own development, but also as aresult of the influence and later the territorial and political ambitions ofpowerful neighbours espousing totalitarian ideologies.

    Since the nineteenth century, in response to the social and economic con-sequences of industrialization, Europe found itself in the throes of a compe-tition among three ideologies: democracy, fascism and Communism. All threeexerted their influence in Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentiethcenturies, and because of the regions development, the extreme ones provedto be more successful in their political appeal. After the defeat of fascism byforce of arms in 1945, the European continent split in two for almost fivedecades, locked in an implacable ideological battle between democracy andCommunism (Map 3). By the end of the last decade of the century, Commun-ism had discredited itself in the states of Central Europe, which returned todemocracy and advocated union with Western Europe, then in the processof creating the EU. Fifteen years later, in May 2004, eight Central Europeanstates, Slovakia included, and in January 2007 two more, joined the EU as itproceeded to enlarge eastwards (Map 4). Such an objective would not have beenachieved by these Central European states had they not had European roots.

    The European roots of the Central European nations are, of course, asdiverse as their national histories; what these nations also share along withcommon roots is the regions overall development, a development that hadtheir leaders consider cooperative solutions. One of the consequences of the

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  • Peace Treaties after the First World War was that most, but not all of theCentral European nations, were given a chance to embrace not only democracy,but also self-determination. New states were created, and were generallydefined as national, but were for the most part multinational in compositionbecause of important national minorities; two were even multinational,Czecho-Slovakia and the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, laterrenamed Yugoslavia. However, this reorganization created a region that endedup being weak politically and economically and thus the object of territorialexpansion from its more powerful neighbours.

    As we have seen, democracy failed to take root even before the first decadeafter the war was over, most states in Central Europe, with the exception ofCzecho-Slovakia, renamed Czechoslovakia, had become authoritarian whichset the stage for the successful application throughout Central Europe of thedivide and conquer maxim of the Roman Empire, first by Germany, whichplunged Europe in a second world conflict two decades after the end of thefirst and then by the Soviet Union in the aftermath of that second world war.But long before this happened, Central European intellectuals and states-men, as Francesco Leoncini points out, had considered solutions for theregion in order to ensure its development and security. Leoncini takes a freshapproach to the history of Central Europe, arguing that it had a double fate,as an area of competition between the great powers, but also as a place ofcontinuous attempts at what he defines as aggregation among the variouspopulations. He assesses positively the role of nationalism in the region,which he prefers to define as national self-defence, and he sees that principleas one linked intimately with the federative principle. Unfortunately, thesetwo principles were not able to find an appropriate symbiosis in CentralEurope. His rapid tour dhorizon of federal solutions that were proposed butnever put into effect brings home the necessity of balancing a larger projectwith the needs of those who are called upon to bring it about. And that, ofcourse, is the challenge that the EU has been facing ever since it consideredenlargement to the East after the end of Communism in 1989, the third dra-matic year in Central Europes history.

    Of all the factors that the nations and states of Central Europe have incommon and which distinguish them from Western Europe, the experienceof Communist rule (Map 3), which came to an unexpected abrupt end on9 November 1989, is the one that had the most direct impact on the EUenlargement process and that may, ultimately, also have some direct influenceon the definition of Europe. It is during this period, as Laignel-Lavastinepoints out, that the meaning of Europe was nurtured in the dissident circlesof Central Europe while the main building blocks, essentially of an economicnature, were being laid in Western Europe. If 1989 was just another year thatmoved the European unification project forward in Western Europe, it hadan altogether different meaning for the nations and states of Central Europe,as Oskar Gruenwald reminds us in his chapter on the 1989 revolutions.

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  • Gruenwald examines how civil society, a conditio sine qua non for the suc-cessful transition from a single-party political system to a democratic one,began to develop in each country through the activities of individuals anddissident movements. At stake was not just a question of regime change. LikeLaignel-Lavastine, Gruenwald pays a great deal of attention to the ideals,hopes and aspirations that sustained these activities, which, within a decadeafter the fall of Communism, came to be obscured by ethnic conflict. Inaddition, Gruenwalds chapter proposes a model of transition from authori-tarian systems to political democracy that discloses why the transition remainsincomplete and why he feels that the quest for universal human rights,democracy, pluralism, tolerance and an open society is an ongoing project.His extensive examination of dissident activities in the various countriesreminds us that Central Europe continues to offer scope for a debate aboutthe future if only because such questions were on the agenda not only in theimmediate Communist past, but also in the more distant past. As Laignel-Lavastine suggests, and the chapters by Kirschbaum, Leoncini and Gruenwaldpoint out, the lessons from Central Europes past provide enough of a basis tolook for a definition of Europe that is not driven merely by economic andbureaucratic imperatives, but rather by the aspirations of its peoples, aspirationsthat were first articulated at a time and in a place where they seemed utterlyunattainable.

    The second theme that differentiates Central from Western Europe focuseson the national state. It brings together the two developments in CentralEurope that account for the regions specificity, namely state creation and theCommunist experiment. The experience of state creation in Central Europe,which took place later than in Western Europe, was such that issues of identitywere fundamental in underpinning the legitimacy of each state. Not thatthis was not the case in the Western European states; each national historymakes it clear that identity is fundamental, as the compromise on EuropeanUnion banknotes and coins also points out. Rather it is the late creation ofthe national state and the challenges to its definition and development, inparticular during the Communist period, which made the issue of state cre-ation such a percussive one in Central Europe. In such a context, nationalsymbols acquired a great deal of significance. They had been important elementsof feudal identity and their importance carried over in the newly formed states,and especially when these states, as happened after the Second World War,found themselves subjected to the ideological programme of the SovietUnion, a programme that undervalued national identity in favour of aninternational one, namely proletarian internationalism. National symbolsbecame instruments not only of national self-affirmation but also of resistance;they were given various interpretations, took on varied forms, but also acquiredambiguous meanings.

    One of the developments that surprised observers in the post-Communistera was the completion of the self-determination revolution that had been

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  • launched at the end of the First World War. Three multinational states,Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, collapsed as their nationalcomponents broke away to form their own states (Map 4). As these new statessought to join the European Union, it is interesting to ask what role thenational symbols that stood for self-determination, resistance and oppositionplayed and continue to play in Central Europe. Four Chapters tackle thisquestion and they point to two tendencies. The first is to see national sym-bols as manifestations of national insecurity. Stefan Samersky demonstratesin his chapter how Wenceslas, because of his longevity as a symbol, especiallyas a religious symbol, could be made to fit in wherever and whenever needed:in the Bohemian state, in the First Czechoslovak Republic, in the Protectorateof BohemiaMoravia, and during the Communist period. However, in thepost-Communist period, this religious symbol was stripped of its religiouscontent and Wenceslas Day became a secular state holiday. Samersky con-cludes that Wenceslas was a unifying figure in all of these transformations,but he also warns that tradition stands for helplessness in the face of uncer-tainty or pending danger. A similar conclusion is also articulated by KristaZach on Moldavian Prince Stephen in Romania, where she shows how Stephenbecame the reference for a national identity and how a medieval hero wasredefined at Putna monastery in 1992 to become a new national symbol. Butshe also writes: The church ceremony of canonizing a national hero as a patronsaint of the Orthodox Church in secular Romania had a certain ambiguity. Itsuggested that Romania remains a country at a crossroad between modernand traditional options and challenges.

