Eastern Europe Publications

151. Russian Policy on NATO Expansion In The Baltics

Jul 07, 2011
January 1998 - One of the key issues in the debate over NATO enlargement is the question of the relationship between NATO and the Baltic states and how an expansion of the alliance would affect Russia's relations with Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. While it is clear that the Baltic states will not be entering NATO anytime soon, it is worth noting that the arguments of those who opposed NATO's enlargement because of its impact on Russia have already been proven wrong. more

226. The Plight of the Roma in Eastern Europe: Free At Last?

Jul 07, 2011
January 2001- Roma arrived in Europe around the 13th century, after migrating from Northern India through Persia to Armenia and into Europe. They then spent three centuries - beginning around the 15th century and ending with the establishment of the modern Romanian state in 1864 - enslaved in what is now modern Romania and Moldova. The end of slavery led to the significant migration of the Roma from the Romanian/Moldovan states deeper into the Balkan peninsula. more

306. The End of Postcommunism

Jul 07, 2011
September 2004 - On May 1, 2004, ten countries joined the European Union (EU). On the day of the accession, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary all had Central-Left governments in power. One day later, Leszek Miller, the Polish premier was forced to resign. In June, Czech social democrat Prime Minister, Vladimir Spidla followed suit, and in August, the head of the Center-Left government of Hungary, Peter Medgyessy, was also forced to resign. "Too weak," "lacks energy," "cannot communicate effectively"—these were some of the accusations lodged against them. In spite of the fact that all three leaders where very popular at the beginning of their terms, it appeared that the initial success of their materialist-redistributive politics faded quickly. None of these countries was in bad shape economically—on the contrary, they were experiencing economic booms—yet political observers sensed that there was a crisis in the leadership. This situation had clear ties to EU accession. A national consensus supported the European accession almost everywhere: EU membership seemed logical and would clearly serve the common good. So, once the long-held goal of EU accession was achieved, why did these governments collapse? Was it just coincidence that all three were replaced by much younger prime ministers with very different outlooks from their predecessors? The answers to these questions are directly related to the fact that EU enlargement has brought the region to a new stage in its development, and one in which the former communists need to redefine their political roles. Indeed, this stage could be interpreted as the end of postcommunism. more

138. Persistent Problems of Transition: Higher Education Reform In Hungary

Jul 07, 2011
June 1997 - Transition in the Hungarian higher education system, begun with high hopes about ten years ago, has proven to be slow and difficult. Erno Zalai , professor and chair of mathematical economics and econometrics at the University of Economic Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, and a Wilson Center Guest Scholar, acknowledged that he and his colleagues greatly underestimated the magnitude of the political, economic, and cultural gap between East-Central Europe and Western Europe. more

295. European Integration and Ethnic Reconciliation in Croatia and Serbia

Jul 07, 2011
December 2003 - Barely one week before the European Union's biggest enlargement ever on May 1, 2004, the European Commission gave Croatia the green light to open formal accession negotiations for EU membership. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader toasted the news with champagne in Zagreb, declaring: "Today we turn a new page in history." The Commission's decision is a remarkable turnaround for a country that was mired in violent conflict a decade ago and diplomatically isolated for most of the 1990s. It is significant as well that Sanader, elected in December 2003 when the Croatian Democratic Union (CDU) resumed power, celebrates this historic moment. The nationalist policies of his party's founder, Franjo Tudman, thwarted Croatia's European aspirations throughout the 1990s. CDU leaders and their supporters continued in recent years to undermine the previous regime's commitment to meeting EU conditions, namely turning over indicted war criminals to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The election of the CDU in December 2003 thus provided an important test for whether changes brought about by the EU's accession process are enduring. By fulfilling his pledge to make a clear and determined effort to enter the EU, even at the expense of marginalizing nationalist factions, Sanader appears to have turned a new page. more

66. The Third Yugoslavia, 1992 - 2001

Jul 07, 2011
The Milosevic regime was a classic example of what has been called a “democradura,” i.e., a system which combined some of the mechanisms of democracy (with the result that Milosevic’s Socialists were, at one point, forced to enter into a coalition with Seselj’s Radicals, in order to form a government) with many overtly authoritarian features (among which one might mention the constriction of press freedom, the use of the police against the political opposition, and systematic violations of human rights). If, as the author has argued elsewhere, political legitimacy hinges on the observance of routinized, legal, and accepted procedures for political succession, then much depends on the origins of the given regime. Accordingly, to understand the nature of the Milosevic regime and the roots of its crisis, one must return to its origins in 1987. more

207. Yugoslavia Faces the Millennium: Conflict and Continuity

Jul 07, 2011
May 2000 - A decade after the fall of Communism, there remains little discussion within the public sphere of the fundamental differences that separate the states and societies of Western and Eastern Europe. This oversight is regrettable not only because it limits our ability to resolve problems in the Balkans, but also because that region is far more representative of the world at large than is Western Europe. more

279. Leading the Way to Regionalization in East Central Europe: An Evaluation of Poland's Territorial and Administrative Reforms

Jul 07, 2011
October 2003 - In 1998, elections were held in Poland to create regional councils. Soon afterwards, similar elections were held in the Czech Republic (2000) and Slovakia (2002). This trend invites many questions: Why have these East Central European countries established regions and regional political authorities? What factors drove this process of region-building? What explains variance in region-building across post-communist countries? Why has Poland taken the first and the most significant steps toward regionalization? My approach to answering these questions is to consider a number of factors and incentives that drive the regional reform processes in post-communist countries in general and to examine the Polish case in particular. more

"NATO and Europe in the 21st Century: New Roles for a Changing Partnership"

Jul 07, 2011
July 2000 Conference Report - The Wilson Center's East European Studies and West European Studies programs organized this day-long conference on April 19, 2000. The conference conducted a comprehensive examination of the NATO-Europe partnership and its future prospects, as well as an analysis of the implications of the Bosnian and Kosovo wars for NATO and for the new and aspiring members of the NATO alliance and the European Union (EU). The goal of the conference was to provide a comprehensive view of the West's key integrative institutions, NATO and the EU, as well as a clear summary of the evolving security picture in Europe and of America's future role in an ever-evolving NATO. more

50. Memory and Experience: Anti-Roma Prejudice in Eastern Europe

Jul 07, 2011
All nationalities, ethnic groups, or peoples are by definition intrinsically unique, set apart from one another by their cultures, languages, and historical experiences. Yet it can be said confidently that in many respects the Roma (Gypsies) constitute a most unusual ethnic group, not only in Eastern Europe but also in a larger, global sense. The uniqueness of the Roma lies in the fact that they are a transnational, nonterritorially based people that do not have a homeland to provide haven or extend protection. As the author discusses, it is this characterization of the Roma which explains their marginality as well as their relationship to the states and societies of Europe and beyond. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.