Collaboration Between Central European Countries and their Place in the European Union


Collegium Novum, ul. Gołębia 24; Sala Senacka

The Impact of Shifts in Ruling Coalitions on Defining and Implementing Foreign Policy Goals

The conference aims to capture the impact of internal policy, and particularly shifts in ruling coalitions, on foreign policy in Central European countries. A preliminary hypothesis states that in view of the poorly developed bureaucracy that manages foreign policy (compared to Germany, France or the United Kingdom), a change of government potentially equates to a shift in foreign policy priorities. Policy vis-à-vis Central and Eastern Europe, and especially the European policy collaboration between Central European countries appears to be a particularly useful area in which to validate this hypothesis, since this collaboration has been present in the verbal declarations concerning policy agenda of all governments to date.
Issues / Research Questions
1. How are foreign policy priorities shaped in individual Central European countries?
2. What is the role of bureaucracy in shaping and implementing foreign policy in Central European countries?
3. What is the role of political parties in shaping and implementing foreign policy in Central European countries?
4. What is the role of the media and public opinion in shaping and implementing foreign policy in Central European countries?
5. To what extent have personal/informal contacts between politicians from Central European countries been made institutional?

Dr Vlastimil Havlik (Masaryk University)
Dr Juraj Marusiak (Slovak Academy of Science)
Dr Ádám Szesztay (Director of the Department of Strategy and Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary)
Dr Artur Wołek (Polish Academy of Science)


The Place of Central European Countries in the European Union

The conference is to define the place of the Central European countries in the EU and their contribution to shaping its policies in two basic dimensions:
– their current positions in Community structures related to the potential they have and the degree to which they utilize it (e.g. as a result of defining their national interests in a certain manner or depending on the political will to articulate these interests in a subjective manner but also on the efficiency of pursuing them in practical terms); – and their future positions within the EU if certain scenarios concerning changes in the political order within the Union come to pass (resulting e.g. from the possible implementation of projects aimed at the closer integration of euro zone countries).
Conference participants will also answer the questions whether the possible collaboration between Central European countries on the EU forum can significantly strengthen their positions within Community structures, and if so, how they should pursue this goal, but also whether the manner in which the governments of individual states in the region currently define their interests within the framework of the EU and in their mutual relations is conducive to the implementation of a project aimed at closer collaboration with respect to European policy.
Issues / Research Questions
6. What are the prospects of collaboration between Central European countries with respect to issues that concern institutional and political change within the framework of the EU and what blueprints for change might gain support from individual states in the region?
7. What is the political potential of Central European countries within EU structures – which elements of this potential are variable and which constitute a fixed component of their position in the international arena?

Dr Piotr Bajda (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University)
Dr Marek A. Cichocki (Natolin European Centre)
Mgr Vít Dostál (Association for International Affairs, Prague)
Dr Martin Pašiak (Comenius University in Bratislava)
Dr Csaba Törő (Hungarian Institute of International Affairs)
Dr Paweł Ukielski (Polish Academy of Science)



Piotr Bajda (Ph.D.) – research fellow, university lecturer at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University (Institute of Political Science; main field of activity: geopolitic of Central Europe; undemocratic regimes in postsoviet area, political elities) and reaserch fellow at Polish Academy of Science, Institute of Political Science (main field of activity: analysing of political and social changes in Central and Easter Europe). He published monograph Elity polityczne na Słowacji. Kręta droga do nowoczesnego państwa, published by ISP PAN & IW PAX in Warsaw, 2010.

Marek A. Cichocki (Ph.D.) – an adjunct in the Institute of Applied Social Sciences of the University of Warsaw (specialisation: history of ideas and political philosophy). Since 2000 Curriculum Director of the Centre of International Relations in Warsaw and since 2004 is the Curriculum Director of the European Centre in Natolin as well as Editor-in-chief of the magazine “New Europe. Natolin Review”. Since 2003 he is also publisher and Editor-in-chief of the “Teologia Polityczna” yearly. He is the author of many books, essays, articles and dissertations on international relations – i.a. “Poland – European Union, halfway” (2002), “Europe Kidnapped” (2004), “Power and Remembrance” (2006).

