Central Europe Activ

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The V4+ Energy Summit held in Budapest on 24-26 February ended in a joint declaration signed by the V4 plus Austria, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, and the perspective member state Croatia (along with Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina). If these countries show such unity as they had in the March 2009 economic crisis summit, it can put a great empire back on the power equation of Europe. The former Habsburg Empire had stretched over (most of the current territories) of these countries. The combined voting or market power of this 8 + 1 member states could hardly be excluded from any EU deal – theoretically. What political and economic forces can help and undermine this new regional block within the EU?

Posted by Dániel Antal

About a thousand supporters of the far-right Jobbik party have participated in a peaceful march on the 90th anniversary of Horthy’s takeover in Hungary. Hungary has no real historical anti-Nazi and anti-Communist hero. That gives a little credit to the old man who had successfully beaten a Soviet uprising 90 years ago. However, it would be very unwise to believe that Hungary is developing a cult for Horthy or his regime. He is one of the most tragic and least successful Hungarian leaders whose regime casts a long shadow over Hungarians in other Central European countries.

Posted by Dániel Antal

If Mr Habsburg joins ECRG, it will add another explosive dimension to the Cameron-Kaczynski-Klaus trio’s strange group. Mr Habsburg’s father, Otto von Habsburg had been a Bavarian Christian Socialist MEP between 1979 and 1999, and also the last heir of the Austrian, Czech, Croat and Hungarian thrones (At those times, the last one entitled them to whole Slovakia and part of today’s Romania and Serbia, the first one to Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, too). The younger Habsburg holds the passports of the latter two countries besides a German one, although he is barred by republican Austrian and Hungarian laws to use his archduke title in these countries.

Posted by Dániel Antal

Probably you could rightly claim that the Baltic Republics with their strong economic, cultural and historic ties to Scandinavia and Russia are different, and modern Poland is indeed a mix of everything, but I think the CEE phrase, as well as Central Europe and Eastern Europe will remain useful in the next few centuries. With a pure re-branding none of these countries will be able to ditch their shared history on and destiny.

Posted by Dániel Antal

Due to the Russian-Ukrainian-European gas war Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia were the first serious victims, having not enough energy to heat residential areas. With some delay, Hungary (and Germany) offered some relief for the Serbian plea. Austria joined in later. Hopefully this will demonstrate that Serbia is closer to Central Europe than Russia. Another good news… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

There is a serious gas shortage in Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Serbia. After the show of the French presidency, the European Union is under a real foreign pressure that effects a large group of member states devastatingly. Factories are closing, schools are shut, some part of the population is freezing at home. I think… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

Since the Schengen Treaty has eliminated border control among most old a new member states, a few municipalities tried to erect new barriers. Three Austrian and Hungarian MEPs demonstrated against the illegal barrier between Fertörákos and St. Margarethen on the Austrian-Hungarian border. This is not a unique case: the municipality of Slovensko Nové Mesto has… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal

Jörg Haider, Austria’s definig populist politician has died in a car accident this morning. Haider had been probably the best-known politician of his country. As a chairman of the once small Freedom Party (FPÖ) between 1986-2000 he formed a strong, populist movement which received 29% of the vote in the 1999 elections. Austria came under… » read more

Posted by Dániel Antal