    The second tendency is to use, even to manipulate, symbols for outwardnational affirmation. Juliane Brandts chapter on the secularized cult of StStephen in modern Hungary is fascinating in the way it shows how a simplecultural event such as a rock opera on one of Hungarys greatest historicalheroes, St Stephen, could be regarded as an apology of the Communist regime,as a work of art with a strong national undercurrent, or, as is the case today, asa demonstration of Hungarys European heritage. In addition, the ambivalenceof the use of musical means within the framework of a modern listeningexperience as well as some other artistic solutions hinted at other contextualpatterns and allowed it to be read it as a work of opposition. In all cases, itstood for an affirmation of Hungarian identity. For Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski,the elevation of Jzef Pilsudski, the architect of Polish independence in 1918,into a national symbol proffers an unusual social phenomenon, namely thesymbolic recasting of the focus of Polish history from the collapse in the par-titions of the eighteenth century to the victory in 1918 with the nineteenth-century insurrections representing the democratization of the noble ethos ofnational service. He points out that during the 2005 presidential elections inPoland all candidates gave Pilsudski as their choice for the model Polish states-man. Clearly the Polish state needed a national symbol to assert its modernidentity and found it in recent times rather than in an older historical period.

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  • Whatever their form and however old or new their content, national symbolsnormally celebrate a national state, but we also know from Central Europeanhistory, indeed even from Western European history, that there were nonational states that could claim to be nationally homogeneous; this was notfor lack of an attempt. Chapter 8 in Part II, by John J. Kulczycki, deals withthis issue in Poland, in particular with the attempts by the Communistregime to create an ethnically homogeneous Polish nation-state during theSecond World War. It is a case study of one of the consequences of the radicalapplication of nationalism in Central Europe; his conclusion is indeed validfor the entire region: The nationalist dream of self-determination proved tobe, one suspects not just in this case, a nightmare of suffering and loss for asubstantial number of those for whom it was intended.

    The legacy of the national state in Central Europe is, thus, a paradoxical one.To create one was the teleological goal of every nationalist movement, but itslate appearance and the ideological challenges that it faced from fascism andCommunism in the twentieth century made it, with some exceptions, aweak state. The articles on national symbols lead us to conclude that thesesymbols are an indication of this weakness, of a state-building process that isyet to be completed. This legacy of the national state is one that the EU musttake into account. Recent events bear out the importance of this legacy:while most Central European states fully accepted all the conditions forentry into the EU, for those that were admitted, the full meaning of member-ship became the object of public debate after entry. The Czech, Polish andSlovak elections of 2006 clearly signalled some public unease with the con-sequences of EU membership, an unease that manifested itself in the electoralsuccess of nationalist parties, but also of left-wing parties whose political pro-gramme aimed at cushioning the economic and social consequences of EUmembership. Unlike the EUs founding members, the member states fromCentral Europe are young democracies that are in the throes of democraticand economic development at the same time as they are finding their place in the EU. The national state is the reference point for their people andthe search for national symbols is, as it was in the past, an indication of a debatein Central Europe about the regions future, especially as a full member of theEU; but it is also about the meaning of Europe.

    The Central European states that acquired membership in the EU did so inrecord time. They also did so according to an agenda that was set by the EU.That fact alone created additional challenges for the candidates. The thirdtheme of the volume deals with some of the challenges of EU membership,and this volume has taken an eclectic approach. There are a number of goodworks that deal with the overall process, focusing primarily on the role of theEU.3 The chapters in this part of the volume focus on the perspective fromCentral Europe on specific questions, all raising the issue of Europeanization.Basak Alpan shows that the Europeanization of Central Europe was moreequivalent to the EUs accession process than it was a process that entailed

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  • cultural or deep-rooted dimensions. The backward glance that she casts, notunlike Laignel-Lavastine, shows the region to have been given many defin-itions before the collapse of Communism, not just by its own intellectuals,but also by knowledgeable Western observers. However, her examination of theways in which Europe was articulated by the main political parties ofHungary and Poland after the fall of Communism and how it became part of thepolitical discourse indicates that that the depiction of Europe in existential-ist and identity terms questioning the extent of belonging/non-belonging toEurope by the dissidents and in the transition literature in the late 1980s andearly 1990s was unrelated to the main premises for the use and articulation ofEurope by the political parties in the post-1990 period.

    Did the process of Europeanization bring about a disconnection with CentralEuropes past? Alpan gives an affirmative answer to this question, for whichthe explanation is found in Euroscepticism, a form of opposition to Europeanintegration. For Alpan, as for Laure Neumayer, it is a concept that describesthe impact that EU membership has had in the post-Communist electoralprocess. Neumayer looks at three Central European states, the Czech Republic,Hungary and Poland. She shows how there was a linkage between ideologyand strategy in party positions on Europe before and after accession to theEU, and that European integration was used to define the rules of politicalcompetition in the post-Communist democracies. She also indicates that therewas not necessarily a disconnection, but rather realignment:

    There was a strong continuity with the pre-accession period as regards thedivisions, labels and classifications that structured political discourses.Eurorealists switched from critical outsiders to critical insiders.Presenting the elections as a second referendum on EU accession, theyclaimed that they would change the EU from within, either to create aEurope of nation-states or to strengthen the social dimension of Europeanintegration.

    Alpan and Neumayer do not contradict each other; rather they indicate,each in her own way, that membership in the EU exerted considerable polit-ical influence on the post-Communist transformation process, and thatEuropeanization had not eliminated questions and issues that not so longago were in the forefront of Central European thinking about the meaningof Europe, but rather put them on the back burner, at least in the years fol-lowing immediately EU accession.

    The importance of the impact of EU accession on Central European pol-itics is brought out forcefully by Ingrid Rder, An Schrijvers and Mojmir Krizan,all of whom also ask the question of the Europeanization of Central Europe.What is particularly striking in the Rder chapter is the case of the CzechRepublic and Slovakia, which, because of their common cultural and histor-ical background, led to the assumption that similar factors during the

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  • Europeanization process brought about similar changes in all areas of theacquis communautaire and also in the area of gender equality. Her researchindicates that this did not turn out to be the case: Both countries imple-mented gender equality formally, which means they incorporated EU legis-lation into national legislation. Nonetheless . . . the Czech Republic has sofar been more Europeanized than Slovakia as more projects were completed.What about Poland, whose approach to accession is known to have beenmore problematic than that of some other Central European candidates?Schrijvers shows in her chapter that, during the debate on the future of theEU, initiated at the Laeken Summit in 2001, Poland, an especially difficult,Eurosceptic and anti-federalist member, at least in the perception of someWest European political actors and observers, had, in the constitutional con-vention debates, a view of the future of Europe that was much more even-handed than is generally assumed. The Polish vision of the EU spoke of abalance between the intergovernmental and the community approach. Clearly,Europeanization was not being rejected, merely adapted to suit Polandsassessment of its role and position in the EU.

