Central Europe Activ

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The Chinese policy has shut down a factory in the southern part of the country that was manufacturing Free Tibet flags for Western demonstrator. The factory owner reportedly told police the emblems had been ordered from outside China, and he did not know that they stood for an independent Tibet. This story reminded me to… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

The Atlantic Review has a useful mesh-up on France’s defence policy. France has signaled over the past few months that it may pursue reintegration into the NATO command structure, which President Charles de Gaulle left in 1966. The more positive reading of this policy shift is that after re-integration Europe will be stronger within NATO… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

A declaration of independence or high-profile diplomatic statements make it into the news, but the real stake of new states if they can deliver basic public services to their citizens. Krenar Gashi has? a moving writingon receiving a proper letter in Kosovo from the United Kingdom at last. Older Kosovars have lived in four different… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

Turkmenistan has agreed to supply 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas to the European Union each year. The pledge cannot be taken seriously until there is a viable transport route to ship this amount to the EU. EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner announced that the Turkmen president, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov promised to ‘set aside’… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

It had been a privilege of Russian politicians to destabilize Ukraine and Moldova. Romanian president Traian Basescu seems to be joining the club. Mr Basescu was quoted saying that should Ukraine annex some parts of Moldova, Romania should annex some parts of it, too. The Romanian leader also noted that Romania did not find it… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

Serbia in NATO?

The Transitions Online laments on the Serbia’s possible NATO entry. In Central Europe, where European and Russian interest zones are intercepting, war has been fought a mere 13 years ago, military alliance and stability is as important as economic and political union is. Since all countries but Serbia have a policy to join EU and… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

Budapest bicyclists claim a world record for their mass demonstration on Earth Day 2008. Yesterday 80,000 riders rallied to promote cycling, awareness of the climate change and protest against traffic mismanagement. Critical Mass is an event typically held on the last Friday of every month in cities around the world where bicyclists take to the… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

Income and happiness

According to a survey conducted by TÁRKI in the European Social Survey Bulgarians, Hungarians and Russians are the least happy with their lives among 19 European nations. It looks that income is very strongly related how happy Europeans feel. The upper map shows how happy people feel in general about their personal lives, while the… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

Drawing maps

When people start to draw maps in Central Europe with different colors nationalism follows. Remember the suspicious weather report with clouds over possible Macedonian territorial claims? Jan Slota’s minor party within the Slovakian coalition government published a Central European map without Hungary. The map was removed after a couple of days when people realized that… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

When the Central European countries joined the Schengen no border control zone, most people were joyful. A number of municipalities went against history and tried to block entry through the invisible border. After the Slovakian-Hungarian border we move to Austria and Hungary to see why. Mörbisch am See/Meggyes (A) and Fert?rákos/Kroisbach (HU) are two villages… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal