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East-Central Europe (or Middle Europe, Median Europe, fr. Europe médiane) – a term defining the countries located between German-speaking countries and Russia[1][2]. Those lands are described as situated “between two”: between two worlds, between two stages, between two futures[3]. In the geopolitical sense, East-Central Europe may be opposed to the Western and Eastern Europe, as one of the “Three Europes”[4].

Differing from ideas of Eastern Europe and Central Europe, the concept is based on different criteria of distinction and has different geographical spread.[5]. In addition, countries of Central Europe and of Eastern Europe belong to two different cultural[6][7] and economic circles.

Contents

Definitions

Oscar Halecki

Oscar Halecki, who distinguished four regions in Europe (Western, West Central, East Central and Eastern Europe) defined East-Central Europe as a region from Finland to Greece[8], the eastern part of Central Europe, between Sweden, Germany, and Italy, on the one hand, and Turkey and Russia on the other[9]. According to Halecki, in the course of European history, a great variety of peoples in this region created their own independent states, sometimes quite large and powerful; in connection with Western Europe they developed their individual national cultures and contributed to the general progress of European civilization[9].

Paul Robert Magocsi

East Central Europe according to Paul Robert Magocsi

Paul Robert Magocsi described this region in this work Historical Atlas of East Central Europe. He distinguished 3 main zones:

United Nations

United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) was set up to consider the technical problems of domestic standardization of geographical names. The Group is composed of experts from various linguistic/geographical divisions that have been established at the UN Conferences on the Standardization of Geographical Names.

Academic institutions

  • International Federation of the Institutes of East-Central Europe has four institutes in its structure (Lublin, Prague, Bratislava, Vilnius) and includes over a hundred members from Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine[11]. The institutes were established successively after 1990, with a secretariat in Lublin, to stimulate the debate on the issue of Central European space between the East and the West[12]. This experience of cooperation - from the very beginning open for representatives of other East-Central European nation-States as well as Russians, Germans and Jews - allowed creation of the Joint Committee of UNESCO and International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS). The first president of the Committee was Jerzy Kłoczowski, long-time member of the UNESCO Executive Council and president of the Institute of East-Central Europe in Lublin[13] . The Committee's 10 meetings (in Paris, Lublin, Oslo and Sydney) were devoted to East-Central Europe[14]. The Federation maintains official relations with UNESCO[11][15].

Other contributors

  • Michael Foucher[18] defined Middle Europe as an intermediate geopolitical space between the West and Russia, a space of historical transitions between these two organizational poles; political and territorial heirs imposed from the East, i.e. Kremlin; nowadays streamlining process imposed by the West.. According to this author, the following sub-regions form Median (Middle) Europe:

South-Eastern Europe is distinguished from the Balkans, defined as the region consisting of most of the countries in the Socialist Federative Republic of YugoslaviaBosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, plus Albania and Bulgaria. The report précised that Romania and Greece are sometimes incorrectly regarded as Balkan countries.

Narrow definition

East-Central Europe is sometimes defined as eastern part of Central Europe [20][21] and is limited to member states of Visegrád Group - Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. This definition is close to the German concept of de:Ostmitteleuropa.

See also

Further reading

  • J. Kloczowski, East Central Europe in the historiography of the countries of the region, Institute of East Central Europe, Lublin, 1995
  • J. Kłoczowski (ed.), Central Europe Between East and West, Lublin 2005, ISBN 83-85854-86-X
  • East - Central Europe's Position within Europe. Between East and West, Lublin 2004, ISBN 8385854819
  • O. Halecki, Borderlands of Western Civilization: A History of East Central Europe, Fordham University (1952, 1980) (available on-line)
  • I. Loucas, The New Geopolitics of Europe & The Black Sea Region, Naval Academy, UK National Defence Minister’s Staff, p. 8 [3]
  • O. Halecki, The limits and divisions on European history, Sheed&Ward, New York 1950
  • Y.Shimov, Middle Europe: On the way home, Eurozine 2002/10/11 [4]
  • N. Popa, Frontiere, regiuni transfrontalieresşi dezvoltare regionala in Europa Mediana, [Borders, Transborder Regions and Regional Development in Median Europe] Ed. Universitatii de Vest, Timisoara, 2006
  • G. Zrinscak, L' Europe médiane : des pays Baltes aux Balkans (Dossier n. 8005), La Documentation française 1999 [5]
  • P. Verluise, Géopolitique de l'Europe. L'Union européenne élargie a-t-elle les moyens de la puissance ?, Collection Référence géopolitique, Paris, éd. Ellipses, 2005 [6]

