The Issue
Andrew Stroehlein

Minority Policy
in Practice

Partial Tolerance
in Romania

New Minority
Language Law


Czech Law School
Entrance Exam
Corruption Revealed


The Reburial of
Rebane in Estonia

Hungary Returns
to Domestic Concerns

Treasure Trove in Kosovo

The Big Czech Question

Romanian Minorities


The Partitioning of
Kosova Has Begun
in Mitrovica


Baltic States
Czech Republic

Readers' Choice:
The most popular article last week

Central Europe


Last Train to

Book Shop


The Legacy of
St Petersburg

Music Shop


Central European
Culture in the UK


Miklos Jancso's
Nekem lampast adott kezembe az
Ur Pesten

Karel Kachyna's Krava


Transitions Online
Watch for their
relaunch on 19 July.

CER In the News:

Last week, CER was declared "Political Site of the Week" by: Political Resources on the Net

CER was also made "Site of the Day" by Central Europe Online on 1 July.

Women in Central
European Politics

with your comments
and suggestions.


Vol 1, No 2, 5 July 1999

S P E C I A L   R E P O R T:
So, You Want to Study Law in Prague?

Better have 3000 US dollars handy to buy the entrance exam before examination day. Finally, the long-rumoured corruption at the Law School has been exposed: last week's exam was scrapped, and an investigation is underway.

Jan Culik

Mitrovica Alarm:
The partition of Kosova is happening

Last week, Central Europe Review reported on the plans for partitioning Kosova. This week, it is happening.

Nexhmedin Spahiu

Theme of the Week: Minority Policy

T H E M E   O F   T H E   W E E K:
The New Minority
Language Law in Slovakia

The Slovak Parliament's impending approval of a minority language bill has acquired special importance: it represents the last hurdle which Slovakia must overcome in order to be on the European Union's agenda for first-wave entry.

Michael J Kopanic, Jr, PhD

T H E M E   O F   T H E   W E E K:
Partial Progress in
Minority Issues

Romania has been tagged as the example for a new, democratic Yugoslavia to follow in matters of ethnic tolerance and minority policy. However, the Romanian government's successes in these areas have been diluted by failures in society as a whole.

Catherine Lovatt

CER's Regular Columns:

Doing It Half Right
Mel Huang
The Estonian government has managed to defuse the controversy surrounding the reburial of Estonian freedom fighter Captain Alfons Rebane. But only at the price of its integrity.

CSARDAS:  Coda: So long and thanks for all the goulash
Gusztav Kosztolanyi
With the immediate danger just across Hungary's border now gone, the serious business of debating events over a coffee in the baking sunshine of a terrace may be resumed without a guilty conscience.

BALKAN ENCOUNTER:  Treasure Trove in Kosovo
Sam Vaknin
This is the real stability pact: financially inebriated politicians are better motivated to maintain peace and stability. Or so the thinking goes.

CONFETTI:  The Big Question
Vaclav Pinkava
I would like the next opinion poll to tell me not what percent of young Czechs consider themselves Communists, but why, and what it would take to make them think again.

MIORITA:  Romania's Partial Progress in Minority Issues
Catherine Lovatt
Romania has been tagged as the example for a new, democratic Yugoslavia to follow in matters of ethnic tolerance and minority policy. However, the Romanian government's successes in these areas have been mixed with failures in society as a whole.


Last Week's News in Central Europe:

The Baltic States    Mel Huang

The Czech Republic    Kazi Stastna

Poland    Donosy-English

Romania    Catherine Lovatt

Slovakia    Frances Bathgate





S H O R T  S T O R Y:
Last Train to Clarksville

Cyril Simsa

Eleven... Twelve... Midnight... Mikhail counted the strokes of the old station-house clock tower, that had somehow miraculously escaped the shooting earlier. Lord have mercy, still only midnight? That meant there were still six hours to go till he would be relieved from the night watch.

B O O K S:
The CER Book Shop:
Books about Central and Eastern Europe

Have a look at CER's list of books on the region - all available from The list is divided into five subject headings: cinema, literature, politics, history and economics.





R O M A N C E  A N D  R E V O L U T I O N:
The St Petersburg Legacy:
A portrait of a city through
its poetry and music

Before the October Revolution, the "Acmeist" poets and futurist musicians of St Petersburg frequented a seedy basement known as the Stray Dog Cafe. Long after the cafe's demise, romance and mutual inspiration continued to link their lives and work.

Andrew J Horton

M U S I C:
The CER Music Shop:

The on-line shopping supplment to CER's music articles.





O N   D I S P L A Y :
Coming Up in the UK

Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks.

Andrew J Horton




K I N O E Y E :
Hamlet in Wonderland:
Miklos Jancso's Nekem lampast adott kezembe az Ur Pesten

Hungarian master, Miklos Jancso, has kick-started his beleaguered career with a controversial and demanding masterpiece which will be shown this week at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. Kinoeye examines Jancso's blackly humorous film in the context of his long and glorious career.

Andrew J Horton

K I N O E Y E:
Misty Melancholy with a Bovine
Sisyphus: Karel Kachyna's Krava

Also showing at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival this week will be Krava (The Cow, 1993) as a tribute to veteran Czech director Karel Kachyna. Kinoeye examines the film in the context of another work set deep in the Czech forests, Ivan Vojnar's Cesta pustym lesem (The Way through the Bleak Woods, 1997).

Andrew J Horton

The Issue

Dear readers, if this issue is delayed, blame saints Cyril and Methodius, as well as good old Jan Hus, all of whom have holidays named after them on 5 and 6 July in the Czech Republic, where our ISP is located. Oh well, this is the post-Communist world, after all, where two days late means one week ahead of schedule. What we missed in punctuality, we will more than make up for in quality.

In addition to our regular features, this second issue of Central Europe Review contains two articles which focus on the same theme: minority policy in Central and Eastern Europe.

What interests me most about these two articles is how in both Romania and Slovakia, governments seem to be enacting modern, progressive legislation on minority issues; however, they are doing so not under public pressure from the electorate, but under international pressure from the likes of Brussels and Washington.

Official good will and tolerance enshrined in law are absolutely necessary for a functioning democracy, but the Romanian and Slovak cases beg at least three important questions:

What does it say about the state of democracy in these post-totalitarian countries when the government heeds the voice of Brussels over the voice of its own people?

Is there not a danger that, with the basic legal framework in place, these societies will see their drive for ethnic tolerance as completed and not engage in the more meaningful, day-to-day efforts of ethnic tolerance that societies need if real harmony is to be attained?

Finally, is there not a great risk of backlash? When a government moves in a direction that the people are not prepared to go, what is the usual result? Would it be such a surprise to see nationalist movements gain in strength and legitimacy on the undercurrent of public opinion? Have the governments of Romania and Slovakia simply given the extremists a handy card to play?

The governments in Bratislava and Bucharest may have convinced Brussels they are doing the right thing. Now, they must convince their own citizens.

Andrew Stroehlein, Editor-in-Chief, 5 July 1999

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