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Schriftenreihe des Europa Institutes Budapest, Band 1:31–66.


Prospects and Realities

An Outline of a Potential Version in the Political Development of Europe


The lessons of the Second World War, later the consequences of the Cold War, in our times the effects of the collapse of the “socialist” political system in Europe and particularly the dissolution of the international political order built up on two pillars (i.e. on the two superpowers) have been providing new and new impetus for trying to create a new international order on global level. Comparing these efforts with the former ones, let alone of the short lived League of Nations between the two World Wars, and the UNO after World War II, the striking difference – at the first glance at least – is, that the former ones wanted to create this order generally on one Continent, mainly in Europe, or by the Monroe doctrine in America.

The efforts made after the Second World War had their good political reasons for introducing a new concept. It is interesting enough to mention, however, that more than one great philosophers of history found the after-war situation suitable not only to discover the significance of some late empires, which had created a political unity of the that time known Oikoumène, and brought important change into the human thinking, but they used the analysis of the characteristics of these empires and spiritual consequences for creating important ideas to be applied in the introduction of a new international order.

Karl Jaspers e.g. started by the analysis of the development of the man’s self-consciousness during the “Axial Period”.1 That meant that the rational thinking of man separated from mythology, became a process, the end of which produced “the insight into his imperfection and imperfectability. The goal was redemption ... To every position there was the counter position. On the whole, everything remained open. Insecurity became conscious. An unparalleled disquiet took possession of man. The world seemed to consciousness to be growing more and more chaotic. In the end, the collapse took place. From about 200 B.C. onwards great political and spiritual configurations held the field. The Axial Period ended with formation of great States, which forcibly realized this unity (the unified Chinese Empire of Tsin-Shi-Hwang-Ti, the Maurya dynasty in India, the Roman Empire).” (Jaspers 1968.)

“These great change-overs from multiplicity of States to universal empires... The result was a loss of consciousness. The imperial idea was realised in forms founded on religion”.

For these reasons – while he had been convinced of the necessity of the World State Jaspers was trying to find a way leading his vision to the reality, which excluded the empire-type union created by conquest. His solution was a World State constructed by an agreement made by states which had renounced their individual sovereignty in favour of the sovereignty of mankind. In this case the future of mankind would not be an “empire” but a world-order. Furthermore, the “world order would be the continuation and universalization of internal political freedom, but... where sovereignty remains which is not that of mankind as a whole, there also remains a source of unfreedom; for it must assert itself by force against force”. (Jaspers 1973.)

With similar historical analogies Arnold Toynbee drew a similar conclusion, though from different hypothesis. According to him there are two fundamental myths which man is still prisoner of: namely, sovereign states and the conviction that mankind is in perfect control of his exploitation of the biosphere. The political partition (into sovereign states) of the Oikoumène is in sharp contrast with global unification of Oikoumène on the technological and economic planes, let alone the successful saving of the biosphere. “The present-day global set of local sovereign states is not capable of keeping the peace, and it is also not capable of saving the biosphere from man-made pollution or of conserving the biosphere’s non-political plane cannot continue for much longer in an Oikoumène that has already became a unity on the technological and economic planes... However, the Oikoumène cannot now be united politically by the barbarous and ruinous traditional method of military conquest. In 1945 a Oikoumène that was still un-unified politically was overtaken of the nuclear weapon, and the Oikoumène would never be united by use of this deadly weapon...” (Toynbee 1976: 593.)

– The first lesson we are to draw from the study of history (by the help of such great historians, and by taking into consideration the political experiences of the past two hundred years, particularly those of the twentieth century), that the international or world order cannot be created by accidental power, or leadership (Mosconi 1992: 122–129), or what is the same: according only to the interests of the victors of any war.2

– The second lesson to be drawn, therefore, is that, the world or international order could not be created, but by negotiated renounce the sovereignty of states, which means in these same time as

– The third lesson – using the words of Jaspers – the abolition of absolute sovereignty, that is “the abolition of the old concept of State in favour of mankind”.

– The fourth lesson is, logically, that the basic units of a potential world order shall be those regions (be now inside of a state or extending – crossing – the borders of present states) which have common cultural heritage, particularly taking into consideration of the common language, common factors in their organically developed history, and working also in organically developed economic and communication systems. These regions, however, cannot be considered political entities; they will be not more than administrative units.

I am fully aware of the fact, of course, that a world or international order to be constructed according to these “lessons”, might be now not more than ideal model. The creation of this order needs quite a few favourable conditions. The steps to be taken would be accepted only gradually by the states concerned, and according to possibility of taking into consideration those hard interests of the states, which could be able to press them for acceptance of a new system of international order. The analysis of the past and present time from the point of view of political science clearly shows, that history has been creating new and new situations-sometimes as dysfunctional consequences of decisions which originally were supposed or seemed to be rational as to the interests of one or more states and even from the aspect of balanced political interest of a region. The interests, however, used to be recognized, evaluated by politicians, that is human beings and – as Henry Kissinger wrote – “... for the majority states the margin of decision has been greater. The actual choice has been determined to a considerable degree by their interpretation of the environment and by their leader’s conception and alternatives”. (Kissinger 1968: 166). There are situations, however, the danger of which is the potential impossibility of their rational treatment because of the strength of the subjective emotional or ideological3 elements had been involved in their original roots, on the one hand, and because of those factors which influence the decision-making process trying to solve the formerly created situation, on the other.

I am convinced, however, that the creation of an effective global international order – the working on which became more and more important in our time, particularly after the end of the Cold War, and collapse of the Soviet Union (but with the obvious survival of Russia as great power) – must be preceded by regional international orders. Simply because of the conditions for this type of regional cooperation and coming integrations seem to be more favourable, though not without some rather important difficulties.

This is why I try to approach this problem in Europe, the prospects and realities of the European integration process as far as I can consider now the present factors involved in this process, but taking briefly into account the lessons which could be drawn from the former efforts for creating an international order in Europe after the great wars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.



The last two centuries of European history have given us some obvious examples for dangers as to the solution of post-war situations. The examples were already more or less well analysed, so I would approach them here only from one point of view. It is well known, that after the Napoleonic wars, the basis of the peace (entirely in the Paris treaty, and together with some other elements involved in the treaties of Vienna Congress) was the principle of balance of power in Europe, consequently to restore the “old” world. The principle seemed to be rational for most of the participants in the negotiations; therefore nobody wanted to “punish” France for the wars and misery of Europe as consequence of the wars initiated by her. The borders of this country not only remained the old ones, but if they were slightly changed, it happened mostly in favour of France. “The case of the equilibrist nature of the decision of Restoration is, then, markedly evident in Castlereagh’s analysis and policy, and becomes even clearer when Talleyrand’s role and ideology are considered. A thoroughgoing balance of power statesman, Talleyrand recognized that a restoration of the Bourbons would choke off French dynamism, the first requisite step in re-creating the European balance of power, it would enable France without loss of face to accept her “anciennes limites”, the second requisite, and it would give her a legitimate and therefore, stable government, a third requisite of the European balance. (Gulick 1955: 171) The negotiations appear to have been free from bitterness (ibid 175), and free of considerations of ideology or revenge, “which remains a classic example of realism in practice” (Fukuyama 1992: 249). In the same time sentiments of those small nations which were to be sacrificed on the altar of balance were of little consideration. This meant e.g. the partition of Poland, some “compensation” for great powers by territories of other nations (e.g. by those of Italy, which was that time not a unified nation or state) etc. The price for the balance had to be paid was the neglect of the rising national feeling. These feelings were possible to be left almost unobserved because of two reasons:

the old “world order” (balance of Europe) was restored,

there were not created artificial states.

This is true, that the negligence of national spirit – which had been raised by the French revolution – in combination with the lack of change of social order, later gave birth to new revolutions, but the principle of balance (and the forces of the European powers) were enough, at least for a while, to restore the world order again, to maintain world order until World War I., though this order included, of course, some but originally not too significant changes. When the changes became significant, the balance of power was questioned by the World War I. In any case, however, Fukuyama evaluated more or less correctly the situation: “After the defeat of Napoleon, the anti-French coalition led by the Austrian foreign minister, prince Metternich, refused to dismember or otherwise extract punitive concessions from France, on the grounds that it would be necessary as a counterweight to future threats to European peace coming from new and unexpected quarters. And indeed, in later years, it was not France but Russia and Germany that sought upset the European status quo.” (Fukuyama 1992: 249) Germany, because the great prime minister of Prussia (later the “Iron Chancellor” of Germany) had been able to recognize the force of rising national feelings and created the second German Empire,4 Russia, partly because the Balkan political problems during the Berlin Congress practically remained unsettled, and partly because Russia was able to present herself – according to her own interest as a great power (furthermore because of her Byzantine heritage, and because of the ideology of Pan-Slavism) – as the defender of Serbian interest. Consequently both of these great powers were able to use – among other factors – the rising nationalism.

The second example: the treaties of Versailles after World War I. The principle of balance of power seemed to be alive in Versailles as well, but the idea on which and the instrument by which it was supposed to restore, became significantly different from those of the Vienna Congress.

To begin with: the neglect of national sentiments had taken its toll, and became one of the basic principles of the order to be shaped after the war. The most important element of this new order was determined among the 14 points of US president Woodrow Wilson: the national self-determination. This principle might have been considered a rational one. However – as the small countries had been sacrificed for principle of balance more than a century ago in Vienna – the interest, not only of those of the defeated powers but even some nations inside them were sacrificed on the altar of an ill-conceived “balance” of power, and unfortunately, on that of the vengeance. As the result turned out the principle of the self-determination was not observed in case of the defeated nations. It is well known, that the Hungarians delegation’s proposal for plebiscite had been flatly turned down in the Trianon peace-conference, and by this attitude almost four million Hungarians (most of them living in compact territory all along the other side of the newly defined borders) came under the rule of the so called successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as millions of Germans in the newly created Czechoslovakia, and became two of the largest national minorities in Europe. (See Galantai 1982)

There appeared in such a way artificially created or enlarged states (e.g. Romania, Czechoslovakia, the Serbo-Croatian Slovenian Kingdom, later, from 1929 Yugoslavia) from the former territories of old countries with high percentage of minorities, in some cases from the former national majorities. Consequently, these newly created states had a heterogeneous population with great differences in history, culture, way of life, traditions, languages etc. Last but not least, these newly and artificially created countries made efforts, some of them even by using the state power as a “melting pot” for producing ethnically pure “national” states. For these reasons these countries became unstable in their inner conditions, and remained not only too weak for substituting the Austro-Hungarian Empire for the interests of balance in Europe, but became sources of insecurity and conflicts in the Eastern and East-Central regions of Europe, which were later easily to be used by the Third Reich of Germany. In summary, as in 1815 it had been taken into consideration finally as the principle of basis of legitimacy nothing else, but the monarchies represented the old order, in 1920 it was done the same with the principle of national self-determination, but in a very distorted form, and with a tragic illusion toward the capacity of these newly created states as a basis of balance in Europe.

