In 1989, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe seemed to be in a very similar situation, as if under laboratory conditions: they shared the experiences of a socialist dictatorship that had drastically changed all areas of political, economic and social life. The revolution of 1989 created a moment of simultaneity in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, despite the diversity of the preceding processes. The prospects of membership opened up by the EU in 1993 in accordance with the Copenhagen criteria (conditionality) suggested that Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary would move closer to the EU at the same time.
However, a different development soon became apparent when authoritarian tendencies under Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar began to emerge in Slovakia as early as the mid-1990s, initially leading to the country's exclusion from the circle of countries designated to join NATO and the EU in 1997. Today, Slovakia paradoxically appears to be the country of Central and Eastern Europe where the constitutional order is most respected. There are other divergences as well: in Poland and Hungary, for example, a government policy can be observed that is critical of the EU Commission, while the population is still in an EU-friendly mood. In the Czech Republic, on the other hand, a scepticism towards the EU has spread among the population and contradicts with the official policy that is more in line with EU guidelines. A closer look also reveals numerous divergences in the economic sphere.
The aim of the conference is to compare developments in the political, economic and social spheres in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and to examine their differences. The common ground of the discussion will be the question of whether the asynchronities and divergences in the development of the East Central European countries can be attributed to the process of transformation or whether they require the consideration of longer-term, historical specifics that were not initially visible in the revolutionary process of 1989.
The 20-minute lectures can be held in German or English. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered. The publication of conference proceedings in English is planned.
Concept: Prof. Dr. Martin Schulze Wessel (Munich), Dr. Darina Volf (Munich)
We welcome proposals on these and other topics related to the conference theme. Please submit a sketch of your planned presentation (approx. 1 page) in German, Czech, Slovak or English by 15 July 2021 to Miroslava Valicek: miroslava.valicek[at]collegium-carolinum.de.