References

  1. ^ Palmer, Alan (1970)The Lands between: A History of East-Central Europe Since the Congress of Vienna, New York: Macmillan
  2. ^ J. Kłoczowski (ed.), Central Europe Between East and West, Lublin 2005, ISBN 83-85854-86-X
  3. ^ François Jarraud [1]
  4. ^ F. Braudel, Preface to Szucs J., Les trois Europes, Paris 1990
  5. ^ I. Loucas, The New Geopolitics of Europe & The Black Sea Region, Naval Academy, UK National Defence Minister’s Staff, p. 8 [2]
  6. ^ Huntington, Samuel P., The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1996 ISBN 0-684-84441-9
  7. ^ Milan Kundera, The tragedy of Central Europe, New York Review of Books, 26 April 1984, pp.33-8
  8. ^ O. Halecki, The limits and divisions on European history, Sheed&Ward, New York 1950, p. 120
  9. ^ a b O. Halecki, Borderlands of Western Civilization: A History of East Central Europe, Fordham University (1952, 1980) (online)
  10. ^ a b c d e United Nations Statistics Division - Geographical Names and Information Systems
  11. ^ a b http://erc.unesco.org/ong/en/directory/ONG_Desc_portal.asp?mode=gn&code=1222
  12. ^ J. Kłoczowski (ed.), Central Europe Between East and West, Lublin 2005, p. 9, ISBN 83-85854-86-X
  13. ^ J. Kłoczowski (ed.), L'héritage historique de la Res Publica de Plusierus Nations, Lublin 2004, ISBN 83-85854-82-7
  14. ^ J. Kłoczowski (ed.), Central Europe Between East and West, Lublin 2005, pp. 110-120, ISBN 83-85854-86-X
  15. ^ http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0011/001170/117035E.pdf
  16. ^ Mission and History | About Us | East Central European Center
  17. ^ CEEM: Accueil
  18. ^ M. Foucher (dir.), Fragments d’Europe – Atlas de l’Europe mediane et orientale, Paris, 1993, p. 60
  19. ^ D. Calin, Final Report, NATO and the EU in the Balkans – a Comparison, Bucharest, 2003, p. 12, available at: http://www.nato.int/acad/fellow/01-03/calin.pdf
  20. ^ J. Kim, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary: Recent Developments, CRS 1996, Federation of American Scientists on-line version
  21. ^ J.Winiecki, East-Central Europe: A Regional Survey. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in 1993, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 46, No. 5 (1994), pp. 709-734
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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to East/Central Europe article)

From Wikiquote

Tell me where Central Europe is, and I can tell who you are.
— Jacques Rupnik

Eastern Europe, Central Europe, East Central Europe, etc. are variously defined and often overlapping geographic, historical and political regions occupying eastern and central portions of Europe.

