Wydanie: Lublin 2011
Central and South Eastern Europe is frequently treated as an area an inherent feature of which is aggressive nationalisms. Within almost two centuries the region has undergone a stormy process of political fragmentation. If after the Congress of Vienna it was controlled by two great empires – the Austrian Empire and the Ottoman Porte, in the 2010s the same territory belongs to nineteen states. The reason for such an evolution of Central European societies was national movements driven by nationalist ideology, aiming at the establishment of independent national states. In the age of European integration which has already partly included Central and South Eastern Europe, a question arises if the state-forming factors have lost their dynamics. Should one still, even in the context of the EU membership, expect strong tensions of a nationalist character among particular countries? The article attempts to answer these questions through an analysis of three basic types of conflict situations, taking place in Central and South Eastern Europe, perceived from the legal and political perspective: lack of legal and political demands; attempts to change the legal status of an ethnic group; questioning the status of an independent state. In each case the description of mechanisms operating in a given conflict situation is accompanied by the analysis of a particular example. These are respectively: Roma in Hungary, the Hungarian minority in Romania, and the attitude of Romania to Moldova. The review of all the conflict situations in the context of European integration leads to a conclusion that the EU, by means of various tools and its supranational character, is able to exert a soothing influence on the majority of conflict situations. The Roma minority tensions in most countries make an exception. Most probably, they may function as catalysts in the development of extreme nationalist movements which only afterwards use anti-European slogans, call for the re-establishment of the unity with diasporas inhabiting neighbouring countries. Simultaneously, the EU provides neither institutional tools nor positive examples of solving the problem. Therefore, the significance of this question seems to be increasing because of great demographic dynamics of Roma population in Central and South Eastern Europe. Moreover, it will influence the future of Balkan and Central European nationalisms which may become marginalised or may strengthen their position.