Among the “reasons” of the decisions of the Versailles and Trianon treaties it cannot be neglected the role of the passions and emotions (included the vengeance), and the introduction of the principle of punishment against the defeated ones, be they states or persons. In case of formers their behaviour was overstressed among the much more complex preconditions and “causes” of the war, in case of the latters, however, after World War I, the punishment was not realized in spite of the prescriptions of the peace treaties. These factors had a far stronger effect on shaping the new international relations than the rational considerations. The importance of these factors at least partly was in connection with the fact, that the “First World War became in ideological war in 1917” (Lukacs 1953: 9), and by this new element the political realism disappeared from the treaties following the World War I. The peace-treaties finally created an inorganic and rather short lived international order, with inbuilt conflicts, tragic consequences.

Among the factors of the successful result of the Vienna Congress there used to be mentioned, that the statesmen of 1814–1815 were fortunate, because “they did not yet have to face and master a whole complex of problems arising from revolutionary forces unleashed in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The French Revolution had dislocated the equilibrium but had not rendered impossible a return to a balance Europe, the industrial revolution had not yet fatally smashed the ancient and familiar limits of the European in-group, nationalism and liberalism, both antithetical to the mechanical premises of balance power, were neither strong enough nor sufficiently articulate in 1814–15 to confuse the basic design of Vienna. In time, nationalism would give a certain undesirable inflexibility to the units in balance. It would prevent their being increased or decreased in size without exciting the most violent passions, but that time still lay in the future.” (Gulick 1955: 186)

The “rational principle” of the Versailles treaties, the national self-determination in itself was irrational in Eastern part of Europe taking into consideration ethnic conditions of this region. This fact and the distorted realization of the principle were dangerous enough for the balance of power in Europe (even not taking into consideration the effects of the new revolution, the Russian one) and annihilated the basic rationality of a new international order. The consequence is well known: the restoration of the old world of course was out of question – but equally became impossible the introduction of a lasting democratic political system into most countries in Europe. By failure of democratizations of the “successor-states”, there disappeared the very basis, which would have been able to provide for the statesmen of Europe those commonly shared ideological heritage, conception of society and the role of state power in it, those values, etc. which could have been promoted a common attitude for preserving some kind of equilibrium in Europe. Consequently dictatorships were born, antihuman ideologies became ruling principles of politics, and finally the seeds sown by the Versailles treaties produced rather soon the result: World War II.

The Paris treaties after World War II tried to restore the balance of Europe by another ratio, the balance of the great powers, later with that of the “superpower”, all over the world, and by consequence also inside of Europe. The principle of the self-determination of the nations was practically rejected in Europe (in spite of any solemn declarations) as it was practically rejected the chance of the democratic development for the countries in the Eastern periphery and the Central semi-periphery of Europe. The borders of the Versailles treaties – with some small changes – were restored together with the old unsolved problems. The partition of Europe between the western powers and the Soviet Union (including the distribution of Germany and shifting Poland toward the West) started new tensions, and later created the Cold War. Finally, the introduction and that time even the realization of the principle of the “guilty nations” with their punishment into the basic factors of shaping a new international order brought an exceptional possibility for the effects of passions and hatred for a long run which has its role in even the present time.

True enough, that this “balance” of power at least in Europe brought silence for a long while, but – over the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain – this was the silence of a cemetery. It is also true, that under the conditions of the final stage of World War II the military situations determined the main elements of the post-war political order. This military situation, however, was not a strong necessity. The forecast of the later political problems, the evaluation of the processes and lessons of European history (which was analysed in the USA5), but the result of which practically was taken into consideration neither by the policy makers nor by the military leadership, (though they sometimes appeared in Winston Churchill’s mind6) could have been a factor in shaping another military strategy. Furthermore, it was not a strong necessity to preserve the pre-war borders and perhaps not even the artificially created states in the Eastern semi-periphery of Europe by leaving to form shaping of the international order in this part of the world simply to the Soviet Union.

The consequences of this new international order in Europe were demonstrated in completely different economic and social developments on the two sides of the Iron Curtain. Due to these different developments and due to the fact that the Western powers accepted the democratic values7, the new situation (including the potential military menace produced by the Soviet Union) created such strong cooperative European (or Euro-Atlantic) organizations, as the EEC, NATO or Council of Europe. These organizations in the seventies even turned out to be able to integrate such former authoritarian states as e.g. Spain, Portugal, or Greece. These organizations practically (and at least until yet) dissolved the consequences of the two World Wars in the western part of Europe.8 On the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain, however, those problems which originally had been the products of the Versailles treaties were only supressed. Nowadays, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, these problems reappeared in very strong, sometimes bloody ways. Once again the world has to face some of the unsolved problems of this region, and in some cases those of the period before World War I. (See e.g.: Hanrieder 1991: 410)



Before dealing with these problems, I have to call the attention to the main differences between the present conditions and those of after the Vienna Congress, the Versailles and the Paris treaties. And that is the collapse of an Empire, i.e. the Russian one, which had always its own place in the international order after these peace-treaties (even in the case of the period after World War I, when it turned out, that in spite of the efforts of Winston Churchill, the great powers were not ready to eliminate the menacing new form of Russian imperialism, the Soviet Union in the stage of her making.) After World War II – as I have indicated – the one pillar of the newly created (and a twin-pillared) international balance was the Soviet Union, a superpower, but in reality not equivalent with the United States. It was a rather aggressive power, a significant source of fear, but as it turned out slowly, with such a weak economic and gradually weaker and weaker social background, the lack of the recognition of which misled – for some decades – her western counterparts.9 Brzezinski is right: “the twentieth century was internationally much more turbulent than the nineteenth” (Brzezinski 1993: 91), but it remains an open question, how deeply there were involved in this turbulence of the second part of this century the objective factors (e.g. the quantity and quality of the nuclear arms of both sides) and how much the subjective ones, the lack of the clear perceptions and manoeuvring capacities of the western politicians, particularly after Stalin’s death, after the Cuban missile crisis, and how were they trapped into the war in Viet-Nam etc. Anyway, the collapse of the Soviet Union turned out to be a surprise, and created a real turbulent situation, just because nobody seemed to take into consideration this possibility.

I agree with the 1989 statement of Hugh Trevor-Roper, according to which the collapse of an empire had always not only dangerous psychological consequences, and residual post-empire cultural imperialism, but – as the world had such kind of experiences already after World War I – if the “empire can no longer be relied upon to keep the peace ... is likely to become the home of uncontrollable national tensions”. This is about turning out true, even in our time, but without a conclusion drawn by him. He continued his statement as follows: “then I have no doubt that our governments will no longer consider the Soviets our partners in stability, and will switch from talking to Moscow to supporting the dissenting nations of the Empire. This is already happening in our relations with East-Central European countries, especially Poland and Hungary, quite obviously not contained within the imperial mould” (Trevor-Roper 1989: 12).

I think, the surrender of the outer belt of the Empire has been the one of the prices which had to be paid by the Soviet Union for a potential support to be provided by the West, particularly by the US (and as it turned out later by Germany) for maintaining the Empire itself – as well as the other, the introduction of some form of democratization. Though the Soviet Empire has been “serving” the global balance in the recent decades more and more weakening, nevertheless it was usable as the second pillar of a “balance” of power. This balance more or less was able to grant at least for a while and in its some basic factors the international order, particularly in its most important function: a reliable defence against a war using nuclear weapons.

These functions, however, together with the occupation of East-Central and Eastern Europe turned out to be not only very expensive for the Soviet Union, but had an important “inherent weakness”. I am quoting John Lukacs: There is a “prescient remark that Churchill made, already during the war, in November 1944, which has not received the attention it deserves. It was recorded by the Gaulle in his war memoirs. In answer to the latter’s anxious query Churchill said: Yes, the Americans were rather thoughtless in not considering seriously the dangers of Russian expansion in Europe, yes, Russia now was a hungry wolf in the midst of sheep. But after the meal comes the digestion period. Russia would not be able to digest the peoples and their states in Eastern Europe.” (Lukacs 1993: 27) Some signs called the attention of the Soviet leadership for these digestive “problems” – most clearly the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 – but the Soviets also were well aware of the fact, that the “United States did not really wish to challenge the Russian sphere of interest in Europe, surely not at the risk of war” (Lukacs 1993: 28) therefore a very serious dysfunctional consequence of the occupation of a significant part of Europe, and that of the getting the superpower-status “finally became the collapse of the Soviet Empire”.

The recognition by the Soviet Union of its own weakness, its increasing inner problems with the signs of the coming crisis, therefore the impossibility to maintain the former type of the role of a “superpower”, the arms race with the United States, however, came too late. Henry Kissinger wrote correctly, that the USSR “based on two continents, it always identified security with hegemony rather than equilibrium” (Kissinger 1991), meanwhile the Empire – in spite of huge efforts and deprivation of its population – was unable to maintain even the “equilibrium”. Furthermore – though in spite of the supposition of Trevor Roper –, Western powers have been trying to continue the talk with Moscow even providing some economic support in connection with promoting the creation of some sort of the market-economy for a long run, and to give direct assistance to Moscow for overcoming the difficulties of the winter of 1992. Though these negotiations partly had some results, the support came too late, and partly they remained too far from the necessary ones. The Soviet Union collapsed as an Empire with all and other dangerous consequences which appeared in the collapse of other Empires in the past. One has to consider the economic shortages in the country, the low level of organizational and political culture, the stocking and posting of arms, with their quality and quantity and with problems of control etc. Consequently one pillar of the twin-pillared balance, on which the international order even until yet had been established became more or less uncertain in some of its elements was shaken, and started to disappear. It is inevitable to draw the conclusion: the balance not only for Europe, but for the world has to be built up on new principles. There are, of course, alternatives: the first to substitute the Soviet Empire with a Russian one. Lukacs correctly wrote: “The disappearance of Communism in 1991 is an event of very small importance when compared to the dissolution, or even to regression, of the ancient and traditional Great Russian state. Communism is gone; Russia will remain. How much of that empire, how much of that state? That is the big question, and not for Russia alone – for Europe, for America, for the world. A Russian Russia is now coming into being, but what will be its extent and function?” (Lukacs: 1993: 6162). That is the big question, indeed. And the answer – at least until yet – western efforts made for possible to preserve a Russian Empire, which can be strong enough to play the role of the second pillar of the global balance in the Eastern part of Europe and in Asia. These efforts have been making even if in the same time there were to nurse ideas for building up also a third or a forth pillars of this balance, though they might be not so strong as the United States. It seems to be the interest of the United States, however, that Russia could be able to achieve a role of the partner in this part of the world, and trustworthy enough as a power equipped with nuclear weapons.

Hardly could be found in history another situation in which a great power – almost with global dominance – were ready to support its former enemy and competitive partner for regaining its stabile great power status and even to yield to be involved again into the European politics. (See the growing role of Russia in the Balkans, consideration its opinion as to the enlargement of NATO etc.) This means – at least under the present condition – there is no real alternative as to the treatment of Russia. If this empire were to be dissolved even inside of the border of the present Russian Federation, the consequences would become beyond control.

