Panslavism, Fear of Westernization and Vysegrad Group (IV)

Read the arguments of proponents and opponents of the coalition with the countries of Eastern Europe.

The idea to build a strong relationship with other Eastern European countries is not a new one. In the past there was a concept of Panslavism. A desire to unite all the Slavic races into one confederacy. The first Panslavists were focusing on a cultural union among all Slavs. They were researching the Slav folk songs and poetry. The idea got its political momentum in 1848 especially in Austria-Hungary Empire. It was aimed mainly against Germanic dominance. The first congress was assembled in Prague soon after. The concept of Panslavism was also very influential in Russia. Probably the main obstacle in the success of Panslavic movement was a fear of Russian dominance above all the other Slavs.

United Eastern Europe has many supporters in Poland on the base of other historical grounds also. For many centuries Poland was a multi-ethnic society. In Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (XV-XVIII), Poles lived peacefully along with many Eastern Slavs and Balts (Lithuanians, Belarussians, Ukrainians, Russians, Ruthenians). So the idea of strong coalition with countries of Eastern Europe is supported often from sentimental reasons by Poles who lived or whose families lived in the territories which belonged to Poland before WW II but they belong now to Lithuania, Ukraine or Belarus. This idea is also supported by people, parties and newspapers, which are afraid that the Westernization may cause deprivation of the moral and Christian values by Polish society.

Of course no any person with common sense will neglect the necessity of close cooperation of Poland with its neighbors. This is very reasonable since we have lots in common as we did in the past. Such cooperation exists in so called Vysehrad Group. The name of Vysehrad Group originate from the name of the Hungarian town were the presidents of Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic met in 1991. Now, Vysegrad Group consists of four countries, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. We all share similar history and similar level of economical development. The free trade agreement was signed in Kraków, Poland in 1992. We also share similar plans for future. In the current stage the main purpose of Vysegrad Group is to be united together in order to negotiate the best possible conditions for future membership in the European Union.

In the next couple of articles we will analyze Poland's benefits and problems with joining the European Union. Read the next article entitled European Union versus Poland.

Read also other articles from this series: The Place of Poland in Europe and in the World.

Below I recommend two really excellent books:

A book written by Hernando de Soto, entitled:
The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else

And also a famous book by famous Polish journalist, Ryszard Kapuscinski, about Soviet Union:

Copyright by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, article #57

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