September 2000 - The bureaucracy and rhetoric surrounding the year-old Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe have grown apace, but there have been few tangible results so far. Western nations and eastern Europe alike are poised, waiting to see if the pact can live up to its goals and promises.
This author asserts that symbolically, the new Polish republic will be regarded as a direct continuation of the prewar republic: what existed in the period between them will be enclosed in historical parentheses. This article examines what the reason is for this East European preoccupation with the past? Why do people get so excited when trying on this or that antiquated garb or disposing of the garbage of the past?
October 1998 - Although opposition political parties won a decisive victory in September's parliamentary elections in Slovakia, their triumph was made possible by the country's non-political civil society. No group did more to overturn the authoritarian rule of Vladimir Meciar than the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of Slovakia's third sector. In fact, public opinion polling and surveys had indicated for more than a year that the opposition would win--if Slovakia's citizens understood what was at stake and turned out to vote.
Read Martin Sletzinger's testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on "Central and Eastern Europe: Assessing the Democratic Transition"
To read his and other witness testimony at the July 25, 2007 Committee meeting click here
February 2002- With the exceptions of Macedonia and Poland, 2001 was not a bad year for Central and Eastern Europe, especially in light of all the economic turmoil throughout the rest of the world. Ironically, after a tumultuous decade in the 1990s, in 2001 the transition economies have been relatively immune to economic recession. In Central Europe in 2001, economic growth accelerated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to 3 percent or more. PlanEcon projects Hungary will post a final figure of 4 percent and Slovenia will register 3.4 percent growth for 2001, commendable performances in both cases, although lower rates than in 2000. In addition, these two countries enjoyed better balance in their economies. Inflation has fallen. Hungary's current account deficit has narrowed sharply; Slovenia's deficit has turned to surplus.