The new situation, however, needs a structurally and functionally renewed system of international organizations, including the United Nations Organization which has been expressing even in its present state the post-war power-relations.10

There are different potential scenarios to be analysed, and if something is certainly true, that is that these scenarios need deep analyses, without being influenced by the short run components of the world order, or by temporary political consequences of election-years in the USA, economic recessions in some Western countries etc.



Any of potential alternatives, however, will be strongly influenced and – I am sure not only in Europe, but with much more significant consequences also on global politics – by the future solution of the Balkan situation. It is rather important therefore to fully understand this situation, the security problems which are partly also in connection with the power vacuum appeared as consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Empire. It became more or less clear by the middle of 1993, that the treatment of this critical situation would depend also on the question, how the European countries, organizations were able to evaluate the ideological problems arising from this situation, and how deeply would be influenced the political approach of the situation by permanent attitudes of the different European states or by the present perception of the role of European organization, and by that of the United States. This is why I have to shortly evaluate the factors which have been involved in coming into existence of the present situation in the Balkans.

It has already been shown – and I was also indicating, that the present problems could be considered almost the same as those of the pre-war period before the World War I., in the first decade of this century. I think some of the factors are really similar, but under quite different conditions. It should be never forgotten that there happened to be fought two World Wars after 1914.

From the point of view of our present topic one of the most important characteristics of the situation before World War I was the phenomenon of the so called “Balkanization”.11 After the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire, and as consequences of the Berlin Congress of 1878, later the occupation and annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, some small independent states with strong nationalism appeared on the political map of the Balkan Peninsula. Furthermore, there were living such ethnic groups inside the Habsburg Empire (and not only in the Balkan) with also strong national feelings, which wanted autonomy or even independence, for reaffirming their old efforts, e.g. the Romanians in Transylvania.12 The Empire – in case of acceptance of these demands – should have been reconstructed as a federalist state, even if she were forced to resign of some parts of her territory. The federalization of the Habsburg Empire was the demand of the more or less moderate nationalist politicians particularly before the war. Granting independence for some part of the Empire either even by joining a state outside of her borders, the populations of which were considered to be of the same, at least of similar ethnic origin, or by creating a new and independent state, was the characteristic effort of some of the radical politicians of the nations within the Habsburg Empire, particularly during the second part of World War I and after. The result of these efforts – during World War I – was a series of secret treaties most of them having been in sharp contrast with the openly declared 14 points of W. Wilson, which were officially accepted by the allied powers as the goals of the war. Therefore there were considerable debates among the great powers and with the smaller winners, the outcome of which strengthened the secret treaties and distorted the declared principles (Jelavich 1977: 199). By the distorted realization of the principle of national self-determination there were created artificial states13 without any organic historical process, consequently there were introduced by the Versailles Treaties even into East-Central Europe the conditions of a new (partly “hidden”) Balkanization. There are opinions, according to which “in theory” there appeared a potential chance for these new countries for unification in a type of federalist state, but the intolerance against the national minorities, the overstressed idea and practice of sovereignty, finally the efforts made toward autarchy as the basis of actions in external politics of these countries (Pradetto 1990) made its realization impossible. I have to add: the whole basis of the peace-treaties which completely neglected the historical processes, the differences of cultures and the ethnical map of the region,14 necessarily destroyed not only this potential chance, even if some politicians, e.g. Thomas Masaryk in Czechoslovakia, Oscar Jászi in Hungary15 were nursing the idea of federation, but – as it is well known now – it created new dangers for the future of Europe. It is not an exaggerated statement, that the seeds of the present bloody conflicts in the Balkans were sown by the Versailles (and later the Paris) treaties.

The disappointment of some ethnic groups appeared rather soon, particularly in Yugoslavia (the Croats), in Czechoslovakia (the Slovaks) which would have been forecasted or even evaded, if the constructors of these treaties had known the history of this region and – at least – had they accepted, as a basis of the new borders, the real ethnical distribution of the population. The newly created national minorities, the Hungarians in Romania, in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, the Germans in Czechoslovakia, the Albanians and Macedonians in Yugoslavia etc. did not give up the hope of return to their mother countries. The political situation just before World War II and during the war permitted some corrections of borders and even created at least formally independent states (Slovakia and Croatia), but the situation between the two World Wars was mostly restored by the Paris treaties after the Second World War simply because in these corrections and in creating new states there had been the hands of Germany and Italy, and because it was introduced again the element of punishment into the newly created international order. Consequently the possibility of a more rational regional (and international) order disappeared again.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the “balkanization” on the Balkan Peninsula reappeared and took an even more dangerous form with problematic ideological-political consequences. The ethnic groups which wanted independence of some sort in the re-created Yugoslavia, after the Tito-era, became more disappointed – among others because of the continued exploitation of the more developed republics. As to the ethnical-cultural factors, neither did the line of separation disappear between the European regions inside Yugoslavia nor the differences among the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Moslem population. Politically, however, reappeared the former Serbian ambition toward creating a Greater Serbia (which was one of the factors of politics resulting World War I) now in an even a more naked and violent form.16 In the first stage of the conflict there was shared an illusion by the European and international communities that with help of the usual international efforts there would be possible to find some chance to set up limits for the Serbian ambitions. This illusion – at least partly – was the consequence of the end of the Cold War, which supposedly was about to create a more effective version of the international order. On the surface the movement of the “balls” on international field looked like being more calculable, the interest of the great powers seemed more manageable even inside the most important international organization (after the fall of the Berlin wall there was used a veto in the Security Council only once). This illusion vanished, of course, for different reasons, but it could not be denied, that one of them had been the reluctance of the international communities for recognition of and adaptation to the consequences of the basically changed international situation. This turned out clearly inside the organizations of the international community. The lack of attitudes of the member states for providing them with higher authorization for action, and in the same time the lack of their willingness to surrender greater part of their own sovereignty for giving to these organisations broader capacity for decision and implementing the decision etc. did not change according to the requirements of the present global situation. The possibility of a serious limitation of national sovereignty was not even raised (let alone the theoretical works). Finally, in the age of the integrations the basic components of the order remained the national states (I will return to this question later). As another factor of the ineffectiveness of the supposed international order remained the unwillingness of the national states to put at stake their politics of inner affairs, the stability of the position of governments, the public opinion etc. It seems to me that there is an almost insoluble conflict between the demands of international order (which became now requirements as a result of an organic process of global character) and those of the individual countries, the actions of which – at least in most aspects – are obviously determined by their own, sometimes short run interest, even if they became members of integrations, or international organizations.

This turned out to be true enough in case of the Balkan conflicts, which most likely will finally bring about the realization of the old dream of Greater Serbia, in spite of international condemnation, sanctions, the set-up of an International Tribunal etc. At least for a while the victory of the aggressor seems to be inevitable, may be even the success of the ethnic cleansing. And what is a further danger, that even in this case there would remain significant minorities in Serbia as well, as in the new independent countries on the one hand, and the Peninsula is to become more “Balkanized” than any time after Ottoman occupation, on the other. There remained as open question the fate of Macedonia between Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia and the autonomy of Kosovo (with considerable Alban population) and that of the Voivodina (with considerable Hungarian minority).

It is a closed question now, by the internationally accepted separation the fate of the Czech – and Slovak Federal Republic, but an open one the attitude toward the minorities in Slovakia, as well, as the future situation in Transylvania, in the case if the Romanian politics were not able to abandon their efforts for creating a national state (which is even recognized in the Romanian Constitution) and consequently those of Romanization of the Hungarian population (more than two million) and finally if the Romanian government were not able to get rid of the present conception, according to which – in spite of the European ideas – the problem of national minorities should be treated simply as the question of the inner policy. This situation could be more dangerous if there appeared any type of unification of Romania with Moldavia.17

Finally, it has to be emphasized, that it is a general phenomenon in this region (perhaps with the exception of Hungary, which is practically a homogenous country, with a small number of minorities) that almost no country wanted to provide those rights for the national minorities inside its own border which were demanded for their ethnic communities being national minorities in other countries. One of the “dysfunctional” consequences of the ethnic war and the cruel ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia is now an appearance of a strange attitude – on international – level toward the ethnic problems. The success of Serbia (by an unusually cruel war) in connection with the highly dangerous situation in the Balkans created a kind of fear from and an ambiguous consideration of the ethnic problems. On the one hand there is practically accepted (in spite of international declaration, true enough with not so apparent and cruel methods as it has been used by the Serbs) a forced integration of the minorities into the majority nation, and on the other, any effort made for maintaining the ethnical identity of the minorities, let alone helping these ethnic “groups” – eventually millions – and vigilance toward them by the former mother countries used to be considered already as “ethnic policy”, which is dangerous (quoting the examples in the former Yugoslavia) for the stability of the region or can be considered even “invitation to war”.18

The inevitable consequence of this attitude should be the practical acceptance of the “ethnic policy” of majorities, and overt decline of the “ethnic policy” connected with the minorities. Furthermore, this means the strengthening of the national states (even in those regions in which it is impossible to create them without forced assimilation), on this stage of the historical development – a least in Europe – on which the national states are supposed to surrender more and more from their sovereignty for sake of an integration-process. This contradiction hidden in the ethnic problems could not be solved, however, but by a real European integration. As it is true enough that it looks like being impossible in our times – even by peaceful negotiations – redrawing the “national” borders created by irresponsible politics and treaties decades ago, at least so well founded, however, the demand for promoting the collective rights of the ethnic minorities by international covenants and monitoring system until emerging of a real integration of regions of larger communities (which have common, historically and culturally developed heritage), in which the importance of border of national states would be really diminished.



I have to raise a question here, to which it was recently called the international attention, and that is the identification of the situation of Hungary e.g. by the already quoted paper of William Pfaff or by the paper of H. B. Huldt (International Institute of Strategic Studies, London) as a new source of potential international crisis. The reasons of this concept are as follows: Hungary has considerable national minorities in the neighbour countries, and inside Hungary the national question, let us say: a rising nationalism has been gaining priority over the democracy.

I have tried to outline the philosophies of the peace treaties during the recent almost two centuries and their consequences which might be able to provide reasons for an eventual Hungarian demand for changing the irrationally drawn borders of the successor countries of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is a well-known fact, however, that Hungary, the Hungarian Government does not want to modify these borders, even if it is continuously calling the international attention to the security of the Hungarian minorities, to the real conditions for maintaining their ethnical identity, and eventually for considering their individual, cultural and territorial autonomies.19 Hungary is accepted already as a regular member of the Council of Europe, and she wants to be member of the European Union in due time. Therefore she accepted every legal, political and economic obligation coming from these memberships. An integrated Europe would be the best solution also for the Hungarian minorities.

But there is another side of this effort, there is another aspect of the problems of Hungary, more or less shared with some other countries in East-Central, or Eastern Europe.

