European Union Publications

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

331. An Analysis of the Recent Serbian Elections: Will the Path to Democracy and European Integration Prevail?

Jul 07, 2011
February 2007 - I would like to start with a few comments about the conduct of the Serbian parliamentary elections. While post-election politics and the formation of a government are of greater interest one month later (especially given the impact of Martti Ahtisaari's status proposal for Kosovo), I believe it is important to recall some aspects of how the citizens of Serbia choose their leaders. It reveals some insights on the commitment to building democratic institutions in Serbia as well as on how these institutions influence Serbian politics in turn. more

343. Bulgaria's First Year in the European Union: Progress, Problems and Pessimism

Jul 07, 2011
December 2007 - Western attention in Southeastern Europe is focused on Kosovo, Bosnia and the surrounding Western Balkans. But, I ask that some attention also be paid to neighboring Bulgaria. This core state of the historical Ottoman Balkans is completing its first year as a member of the European Union and its fourth year as a member of NATO. I resist the temptation of dwelling on how unlikely this prospect seemed when I first went to Sofia as a young Foreign Service Officer some 40 years ago. Now, with the same special interest in wider economic prospects and the same domestic pessimism about its own political process that has repeatedly surfaced over the past century, Bulgarians should nonetheless be looking back with satisfaction on their initial year as a full member of the largest common organization in European history. On a personal level, a Bulgarian friend traveling to Italy welcomed the smile and a wave that replaced a scowl and a Schengen visa check at the Rome airport. Some 60 percent of Bulgaria's foreign trade is now with the EU, and as a new member, it is expecting 11 billion euros of adjustment assistance over the next six years. But before turning to the clouds that I found gathering over Sofia, let me first address the silver lining. more

"Implications of Enlarging the Euro-Atlantic Space: Problems and Prospects for Northeastern and Southeastern Europe"

Jul 07, 2011
November 2002 Policy Bulletin- The anticipated expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) in November and December 2002, respectively, will have a profound impact on the security environment in Eastern Europe—a region that, a decade after the fall of communism, still faces a number of critical security uncertainties and daunting reform challenges. NATO enlargement will likely take a “big bang” approach with invitations issued to seven countries at the Prague Summit in November — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Romania. However, uncertainties and challenges remain and include questions about the future US commitment to, and interest in, Europe; the credibility of European leadership in the region; territorial and ethnic disputes; incomplete democratic and economic reform processes; and the proliferation of organized crime and corruption. To address these challenges and encourage much needed debate on these issues, the Euro – Atlantic Initiatives program of the Stanley Foundation, in conjunction with the East European Studies program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, organized a two - phase project entitled Enlarging the Euro - Atlantic Space: Problems and Prospects for Northeastern and Southeastern Europe. more

221. The Southeastern Enlargement of the European Union: What is at Stake for Croatia and Slovenia

Jul 07, 2011
December 2000- When Croatia and Slovenia declared independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, they surpassed all other Yugoslav republics in their readiness to enter European institutions, due to their Hapsburg legacies, geographical locations and advanced civic and entrepreneurial traditions. Leaders of the independence movements of both countries made euphoric proclamations of their "return to Europe" after being held "captive" in Balkan federations. more

284. Military Capabilities of the Central Europeans: What Can They Contribute to the Stabilization of Iraq?

Jul 07, 2011
Among the three new NATO allies, only Poland has both the potential and the political will to meaningfully contribute to the stabilization mission in Iraq. In comparison, the Hungarian and Czech contributions have been and will likely remain small, limited to the symbolic troop deployment to the Polish and British zones, the continued access to Hungarian air space and the deployment of the Czech hospital assigned to the operation. Unlike the Hungarian and Czech governments, where support for US policy in Iraq has been quite tenuous, Poland has consistently backed the US position on Iraq despite increased friction with Germany—its core European partner. The Polish government has also been willing to back its political support with a substantial military contribution. Arguably, Poland has promised to deploy and command forces abroad that exceed the country's actual military capacity. more

315. Kin-State Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: the Case of Hungary

Jul 07, 2011
December 2004 - The pages that follow, I first place the Hungarian debate into a comparative framework of emerging kin state politics in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), then comment on the particularities of the Hungarian case. The lessons that emerge from this discussion highlight two important aspects of CEE politics today. First, rather than weakening nation-building aspirations, the pursuit of EU membership in many instances reinforces such aspirations. Second, rather than uniting "the nation," some ambitious propositions for nation-building create or reinforce divisions within the population they proposed to unite. more

342. Greece, the Western Balkans and the European Union

Jul 07, 2011
November 2007 - The Wilson Center's East European Studies program, in cooperation with the American College of Thessaloniki, the University division of Anatolia College, held a workshop November 30-December 1, 2007, which aimed at trouble-shooting the complex process of European integration of the Western Balkans. This meeting was sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Discussions built upon the dual premise that EU accession holds the best hope for overcoming stagnation in the Western Balkans and that the traditional enlargement process is not working in the region. The US, the EU and neighboring countries, such as Greece, certainly have much to contribute in reinvigorating this process, and coordinating their policies seems to be of paramount importance. more

22. Eastern Europe: Back to the Future?

Jul 07, 2011
Fidelity to traditional values has generated a peculiar approach to politics as such throughout Eastern Europe. The author found in Poland that the criteria people used to judge political excellence, or political leadership, had little to do with programs and performance, and almost everything to do with morals and ethics. Poles tended to judge leaders not by whether they were or were likely to be effective at moving the country in a given direction, but by whether they were good or bad men: decent or indecent, strong or weak, kind or brutal, loyal or disloyal. The author's conclusion was that this moralization of politics made swinstwo--swinishness--the primary category for political condemnation. This paper then analyzes this phenomenon throughout the region as a whole. more

256. Croatia and Euro-Atlantic Integration

Jul 07, 2011
June 2002- I am very pleased to have this opportunity to present to you the short overview of the situation on-the-ground in Croatia, the government's achievements in the last two years, as well as our short- and long-term priorities and objectives. 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.