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

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  • 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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    The authors have asserted their rights to be identified as the authors of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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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...