    The final chapter deals with Croatia, not yet a member, rather a candidatefor EU admission, which experienced ethnic conflict and war in the post-Communist period. What pressure has the EU been exerting and how hasCroatia been responding? Krizan shows that the Croatian government, underEU pressure, began to take measures to reduce ethnic hatred against Serbs andBosnian Muslims as well as the influence of various nationalist groups; thatit enabled the Serbs expelled in 1995 to return to their homes; strengthenedthe legal protection of national minorities; promoted intercultural contacts;and thus convinced the EU that the country was on the correct path towardaccession. The chapter gives examples of the sites, forms and developmentsof intercultural communication in Croatia. But Krizan also strikes a note ofcaution, pointing out that respect for human rights and intercultural commu-nication are still facing serious obstacles resulting both from ethnic nationalismand the general deficit of political culture in the country. The legacy of CentralEuropes recent past still lingers in that part of Europe and acts as a reminderto the rest of the region of the need for the development of regional cooper-ation and the laying down of a stable basis for European unification.

    Although they accepted unconditionally the conditions set out by the EUfor membership, the EUs Central European members did not, by the sametoken, necessarily submit to any definition or meaning of Europe. At firstglance, as Laignel-Lavastine points out, it would seem that they accepted thatits meaning is ruled by its objectives, for this is what the accession processwas all about. The chapters in this volume, as well as the electoral results insome countries since accession, suggest, however, that from a Central Europeanperspective, there is more to the process. All of them point to a CentralEuropean specificity, which the EU must not only take into account, but alsoincorporate in its search for the meaning of Europe.

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  • The EU is a sui generis experiment still in the making, and it is up to itsmembers to see that it reflects the values for which so many wars were foughtand so many died in Europe. The Central Europeans know something aboutthis particular legacy, and the EU will be the richer if it embraces and articu-lates the visions that have arisen from it. There needs to be a discussion onthe meaning of Europe, one that takes into account not just the contemporaryimperatives of managing enlargement and a modern and globalizing econ-omy, but above all the aspirations that have arisen out of the historical expe-rience of all EU citizens, especially those from Central Europe. In addition, theadmission of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 brought Orthodoxy, one ofChristianitys three branches, into the debate on the meaning of Europe. Byadmitting these two countries, the EU found itself, more by inadvertencethan by design, in the position of bringing Christianity full circle by assem-bling its three branches in one political institution. Christianity is what definedEurope for over one thousand years, alas also the source of many of its conflicts,but equally one of the continents legacies; its presence and importance inCentral Europe have been and continue to be fundamental. Of equal import-ance, and arising from the more recent experience of fascist and Communistrule not just in the two countries, but elsewhere in Central Europe, is thequest for freedom, peace, universal human rights, democracy, pluralism, tol-erance and an open society.4 Central Europe can thus be seen to offer twogeneral leitmotifs for all the citizens of the EU to consider and incorporate asthey and their leaders seek to define the meaning of Europe.

    However, one look at the current map of Europe (Map 4) makes it clearthat the logic of EU enlargement in Central Europe requires that one moreround take place that includes the remaining states and nations of the Balkans.This is a challenge where the past as well as present problems come togetherwith full force in the debate: of particular immediate concern is Kosovo, aprovince of Serbia, which appears as an intractable problem that the inter-national community, but more particularly the EU, is called upon to resolve inthe near future. Timothy Garton Ash writes in a daring article that [t]he wayforward for Kosovo is not nation-building or state-building, but member-state-building. And for Serbia too. This means European leaders having thecourage and vision to say that we actually want a further enlargement of the EU, because only then will peace be secured in the Balkans and Europebe whole and free. He suggests that the next enlargement take place in 2014,the year that will celebrate the outbreak of the First World War, and includeAlbania, Bosnia and Montenegro. He adds in conclusion: As it approachesits 50th birthday this March [2007], the European economic community thatbecame a union has an extraordinary story to tell about the spread of peace,freedom and the rule of law (see www.europeanstory.net). But a political nar-rative has to describe where we are heading as well as where we are comingfrom.5 The need as well as the way to engage in finding a definition of themeaning of Europe could not be stated more clearly.

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  • Given their history and the legacy of their thinkers, it therefore behovesthe political leaders and the elites of the member states of Central Europe totake this message to the other members of the Union, and especially to Brussels,where the danger of the appearance of a nightmare from the past looms ifa dialogue on the meaning of Europe is not engaged soon. Echoing theexhortations of Laignel-Lavastine, the Slovene Drago Jancar writes: If the newEurope is only a product of the economy and the Brussels administration,wont its labyrinths at the start of this century be the realization of [Franz]Kafkas labyrinths at the start of the last?6

    Central Europe, as the chapters in this volume indicate, brings to the EU aparticular experience, one that is certainly as diversified and complex as thatof Western Europe, but one that, given the history of the region, also begsthat the lessons of the past be heard and taken into account as the Union con-solidates, enlarges and embarks on the search for the meaning of Europe. Thisis the intellectual and political challenge that this volume offers to the reader.


    1 Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, Esprits dEurope. Autour de Czeslaw Milosz, Jan Patocka,Istvn Bib (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 2005). pp. 323.

    2 Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: the Map of Civilization on the Mind of theEnlightenment (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994).

    3 See for example Heather Grabbe, The EUs Transformative Power. EuropeanizationThrough Conditionality in Central and Eastern Europe (New York: Palgrave Macmillan,2006); Willem Maas, Creating European Citizens (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield2007), Milada Anna Vachudov, Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage, andIntegration after Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Michael Artis,Anindya Banerjee and Massismiliano Marcellino, eds, The Central and East EuropeanCountries and the European Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006);Frank Schimmelfennig and Ulrich Sedelmeier, eds, The Europeanization of Central andEastern Europe (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005); Jouquim Roy and RobertoDomnguez, eds, Towards the Completion of Europe. Analysis and Perspectives of theNew European Union Enlargement (Coral Gables, FL: Jean Monnet/University ofMiami, 2006); and James Wesley Scott, ed., EU Enlargement, Region Building andShifting Borders of Inclusion and Exclusion (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006).

    4 As the British scholar and journalist Timothy Garton Ash writes: European leadersmiss a lot by not listening carefully enough to what matters to citizens. Ive madea little experiment of my own in this respect in the past few months, with a website(europeanstory.net) on which people can respond to a proposal for a new Europeannarrative, told in terms of our progress from different pasts toward six shared goals:freedom, peace, law, prosperity, diversity and solidarity . . . So far, freedom comesout way ahead of all the other goals . . . Its also already clear from the debate thatwe need to add a seventh common goal, concerning the environment. TimothyGarton Ash, The EUs Midlife Crisis, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 23 March 2007.