Vít Dostál is analyst in the Prague-based think-tank Association for International Affairs. He finished BA (International Relations and European Studies) and MA (European Studies) at Masaryk University in Brno, where he now continues the Ph.D. studies. He specializes in the Czech Foreign policy, Central-European cooperation and the internal and foreign policy of Poland. He co-organized several conferences focused on the Czech-Polish cooperation and he has been co-editor of the annual publication on the Czech Foreign policy "Agenda for the Czech Foreign Policy" since 2008.

Vlastimil Havlík (Ph.D) is assistant professor & researcher at Department of Political Science and Institute for Comparative Political Reserach, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University. He specializes in Czech politics, Europeanization, coalition governance in the Central and Eastern Europe. His wrote among others České politické strany a evropská integrace. Evropeizace, evropanství, euroskepticismus? (Czech Political Parties and European Integration: Europeanization, Europhylia, Euroscepticism? – Brno 2009).

Juraj Marušiak (Ph.D.) is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Political Science of Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, Slovakia. His research is focused on the contemporary history of Slovakia, foreign policy of Slovakia and international relations in East-Central Europe. He is an author of the monograph Slovak Literature and Power in the second half of 1950´s (Brno, Prius 2001).

Martin Pašiak (Ph.D.) is a researcher at the Comenius University in Bratislava and his academic work is focused on the central and eastern Europe and the accession to the eurozone, as well as the EU foreign policy after the Lisbon Treaty. He spent 9 months at the Cardiff University as a research student. He currently works on a project dealing with various aspects of the EU foreign policy after the Lisbon Treaty, namely the preferences of the member states vis-a-vis the European External Action Service. His publications include EMU as a Safe Haven: Response of New Member States to the Global Crisis and A Fairy Tale with Happy Ending? The New Member States and the Eurozone Entry.

Ádám Szesztay (Ph.D.), Director of the Department of Strategy and Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. He was Deputy Head of the Department for EU Affairs, Office of the National Assembly.

Csaba Törő (Ph.D.) is senior research fellow at Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, Budapest (2009- ). He is associate professor at the Faculty of Law (Public International Law), Karoli Gaspar Protestant University, Budapest (2010- ) and at the Budapest College of Communication and Business (History of Diplomacy, Common policies of the EU, EU law) (2006- ). He is also visiting lecturer at the Budapest Campus of McDaniel College (US), (International Law and Organisations, Conflict Resolution, Peacemaking and Peacekeeping in Post-Cold War World) (2007- ). He was head of section in the EU Department of the Office for Foreign Relations, Hungarian National Assembly (2007-2008) and legal counsellor in the European Law Department at the Office of European Affairs, the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office (2005-2006).

Paweł Ukielski (Ph.D.) – political scientist, historian. Deputy Director of Warsaw Rising Museum. Institute of Political Studies Polish Academy of Sciences fellow. Lecturer in Collegium Civitas. Teaching and research areas: Central-East European transition, regional coooperation in the East-Central Europe the break-up of Czechoslovakia, Czech-Slovak relations, Policy of remembrance. Author of „Aksamitny rozwód. Rola elit politycznych w procesie podziału Czechosłowacji” („The velvet divorce. The role of political elites in the division of Czechoslovakia process” 2007). Co-author of „1989 – Jesień Narodów” („1989 – The Autumn of Nations”, edition planned on October 2009). Published in several Polish and European scientific periodicals. One of the creators of Warsaw Rising Museum in 2004.

Artur Wołek (Ph.D.) – Research fellow at the Political Studies Institute – Polish Academy of Sciences, associate professor at the WSB-National-Louis University, Nowy Sącz. Former editor of “Kwartalnik Konserwatywny” (Conservative Quarterly), now frequently comments for “Rzeczpospolita” and “Dziennik Polski” dailies and TVN24 tv network. Before leaving for the academia he worked for the Mayor of Krakow, the Windsor Group think tank, public administration reform task force at the PM Office.

Konferencję zorganizowano we współpracy z Instytutem Nauk Politycznych i Stosunków Międzynarodowych UJ.

Projekt zrealizowano przy udziale finansowym Gminy Miejskiej Kraków –