  • We, representing together more than fifty million people constituting a chain of nations lying between the Baltic, the Adriatic and the Black Seas, comprising Czecho-Slovaks, Poles, Jugoslavs, Ukrainians, Uhro-Rusyns, Lithuanians, Roumanians and Italian Irredentists, Unredeemed Greeks, Albanians, Zionists, and Armenians, wholly or partly subject to alien domination (...) We have suffered destruction of our cities, violation of our homes and lands, and have maintained our ideals only by stealth, and in spite of the tyranny of our oppressors. We have been deprived of proper representation and fair trial. We have been denied the right of free speech, and the right freely to assemble and petition for the redress of our grievances. We have been denied free and friendly intercourse with our sister states, and our men have been impressed in war against their brothers and friends of kindred races.
  • Who rules East Europe commands the heartland, who rules the heartland commands the world.
  • If you ask me what is my native country, I answer: I was born in Fiume, grew up in Belgrade, Budapest, Pressburg, Vienna and Munich, and I have a Hungarian passport; but I have no fatherland. I am a very typical mix of old Austria-Hungary: at once Magyar, Croatian, German and Czech; my country is Hungary, my mother tongue is German.
    • Ödön von Horváth quoted in Kort, Michael (2001). The handbook of the new Eastern Europe. Twenty-First Century Books.  
  • From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.
    • Winston Churchill, speaking in 1946 at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, United States
    • Sinews of Peace. (2009, July 29). In Wikisource, The Free Library.
  • (...) There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration. (...) I don't believe (...) that the Yugoslavians consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union. I don't believe that the Rumanians consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union. I don't believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union.
  • [Central Europe is] a piece of the Latin West which has fallen under Russian domination [and] which lies geographically in the center, culturally in the West and politically in the East.
    • Milan Kundera in The Stolen West or The Tragedy of Central Europe (1983), quoted in Hyde-Price, Adrian G. V. (1996). The international politics of East Central Europe. Manchester University Press ND.  
  • I assume there is such a thing as Central Europe, even though many people deny its existence, beginning with statesmen and journalists who persist in calling it "Eastern Europe" and ending with my friend Joseph Brodsky, who prefers to reserve for it the name of "Western Asia." In these decades of the 20th century, Central Europe seems to exist only in the minds of some of its intellectuals.
  • In the work of Havel and Konrád there is an interesting semantic division of labour. Both authors use the terms "Eastern Europe" or "East European" when the context is neutral or negative; when they write "Central" or "East Central," the statement is invariably positive, affirmative, or downright sentimental.
  • Every Central European family has its own stormy history in which family catastrophes and national catastrophes are mingled. History is more than erudition here, it is the inner meaning of actions, a validating tradition, a largely unconscious norm and parameter for conduct today.
    • György Konrád quoted in Kumar, Krishan (2001). 1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals.  
  • Tell me where Central Europe is, and I can tell who you are.
    • Jacques Rupnik quoted in Johnson, Lonnie (1996). Central Europe: enemies, neighbors, friends. Oxford University Press US.  
  • Central Europe is a dynamic historical concept, not a static spatial one; therefore its frontiers have shifted throughout the ages.
    • Johnson, Lonnie (1996). Central Europe: enemies, neighbors, friends. Oxford University Press US.  
Who to look to better than Central European countries that 20 years ago acted with such courage and resolve, and over the last 20 years, have made such sustainable progress?
— Joe Biden
  • In the late nineteenth century, the concept of a German-dominated Mitteleuropa was launched to coincide with the political sphere of the Central Powers. In the inter-war years, a domain called "East Central Europe" was invented to coincide with the newly independent "successor states" – from Finland and Poland to Yugoslavia. This was revived again after 1945 as a convenient label for the similar set of nominally independent countries which were caught inside the Soviet bloc. By that time the main division, between a "Western Europe" dominated by NATO and the EEC and an "Eastern Europe" dominated by Soviet communism seemed to be set in stone. In the 1980s a group of writers led by the Czech novelist, Milan Kundera, launched a new version of "Central Europe", to break down the reigning barriers. Here was yet another configuration, another true "kingdom of the spirit".
    • Davies, Norman (1996). Europe: A History. Oxford University Press.  
  • For all the participants in this fascinating debate, "Central Europe" was defined, not by geography, but by values. "Central Europe" was, in György Konrád's words, a Weltanschauung, not a Staatsangehörigkeit (i.e., a way of looking at the world rather than a question of citizenship); for Leszek Kołakowski it was a "culturally connected area"; for Stefan Kaszyński a "state of mind"; for Czesław Miłosz "a way of thinking".
    • Hyde-Price, Adrian G. V. (1996). The International Politics of East Central Europe. Manchester University Press ND.  
  • No one writing about Transcarpathia can resist retelling the region's favourite anecdote: A visitor, encountering one of the oldest local inhabitants, asks about his life. The reply: "I was born in Austria-Hungary, I went to school in Czechoslovakia, I did my army service in Horthy's Hungary, followed by a spell in prison in the USSR. Now I am ending my days in independent Ukraine." The visitor expresses surprise at how much of the world the old man has seen. "But no!," he responds, "I've never left this village!"
    • Batt, Judy; Wolczuk, Kataryna (2002). Region, state and identity in Central and Eastern Europe. Taylor & Francis.  
  • Concernant en tous les cas les pays candidats, (...) honnêtement, je trouve qu'ils se sont comportés avec une certaine légèreté. Car entrer dans l'Union européenne, cela suppose tout de même un minimum de considération pour les autres, un minimum de concertation. Si, sur le premier sujet difficile, on se met à donner son point de vue indépendamment de toute concertation avec l'ensemble dans lequel, par ailleurs, on veut entrer, alors, ce n'est pas un comportement bien responsable. En tous les cas, ce n'est pas très bien élevé. Donc, je crois qu'ils ont manqué une bonne occasion de se taire.
    • Concerning, after all, the candidate countries, (...) I honestly think that they have behaved with a certain lightness. Because entering the European Union still requires a minimum of consideration for others, a minimum of consultation. If, on the first difficult subject, you begin to express your point of view independently of any consultation with the body which you incidentally want to join, then it is not very responsible behavior. In any case, it is not well brought-up behavior. So I believe that they missed a good opportunity to shut up.
    • Jacques Chirac at a press conference in Brussels on 17 February 2003, following a European Council emergency summit on Iraq
    • Conférence de presse de M. Jacques Chirac, Président de la République, à l'issue de la réunion informelle extraordinaire du Conseil européen. Présidence de la République. Retrieved on 2009-11-14.
Is it only an accident that the four most enduring popular culture villains, Frankenstein, Count Dracula..., the Morlak and the Golem... are connected somehow to Eastern European regions?
— László Kürti
  • There are several kinds of monsters in western popular culture today: werewolves, vampires, morlaks, the blood-countess and other creatures of the underworld. (...) Vampirism, and (...) monstrosity has been fundamentally intertwined with Eastern Europe (...) [I]s it only an accident that the four most enduring popular culture villains, Frankenstein, Count Dracula (Nosferatu), the Morlak and the Golem had emerged in Europe during modernity (...)? That all four creatures are connected somehow to Eastern European regions?
  • In Eastern Europe, countries still struggle to fulfill the promise of a strong democracy, or a vibrant market economy. Who to look to better than you? Who to look to better than Central European countries that 20 years ago acted with such courage and resolve, and over the last 20 years, have made such sustainable progress? You can help guide Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine along the path of lasting stability and prosperity. It's your time to lead. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus can benefit from your personal experiences.

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