    5 Timothy Garton Ash, Kosovo has Earned a Place, The Guardian Weekly (London),23 February 1 March 2007, p. 3.

    6 Drago Jancar, Central Europe: Utopia or Reality, Eurozine, http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2004-0831-jancar-en.html

    Conclusion 247

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  • 248


    Academia Istropolitana, 15, 16Action Programme on Equal

    Opportunities for women and men(19962000), 184

    accession criteria (process) see EuropeanUnion

    accession programmes see EuropeanUnion

    acquis communautaire see EuropeanUnion

    Adalbert, Saint, 82, 83, 88, 90nAdamesteanu, Gabriela, 96Albania, 36, 37, 41, 55n, 217, 222, 246Alexander the Good, Prince, 92Almond, Gabriel, 35Amsterdam, Treaty of, 190Andrew, Saint, 92anti-federalism, 190, 193, 196, 198ff,

    208, 209, 213nanti-politics, 148, 149Antipovich, Mikola, 54Arad, battle of, 75rpd (Hungarian prince), 67

    dynasty, 66Assmann, Jan, 69Association of Polish Journalists, 49Association of Writers, 49ausgleich (Austro-Hungarian

    Compromise), 29, 66Austria, 234n, 238Austria-Hungary, 26, 27Austrians, 1034Austro-Hungarian Compromise see

    AsugleichAustro-Slavism, 26, 28, 29autochthons, see natives

    Bahro, Rudolf, 37Balbn, Josef, 83Blint, Sndor, 65Baltic States (Republics), 30, 36,

    37, 55nBattyny, Lajos, 66Bauer, Tams, 45Bla IV, 67

    Belarus, 55n, 124Belvedere (Belweder), 108, 110, 111,

    1190nBelvedere Circle, 27Benda, Vclav, 42Beria, Lavrenty, 50BerlinBaghdad line, 26BerlinTriesteOtranto line, 23Berlin Wall, 146Berzsenyi, Dniel, 66Bethlen, Gbor, 67Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald von, 23Bib, Istvn, 2Bocskai, Istvn, 67Bohemia (Bohemian Lands), 24, 81, 82,

    83, 84, 85, 88, 89, 238, 242Bohemia-Moravia, Protectorate of, 242Bohemian Brethren, 83Bohley, Barbel, 39Boleslav, Prince, 81Bos-Gabcikovo-Nagymros Dam, 46Bosnia, 25, 26, 30, 217, 222, 234n, 246Bosniak, 234n, 236nBosnian Muslims, 220, 230, 233n,

    234n, 246Bosnians, 28, 216Bozanic, Josip Cardinal, 225Brncoveanu, Constantin, Prince, 95Brown, Archie, 43Budapest School, 37, 43Bujak, Zbigniew, 50Bukovina, 93, 97Bulanyi, Gyrgy, 44Bulgaria, 36, 37, 41, 55n, 100n, 190,

    217, 222, 223, 246Bulgarians, 92Brzezinski, Zbigniew, 53Burgess, Adam, 11Byzantine Empire, 25Byzantium, 13, 71

    Calvinists see religionCamp of National Unity, 113canonization, 63, 64, 70, 76, 77n, 78n,

    92, 94, 96, 98, 99

    Note: n after a page number refers to a note on that page.

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 248

  • Index 249

    Catholicism, Roman, 15, 76, 84, 94,141n, 216, 220

    Church, 14, 28, 42, 63, 64ff, 84, 87,88, 89, 2245, 231

    Ceausescu, Nicolae, 96Central Europe

    area of competition, 25ffconfederation of, 18, 30definition of, 23, 24fffederation of, 18, 30history of, 30and Hodz

    as federation project, 24, 30

    and manipulation of nationalism, 30as a place of autonomous cultural

    elaboration, 28as a place of continuous attempts at

    aggregation, 25Central Powers, 102, 103, 104, 117nCharles III, 65Charles IV, Emperor, 82, 86, 89Charter 77 see CzechoslovakiaChina, Peoples Republic, 35, 36, 55Christian Democratic

    UnionCzechoslovak Popular Party(Kr

    estansk a Demokratick

    UnieCeskoslovensk Strana Lidov,

    or KDUCSL), 162, 167, 168

    Christianity, 13, 14, 70, 71, 73, 81Christianization, 13, 64Chocim, Battle of, 116chromatic chant, 72Churchill, Winston, 55n, 123Cirtautas, Arista Maria, 30civic associations, 219, 224, 225, 231civic culture, 32ff, 40, 43, 47, 51, 56n,

    225Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska

    or PO), 173civic values, 35, 36, 51civil society, 32, 33ff, 99, 146, 147, 149collective memory, 69ff, 77, 97Comenius University, 18commemoration, 66, 67, 69, 77communicative memory, 69ffCommunism

    in Central Europe, 2in Slovakia, 20virtual, 51ff

    Community Programme on GenderEquality (20012005), 183, 184

    Conquest, Robert, 34Coordination Body of the Councils of

    National Minorities, 222Cosmas of Prague, 82Council of Europe, 222Counter-Reformation, see religionCourtois, Stphane, 35Cracow Declaration, 1734Croatia, 42, 21536, 245

    constitution, 21218, 228Croatian Democratic Union (Hrvatska

    Demokratska Zajednica or CDU),216, 218, 227, 230

    Independent State of, 220minorities, negative discrimination of,

    2203, 2289minority institutions, 21922minority policies and legislation,

    21719Social-Democratic Party (Socijal-

    Demokratska Partija or SDP),217, 230

    Cuba, 35, 55Curzon Line, 124Cyril (Constantine), Saint, 13Czarnecki, Ryszard, 168, 169Czech Lands, 24Czech national revival, 26Czech Republic, 23, 81, 87, 88, 89, 147,

    150, 151, 179ff, 159ff, 244Civic Democratic Party (Obc


    Demokratick Strana or ODS), 163Communist Party of Bohemia-Moravia

    (Komunistick Strana Cech a

    Moravy or KSCM), 163

    Czech Social-Democratic Party(Cesk Strana Socilne

    Demokratick or CSSD), 162,

    166, 167, 169Movement for the Republic-

    Czechoslovak Republican Party(SPR-RSC

    ), 151, 162

    Czechoslovak Republic, First, 12, 84, 85,88, 89, 242

    Czecho-Slovak Republic (Czecho-Slovakia), 12, 29, 240,

    Czechoslovakia, 19, 33, 37, 38, 39ff, 50,55n, 123, 180, 240

    Charter 77, 40ff, 42, 43, 50, 52, 148,156n

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 249

  • Defence of the Unjustly Persecuted(Vbor na obranu nespravedlive

    sthanch or VONS), 40Democratic Initiative, 40Jazz Section of the Union of

    Musicians, 39ffPetlice (Padlock) Press, 40Prague Spring, 39, 147

    Csurka, Istvn, 44, 166

    Daniel, Orthodox bishop, 98Danube Circle, 46Dawes Plan, 27Dek, Ferenc, 66de Gaulle, Charles, 11Demszky, Gbor, 43, 44, 46Denmark, ixDinescu, Mircea, 96dissidents, 32, 146, 148, 149, 154, 155,