It must be taken into consideration, that these countries, all of them, just have left – with different results – the “socialist” political system, which was the outcome of the history of Eastern Europe particularly that of Russia, and it was an ill-conceived experiment of the solution of problems of modernization (see Kulcsár 1992). It must be taken into account, that in their political heritage, even if the “socialist” system remained alien in a greater or lesser degree according to the history of the different countries, there survived some elements of authoritarian rule and those of paternalistic political culture. The inherited and new economic difficulties have to be considered and the fact, that these countries have to face a serious task – beside the political transition – that is, to organize a successful privatization of the state- or cooperative property which was of very high proportion (in Hungary after 1949 almost 100%), it must be introduced a market economy, and such a change of the economic structure, as a consequence of which the national economy would be ready for integration into the world processes. Finally we should consider the social and political consequences of the achievement of all these goals, e.g. the inevitable decrease of the GDP, the appearance and the increase of unemployment, the pauperization of considerable part of the population, the potential political tensions produced by these phenomena. There is a danger of strengthening some traditional elements of political culture, as the intolerance toward the national, ethnic, religious or even political minorities, and most likely there would appear efforts by every state to get advantage even at the expense of the others. Therefore it is not completely unlikely that the world – at least in the case of some of these countries – has to face those phenomena, which made impossible – at least for the next future – to realize the “theoretical chance” not only for federation but even for a real cooperation.

The potential crisis situation could appear (not only in Hungary, but in any country of this region) if the critical mass of the population were to be convinced that the Western part of Europe, or – in a broader sense of the word – the developed countries neglected them. (It is well known that these countries went under the Soviet domination due to the facts of the final period of the Second World War, and practically by the consent of the Western powers.) This negligence would appear not only in the lack of a proper economic assistance, but even by refusing to deal with their security problems. Such a feeling has appeared already as consequence of the hesitant and reluctant attitude of the West toward determined action in connection with the ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia. In this case, as an inevitable consequence of frustration would be likely not only the appearance but even the strengthening of fundamentalism, either in form of nationalism, or in some variants of populism. These fundamentalist forces having been traditionally built in the history of these countries, just because of the repeated failures of modernization (not always due to the attitudes of these countries toward it), could become active after a period of frustration. This were to mean potentially even the renewal of separation of these periphery states from core societies of Europe, with the revival of the strong nationalist attitude toward each other, and, of course, with a potential danger for the continent.

This is why a real cooperation of the West is of crucial significance (or – rather – the economically highly developed countries) for promoting the transformation and improvement of the economies of these states – even in spite of their own economic problems and according to an internationally accepted “plan”. I want to emphasize however, that this economic assistance by its ways and its effects has to develop the democratic values, the spirit of cooperation in the former “socialist” countries on one hand, and to promote the spirit of enterprise, the creativity on the other. It is necessary to push these countries forward, and not simply strengthen by giving loans for the governments to be distributed, because this would promote the spirit of paternalism, the miracle expecting passivity, which characteristically have some roots in the history of these regions, and were supported by the “socialist” regimes. This international cooperation in the present situation is even more important than the Marshall plan was after World War II.

The concept of the Marshall plan was to promote the economic reconstruction and economic growth of the defeated or destroyed countries and by this to evade the disappointment from the democratic order, to make sure the integration of these countries into the Western world menaced by the increasing military power of the Soviet Union and by its presence in Central Europe. There has been, however, an essential difference between those countries and the former “socialist” ones: the defeated states had an important continuity: they preserved the private enterprises, the market economy in spite of the totalitarian rule and even in spite of their war efforts. In the last decade of the 20th century there is no more a Soviet superpower, but the complete disintegration of the former “socialist” world means perhaps even a greater danger. We will see, that the only chance for evading the chaos, the likely coming unbalance of Europe, and of the world should be the integration of these countries into a potential new world order step by step, but as soon as possible. By not using this possibility (the combination of economic assistance with the demand for a truly accepted and in practice realized democratic values, political system and a real willingness for cooperation), it would be more than uncertain the integration of these countries into a really working international world order. Zbigniew Brzezinski in his recent book mentioned as one of the potential future scenarios “a new coalition of the poorer nations against the rich” (Brzezinski 1993: XIV). The dangers of a broadening gap between rich and poor nations could be even more menacing and acute inside one continent (e.g. Europe), particularly if the poor ones were to be felt abandoned, than the present gap between North and South (by this I do not want to say, of course, that the latter problem might be neglected). This is why – for pure political reasons, and not only for moral ones – it is an inevitable necessity for the Western World to recognize and seriously consider the problems and their solution in this part of Europe (not simply evade them, even if some of them are disagreeable or from a “higher level” – which is sometimes simply the level of particular interest – they are eventually not entirely understandable or acceptable, e.g. the problem of national minorities). A complex type of a successful assistance sooner or later would prepare these countries – most of them infected now by intolerance, ardent nationalism, some of them by the euphoria of regained independence, etc. – for giving up a considerable part of their national sovereignty, which is inevitable for creating an effective international order. This type of assistance would promote partly the introduction or reintroduction, partly widely acceptance of those principles and values on which the European civilization has been built up for thousand years.



In June 19, 1965 an international conference had been organized in Bellagio (Italy) on the problems of world order. The basic problem of the conference was: “is the nation-state a form of social organization that is likely to persist? Is it an obstacle to world order, if so, how can it be overcome?” (Hoffman 1968). The discussion did not bring a real answer, though the “attackers” and the “defenders” of the nation-state produced mostly good arguments. H. Kissinger even remarked “states, whether national or not, necessarily breed conflicts due to the fragmentation of power and to the competition of interest in the world.” (ibid. 16) In any case, the states and mostly “national states” survived the recent more than a quarter of century (after the Bellagio Conference), but it cannot be neglected, that most of them have been giving up larger and larger part of their sovereignty for favour of regional and even for global cooperation. It is true, that “the domestic policies are dominated not so much by the region’s problems as by purely local and purely global ones, which conspire to divert the region’s members from the internal affairs of her area, and indeed would make an isolated treatment of those affairs impossible. As a result, each nation, new and old, finds itself placed in an orbit of its own, from which it is quite difficult to move away: for the attraction of the regional forces is offset by the pull of the other forces.” (Hoffman 1968: 113) Where the limits of a state’s actions – national or not – in this context are, remains to be seen. We could observe different countries in different regional contexts but it seems to me, the general trend is the acceptance of the strengthening of the effects produced by the regional conditions. It is true, that there have been appearing “deviant behaviours” by some states even inside a comparatively strong European Community (now: Union) calling as arguments the national conditions, even the national sovereignty, (see the ambiguous fate of the Maastricht treaty). In the recent quarter of century, however, the limits for the national sovereignty became not only stronger, but also more visible. Therefore beside the question what may be the fate of national state, it is reasonable to put the question of Walt Rostow: are we to face “the coming age of regionalism”? After the decline and fall of the Cold War his answer is simple: “I concluded that the political structure of global community would require greatly strengthened regional institutions if we are to deal successfully with the agenda, history has set for, say, the next half-century.” (Rostow 1990: 37)

In the “age of regionalism”, however, new national states were born and I think the solution of the present problems of the world and those of East-Central and Eastern Europe yet should be only in connection with the “regionalism”.20

This point can be supported by quoting Brzezinski: “...throughout this decade and into the next century, the world’s political affairs will be dominated by issues and conflicts that are products of conditions, histories, and concerns of an essential regional character.” (Brzezinski 1993: 215)

This might be now a daring statement. The countries of these regions have been generally departing from each other at least until yet. Even those countries which started to form some kind of “organized” cooperation, e.g. the “countries of Visegrad” (the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and Poland), remained in fact by their actions on political level. The cooperation of these countries is burdened with some difficult political problems, on the one hand, and in spite of the common “heritage” of the COMECON past, the coordination of their economic activity, the trade among these countries, their mutual investments etc. are hardly significant, on the other. This can be considered, of course, the dysfunctional consequence of forced and not really profitable cooperation in the framework of the former COMECON, and due to the challenges of the world economic system which are common for them but they are trying to respond with separate efforts. They are doing efforts for entering the European Union but trying to be the first, if it is possible. They are in competition in attracting foreign investment etc. In any case, however, there are factors of transition, which do not exclude the growing economic cooperation of these countries, neither among them, nor with other states of the region. It is obvious, however, that no regional cooperation can be grounded without strong economic ties among the potential partners. Consequently the historic elements coming from a more or less common past – though they could be important (in the case of the Visegrad countries also taking into consideration the historic significance of subnational regional interrelations) – were not enough to create a common regional identity, not even by a firm political decision, without recognizing and taking into consideration the contemporary consequences of this – more or less organic – process.

Supposing the growth of economic cooperation, even in this case there are some questions to be answered, which appeared in the political and economic reality during the recent years. (It is no place, however, to deal with all the problems and questions here and now which were raised in the respective literature during these years.) The effective political decisions and the cooperation accordingly, of course, might be able to strengthen the elements working for a supranational regional entity, particularly taking into consideration the common efforts and possibilities for entering a larger regional organization, that is the European Union (which set up some conditions from this aspect, let alone one of the reasons of the “Balladur plan”). There are, however, also new problems and question marks connected with a European Union in a broader sense of the word.

The first question which must be at least outlined was formulated by Allen Sked among the “myths of the European Unity” (Sked 1990/91) as follows: “whether it is true”, that the “Idea of Europe” is above of “nationalism”. Treating this question in a somewhat sceptical way, he indicated the potential advantages of “nationalism” (e.g. giving to people some historic consciousness, eliminating the inner regional differences, creating peace among the social classes etc., which, however, could be only – according to the lessons of history – rather short living achievements). Even he stated, that in the last centuries of lack of the willingness for acceptance of the national state by such powers as the Ottoman Empire or the Austro-Hungarian Empire or even the desire to build up power-construction on continental eventually global level the “Griff nach der Weltmacht” led to the rejection of European civilization and to wars. Admitting that there is some truth in his concept, I think, however, this is a rather one sided approach to the causes of wars even in the nineteenth century, let alone the twentieth one; there was also another factor operating, which he did not mention. That is, the “continental level” of power-construction was always the goal of one nation, even if the basic ideology of this effort had been not exactly or not only national, but racial, as he was referring to efforts of Hitler.

The crucial point is, however, in our times not the ideology, though it could not be denied, that it has always had some important role. Even now the development of a European ideology built on the series of commonly shared values can be observed. In the present days, the decisive factor which used to be cited as basic doubt on the “objectivity” of the development toward the European unity, (among others) is a supposed “trend” which seems to be just opposite to this development. The contents of this “trend” are those phenomena which are expressed now in the dissolution of former artificial states, the birth of new independent countries with considerable national character, eventually with ardent nationalism. The proper answer, however, for this question most likely can be found just in the formulation of this “trend” itself. That is, those formations which were or are now about to be dissolved have been artificial states. Those states, which were born not in an organic way, but on the maps placed on the table of the former peace-makers. Consequently, it is most likely that the road to the European Unity is going on through the birth of these states (with the sufferings, which are always accompanied with the process of birth). Their pains and troubles are particularly great, if the states around them or the international community which are supposed to help this process have been not properly organized, sometimes even not familiar enough with the conditions, which had been historically shaped and defined for centuries. Therefore – and under the influence of long ago accepted political patterns, uncertain interest etc. – they turned out to be hesitating, slow and uncertain in action.

