The concept of citizenship in Europe after World War II faces two major challenges: migration and European integration. This introduction precedes a group of articles examining debates and law-making processes related to the concept of citizenship in Europe after World War II. The introduction sketches the historical development of citizenship in European representative democracies, taking into account four basic dimensions (access to citizenship, citizenship rights, citizenship duties, and the active content of citizenship) for analyzing changes in the concept of citizenship.
Citizenship in Europe after World War II—the Challenges of Migration and European Integration
Claudia Wiesner and Anna Björk
Hungary’s gradual transformation
Sometimes it is suggested that communism collapsed not least because its leaders ran out of any vision of a promising future for Eastern Europeans. My own experience of 1989 partly challenges this assumption. By that time, aware of the imperative of Hungary’s European integration, communists tried to demonstrate their will and skill to lead the country to the new path by proposing a grand project that could elicit the support of Western and domestic elites and capture the imaginations of ordinary people.
With this issue, AJEC returns to its original format as a journal with, for the time being, two issues per year. When the first issue was published in 1990 by the European Centre for Traditional and Regional Cultures (ECTARC), Europe was a different place. As the director of ECTARC, Franz-Josef Stummann (1990: 7), explained in his introduction to that issue, the ‘magical date of 1992’, heralding the Single European Market as a significant step towards European integration, had ‘a substantial bearing’ on the foundation of the journal. Moreover, the Berlin Wall, symbol of the political divide that cut right through Cold War Europe, had crumbled the previous year. German unification was imminent, but very little else seemed predictable. Eighteen years and two Gulf Wars later, not only has the European Union acquired fifteen new member states, ten of them former Communist countries, but we have also been told to perceive a new divide – between a ‘new’ Europe and an ‘old’ one.