    156nDmowski, Roman, 105, 112Dzsa, Gyrgy, 74, 80nDual Monarchy, 25Dualism, 63, 66Duray, Mikls, 40Dumbovic, Gordana, 228

    Eastern Europe, 3, 1112, 13, 20,32, 33ff, 36, 39, 146, 147, 148,149, 151, 154, 238

    education, 1enlargement process, 179ffEngland see Great BritainElisabeth University, 18Emericus (Krasznai, Zoltn), 71Eminescu, Mihai, 95Enlightenment, 147EQUAL (Medium Term Community

    Action Strategy), 183Eric of Sweden, King, 82ethnic cleansing, 215, 231ethnic nationalism, 21521, 22731European Coal and Steel

    Community, xiEurorealism, 159, 161, 165, 170, 176,Euroscepticism, 5, 150ff, 155, 157n,

    159ff, 189, 244European Commission, 17981, 190,

    191, 198, 202, 203, 205, 207, 208,209, 211n

    European Court for Human Rights,218, 231

    European Liberal, Democratic andReform Party (ELDR), 152

    European Parliament, 170, 174, 175,177, 190, 191, 192, 197, 201, 202,211n, 212n

    European Peoples Party, 152European Union, ix, 1, 12, 20, 21, 145,

    153, 215accession criteria (process), 2, 145,

    149ff, 155, 159, 180, 192ff, 218,228, 230, 243, 245

    accession programmes, 183ffaccession referendum, 199200,

    209, 244acquis communautaire, 161, 167, 169,

    181, 182, 183, 187n, 245candidate countries, xi, 189ffCommon Agricultural Policy (CAP),

    152, 161, 172Common Foreign and Security Policy

    (CFSP), 152, 196, 198, 202, 203ffConvention, 189ffConstitution, 197, 198, 200, 207Constitutional Treaty, 189, 190, 192,

    198, 206, 207, 209enlargement, 5, 76, 145, 154, 156n,

    190, 198, 206, 210n, 239European Security and Defence Policy

    (ESDP), ix, 198, 203ffInstrument for Structural Policies for

    Pre-accession (ISPA), 183Laeken Summit, 190, 191, 193, 245pre-accession measures, 179ff, 186pre-accession period, 159ff, 170, 176,

    244Special Programme for Agriculture and

    Rural Development (SAPARD), 183Treaty of Rome, 2, 154

    Europeanness, 145, 146, 148, 154, 155,156n, 158n

    Europeanization, 145, 146, 150, 154,155, 244245

    Comparative Europeanization, 180expulsion, 135ff

    federalism, 23ff, 207, 213nFerdinand II, Archduke of Tyrol, 83Fehr, Ferenc, 43

    250 Index

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 250

  • FIDESZ see Alliance of Young DemocratsFischer, Werner, 39five-tonal music, 73Flying Kindergarten, 44Fogler, Marta, 193ff, 199ff, 204, 205,

    207, 211nFourteen Points, 19Fowler, Brigid, 153France, ix, 25, 27Frankfurts Assembly (1848), 26Franz Ferdinand, Prince, 27Frasyniuk, Wladislaw, 49Freedom Union (Unie Svobody or US),

    162, 167French Revolution, 18, 93, 123Friedrich Naumann Foundation, 225Fuchs, Jrgen, 37

    Gado, Gyrgy, 46Gafencu Grigore, 28Gansiniec, Ryszard, 1279Garton Ash, Timothy, 148, 149, 246Gati, Charles, 39Gazeta Polska, 111, 112Geremek, Bronislaw, 49German unification, 268Germanization, 131, 132, 137Germans, 12, 15, 84, 85, 86, 88, 89Germany, ix, 19, 24, 256, 28, 30, 103,

    128, 131, 132, 1357, 225, 240Federal Republic of (West Germany),

    37German Democratic Republic (East

    Germany), 37ff, 55ngender equality, 179ffgender mainstreaming, 182, 183, 185George, Saint, 92Gza, prince, 701Ghyka, Vladimir, 94Giertych, Roman, 153Gisela, princess, 73Glasnost Club, 45Gomma, Paul 52Gorbachev, Mikhail, 12, 512Gotovina, Ante, 228Grabowska, Genowefa, 193ff, 197, 199,

    211nGrabski, Wladyslaw, 131Gray, Jack, 43Great Britain, 27, 127, 130

    Great Moravia, 13, 25Greece, 24, 123Greek-Orthodox Church, 92

    Romanian, 935, 978Grenzfall, 38Grigoryants, Sergey, 52Gutkowski, Cyprian, 172Gross, Kroly, 45

    Habsburgs, 15, 25, 26, 64, 65, 76, 83,238

    Habsburg Empire, 28, 238Biedermaier, 23crisis of the, 23,as an instrument of the Counter-

    Reformationand the national groups in the Royal

    Imperial Army, 28and the occupation of Bosnia-

    Herzegovina and the Sandjak ofNovi Pazar, 26

    and the Popovici federation project,27

    Hanak, Peter, 147Haraszti, Mikls, 45Harich, Wolfgang, 37Havel, Vclav, 35, 40, 42, 52, 86, 148,

    149, 156nHavemann, Robert, 37Heczko, Alma, 128Hegel Friedrich Georg, 25Heinrich I, King, 86, 87Hell, Maximilin, 17Heller, Agns, 43Helsinki Final Act, 40, 53Helsinki Watch, 38, 46, 49Herder Gottfried Johann, 25Herzegovina, 26, 30, 217, 222, 234nHirsch, Ralf, 39historical rights, 13Hitler, Adolf, 27, 123Hlasist, 20, 31nHobsbawm, Eric, 26Hodz

    a Milan, 24, 27, 28, 30, 31n

    Hohenzollerns, 238Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Karl von,

    Prince (18661881), King(18811914), 93, 96

    Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Michaelvon, King, 97

    Index 251

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 251

  • Holy Right, 66, 68Holy Roman Empire, 25homeland, concept of, 125ff, 129, 130,

    133, 136ffHossu, Iuliu Cardinal, 94Hbner, Danuta, 193ff, 210n, 212nhumanism, 15human rights, 35, 41

    Universal Declaration of, 38Hungarian Democratic Forum (Magyar

    Demokrata Frum or MDF), 152,161, 162, 166

    Hungarian Justice and Life Party(Magyar Igazsg s let Prtja orMIP), 162, 166

    Hungarian Socialist Party (MagyarSzocialista Prt or MSzP), 162, 165,167, 169

    Hungarians, 6n, 15, 18, 28, 40, 41, 44,70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 80n, 148, 222