We should not forget, that the recently independent countries had been under such an enormous pressure particularly after World War II, that their desire to be independent, their demand for trying to find a proper national way broke out, appeared not only with elementary power, but brought into this process old insults, sufferings, formerly “unpaid bills”. All this took place in such regions of Europe, where the rationality had never been the predominant element in politics or in attitudes of the peoples toward each other, rather they were ruled mostly by emotions, irrational visions and even with hatred and cruelty.

Putting the question, why so many intelligent and idealistic human beings “could have ever taken seriously the notion of utopia propagated for them respectively by Hitler and by Lenin/Stalin”, Brzezinski raised a very important problem “of the degree to which the innately destructive and irrational side of human nature is susceptible to demagogic mobilization”. This means that there is a capacity of the human being “to rationalize immoral self-interest as necessary and even justified”. (Brzezinski 1993:3536) The self-interest, of course, could be historically shaped emotions, the rationalization of which might also be possible.

The rationalization and justification of self-interest partly based on manipulated emotions can always be a real factor in politics, and I do not think that the Western part of Europe even today is completely free from such kind of problems. (It turned out e.g. that an economic recession was able to mobilize hatred even violence against the foreigners in highly cultured countries.) Until yet, however, this type of political manipulation has been mostly built on the political culture of the countries of the Eastern periphery of Europe, and nothing else but the normal working of a democratic political system would be able to eliminate it. As to the recently born independent states, they need even more: the recognition of their own real interest.

Therefore, it seems very likely, that in the process toward the European unity, these nations must be provided independence at least for such a while which will be sufficient enough for realizing by themselves, that they need a broader cooperation, perhaps regional federation and this can be possible only in a really working democratic political system. Of course, this needs education on a higher level, than now (with the introduction of European values in a period in which each new country is diligent to find and define its own national character). It needs open gates to the world from both sides of the borders. It needs, last but not least, a level of economic development which will be able to provide a higher standard of life for their population. These conditions could be eventually realized, but not necessarily within the former borders of the artificially created states. One cannot exclude those cooperation (eventually “regrouping” of some present countries or regions) which were much better to be fitting in organic processes, which have been living in Europe for a much longer time, than the life (no more than some decades) of the artificial states. The cultural, emotional etc. ties, the former organically developed economic relations, some of which have been supressed by the new national entities, have been belonging to the years of the last two or more centuries might be more important in the future, than the borders of so called “national” states. These processes created or are about to create organic regions on a smaller scale (that means inside the present border of a country) on one hand, or on a higher level, binding together some regions of different countries (this was the original idea of Pentagonale) or even moving now independent countries as entities closer to each other, on the other. This is why it is possible, that the road to European unity leads through regional perspectives, cooperation, even organizations (by the way, similar processes have been going on in the western part of Europe) taking into consideration the subregions inside a country, and super regions consisting of parts or entities of some countries.

The economic, cultural, even political basis of a United Europe has been developing organically in history, but these bases must be used for construction of policy, political cooperation or organizations in a proper way, that is, I repeat, taking into consideration the organic processes and conditions, and eliminating every high handed artificial element and irrational factors, among others the ideological differences, emotional impulses, as basis of actions.

More than a decade ago the Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau said: “cold, unemotional rationality can still save the (Canadian) ship of state” (Clarkson-MacCall 1990: 260). This is true for all the “ships” even now and all over the world, particularly in the post-Soviet Europe. There is, however, something, which must be added to these words. The “cold rationality” would not be really rational, but by taking into consideration also the emotional factors, as realities, treating them in a rational way. Neglecting the emotions – as factors involved in a situation – would turn the rational to be irrational and might be one of the dangerous reasons of the “shipwreck”.

Of course, to reach the European unity through the dissolution of old states, can be only a process full of emotions, and a thoroughly new regional cooperation needs very delicate politics from all participants of these processes. I wanted to give only one example. The line which separated East-Central-Europe from the proper Eastern region of the Continent at the present is not following the state borders. This is true to the former Yugoslavia because e.g. a considerable Serb minority lives in Croatia, or almost the same size of the Hungarian minority in Serbia. This is the case with Transylvania, which has been (when part of Hungary and even now) one of the main sources of Hungarian culture, the most important centre of the religious reformation in Hungary, and this was the place, where – during Hungarian political rule – there was developing a more western- oriented Romanian culture too. In Transylvania almost half of the Romanian population has not been member of the Orthodox Church, as it is general in the Wallachian principalities in the Transcarpathian region.21 That means that Transylvania belongs now culturally to the East-Central Europe, politically to Eastern Europe, and in the same time it remained rather important culturally and ethnically for both Hungary and Romania. These types of phenomena are involved in our days in Russian efforts to develop political ties among those countries in which the dominant religious organization is the Orthodox Church. At least some of these historical problems could not be solved, but in a united Europe, in which the state-borders would be supposed to be traversable, or even became spiritualized as a Romanian minister for foreign affairs (Titulescu) said in the twenties of this century, and together with the subregional autonomies were acceptable. This demands now full protection of human rights, the rights of minorities, and much more tolerance, farsighted approach toward the potential solutions of the problems, finally much more readiness for making compromises from every country which is involved.



It cannot be denied, that in our times there are two trends in Europe: one has been going toward the integration, and the other toward the national disintegration. This is why I can quote with every reason the lines of Matthew Arnold:

“Wandering between two worlds, one dead

The other powerless to be born.”

I have to add, however, that after these two lines – after both of them – in the present reality I have to put some question mark. Since the historically “dead” world keeps some rather tragic element in life (as it happens in agonies), the new world is not strong enough either until yet for coping with the tragic phenomena of the old one. Moreover the present situation produced such conditions, some of them are strengthening the element of life of the old world (this does not mean simply the world order before the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the historical processes of the late nineteenth century and those of the period before the Second World War), and some of them are weakening the efficiency of the new world order and its organizations in and outside of Europe. Just for example: the consequences of the transition of the former Soviet Union were putting into the position of powers with nuclear weapons not only Russia, but also some new states. Further examples are the insecurities in role-conception of the United States as to the great power most responsible for maintaining the law and order on international level, the compability of the US interest with this role; the problems of the deepening and – at the same time – of widening cooperation inside the European Community, and its acute and future role-outside-toward the potential new members; the potential new military position of Germany and Japan in connection of defence of international law and order; the economic recession, let alone the unclarified new roles and functions of the United Nation Organization, and those of the European organizations (NATO, WEU, CSCE, EC) e.g. in a European conflict outside of the NATO territory, etc.

These conditions created a very difficult situation for a coordinated and efficient treatment of conflict by the international community, which is considered the first serious one after the end of Cold War, and easily can be evaluated as a pattern for the future. The retreat of Russia from East-Central-Europe, which is almost complete now, and the eventual disintegration of the Russian Empire, as yet a possibility, in our days leave a vacuum which is not likely to be filled by the United States. “It will not be filled by a “United Europe”, something that, in reality, does not exist. It will most likely be filled by Germany” (Lukacs 1993: 97). “Continuity is as important as is change” – Lukacs indicated one of the factors of his potential scenario (Lukacs 1993: 98) and – obviously at least partly he is right. There are quite a few continuous elements in relations of East Central and East-Europe toward Germany. I can even add to this observation, that the geopolitical situation remained also the same. It should not be forgotten, however, that the term “geopolitics” consists of two words. The “geo”, that is the geographical situation did not change. The “politics”, however, even in its connection with the geographical factors could change, and it really changed, first of all, in case of Germany. Germany became a country strongly committed to the European integration, and her present and potential relations with the East-Central and East-European countries have now different character, without any sign of “imperialism”. I am inclining to interpret Lukacs’s statement, that Germany could play an important role in the process of joining these countries to the European Community, and would help their integration into the European Unity. There are of course some other important changes in the political “part” of the region’s geopolitical situation, for example the independent Ukraine, and what is more important the continuity of the Russian policy toward Poland and, the signs of which can be seen even now, toward the Balkans. We should not forget: the disintegration of Russia cannot be excluded, yet only one of the future scenarios and it is far from being the most likely one. Russia eventually could regain her historical great power status, and moreover, I repeat, the present Western politics looks like helping her efforts toward realization of this potential chance.

The political evaluation of a situation, however, always contains subjective factors.

I was quoting already Henry Kissinger’s statement on the importance of subjective elements in politics and those of politicians. It is rather understandable, that the components of these subjective elements have their roots of former training, collected personal and institutional experiences, inevitably in emotions etc. But the solution of problems of a political situation needs the realization and recognition of the historical processes, the attitude of politicians and also the political education of the people accordingly, which is not always rewarding from the point of view of the direct political interests. It is very important, therefore, that most of the present leading politicians in Europe are strongly committed to some form of the institutionalized European integration.

There are, however, also some other conditions of reaching the united Europe taking into consideration of both present trends. I mention now only two of them, without their real analysis.

The first one is the successful creation of similar regional cooperation with their organizational consequences in other parts of the world. In some parts of our globe societies and states organically are more or less ready for this type of cooperation (e.g. the North American Continent, perhaps with Mexico, the Latin American countries, at least some of them, in one or two parts of the Far Eastern region, maybe in the not too distant future, in the Maghreb countries – depending on the force, on rising or decline, of Islam fundamentalism – a secular Turkish-type cooperation among the Turk countries of the former Soviet Union and Turkey itself etc.). If these regions – and their regional cooperation, eventually organizations – were able to follow a more developed European pattern (which of course needs some coordination) and this does not mean only the distribution of labour among them, but also the slow, and continuous decreasing their number, there would be a good chance for shaping a global organization, with real possibility of action, when it were inevitable to prevent the potential conflicts, and treat them internationally not after when they turned out bloody and so bitter that they became hardly to be approached, and the chance to solve them decreased almost hopelessly.22

I am fully aware that this idea needs a lot of change on organization-level of international community, that it needs a permanent monitoring system, the operation of which in itself demands the sacrifice of national sovereignty (let alone the possibility of international intervention). I also know that such a system would not be working successfully (let alone eventually in some developed regions), but under some globally more balanced economic conditions. It is no doubt, that there are factors in politics, economics, social conditions, ideologies and even in human and political psychology, working against such a development. But even if there are growing intolerance and hatred against the aliens, also in the Western countries, if there are hopes and illusions for the possibilities stressed by isolationist politicians, if there are raising fresh nationalism, ideological fundamentalism, constitutional and other traditions, debates over borders, rule of tribes on national level, very different political cultures, etc., all these are short run phenomena in the sense of Braudel’s concept of plural time, and on the long run the basic trend of integration would be stronger and stronger.

