Central Eastern Europe or CEE countries are located between western and eastern Europe. CEE consists of some ex-communist country. This article will focused on ten states from this region which join the European Union (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia; and the two second-wave accession countries that joined in January 2007; Bulgaria and Romania)
Post communist era, CEE countries basically faced three challenges. First, create democracies. Second, create market economies. Third, build new states.
Economy matter basically got the biggest attention from those countries. Economic failure in communist regimes pushed CEE countries to transform their domestic economy. The biggest challenge was the building of market economies. CEE countries built their new economic system based on liberalization and privatization. The alteration needed citizens to start and operate private company in a condition where one would succeed and the others would fail.
On the other hand, radical economic reform would lead to another process in poli-tics area, democratization. The democratization needed the existence of parliaments and political parties, which ECC countries already had. But the institution still needed to be transformed into genuine assemblies and legislatures. The leading role of the Communist Party must be removed and create a separation of powers into executive, legislative and judicative.
Several countries in CEE liberalized their economic market for two motives. First, there was an ideological belief in the superiority of the market, especially after these countries joined European Union. Second, the countries were driven by a desire to distance their countries from communist past.
European Union had a big role in this region, especially after 1989. EU (still European Community at that time) offered financial support and some bilateral agreement but not the prospect of membership in this organization. In 2004, after several negotiations and talks, eight countries from CEE was joined EU under some criteria. The states must be democratic, based on rule of law, has a functioning market economies which able to compete in the EU, and agree to take obligations of membership. The next two countries, Bulgaria and Romania, joined in 2007.
After 2004, the role of EU in this region widened, especially in policy areas. EU motivated CEE countries to make some changes, including the power to decide when negotiations would begin, aid and technical assistance or policy advise. The countries itself are no longer just became the objects but subjects of EU decision making. In economic area, neo-liberal policy that was brought by those countries has provoked changes in Western Europe. The ideological believe inspired from World Bank model, including radical reform in health care and fiscal policy, provoked some countries such as Germany and France to criticize the impact of such policies on the future of the European social model. But Slovakia refused the critics and argued that reformation in health, tax, welfare, labour market and pension care are the best solutions to significant structural problems faced by all European Countries.
In the end, both EU and CEE countries has influenced each other. The CEE countries saw integration inside EU as a good step to set democracy. The democracies in CEE countries itself are still young. There are corruption and lack of promises from the politician. New parties blossomed and tried to clean corruption in the government. But those parties failed to compete with the politician personal interest. And EU influenced CEE countries in political area.
In cultural area, there are some poems pervaded by Central and Eastern Europe agony especially in social and political sense. The poems represented in two new anthologies, The Poetry of Survival: Post-War Poets of Central and Eastern Europe; and Shifting Borders: East European Poetries of the Eighties. The anthology titled ‘An Elusive Eagle Soars: An Anthology of Modern Albanian Poetry’ was a ground-breaking anthology of dynamic works from the long-neglected Albanian literary scene. There is also Meto Jovanovski's Faceless Men and Other Macedonian Stories that details the ironic and satiric attitudes of villagers under Communism era. The poems and anthology became an impor-tant work in this region literature area.
Anonim. 2008. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Haughton, Tim. 2007. ‘Central and Eastern Europe’ in Colin Hay and Anand Menon (ed). European Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Zsuzsa Csergo. 2004. Kin-State Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: the Case of Hungary. Accesed 20 Oct 2009, from www.wilsoncenter.org/to-pics/pubs/MR%20315%20Csergo.doc
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