    Hungary, 13, 19, 23, 24, 50, 55n, 65, 69,148, 150ff, 159ff, 238, 244

    Alliance of YoungDemocratsHungarian Civic Party(Fiatal DemokratkSzvetsgeMagyar Polgri Prtor Fidesz), 45, 1523, 157n, 162,163, 169

    Communist, 33, 37, 39, 43ffDemocratic Union of Academic

    Workers, 45dissent in, 46ffEmbankment Club, 45Foundation for the Support of the

    Poor (Szegnyeket Tmogat Alapor SZETA), 43

    Reformed Rkosszentmihly Church, 44Royal, 13, 64samizdat in, 43ffSmallholders Party (Fggetlen

    Kisgazda Fldmunks sPolgri Prt or FKgP), 152, 161,162, 168

    Upper, 12Uprising (Revolution of 1956) in,

    40, 69Hus, Jan, 14, 84, 857Husk, Gustv, 40Hussitism, 15, 82, 86, 89Hutsky, Matthias, 83

    identity see national identityIliescu, Ion, 97, 101nIlls band, 73Initiative for Peace and Human rights,

    38, 39interculturality

    communication, 2217education, 223institutions, 2214, 2301

    Intergovernmental Conference, 189intergovernmentalists, 191, 192, 193International Criminal Tribunal for

    former Yugoslavia, 228International Jazz Federation, 39interreligious communication, 2234Iorga, Nicolae, 95Islamic community in Croatia, 219, 225,

    229, 234nIstvn, King see Stephen, KingItaly, 24, 26Ivekovic, Rada, 234Instrument for Structural Policies for

    Pre-accession (ISPA) see EuropeanUnion

    Jagellonian dynasty, 25Jager, bishopric of, 14Jakes

    , Milos

    , 40

    Janas, Zbigniew, 50Janca, Drago, 247Janc

    k, Drahomr, 24

    Jaruzelski, Wojciech, 478Jszi Oszkr, 28Jedynak, Tadeusz, 49Jennings, Peter, 45, 52Jesuits see religionJews see religionJohn-Paul II, Pope, 42John the New of Suceava, Saint, 924Joseph, Archduke, 65, 78nJoseph II, Emperor, 84

    Kdr Jnos (regime), 43, 64, 70, 71,72, 75

    Kafka, Franz, 247Kaldor, Mary, 146Krolyi Mihlyi, 28Kashubs, 132, 141nKaufman, Stuart, ixKazakhstan, 125

    252 Index

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  • Kazinczy, Ference, 66Kersten, Krystyna, 137Kessler, Count Harry, 103Khrushchev, Nikita S., 38Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and

    Slovenes, 29Kirschbaum, Stanislav J., 42Kisfaludy, Sndor, 66Klaus, Vclav, 87, 170, 174Koc

    is, Frantis

    ek, 17

    Klcsey, Ferenc, 66Kollr, Jn, 26Komorovsk, Jn, 16, 17Konrd, Gyrgy, 6, 47, 149, 156nKopecky, Petr, 151Kopitar, Jernej, 28Koppny, 64, 702, 73, 74, 75Korea, North, 35Kszegi, Ferenc, 44Kouril, Vladimir, 39Korec, Jn Chryzostom, 14Kossuth, Lajos, 66, 67, 74Kotlinowski, Marek, 153Kosciuszko, Tadeusz, 112Kosovo, x, 25, 30, 217, 246Kovc

    , Michal, 11

    Krakow, University of, 16Krol, Martin, 147Krome

    rz, Parliament of, 26

    Kundera, Milan, 148, 156nKuron, Jacek, 50

    Laeken Summit see European UnionLaignel-Lavastine, Alexandra, 2, 6, 154,

    237, 240, 241, 244, 245, 247Lampe, Alfred, 124Laos, 35, 55Lateran Council, 14Lausanne, Treaty of, 123Lechon, Jan, 106Lkai, Lzsl Cardinal, 44Lengyel, Lszl, 51Leopold I, 67Lepecki, Mieczyslaw, 110Le Rider Jacques, 23Lipski, Jan Jozef, 50Lis, Bogdan, 49Lithuania, 42, 125, 139nLittle Entente, 24Louis of Anjou, King, 25

    Lubomirski, Prince Zdzislaw, 1034Luther, Martin, 16Lutherans see religion

    Maastricht, Treaty of, 161Macedonia, 30, 217, 222, 223Magnate uprisings (Hungary), 15, 65Magyarization, 18, 239Maniu Iuliu, 27, 28Maria Theresa, Empress, 18, 65, 84Mary, cult of, 64ffMrkus, Gyrgy, 43, 160Mal, Vclav, 42Martin Group, 20Mrton, ron, bishop, 94MarxismLeninism, 20Masaryk Toms

    Garrigue, 28, 29,

    30, 85Mason, David, 47Matthias, King, 67Matthias Corvinus, King, 14, 25Matthies, Frank-Wolf, 37May Coup (1926), 108Mazurians, 131, 132Mec

    iar, Vladimr, ix, 181

    Methodius, Saint, 13Menshevik Divide, 33, 34, 54Mesic, Stjepan, 222, 232nMichael the Brave, Prince, 93Michnik, Adam, 49, 50Mickiewicz, Adam, 109Middle Ages, 14, 64, 82, 83, 84, 88, 89Mihajlov, Mihalo, 52Milosz, Czeslaw, 2Mitteleuropa, 12, 23, 24Mohcs, battle of, 16, 74, 75, 237Mokotw field, 110, 111Moldavia, Principality of, 92, 93, 94, 95Moldova, Republic of, 55nMolotov, Vyacheslav, 126, 130Molnr, Tams, 46Mongols, 14, 25, 67Montenegro, 26, 30, 217, 222, 223,

    225, 246Moraczewski, Jedrzej, 104Moravia, 84Moscicki, Ignacy, 114Mount Athos, 98Mudde, Charles, 151Muhi, battle of, 75

    Index 253

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  • Muslims, 220, 225, 229Mnz, Theodor, 16

    Nagy, Andrs, 44Nagy, Ferk, 73Nagy, Imre, 43, 46Nagy, Jen, 47Napolon Bonaparte, 4National Commission of Solidarity, 49national identity, 32

    Czech, 82, 84, 85Croatian, 216, 220, 222, 231, 233nRomanian, 95, 99Slovak, 41

    national interest, 150, 152, 161, 166ff,172, 173, 174

    national minority, 216, 217ff, 228, 230,231, 233n

    national self-determination, see self-determination

    national statelegacy, 243national symbol, 2412statehood, 2ff, 241

    natives, use of term, 130ff, 216Navrtil, Augustin, 42New School, 19New World, 18, 238Nice Treaty, 190, 199, 200, 206, 208,

    212n, 213n, 214nNicolas, Saint, 92Nitra, bishopric of, 14NKGB (the Peoples Commissariat of