There have been appearing more and more signs which are showing the inevitable necessity of cooperation (let alone, that the ideas of regionalism, those of the European unity have been deeply entrenched in the development of Euro- Atlantic political thoughts). Not only should the danger of nuclear weapons be mentioned, but also the requirements of a unified world economic system, the demands of adaption to it. (In the 1950s the world-trade was only 6-7% of the world GNP, but this proportion became more than 20% in the eighties and this trend is continuing.) The scientific and technological processes and their consequences in organizations are affecting production and consumption on global level. The needs of collective security (because it is impossible now to maintain the illusion of security only for a single or a few nations) also need to be met on global level. The collapse of “socialist” regimes and the former Soviet Union produced not only dangers and new problems, but an exceptional chance to reorganize the international community, taking into consideration as basis those values which are to be shared by almost every politician (as it happened to be among the participants of the Vienna Congress) and led by an increasing force of favourable public opinion in more and more parts of the world. I do not think, of course, that now is the “end of the history” – even not in the sense of Fukuyama’s statement. I don’t accept that the liberal democracy as a basis for the political system has already won the battle against other forms of politics everywhere. It could be hardly argued that the demands of the second stage of modernization (in the sense of Rostow’s theory – see Rostow 1960) definitely needs those social characteristics (creative imagination and work, innovation, readiness for cooperation etc.) which could be provided until yet only by a political system based on liberal-democratic pattern. Sometimes, however, even the need of modernization would be questioned. There are dangers of authoritative, or totalitarian systems, even dictatorships from different social and ideological sources, but most likely they may emerge, if ever, only for a shorter while at least in Europe or in the Atlantic community. Even if they were to appear in transition processes of former “socialist” countries, they would be short run phenomena and due to temporary failures in transition, which might be strengthened by some traditions. Briefly, there are global processes promoting the regional and global cooperation in spite of the significant forces working against it in our times. Consequently there is a chance to use possibilities coming from the present situation to lay down the basic stones of a new European and maybe also those of a new international order, supposed that there would be done successful efforts for “synchronizing” the time among the different regions and subregions (at present with great differences) of one continent – in our case in Europe – at least and finally among those of the world.

An important paper is trying to treat the European unity and its regional interrelations in connection with the conditions of other regions and global problems (see: Rosecrance 1991: 374–383), with the final conclusion: “The concert of nations today includes the greatest concentration of power that the world has seen since 1815... The great agglomeration of power will draw nations in, not force them apart. The balance of power has yielded to overbalance. Regions and regionalism will therefore flower in participation with rather than in opposition to the new centralizing tendency in modern world politics and economics.” (ibid. 383) We would see, that similar ideas appeared in Brzezinski’s new book, even if he was stressing the potential conflicts among the regions. (Brzezinski 1993: 206–215)

There are, however, some arguments against the effects of the global economic and political trends. The first of these arguments is stressing the present force, even revival of nationalism or new importance of national states, which are supposed to make the global processes relatively significant.

Liah Greenfeld wrote: “Economic globalization is unlikely to weaken the grip of nationalism on humanity; it is largely irrelevant to the problem of nationalism. The nation remains worthwhile, even when it is economically or otherwise irrational, and if the nation’s worth is going to be transcended, it is most improbable that will be on account of economic development. The fact that, from an economic point of view, the world may be turning into a “global village” does not at all contradict this conclusion. Economic globalization is entirely consistent with nationalism.” (Greenfeld 1993: 59) She produced examples by the problems of EEC, concluding that when the demands of cooperation left the economic field and threatened the national sovereignties, “the attitude dramatically changed”. (ibid. 60) It is most likely true, that there is no such a direct connection between the world-economic development and the “worth” of national sovereignties, as it was supposed by some theoreticians (particularly not taking into consideration the phenomena of ideological fundamentalism), but the effects of the uniform world-economic system (described by I. Wallerstein) has been influencing for a longer while the role and situation of nations and nation-states, and there are significant effects which continuously change the social and cultural bases of sovereignty as well as that of the economic one. The effects, of course, are not supposed to appear promptly, but on a longer run, the unifying factors very likely would be stronger, than the short run phenomena (e.g. now emerging inside the EC) quoted by the paper of professor Greenfeld.

There is some truth also in the conception, according to which the nationalism, better said, the rising of national states have been connection with the dissolution of Empires. (In the 19th century in Latin America, after World War I, the distribution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and after World War II, the decolonization, finally in our time the collapse of the Soviet Empire.) It is also true, however, that not only this phenomenon has been involved in the rise of national feelings, in making efforts to shape independent “national” states. (For these potential socio-political contents of nationalism see: Hall 1993: 1–28). I would like to add only one more aspect: due to the belated development of some societies, we have to take into account – at least during the last half a century – new and new waves of nationalism, which could promote the process of modernization of the newly independent countries, mobilizing new social forces, on one hand, but it could be an enormous obstacle in the process of modernization, if it had “Gemeinschaft-like” contents, populism, and therefore looking to the past, with false historicism. In this latter case, the emerging national states and nationalism usually produced a strong attitude and policy against the minorities, and it might even promote ethnic cleansing in different ways.

The national feelings, better said the national states on a quite different level of development can be trying to introduce more national interest even into the organization and activity of the EEC, and sometime they emerge a new form of nationalism appearing in Western countries. This phenomenon is partly a reaction to the too quick promotion of the political unity of Europe planned by the Maastricht treaty, which turned out to be a shock for those nations, the national identity of which might be stronger, than that of others, and it is partly a reaction toward the new nationalism rising up in the Eastern part of Europe, where this nationalism is mostly due to the belated development, and to the new situation of the collapse of the Soviet Union. This created a new situation, in which the potential immigrants coming from the Eastern part of Europe strengthened the feeling of necessity to defend the national identity as well, as the defence of the economy against the potential Eastern production. (I even do not exclude the possibility that the problems with the Maastricht Treaty have been in connection with the supposed disappearance of the feeling of danger from the Soviet power, which obviously was one factor of the growing cooperation of the Western countries.) Finally, a phenomenon as e.g. the inability of a political system for coping with the social problems (corruption, system of “clientele”, some social consequences of modernization) also can contribute to the rising nationalism. A “modern society... has to adapt itself to continuously changing demands, to absorb them in terms of policy making and to assure its own continuity in the fact of repeated new demands and new forms of political organization... The ability to deal with continuous change of political demands is the crucial test of... sustained growth.” (Eisenstadt 1966: 2021) The lack of this capacity of the political system creates a widening gap between the society and its political system. This situation – as it was shown by the example of Italy – could be also a source of extreme nationalism.23

Recently there appeared as another factor (against the European integration process) some doubts on a united European civilization, considered it even a myth (Sked 1990/91), arguing that nobody was able to define such a concept. I think, however, that its final roots have been not only a European, but an Atlantic civilization, which can be defined mostly on the basis of the Judo-Greco- Christianity, which produced also the ideas of enlightenment, particularly the concept of Human Rights, some important trends in Philosophy, Arts, Literature, and last but not least the development of science and technology. This civilization however (partly) had important components from some other ones, particularly from the Islam Culture in Spain, partly it has been fertilizing some other very important cultures outside Europe and the Atlantic community, the spiritual achievements of which remained also significant parts of the treasures of humanity, and which are going to be important parts of a global culture. During the debates of an interesting conference (see Note 13) two important questions were raised:

– Whether the search for the basis of European identity which would provide the United Europe a common emotional and cultural basis could be considered to be dangerous for eliminating those groups (immigrants with different religious e.g. Islam belief), even countries with Islamic cultures (Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina) or countries historically under Byzantine influence from the European community. Taking into account the basic humanistic character of the European (or Atlantic) culture, one of the characteristic features of which was its receptive character, I am sure, that this process will continue, even as to the values of other “Great Traditions”, and – gradually – the most important component of the European identity will be the tolerance. It must be hardly stressed, that peripheral countries of Europe could be members of a continuously growing European community only step by step, achieved some generally accepted conditions, also from this point of view.

– The second question in formulation of Dr. G. Kirsch: “European integration was from the beginning essentially a child of reason, not of emotion. To a large extent it still is. As a consequence, the European Community still is less of a supranational institution and more of supranational state organization”. (Kirsch 1992: 7) As a further consequence of this, it was argued, the question, according to which the European identity had not been accepted, but by the strengthened bureaucracy of the common organizations and institutions of Europe. This is a real subject to be discussed, but (a) if we accepted Dr. Kirsch’s theory on “state created the nation”, this can mean – as it is in reality – the beginning of a process (with some historic components) toward the “emotional unity”, or at least toward the necessary loyality;24 (b) the success of this process depends on historic situations at the present time and in the next future, which can strengthen the common elements of the common past, the factors of economic and other cooperation (e.g. education) and can give favourable chance for the “creative” activity to the “European bureaucracy”.

It might be strange, but those factors, which now were supposed to influence the European integration negatively – e.g. nationalism, national states, sovereignty etc. – had been the production of an originally united European civilization, that is, they were growing out from common roots. From this point of view, the European civilization produced the same values, but in the different regions of Europe these values found fertile soil in different periods. The identity was produced by the “European” or “Euro-Atlantic” culture, and behind this identity – even emotionally – have been staying those “economic and technological as well as the political and cultural facts”, which “seem set to reaffirm the ancient solidarity of most of Europe for which this survey has provided objective historical evidence. In a global context this unity of European civilization is its most significant aspect and explains the formidable impact of Europeans on the world; their vitality, originality and resilience.” (Bowle 1970: 362)

The receptive character of the European culture made possible not only its impact on the other cultures but also a mutual fertilization, which would give a good chance in the future for the development of a global identity, that is for a universal human being.25



As I have been reading books and papers and participating in conferences on the twentieth century I have become also uncertain on realities of my own ideas. Even if we freed ourselves from the so called “secular religions” “belief in salvation by (the “reasonably” made) society” (Drucker 1993: 7) or from the “metamyth” (Brzezinski 1993: 19), – the euphemistic terms for Nazism and bolshevism – are we at the same time attracted by some other rational prospects? Peter Drucker is more optimistic with his “Knowledge Society” and its consequences from nation-state to regionalism, which would not replace, but to sideline the nation-state. Because: “Increasingly, the new challenges facing every government are challenges that simply cannot be dealt with by national or even international action. They require transnational agencies, which have a “sovereignty of their own”. (Drucker 1993:142) Internationalism is no longer a utopia, “it is already on the horizon – if barely so”. Regionalism already is a reality (Drucker 1993: 149), even he is stressing now: we are not facing the new world order... rather we are facing a new disorder – no one can know for how long” (Drucker 1993: 113). One of the most important elements: “a universally educated one”, who is supposed to be different from the humanist type educated person. The later can be the preservation of the heritage of mankind, “but bridge to the past not enough. The educated person needs to be able to bring his or her knowledge to bear on the present not to mention molding the future.” (Drucker 1993:212)

The great heritage of the past will have to be an essential element, but much more than the Western (Judeo-Greco-Cristian) tradition. It needs to include the great heritage of Chinese, Japanese, Islam, briefly also the non-Western culture. However, “the future may be ‘post-Western’, or ‘anti-western’, but it cannot be ‘non-Western’, because, according to Drucker its material civilization and its knowledges all rest on Western foundations...” “Post-capitalist society is both a knowledge society and a society of organizations, each dependent on the other and yet each very different in its concepts, views and values. Most, if not all, educated persons will therefore have to be prepared to live and work simultaneously in two cultures–that of the “intellectual”, who focuses on words and ideas, and that of the “manager”, who focuses on people and work.” (Drucker 1993: 215)

