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Grigore HERMAN

Abstracts - Year V, no.2 / 2003



University of Łódź, Department of Political Geografphy and Regional Studies, Poland, e-mail: marsob @ geo.uni.loby.pl

The turn of the eighties and nineties years of XX century marked the transformations in the international alignment of forces and the fall of the old order on the European continent. At the same time we started to build a new security order based on co-operation between countries and between international organisations and also based on international integration. These processes, which serve security and stability, are being continued. Thus, we are facing the essential moment – the strategic “chance” – for shaping stable and prosperous Europe. During the last years, Central Europe (without the Former Yugoslavia) was able to strengthen stability in the region and to establish efficient mechanisms of comprehensive co-operation. The integration of the Central European countries with the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union should consolidate the hitherto achievements ands promote them to other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The changes that started in the late 1980's in Europe proved to be crucial. They have not only affected the political systems in many countries, but also changed the political-territorial status quo of international alignment of forces, which influences the international security. The process of change the international alignment of forces has, however, brought to light some non-military aspects, the whole range of which combines in a broad positive meaning of the notion of international security. An eminent manifestation of this process is its unique character consisting in that the bipolar system of security has been undermined, to a great extent, from below, by the means of social mobilization (which is rather a rare phenomenon). Rejection of the hitherto existing European “order” (moreover, the breakdown of the bipolar system) did not necessitate a world war nor, at least, a confined European conflict (as it was the case up to our days).

Keywords : European Security, Central and Eastern Europe, international alignment of forces



Nicolae POPA

West University from Timişoara, Department of Geography, 4 V. Pârvan St. 000223 Timişoara Romania, e-mail: npopa @k.ro

La réforme de l'armée en Roumanie : nécessité nationale ou exigence de l'intégration euro-atlantique? Les transformations qui se déroulent depuis plus d'une décennie dans la société roumaine ont affecté profondément l'organisation de l'armée nationale, qui est en plein processus de reforme. La direction prise est celle de réduction des effectifs et de professionnalisation de l'armée. S'agissant d'une redéfinition des équilibres de pouvoir à l'échelle continentale, voir mondiale, la réforme de l'armée roumaine doit être analysée dans le contexte général de son espace d'encadrement. De ce point de vue, plusieurs indicateurs spécifiques pris en compte dans cette analyse montre que l'armée roumaine occupe une bonne position régionale si l'on adopte les critères quantitatifs, mais une position moyenne selon les critères qualitatifs et d'intensité. Ce qui joue en faveur de la Roumanie est d'abord sa position géographique très importante pour la stratégie régionale de l'OTAN, de même que la constante orientation pro-occidentale de la société roumaine. Les performances de l'armée, qui a accéléré le processus de réforme, a développé ses capacités d'interopérabilité avec les structures de l'OTAN et a déjà participé activement dans plusieurs opérations militaires internationales, ne font que renforcer les arguments d'une Roumanie prête à devenir un membre actif du système international de sécurité.

Mots-clés : réforme militaire, effectifs militaires, armements, défense nationale, position géostratégique, géopolitique, Europe médiane, Roumanie.



Zbigniew RYKIEL

The Casimir the Great Academy of Bybgoszcz, Poland, email: gniew@list.pl , crykiel@poczta.onet.pl

Lusatia is a Slavic ethnic area in the south-eastern corner of eastern Germany. Even though located relatively close to Berlin, it kept its ethnicity for a millennium, including the Nazi period. The limited number of Lusatian Sorbs, who hardly ever exceeded 120,000, ethnic and lingual division in Upper and Lower, late, if any, and not very successful nation-creating processes, and geopolitical situation were responsible for unsuccessful statehood attempts in the 20 th century. The aim of the paper is to explain the mechanisms that are responsible for the acceleration of ethnic assimilation of Lusatian Serbs under the GDR granted cultural autonomy and to indicate why it is in democratic Germany that the cultural liquidation is likely to complete.

