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The V4+ Energy Summit held in Budapest on 24-26 February ended in a joint declaration signed by the V4 plus Austria, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, and the perspective member state Croatia (along with Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina). If these countries show such unity as they had in the March 2009 economic crisis summit, it can put a… » read more

About a thousand supporters of the far-right Jobbik party have participated in a peaceful march on the 90th anniversary of Horthy’s takeover in Hungary. Hungary has no real historical anti-Nazi and anti-Communist hero. That gives a little credit to the old man who had successfully beaten a Soviet uprising 90 years ago. However, it would… » read more

If Mr Habsburg joins ECRG, it will add another explosive dimension to the Cameron-Kaczynski-Klaus trio’s strange group. Mr Habsburg’s father, Otto von Habsburg had been a Bavarian Christian Socialist MEP between 1979 and 1999, and also the last heir of the Austrian, Czech, Croat and Hungarian thrones (At those times, the last one entitled them… » read more

Declan Ganley, the founder and main financier of the eurosceptic Libertas party and the man behind the Irish No-Lisbon campaign, have been touring Central Europe for political allies and recruiting local politicians for the Libertas party lists with mixed results.  

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

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

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

Early elections in Austria

The Austrian grand coalition broke up in the summer and they went into an early election. The voters have had enough: the two major parties achieved their worst results since 1945. There are at least three possible coalitions. Although the Austrian elections seem to be the same old boring thing for the rest of the… » read more

No one would suggest that the 2009 EP elections could provoke as much buzz and fuss as the current presidential elections in the US. While the elections in the US are centred around catchphrases such as ‘change’ or the personality of the individual candidates (or running mates) the 2009 EP elections will be […] Original… » read more

Turkmenistan has agreed to supply 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas to the European Union each year. The pledge cannot be taken seriously until there is a viable transport route to ship this amount to the EU. EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner announced that the Turkmen president, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov promised to ’set aside’… » read more

Drawing maps

When people start to draw maps in Central Europe with different colors nationalism follows. Remember the suspicious weather report with clouds over possible Macedonian territorial claims? Jan Slota’s minor party within the Slovakian coalition government published a Central European map without Hungary. The map was removed after a couple of days when people realized that… » read more

When the Central European countries joined the Schengen no border control zone, most people were joyful. A number of municipalities went against history and tried to block entry through the invisible border. After the Slovakian-Hungarian border we move to Austria and Hungary to see why. Mörbisch am See/Meggyes (A) and Fertőrákos/Kroisbach (HU) are two villages… » read more

When the Central European countries joined the Schengen no border control zone, most people were joyful. A number of municipalities went against history and tried to block entry through the invisible border. After the Slovakian-Hungarian border we move to Austria and Hungary to see why. Mörbisch am See/Meggyes (A) and Fertőrákos/Kroisbach (HU) are two villages… » read more

The force of nationalism

I think it is not a false oversimplification that the European Union is an antidote to European nationalism. Probably it has been so successful in preventing violent ethnic rivalry that some Europeans forgot what a strong force nationalism can be. It has just stopped the world’s strongest miliatary allience in implementing its enlargement strategy. Nationalism… » read more

When Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia have entered the Schengen Zone, the systematic border controls were abolished. Two Hungarian product designers came up with the idea to design and install three special benches along these borders. According to their concept as unique border signs these benches will symbolize friendship and the sense of togetherness. The benches… » read more

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