Report on Democracy, Freedom and liberty in Central and Eastern Europe

Policy Study


Report on Democracy, Freedom and liberty in Central and Eastern Europe

Written by Attila Ágh, Professor, Corvinus University of Budapest

“The new member states (NMS) have undergone a triple crisis in the last two decades. First, they had a transformation crisis in the early nineties and with the EU entry they fell into the post-accessioncrisis, followed immediately by the global crisis. The analysis of triple crisis requires a regional approach, since these countries – despite many national idiosyncrasies – have followed the same pattern of regional development. (…)

The triple crisis can be described in its triple dimension, i.e. in its socio-economic, socio-political and “socio-cultural” aspects. These three subsequent crises (the triple crisis) in the New Member States have produced their heavy social price, which has been responsible for the recent drastic decline or backsliding of the new democracies. In the late eighties and early nineties the NMS populations reacted to the collapse of the authoritarian rule with a “revolution of high expectations”, so under the label of democracy they expected a Western welfare state “overnight”, thus after Twenty Years their disappointment has been tragic. This Report tries to give a well-documented answer on why and how the situation of the deep malaise in NMS has emerged, arguing at the same time that it has also been a series of creative crises that may bring “a better future”.”

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