The more pessimistic Brzezinski (no wonder, with his experiences in politics) looks at the future with a more reality-based eye. “The shape of mankind’s political future will much depend on the philosophical and cultural evolution of the successful but also self-centred West, on the degree to which the post-communist transformation confirms or refutes the wider relevance of the democratic model, and on the extent to which the world’s largest social experiment is, or is not, assimilated into wider global cooperation. In a world of ideological confusion and of social polarization, the spectre of geopolitical fragmentation thus clearly threatens. Global geopolitical dynamics are interacting with the inchoate yearnings of political awakened mankind for some certainties about its future and for some universally accepted criteria of justice. That agenda is not only daunting; it justifies concern that the dilemmas of global disorder may become the defining determinants of the new age.” (Brzezinski 1993:200)

The global control and that is his real conclusion, at least for a long while, seems to be illusion. There has been shaping different regions, with different problems. Some regions, e.g. North America could be a powerful economic bloc organized on the basis of the North American Free Trade Area, or Europe, probably integrated economically, but “with its political unity lagging considerably behind economic integration”, some simply dominated by one single power, as Japan, some as a “shapeless Moslem crescent” without real cohesion but also resentments against the West etc. (Brzezinski 1993: 207–212). The global political dilemmas, therefore, cannot be solved by a “catalogue of policy recommendations. It can only emerge as a consequence of a new historical tide that induces a change both in values and in conduct, in effect, out of a prolonged process of cultural self – re-examination and philosophical re-evaluation, with over time influences the political outlook both of the West and of the non-Western world. That process can be encouraged by an enlightened dialogue but it cannot be politically imposed.” (Brzezinski 1993: 221)

Considering and accepting the role of nation state “as primary focus of civic loyalty, the basic source of historical and cultural diversity (which I doubt – K.K.), and the prime force for mobilizing the individual’s commitment”, the nation states look like not being suitable for organizing global peace, to promote global welfare etc. The solution: “to institutionalize the progressive emergence of such a common global community, new forms of enhanced cooperation will have to evolve along two major axes: the trilateral relationship among the world richest and democratic states of Europe, America and East Asia (notably Japan)26, and through the United Nations as wider and more representative framework of global politics ... The central purpose of trilateral cooperation should not be just to preserve existing privileges but rather promote more basic progress of human conditions. (Brzezinski 1993: 222–223) And finally: Recognition both of the complexity and the contingency of the human condition thus underlines the political need for shared moral consensus in the increasingly congested and intimate world of the twenty-first century.” (Brzezinski 1993: 231)

The real contradiction in both “grand visions” is that when they denied the “secular religions” or “megamyths” the basis of which has been the unlimited force of human “ratio”, they accepted the same as the basis of global order. Even if Drucker substituted it by the “educated person” or Brzezinski introduced the moral factor into his conception.

I do not want to deny the role of human intelligence and education in politics, and I appreciate those limits coming from a cultural pluralism and the importance of moral principles which both eminent authors recognized as necessities of gradual development toward the global unity.

These recognitions among the human beings, among the politicians, however, might be the products of the basic trends on regional and global levels. And these trends, even if we accepted them as real ones, and do not project them into the history of our own ideas as Karl Popper said (Popper: II. 278) are full of conflicts, insecurities, potential changes, even they could be turned out of very temporary character as the “megamyths” of professor Brzezinski. After so much illusions, euphoria, but also after disappointments and frustration it is difficult to say, but I accept: the mankind and its politicians should have visions for the future, but combined with the pragmatic actions for the resolution of conflicting situations, with a sense of proper timing, and not neglecting those principles (both moral and legal) which are already the stable productions of years of development of humanity.

Returning to my original topic, there is a real possibility of an integrated Europe (in spite of the other trends on the continent which are most likely short run). Based on historical experiences, and the generally accepted values, favourable conditions for unity are slowly emerging. The necessary intellectual cultural and political consensus which might be able to promote the trend itself toward a scenario of economic integration and political unity of Europe is becoming a reality, and there is a good reason emerging for it: the hard interests of the European countries, even if these interests were not recognized everywhere and by everybody (politicians and population) equally soon.




The Axial period means a new interpretation of the “axis of history” instead of “axis” of the Christian philosophy of history, for which the “axis” was the coming of the Son of the God. In Jaspers’ concept between 800 and 200 B.C. mankind gained an awareness of himself, including its capacities and limits. During the Axial period the same spiritual process took place, simultaneously, in the West, in China and in India.


According to Mosconi, the “accidental leadership” (which is not identical necessarily with a victorious power in war) could be able to influence a federal unity in Europe (e.g. de Gasperi tried to establish a democratic European community, with the creation of a representative Assembly, and with a European Army) by highlighting or identifying a situation. The real solution of the problem, however, shall be a direct election for the European Parliament (which is working now) and particularly the attribution of the constituent mandate to the European Parliament.” (Mosconi 1992: 122–129)


The great statesmen were generally able to free themselves from even very deeply accepted ideological ties. Lukacs wrote on Churchill: “Because he was a statesman and not an ideologue, his contempt for Communism neither hampered nor confused his considerations.” (Lukacs 1990: 146) Isaacson – in a biography – also made a similar statement on Kissinger: “Power rather than righteousness, he became to believe, determined the world order. Nations that acted based on national interests were less dangerous than those that crusaded on the basis of ideology or their own perception of moral justice. (Isaacson 1992: 761)


Bismarck, however, was satisfied with the existence of the German Empire. His nationalism was unquestionable, but he did not want war any more. On his eightieth birthday he was visited by more than five thousand young people to pay him their homage. He told them: “We Germans had no longer any reason for war. We had what we needed. To fight for more, from a lust of conquest and for the annexation of countries which were not necessary for us always appeared to me like an atrocity, I am tempted to say like a Bonapartistic and foreign atrocity, alien to the Germanic sense of justice.” (See: Snyder 1967: 396)


These investigations, analyses and documents were evaluated by a Hungarian historian in 1991. (See: Romsics 199l: 32–67)


Churchill’s ideas on a different military strategy were well known even among his military leaders. He had been arguing even with A. Brooke, the British Chief of Staff on the Mediterranean strategy, and tried to make a lot of efforts for a landing on the Balkan Peninsula, or Northern Italy. His policy – though it was always necessarily subordinated to the war efforts (directed by American–British cooperation and by Stalin’s strategy) at least from 1943 was fully aware of the danger of the Russian presence in Central Europe. But it could be hardly debated, that the pattern for decisions of Yalta and Potsdam was already set at Teheran. Churchill’s more realistic attitude (in comparison with his American ally) was acknowledged also by such biographers, who were not too lenient toward the British Prime Minister. (See e.g. Charmley 1993: 521, 603–644)


This democratization was not an automatic process, there were used different methods with different consequences, and it took some years and the effective economic support by the Marshall Plan after the Second World War. (See: Herz 1982)


It is true, that the presence of the USSR in the centre of Europe, the construction of the Berlin Wall were very important factors in forging the unity not only of the Western Part of Europe, but in strengthening the Euro-Atlantic Idea and transforming it into reality. But I do not think, that by the disappearance of the Soviet Union the “Atlanticism’s day has passed” even if could be questioned this idea, as it had been done by Pfaff and might be raised new alternatives instead of its present form. (Pfaff 1989/90: 65)

I am inclining much more to accept the reasons of Wolfe, according to which the Atlanticism, its most important organization being the NATO, should accept the new situation of our time and different role against the new dangers. The “transformation of Europe does not diminish the Atlantic community. The Process of European integration has always been seen as compatible with Atlanticism. Much more important, a new group of countries, one that has been excluded for a generation, now wants to participate in it. The norms and principles of Atlanticism seem secure. Democracy, constitutionalism, and liberal economics are the catchword of the hour.” (Wolfe 1990–91: 162) This means – among others – that the Atlantic community has got an exceptional historical chance to promote the transformation of East-Central and Eastern-Europe. When I was invited to participate – as an observer – at the meeting of North Atlantic Assembly in Banff (Canada), May 13–18, 1992, the main problem of North Atlantic Organization – as it turned out from almost every approach to the new situation – has been the adaptation to the situation after the changes in Eastern part of Europe, particularly the collapse of the Soviet Union. The demands of the adaptation appeared as the claim for cooperation among the European organizations, particularly as to the relation between the NATO and the CSCE. It was raised the problems of the interpretation of regional possibilities for security-demands toward the NATO, the territory and means for its activity, the problem of prevention of conflicts, the question of peace-making (eventually by force), that of the peace-keeping, the potential integration of the NATO into a newly structured international community etc. Though this session of the Assembly was organized not for decision making but for preliminary discussions, it was obvious, that very important decisions have to be made taking into consideration the new regional and global conditions. Recently it turned out, however, the enlargement of and changes inside of the NATO were delayed, and in the further construction and commitment of the NATO there has not been negligible factor the influence of the Russian policy.


Recently the book of the former American Secretary of State Georges Schultz proves convincingly how slow and cautious this process had been, and how courageous was – from this point of view – the Reagan administration in its negotiations with its Soviet counterparts. (Schutz 1993)


The author of this paper had been participating at a conference on the “Global Refugee Policy at the Aspen Institute organized by the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy” (Wye Center, Queenstown, Maryland, February 20–22, 1992). During the discussions of this Conference he was raising the problem of the active, i.e. the preventive aspects of this policy, and it was debated even the potentialities of a monitoring system for discovery and control of the sources of conflicts and the chances of reorganization of international community and its institutions (included the UNO organizations) according to the new challenges of the world. The problems of the structural and functional changes of the UNO became largely discussed inside the UNO and also in academic circles, taking into consideration interesting and different aspects. The end of the Cold War – wrote e.g. S. Kumar – has created uncertainties of various kinds. The greatest uncertainty, however, has been created for the non-aligned world. “The non-aligned countries can no longer hope to rely on the support of one of the superpowers in case of the hostility of the other, either diplomatically or military.” Therefore the change of the UNO because of the challenges to the world order became rather urgent for them. (Kumar 1992: 113–121)


The concept of “Balkanization” originally meant the appearance of small states on the Balkan Peninsula by the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and later by the end of the World War I., linked to the dissolution of Habsburg Monarchy. These situations have been full of conflicts, wars, mutual bloodshed and cruelty. But it means, however, also a special culture (which developed under the influence of the Byzantine and later the Ottoman Empire). One of the important features of this culture, first of all, those of political culture was the paramount place of emotions, lack of rationality (consequently the lack of general respect for contracts, legality and constitutionality), high degree of paternalism etc.


