You are here

Society & Politics 1/2010

(Társadalom & Politika 2010/1)

Foreword of the Editors

European Studies
Zsófia Zsiska: The Representation of Interests in the European Union
The beginning of the study presents the history of interest representation in the European Union. Then, the stakeholders of the European lobbying are described: such as individuals, professional lobbying offices, civil society organizations, companies, advocacy associations, governments and regional missions. In the last main part of the analysis the author gives a comprehensive outline of the formal and informal channels in the decision-making processes of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council – focusing on relevant access points targeted by lobbyist.

Márton Tonk: Norms and Standards in European Minority Protection
By analysing the documents of the European Union on national minorities, the author aimed at examining and defining the normative elements of the common European standards of minority protection; while doing so, he also considered what steps have been (or could be) taken by the member states. Based on the analysed documents, the author finds that European organisations have in fact followed double standards and a double strategy in the past period. Strategies on the EU level partly tried to make Eastern-European states accept the model of Western territorial autonomies, and partly tried to formulate minimal minority protection norms. Parallel to that, European organisations have also confused measuring the situations of minority communities with monitoring whether they endangered regional peace – by this getting a share in making problems of national minorities become international considerations of security policy. This confusing situation caused that when trying to identify the elements of common European standards, one is compelled to realize that there are, in fact, no such common standards, and a generally applied European minority protection model is simply non-existent.

Regional Studies
Tibor Benke: Notes on the Constitutional Build-Up of the “Visegrad Four” Countries
The author starts out from the fact that Hungary’s present constitution was meant to be temporary by its creators in 1989, but the creation of a new constitution – in contrast with other Central European countries – has not occurred yet. At the same time, he points out the unique institutions, solutions, if necessary, their historical antecedents, traditions and the development of the constitutional systems of the “Visegrad Four” – concentrating on questions concerning parliamentarism and the sphere of authority of the head of the state. He is guided by two goals. On the one hand, he wishes to line up relevant, considerable, potentially authoritive examples for a possible preparatory work aiming at a new Hungarian constitution. On the other hand, by giving a glimpse on those, he wishes to contribute to a more complete understanding of the Hungarian constitution and its place in the Central European region.

Mihály Tóth: Minority Rights – Legislation and Implementation – in the Ukraine: Experiences of a New Nation State’s Minority Policy
The national minority policy of the Ukraine has been changed a lot from the emergence to the present time. The study deals with the formation of that policy, by describing the main phases and characteristics of legislations concerning the field of minority rights – schooling, language usage issues etc. The treatment of the question of national minorities is a part of the evolution of the conception of the building up of the new state, which gets in a relatively short historical period of time from a state idea being liberal in its every aspect to a state reality being absurdly centralized and advocating the “one nation, one state, one language” idea. In that framework, the protection of minorities is succeeded by the protection of the majority against the minorities…

Zoltán Kántor – Zsolt Pászkán: Parliamentary Elections in Romania: Campaign, Forming of Government, and the Representation of Minorities
The co-authors of the study undertook to give a comprehensive summary of the 2008 parliamentary elections in Romania. The study deals with five main sub-themes of the subject. First, it narrates the main topics and the highlights of the campaign – of course, it also give us an account of the basic dynamics of the scene. Second, the final results and other statistics of the elections are published – with an analytical overview. Third, we can read about the most important events and considerations concerning the forming of the new government – the basic aims and perspectives of the relevant parties are outlined. The positions and future possibilities of the parties of the Hungarian national minority are given special attention. Finally, the study also turns toward analysing the results relative to the impact of the then debuting electoral law.

Miklós Bakk: Unity and Majority in the Hungarian Politics in Transylvania
At the elections to the European Parliament in 2007, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR) faced the individual candidate László Tőkés, who succeeded in gaining an EP-seat with more than 40% of the votes from Romanian citizens belonging to the Hungarian ethnic community. This announced a new era in the political life of this community, which means a switch from the political hegemony of the DAHR to a pluralist model based on the relative uniformity of the ethnic Hungarian electoral base. The paper provides an interpretation of the dissolution of the former quasi-hegemony of the DAHR, using concepts like pillarization, consociational power-sharing, and regime change. It analyses the different strategies of the newly constituted political organizations of the Hungarian community, i.e. the Hungarian National Council of Transylvania and the Hungarian Civic Party – described through the structuralist-functionalist dichotomy. Despite the difference, politicians on either side are building upon the subsistence of the ethnic cleavage structure and its persistent validity.

Judit Hamberger: Elements of Integration and Disintegration in the Process of the Splitting Up of Czechoslovakia (1990–1992)

Pros & Cons I.
Ernő Kállai – András Magicz: Practicable Ways of the Parliamentary Representation of National and Ethnic Minorities in Hungary
Dániel Hegedűs: The Preliminary Conception of the Foundation for Comparative Research on Minorities in Europe on the Legislation Concerning the Parliamentary Representation of National and Ethnic Minorities Living in the Republic of Hungary

Pros & Cons II.
Gábor Kiss (Antall József Foundation): Reforming the Electoral System – from a Conservative Perspective
Attila Antall (Méltányosság Political Analysis Centre): The Fundamental Principles of Reforming the Electoral System
Ágoston Sámuel Mráz (Perspective Institute): Ten Considerations on the Reforming of the Hungarian Electoral System
Róbert László – Attila Juhász (Political Capital Institute): In the Pitfall of Smallerparliamentizing
Gábor Filippov – Kornélia Magyar (Progressive Institute): Necessary and Possible: The Standpoint of the Progressive Institute on the Basic Principles and Uppermost Tasks Concerning the Reform of the Hungarian Electoral System

Contents & Abstracts