    State Security), 127, 129, 130NKVD (Peoples Commissariat of

    Internal Affairs), 126,128non governmental organizations

    (NGOs), 182, 184ffNon-Partisan Bloc for Co-operation with

    the Government, 113North Atlantic Treaty Organization

    (NATO), viii, xi, 20, 38, 163, 165,174, 175, 178n

    Oder-Neisse border, 133Olaf, King, 82Old School, 19Olechowski, Andrzej, 169Oleksy, Jzef, 193ff, 199, 201ff, 211n,


    Olomouc, University of, 16Omerbas

    ic, S

    evko, 225

    Onufrie, Archbishop, 97Open Society Foundation, 225Oravcov, Marianna, 16Orbn, Viktor, 1523Organization for Security and

    Collaboration in Europe, 40, 222Orthodox Church, 28, 216, 221, 224,

    246Ossowski, Stanislaw, 132, 133, 137Ost, David, 174Ostrihom, archbishopric of, 14Ottoman Empire, 25, 74, 95Ottoman occupation of Hungary, 238Ottoman Turks, 13, 15, 96

    Panslavism, 26Patrona Hungariae, 64Paderewski, Ignacy Jan, 102, 105, 112Pajewski, Janusz, 116Palack, Frantis

    ek, 26, 28, 29

    Plinks, Robert, 47Palmer, Alan, 12Pan Tadeusz, 109Papacostea, Serban, 95, 97Papal States, 25Paraskeva of Iasi, Saint, 92Paris Peace Conference

    and the creation of multinationalstates, 27, 239

    and the principle of self-determination, 27, 239

    peace treaties, 12, 27Patoc

    ka, Jan, 2

    patron saintscult of, 63ff, 81ff, 88, 89, 92ff, 98institution of , 92mediaeval, 92ffnational, 927

    Pzman, Cardinal Peter, 15

    Peace Group for Dialogue, 46Pcs, University of, 15, 16Pehe, Jiri, 39Petofi, Sndor, 29, 46, 67, 71Petre, bishop, 97Phare, 183, 185Philothea of Arges, Saint, 92Pilsudski, Jozef, 102ff, 126, 242Pilsudski Square (Plac Pilsudskiego), 109

    254 Index

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 254

  • Pinior, Jozef, 50Pithart, Petr, 86Polk, S

    tefan, 42

    Poland, ix, 23, 24, 29, 33, 37, 39, 42, 55,98, 102ff, 150ff, 159ff, 189ff, 244

    Alliance of the Democratic Left (SojuszLewicy Demokratycznej or SLD),162, 165, 167, 169, 178n

    Citizens Militia, 137civil society, 47ffCommittee for Social Resistance

    (Komitet Oporu Spolecznego orKOS), 47

    Government-in-exile, 126,128Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), 198,

    209Independence Day (11 November

    1918), 107, 110, 114, 119n, 120n,122n, 242

    January Rising (1863), 112Law and Justice (Prawo i

    Sprawiedliwosc or PiS), 153, 161,162

    lost lands, 125League of Polish families (Liga

    Polskich Rodzin or LPR), 153, 172Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 125Ministry of Recovered Lands, 135Movement for the Defence of Human

    and Civil Rights (Ruch ObronyPraw Czlowieka i Obywatela orROPCiO), 47

    National Christian Union(Zjednoczenie ChrzescijanskoNarodowe or ZChN), 162, 168,170

    National Council of the Homeland,130, 133

    National Movement (Ruch Narodowyor RN), 170

    nation-state, 243Obz Zjednoczenia Narodowego

    (OZON), 113Office of Public Security, 133, 135Polish-Czechoslovak Solidarity, 50Polish Communists, 124ffPolish Kingdom (1916), 102Polish Legions, 103, 106, 111, 113,

    115, 116PolishLithuanian Union

    Polish Military Organization (PolskaOrganizacja Wojskowa) (POW), 103

    Polish National Committee (KomitetNarodowy Polski, KNP), 105

    Polish Nationalists, 103Polish Socialist Party (Polska Partia

    Socjalistyczna or PPS), 50Presidium of the Council of Ministers,

    131Provisional State Council, 102Regency Council, 102, 103Second Republic (191839), 102, 107,

    115Self-Defence (Samoobrona), 151, 170Solidarity (Solidarnos

    c), 478, 147

    Solidarity Electoral Action (AkcjaWyborcza Solidarnossc or AWS),162, 168, 169

    State Office of Information andPropaganda, 134

    Union of Polish Patriots, 124Workers Defence Committee (Komitet

    Obrony Robotnikw or KOR), 47political symbols, xiPolish Committee of National Liberation

    (Polski Komitet WyzwoleniaNarodowego or PKWN), 124ff, 134

    Polish Peasant Party (PolskieStronnictwo Ludowe or PSL), 161,162, 168

    Polish Workers Party (Polska PartiaRobotnicza or PPR), 124, 130

    Polish-Lithuanian Union, 25Pomeranians, 131Popovic, Dinko, 224, 236nPopovici, Aurel, 28Potsdam Conference, 135Pospichal, Petr, 50Prague, University of, 26pre-accession strategy, 180, 181, 186Premysl dynasty, 25

    Protestantism see religionpublic opinion, 150, 151Putna monastery, 9798

    qualified majority voting (QMV), 198ff,208, 209, 213n

    Racan, Ivica, 21718

    Racz, Sndor, 47

    Index 255

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 255

  • Radio Free Europe, 44Radio Solidarity, 47Rajk, Lzsl, 43, 45Rkczi, Ferenc, 67, 74Rataj, MaciejRathenau, Lutz, 37Rebro, Karol, 16, 18recovered lands, 130ffReformation see religionreligion, 14ff, 77

    abbeys and monasteries, 14Calvinists, 15, 65Counter-Reformation, 15, 20, 25, 83,

    238importance of, 14ffJesuits, 16, 83Jews, 41, 65, 68, 124, 130, 139n, 229Lutherans, 15, 16, 65Protestantism, 41, 65, 67, 76, 132Reformation, 15, 64, 76, 82, 147religious orders, 14

    Renaissance, 16, 147repatriates, 130, 134, 138Rijeka, University of, 223rock opera, 63, 70ffRokita, Jan Maria, 173Roman, Petre, 97Romania, ix, 24, 37, 41, 42, 55n, 217,

    242, 246Communist, 46, 94, 96Orthodox Church, 93ff, 101npost-Communist, 92, 94, 99

    Romanovs, 238Romeyko, Marian, 106Romeyko, MarianRoth, Joseph, 28Rupnik, Jacques, 51Russia, 25, 98

    Soviet Union (USSR), x, 33, 36, 37, 39,41, 42, 105, 124ff, 130, 138, 140n

    Russian Federation, ix, 147, 148Russians, 92, 103, 109, 117

    Saint Wenceslas Chorale, 83, 84, 85, 86Sanader, Ivo, 218, 221, 230Sarolt, 70, 74Saxon kings, 81, 86Schlicke, Rolf, 37Schpflin, George, 146Sebestyn, Mrta, 73

    self-determination, principle of, 4ff, 18,19, 20, 27, 29, 123ff, 215, 239,2412, 243