Keywords : Lusatia, cultural liquidation, geopolitics, assimilation, nation-creating processes, pan-Slavism




University of Gdańsk, Department of Geography of Regional Development, Al. Marsz, Pilsudskiego 46, postcode 81-378, Gdansk, Poland, e-mail: geojw@univ.gda.pl At this text we try to analyse all the factors, which can influence on the penetration and perception processes of democratic standards. We may notice that there are not only factors which are conducive to the diffusion phenomenon but also neutral ones. However, the substantial role among the factors, are geopolitical and geographical elements – according to the researches made recently. The historical factors contain the tradition of democratic systems performing, which in both countries does not play any important role. The change of the political system in both countries is the most important factor. The newly created system of authority came to Poland and Romania from superior authority. The political group, which took over the system – in Poland after the “round table”, and in Romania after the bloody revolution – made a decision to introduce a democratic system in their countries. In Poland and Romania some factors of democratic systems were introduced of the nature of a command, therefore their formal diffusion went according to hierarchic set of administrative centres. However, the researches present that geopolitical and geographical factors have an influence on the spatial differentiation and on the perception of some chosen democracy system's features. The building of fully democratic country and society was only possible after the year 1989. This year brought an independent interior and exterior policy, free election, liberalisation of economy, self-government‘s creation and NATO accession and the end of negotiation about UE accession. In Romanian case it was the year of invitation to NATO membership and the promise of European Commission to join UE. As we read the above date, we can say that Poland has stabilised its democratic system and strengthened the economy quicker than Romania has. In 1999, a new self-government reform was introduced in Poland. The reform, which was strongly criticised, gave a huge responsibility to the self-governments and caused the de-centralisation of the authority. In Romania the process is still taking place in a very slow rate and the local authorities are still depended on the central authority. There are four groups of factors, which belong to the main facilities and limits in the process of penetration and consolidation of democratic standards. The first one is connected with the geopolitical location of the country, historical circumstances of its borders and the external policy of the country. The second one involves the relations between the dominant nations of the country and the minorities settled in the country. The internal policy of the country, its territorial organisation and administrative divisions and the level of economy liberalisation belong to the next group of factors. The last group contains the geographical factors, the sculpture of the earth's surface and natural barriers, which - in spite of the improvement of communications – have an influence on the development of transport net Keywords : democratic system, democratic standards, diffusion, barriers, facilities, geopolitical factors, Central Europe



Roman SZUL

University of Warsaw, Poland, e-mail: r.szul@chello.pl At the beginning of the 1990s when Central-Eastern European Countries (CEEC) started their transformation the world seemed very simple and political and economic choices were easy: liberal economic system, democracy, NATO and the European Union were pillars of the liberal democratic global order. Adopting free market system, democracy and joining NATO and the EU were conceived by CEEC as options that guarantee economic prosperity for individuals and nations, national security and sovereignty. After 2000 the situation has considerably changed. Political disputes between the USA and some EU countries have considerably diminished the trans-Atlantic solidarity and ability of NATO to assure security to its members, and have forced CEEC to make choices (such as participation in the Iraqi war and occupation) which, at least in short run, result in reducing their security and deteriorate their relations with their main European partners. The EU is undergoing an “identity crisis” that can lead to outcomes far from those expected by CEEC when they applied for EU membership. Economic liberalism and monetarism – the main ideology of the 1990s – has failed to provide long lasting and generalized improvement of living standard of peoples in CEEC and word-wide. As a result, the world 15 years after the beginning of the transformation is much more complicated and political and economic options more problematic Keywords : Central and Eastern European Countries, EU, NATO, USA, Germany, France, Russia, liberal economic policy, monetarism, globalization, democracy, transformation, EU constitution




West University from Timişoara, Department of Geography, 4 V. Pârvan St. 000223 Timişoara Romania e-mail: cretan_remus@yahoo.com , cretan_remus@k.ro

