Eastern Europe Publications
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.
252. Tragedy, Transition, and Transformation: The Local-International Nexus of Transnational Organized Crime in the Former Yugoslav RepublicsJul 07, 2011
April 2002- Transnational organized crime in the former Yugoslav Republics is a complex amalgam of local and international crime groups. The crime groups are not mafia-like in that they are not hierarchical groups based on formal associations. Instead, these are network structures loosely cooperating, which are deeply embedded in their communities. Performing functions on the local level, they cannot easily be dislodged because of weak government, local passivity, and even outright complicity. Furthermore, these organizations have such strength because they draw on the traditional links among Slavic communities, such as established trade routes and the historic geopolitical importance of the Balkan Peninsula within Europe.
Hungary is one of those countries which, starting from a semi-peripheral position, have for centuries tried to catch up with the west. And it is a country which has failed at it again and again. Its elites have drawn up and tried to implement program after program. They have devised new economic and social models, failing again and again. This paper analyzes the emergence of an "alternative society" in Hungary since the 1950s. What do we mean by an "alternative society"? Or a "second society"? Does one really exist? And if it does, what is it like? What are its origins? What role has it played? How does it relate to the official, "first society"? What are the prospects for its further development?
December 1998 - How effectively have multilateral development banks (MDBs) addressed environmental issues in Central and Eastern Europe? The World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and European Investment Bank (EIB) are among the major donors to the region, providing more than $25 billion in loans, which usually attract additional private sector, and bilateral and recipient government financing as well. All three banks have been struggling in recent years to respond to pressure to better address environmental issues in their global and regional work, while often facing criticism by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for doing a poor job in translating ideas and policies into action.
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.
These four papers attempt to summarize and understand the successes and failures of the Constantinescu presidency one year into it. The authors analyze changes to Romania's media, inconsistencies in the country's parliament, alterations in U.S.-Romanian relations, as well as the state of the Romanian economy one year after the 1996 democratic election.
November 2000- On March 24, 1999, NATO attacked Serbia and bombed it for two and half months. Around two thousand civilians were killed - a figure most often quoted locally and probably realistic. Milosevic's regime quoted a figure of five thousand, NATO of five hundred. There is more agreement about the number of Serbian soldiers (both in the military service and the reservists) and policemen killed - seven hundred and two hundred respectively. The material damages are between thirty and fifty billion dollars. As a result, Serbia, which had been poor, became even poorer, unemployment increased and wages decreased.
December 2004 - European Union (EU) enlargement raises important questions about both the impact of EU membership on the postcommunist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the impact of these new member states on the EU. Although it has been a relatively short time since the May 1, 2004 enlargement, several trends can already be identified. The first trend reveals that the EU and its institutions have lost much of the influence they had in the new member states during the accession process. New member states now have somewhat more freedom in directing their economic, social and political development. A second trend indicates that some new member states (namely those that are poorer, more peripheral and "newer" nation states) have displayed a stronger preference for the Anglo-American model of social policy and opposed the traditional European social model, based on social cohesion and solidarity. The third trend is connected to the so-called "fiscal dumping" practiced by several of the new member states, where substantially lower levels of corporate and payroll taxes (compared to the average tax and payroll burden in the EU-15) were introduced. Several of the EU-15 states immediately expressed their disapproval. This unanticipated competition between the old and new member states goes hand in hand with "social dumping," which stems from the wage differentials between the old and new member states. As a result, governments in the EU-15 are afraid that prosperous companies in the West will move to Eastern Europe. These trends indicate an overall divergence between old and new EU member states. But, is it a serious gap or just a temporary digression? What are the underlying reasons for the divergent processes in the two parts of Europe and what are the possible consequences for the EU?
January 1997 - Two American economists resident in Croatia and Macedonia weighed the balance of pluses and minuses in the economies of these two former Yugoslav successor states in a joint presentation at an EES Noon Discussion. Evan Kraft and Michael Wyzan both found inflation well under control and industrial production rising in the respective economies, but they also emphasized a number of daunting structural problems, particularly the slow pace and politically manipulated nature of privatization.
December 2001- The Central and East European (CEE) countries aspiring to accede to the European Union (EU) have been harmonizing their visa policies with Union standards. The EU has made obligatory the full adoption of the visa acquis (a set of regulations and practices) by the CEE countries without an option for derogation, even though such an option has been granted to some of the EU members - the UK, Ireland and Denmark. The CEE countries are under the obligation to comply with the EU visa regulations even if this requires the imposition of visas on nationals of states which have never before been under such a duty and where there are close historic, economic, and family links. At the same time, the EU has encouraged cross-border cooperation and has urged the CEE countries to establish and foster good bilateral relations with their neighbors. However, the adoption of the EU visa policy by the CEE countries has had the undesirable effect of creating obstacles to cross-border movement of people (and goods) in the region and has led to political, economic, and social tensions rather than to the desired good neighborly relations. Ironically, the implementation of the EU visa acquis has, in fact, jeopardized what Helen Wallace has called "a kind of central European acquis," which fostered constructive forms of multilateralism and bilateralism that have been vastly important in West European integration.