The controversial situation before and after the so called “compromise” between the Habsburgs Monarchy and Hungary (1867) could not be characterized better, than by the example of Transylvania (that time the part of Hungary) where existed a favourable legal situation for minorities, and potentialities for creating a well-educated Romanian intelligentsia – mostly trained in Hungarian universities – even if in the same time there appeared some political efforts of “Magyarization” (see: Jelarich 1977: 242–294). For the circumstances of peace-treaties after the World War I., see (ibid. 305–310). For the both problems: Köpeczi 1994)


I have to give some explanation for this term “artificial state”. Dr. G. Kirsch in a Conference on “Federalism and the Nation State” (Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, June 4–6, 1992, Toronto) stated, the core of state is reason not emotion, and a nation is a group of people, who share the feeling they belong together without knowing, in fact without even asking why, and who want to have their own state. This definition implies that a nation can only exist with regard to the concept the state. He stated furthermore, that though history gives examples of nations creating the matching states, there are examples of states creating nations to go with the states (e.g. France by the Revolution, or the German nations by the politics of Bismarck, etc.). (Kirsch 1992: 4–6) From this point of view a state in principle had the possibility for creating artificially a nation. Though, I can accept this opinion.


The Eastern periphery of Europe has been historically divided into two regions. The Western borderline of Eastern Europe more or less follows the present border of the Baltic states and the Eastern political border of Poland, the Eastern border of the historical Hungary with Transylvania as well, in other words, the range of the Carpathian mountains to the river Danube and the river Sava. Thus it includes a large (European) part of the former Soviet Union, the old territories of Romania, i.e. the Wallachian Principalities, Serbia and Bulgaria. This region had been under Byzantine and Asian influence in respect of culture, political structure and law. The reformation, the classical Roman law, etc. did not penetrate into it. East Central Europe has been the region between the lines outlined above and the rivers Elbe and Leitha and the Western borders of the former Roman province of Pannonia, included the Baltic states, Poland, certain German territories, Bohemia, the historical Hungary (including Transylvania, Slovakia and Croatia), and Slovenia. The societies of this region have been fundamentally Western oriented, the principles of Roman law were decisive in their legal system, reformation had its roots here, etc. Nevertheless, partly because of their original social characteristic, and partly because of repeated pressures to adjust themselves to Eastern Europe, they have retained several East European traits in their social structure, political culture, etc. These East European traditional characters were strengthened by the Soviet occupation and the forced introduction of the Soviet model after World War II. See: Anderson 1974., Szűcs 1983., Kulcsár 1986: 15–62., Kulcsár 1992: 22–71.

This difference of the regions of Europe, of course, does not mean a chance for a direct political interpretation, e.g. for creating a new “iron curtain” on the western “border line” of East-Central Europe, or efforts to exclude those countries which are on the eastern side of this line. But the evaluation and analysis of the present political processes, phenomena or even some political actions could not be successful but with taking into consideration the historically formed characteristics of these regions.


In the final stage of World War I, there appeared the idea of the transformation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire into a federation, and this idea was living even later in the thoughts of some East-Central European politicians, e.g. Thomas Masaryk (Czech statesman) or Oszkar Jászi (Hungarian scholar and politician). This idea, however, was refused by the potential participants of such a federation, as well, as by the Entente powers. The idea of a Danubian federation, however, remained living, and reappeared even after World War II., only to be refused again mostly under Soviet influence, for Soviet interest. For the problems (see: Wagner 1970: 115–244).


The effort to create a Greater Serbia went back to the history well before the Ottoman Empire, and was haunting the political ideas and actions almost from the newly independent Serbian Principality, later Kingdom, until it started to be realized by 1918. It is well known, that this effort was one of the causes of World War I., and by killing the Austro-Hungarian Crown-Prince Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo (1914) it became the direct reason for starting the “Great War”.


Moldavia was the most neglected part of Romania. Even between the two world wars it was underdeveloped in comparison with the other parts of the country, let alone the most developed region: Transylvania. Therefore the Moldavians hardly were ready to take their former position in a Great Romania, particularly at our times, when the economic situation in Romania became more miserable than any time after the First World War and the political conditions for a new territory would not be attractive either. For the time being – at least – the Moldavians have voted for independence.


William Pfaff has given in his recent papers good reasons for fear of new or potential ethnic conflicts, particularly in relation with the Hungarian national minorities in Hungary’s neighbour countries (Pfaff 1993), but these reasons are only strengthening the efforts of the Hungarian governments for construction international instruments suitable to deal with these problems.


According to a usual Hungarian concept, the autonomy of the Hungarian minorities (in Transylvania, in Southern Slovakia and in the Northern part of Voivodina inside Serbia) should consist of three elements: a/ personal autonomy for individual decision i.e. granting the right to the person to define to which ethnic-national community wants to belong (this decision, however, should not influence the citizenship, which is a different, legal connection with the state), b/ cultural autonomy for the national minority for promoting the preservation of its national identity (that is: education, artist and other cultural activities), c/ territorial self-government in those unities of public administration in which the national minority is the local or regional majority. This concept is, however, for not an immediate and particularly not a “forced” realization, and it is denied now unanimously by the Romanian, Serbian and Slovakian governments in spite the fact, that for instance the Serbian government demands even more for the Serbian minorities in Croatia, (for the so called Crajina), let alone Bosnia-Herzegovina. The reason of rejection is that in case of granting territorial autonomy (particularly granted for Hungarians living along the Hungarian border almost in pure ethnic communities) would lead to a declaration of these communities to return to the mother country. By granting the autonomy, of course, it would be possible to include legal limits, which were not to permit the secession and they could be enforced by European organizations. It is interesting, however, that before the Trianon peace-treaty during a tripartite (Italian-Romanian-Hungarian) negotiation, Romania herself proposed such autonomy for the countries with Hungarian majorities in the already occupied (by the Romanian troops) Transylvania. (Romsics 1987) As to the opinion of a British expert concerning the problems of autonomy of national minorities, see Sunley 1933: 32–33.


Let me mention an interesting phenomenon of the extreme nationalism among some of the East Central or Eastern European ethnic communities of the USA or Canada. These communities have been living for 70, 45 or 35 years in democratic countries, most of them are accepted by or even fully integrated into their new homeland. Some of them, particularly the more or less frustrated persons have been nursing outdated ideas of ardent nationalism as to their original countries, sometimes in connection with the extreme political forces of their former homeland. The source of this attitude – I repeat – the frustration of different types, and consequently a special version of fundamentalism. I have to stress, however, if a state created artificially – as Yugoslavia or for a degree the former Czechoslovakia–it had practically no chance to form a nation from ethnically, culturally and religiously so much different population, which were component of other states for a long time. The artificially formed state, without historically organic process, even did not have the reason, without which it could not be successful as a national state. W. Pfaff wrote: “The ethnic state is a product of the political imagination; it does not exist in reality. Ethnic nationalism is a product of certain idea of the national originated in German romanticism and the German cultural and intellectual reaction to the universalizing ideas of the French Enlightenment and Revolution and other revolutionary wars.” And furthermore: “No nation in Europe is ethnically pure. All are intermixtures of successive migrations of peoples. The nineteenth century idea of the ethnic state was nonetheless made the basis of the First World War settlements in East-Central and Southeastern Europe and was enshrined in the U.N. Charter in 1945.” (Pfaff 1993: 99–100) Taking into consideration Pfaff’s opinion, the artificial states created after the World Wars, became double-artificial: having been built up on an imaginary factor, even distorted the realization this political imagination. It might be added, that in these cases the bureaucracy or the army (as in the former Yugoslavia) had the real interest, which was considered the reason or ration of the state, and – as it turned out – was not enough for developing an emotional solidarity.


In the years of first decades in our century the Romanian orthodoxy became an anti-western ideology which in the name of the Romanian spirit, in the name of Rinmoirea orientalismului (the revival of orientalism) attacked the Protestantism as the expression of the western individualism, industrialism. (Jonescu 1924:36) It is also true, however, that some initiator of the Romanian populism, which stressed the significance of the folk-culture in villages were coming from a part of the Transylvanian intelligentsia. This populism together with the Orthodoxy on Byzantine traditions tried to create a special Romanian spirit against the modernization. (Pászka:344–346.)


Therefore it could not be easily denied the danger of “micronationalism”, which is supposed to be accompanied with the regionalism in Europe, and, indeed, there emerged a tendency now of creating mini-states created by the dissolution of the former artificial states. Though I think that regionalism can be a way leading toward to the European Union, and the regions later might be even some administrative units inside of the Union instead of the present national states, I acknowledge the dangers of the mini-states. Finally, however, I agree with the statement made by G. Montani, that the “struggle for European federalism and local federalism can only progress side by side, since the achievement of a federal Europe is necessary to eliminate the suffocating centralising power of the national state”. (Montani 1993: 15). I accept also his sentence, that it would not be sensible to provoke new secessions, hatred and wars, which easily could create new division inside the present states, and would make more difficult to enlarge the European Unity. Therefore, it were necessary now the democratic development of autonomies, particularly on local level by strengthening the democracy inside the states. Unfortunately it was not possible to eliminate those forces which have been emerged now in artificial states struggling for ethnic autonomy, even for new states after the pressures of decades or even hundreds of years. The direct and urgent task in these cases would be to create the legal and institutional framework for treating such cases by international organizations mostly on European level, which would help to adjust these processes into the great trend of integration of Europe.


The results of the Italian general election in the Spring of 1994 have been showing not only the consequences of a rigid political system, but the explosion of the rightist nationalism took up to the surface the neo-fascist ideas which are rather dangerous for the European integration process, and even to the existing order of European Union.


One of the proposals for constructing loyalty could be the abolishment of national citizenship, and creating a European citizenship, even in the case, if they were able to identify themselves as English, Italians, or Tyrolean etc., but this latter identification would have only of cultural character. (Montani 1993: 11). Now, because the Maastricht Treaty has introduced the European citizenship, even though at the same time it accepted the citizenship of the national states, it made a significant step forward a post-national identity also in a political sense of word.


This is what Karl Jaspers proposed: World order – world citizenship.


Though, I do not want to put a question mark after the character of Japan as a democratic country. Surely after the Second World War the American occupation and the control of “Allied Supreme Commander” made an enormous contribution to develop the legal framework of a democratic political system, and formally there are no differences comparing it with other democratic political system. It is only natural, however, that this system preserved some basic elements of an authoritarian rule in the practice. For example the essential one party rule, since the Liberal Party hardly was even seriously questioned by the opposition, until the summer of 1993, there are special consequences of hierarchies, the significance of patron – client relation etc. And what is perhaps the most interesting, that the traditional traits helped Japan to be different in advance of modernization. There is no place to discuss this problem (in spite the fact that it would be important for the new democracies in other parts of the world). I am quoting only one important observation. “The key to what makes Japan so different from the other advanced industrial democracies is its institutional innovations. Japan has outperformed the rest of world in inventing new institutions through which the relationships of modern capitalism are realized. Japan has altered, experimented with, and reinvented both democracy and capitalism to such an extent that it evolved a qualitatively different structure as a nation state from the norm in the West.” One example: “Japan’s conflicts are usually rooted less in disagreements over principle than in complaints that some person or agent is disrupting settled practices or disturbing social harmony...” there is a “relative slight reliance on the rule of law in social regulation...” etc. (Johnson 1990:56–57)



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