La situation des immigrants est-européens dans la région Kroneberg, concernant surtout la ville Växjö. L'oeuvre s'encadre dans les études qui traittent aussi la diaspore roumaine de la région Kroneberg, etendue dans le Plateau Smaland, en Suéde. À côté des roumains-la principale minorité est-européene de la région-, on a consigné aussi un nombre considé rable de serbes, bosbiaques, tcheques et hongrois. Dans la période d'après 1945, une serie d'immigrants iugoslaves et polonais sont attires dans l'industrie constructrice d'automobiles en Suéde (avec priorité dans la firme Volvo). Ce sont aussi des immigrants illégaux qui ont réussi pénétrer, ceux-ci provenent des pays où le communisme était plus dur (Roumanie, Union Sovietique, Bulgarie). Après 1990, concomitant avec la chute du comunisme, grâce à la liberté (Roumanie, Les Pays Baltiques) en aux guerre iugoslave un grand nombre de “tied-movers” (immigration pur rendre la famille complete) et des réfugiés (bosniaques, albanais) a apparu dans la region Kroneberg. Dans les dernières cinq années on constate l'acroissement des immigrants russes et ukrainiens. La plus part des immigrants se sont integres socio-economique, mais les immigrants arrives en Suede dans les annees 1950-1960 ils se sont integres le meilleure.

Mots-clés: immigrants, Kroneberg



Krzysztof WACH

Department of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Kracow University of Economics, e-mail: wachk@ae.krakow.pl, Personal website http://www.ae.krakow.pl/wachk

The paper elaborates on the principles of EU regional Policy including its impact on ten new Member States as well as two candidate countries. On one hand the author presents the origin of EU regional programs, on the other hand present and future disparities on the EU area. Planning financial division is also described as well as the benefits for accessing countries from European solidarity policy

Keywords: Regional policy, structural funds, accessing countries, Cohesion Fund, European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund




Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków (Polska), Marcin Tarnawski; e-mail: needlemt@wp.pl

There are only a few events in the modern history that not only had remained in the focus of universal attention for some time, but also determined the life of many people for decades ahead. And not in one country but all around the world. The breakup of the Soviet Union or the events of the September 11 th are surely among them.

The history of Central and Eastern Europe was very complicated and intricate, but just from the nineties, such countries as Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary or Romania, could make decisions independently. The end of the line that divided Europe during the Cold War took place after the Soviet Union had broken up. From then on all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have sought the opportunity to join the E . U . and N . A . T . O . . They view the membership in these Western organizations as a guarantee that they will remain on a different side of the line than they used to be in the past.

After the September 11 th everything seemed to be simple, there was only one enemy called Al-Qaeda (Osama Ben Laden) and on the other side - the rest of the world. After President Bush had declared the war against terrorism, not only Eastern Europe, but also the EU, Russia, even the countries of Islamic World, explicitly supported the United States. Even President Vladimir Putin toned down Russia's objections to the Baltics states' goal of joining N.A.T.O.

When President Bush, in 2002, declared that Axis of Evil was one of the biggest threats to the world and announced National Security Strategy, the world's reaction wasn't as friendly as few months ago, before the operation in Afghanistan. Some members of NATO started to think not only about N . A . T . O . 's enlargement, but also about N . A . T . O . 's future purpose and missions. Will the new members add to or detract from the alliance's ability to carry out its goals? That question may cause doubts in Eastern Europe. Maybe it's still too early for the next enlargement?

The next step of the U . S . (the attack on Iraq) was completely incomprehensible to most of the World. Especially Russia, France and Germany stood against the attitude of the U . S . towards Iraq. A specific way of thinking about Iraq problem was supported only by a few countries (the U . K . , Australia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania).

Why did Eastern Europe support these war? What were the reasons for this support? What about consequences of this step? Is N . A . T . O . and the E . U . enlargement issue endangered? Who, when and why could stop these processes? What will the future of Eastern Europe and N . A . T . O . be?

Keywords: security, new Europe, N . A . T . O . , Iraq, security