The European Union after Nice — a Community facing a New Century

  • Wichard Woyke


After the fall of the Wall in Berlin 1989, the collapse of the socialist countries some months later and the collapse of the Soviet Union there was a vacuum in Central and Eastern Europe concerning their role in international relations. But the most immediate political challenge at that time was the German unification. Nevertheless there was a situation in which the old bipolar world did not exist any longer, but a new order was not established. This had to be done by the politicians in the nineties. And politicians were successful. NATO dramatically changed its character, becoming a more political organisation and enlarging itself by Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The Council of Europe, originally founded in 1950 by ten Western European states, was enlarged by more than 30 states. This means that the Council of Europe has become more and more a bridge-builder between the East and the West. For the countries in Central and Eastern Europe the Council of Europe is the instrument to approach to western standards, whereas for the western countries the Council of Europe is the instrument to get a better feeling for the development in the CEEs. Furthermore the OSCE, founded in 1995 on the basis of the CSCE, was successful in preventing conflicts in some European regions like the Baltic states and the Caucasian area. But the dominating factor in Europe became the European Union, founded in the Treaty of Maastricht in 1991, on the basis of the European Community. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, there are three big challenges the EU is faced with: deepening and démocratisation of the EU; the enlargement to the CEES and the role of the EU in international relations.


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© Betriebswirtschaftlicher Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler GmbH, Wiesbaden 2002

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  • Wichard Woyke

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