    Sentivni, Martin, 16, 17Serbia, 13, 24, 26, 30, 215, 222, 223,

    225, 246Independent Democratic Serbian Party

    (Samostalna demokratska srpskastranka or SDSS,) 228

    Serbs, 92, 216, 222, 226, 228, 2301sexual discrimination, 182short century, 26Sink, Katalin, 66Slavic peoples, 25, 26, 29

    cultural reciprocity (vzjemnost), 26national self-consciousness, 25nationalism as self-defence, 28

    Slavici, Ioan, 95Slovakia, 11ff, 23, 41, 84, 98, 179ff,

    244Central European designation, 12ffCommunist era, 20, 46European roots, 11ffSlovak Province, 12

    Slovak RepublicFirst, 12, 19Second, 12, 19, 20

    Slovenia, 23, 42Slovins, 132, 141nSlowik, Adam, 50Smigly-Rydz, Edward, 112Snyder, Louis, 138Sobieski, Jan III, 110Sobe

    slav, Count, 85

    socialist parties, 183Solidarity (Solidarnosc) see PolandSolt, Ottilia, 46Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr I., 37Soviet Union, 19, 20, 240, 241Spr, Karel, 39, 40Stalin, Joseph, 50Stambolijski, Aleksandar, 28statehood see national stateStephen, King (Hungary), xi, 63ff, 82,

    242Stephen, Prince (Moldavia), xi, 93ff, 242Stephen, Saint, cult of, 64ffStarzynski, Stefan, 11112Steinhardt, Nicolae, 94Strossmayer, Josip, 28

    256 Index

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 256

  • Sudeten German Problem, 24, 30Sudeten Germans, 88, 89Supilo, Frano, 28supranational institutions, 189, 191,

    198, 202, 208supranationalists, 191, 192Svtopluk, King, 25Sweden, 25symbolism see national stateSzatmr, battle of, 76Szczerbiak, Aleks, 150, 151, 160, 164Szchnyi, Istvn, 66Szymanski, Julian Juliusz, 109Siber, Ivo, 53

    Silhanov, Libus

    e, 41


    ic, Jozef, 18

    Spidla, Vladimir, 180

    Taggart, Paul, 150, 151, 160, 164Taksony, 64Tams, Gspr Mikls, 45Tapi, Victor-Lucien, 25Tatalovic, Sinis

    a, 232n

    Teleki, Lszl, 66Templin, Lotte and Wolfgang, 39Teoctist, Patriarch, 97Third Reich, 24Thurzo, George, 15Tibensk, Jn, 17Tito, Josip Broz, 28Titulescu, Nicolae, 28Tocqueville, Alexis de, 53Toms

    ek, Frantis

    ek Cardinal, 41, 42

    Tomko, Jozef Cardinal, 42Topolnek, Mirek, 170Torda, 72, 74Toth, Jnos, 45transformation, post-Communist, 163,

    1803transition, post-Communist, 147, 153

    model of, 33, 34Transylvania, 64, 65, 94Trapczynski, Wojciech, 109Trianon, Treaty of, 68, 75, 76, 166Trnava, University of, 16ff, 20, 238Trzcinski, Janusz, 193ff, 211nTuman, Franjo, 21617, 223, 227, 230Turks (Ottoman), 16Turkey, 123, 217twinning, 183, 185

    Ujazdowski, Kazimierz Michal, 173Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

    (USSR) see RussiaUkraine, 42, 55n, 97, 125, 126, 127, 129,

    138nUkrainians, 92unemployment, 180, 186Union of Poles in Germany, 133UNESCO, 39, 222USA, ix, 30, 105, 127, 130Utraquists, 82

    Vachudova, Milada Anna, ixVclav see WenceslasVarlaam, Metropolitan, 93Varsik, Branislav, 15Vatican, 99

    First Council, 28Second Council, 224, 231

    Vejvoda. Ivan, 146Venice, Republic of, 25Verba, Sidney, 35Vidic, Dus

    an, 228

    Vienna,battle of (1683), 110Congress of, 26University of, 16, 17

    Vietnam, 35, 55Vitus (Veit), Saint, 82, 88Vladimir, Archbishop, 97Vilgos, battle, 75Visegrd Group, 3Voltaire, 146Vrsmarty, Mihly, 66

    Walachia, Principality of, 92, 93, 95Wajda, Andrzej, 50Walesa, Lech, 49, 50Walzer, Michael, 147Wandycz, Piotr S., 23, 147Wegner, Bettina, 37Wenceslas, Saint, xi, 81ff, 242Wenceslas Codex, 83Wenceslas Day, 85, 87, 88, 89Wenzel see WenceslasWestern Europe, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14,

    18, 20, 24, 23741, 243, 247White Mountain, battle of, 83Wieniawa-Dlugoszowski, Boleslaw, 106Wilson, Woodrow, 19, 123

    Index 257

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 257

  • 258 Index

    Witos, Wincenty, 102, 107Wittbrodt, Edmund, 193ff, 199ff, 211nWolf, Marek, 50Wolff, Larry, 12, 238Workers Party (Munksprt or MP),

    151, 162, 163World War, First, 4, 84, 102, 112, 115,

    120n, 123, 239, 240, 242, 246World War, Second, 5, 27, 30, 68, 69, 84,

    102, 220, 240, 241, 243

    Yalta Conference, 127, 145, 146Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences,


    Yugoslavia, 25, 27, 35, 37, 39, 50, 52,215, 220, 225

    Young Plan, 27

    Zaborska, Anna, 180Zahradil, Jan, 170Zagreb, University of, 16Zambrowski, Roman, 130Zeman, Milos

    , 878

    Zion Evangelical Church, 38Zilina, synod of, 15

    9780230_549371_17_ind.qxp 9/11/2007 11:48 AM Page 258

    CoverContentsPrefaceGeneral Editor's PrefaceContributorsChronologyMaps of EuropeIntroductionPart I: Whence Central Europe?1 European Roots: the Case of Slovakia2 Federalism in Central Europe: Past and Present3 Toward an Open Society: Reflections on the 1989 Revolution in Eastern Europe

    Part II: The Legacy of the National State4 The Secularized Cult of St Stephen in Modern Hungary5 The Quest for a Symbol Wenceslas and the Czech State6 Moldavian Prince Stephen and Romania7 The Invention of Modern Poand: Pisudski and the Politics of Symbolism8 An Ethnic Poland: a Failure of National Self-determination

    Part III: The Challenges of EU Membership9 Intellectual and Political 'Europe': Rupture or Continuity in Central Europe?10 Euroscepticism in Central Europe11 Europeanization and Gender Equality in the Czech Republic and Slovakia12 Poland and the EU Constitutional Convention13 The EU and Interculturality in Croatia after 2000