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Central Europe
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{{short description|Region of Europe}}{{use dmy dates|date=August 2014}}{{multiple image | direction=vertical | width=264| header=Different views of Central Europe| image1=Central Europe (Brockhaus).svg
The World Factbook (2009),HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/FIELDS/2144.HTMLWORK=THE WORLD FACTBOOKCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY>YEAR=2009ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20110524151212/HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/FIELDS/2144.HTMLDEAD-URL=YES, dmy-all, Encyclopædia Britannica, and Brockhaus Enzyklopädie (1998). There are numerous other definitions and viewpoints.| image2=Grossgliederung Europas-en.svgMitteleuropa: usage recommendation by the Standing Committee on Geographical Names, Germany.21 JANUARY 2019LAST=JORDANDATE=2005TRANS-TITLE=THE LARGE-SCALE DIVISION OF EUROPE ACCORDING TO CULTURAL-SPATIAL CRITERIAISSUE=4PUBLISHER=LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FüR LäNDERKUNDE (IFL) VIA=STäNDIGER AUSSCHUSS FüR GEOGRAPHISCHE NAMEN (STAGN),weblink }}Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of Europe. Central Europe occupies continuous territories that are otherwise sometimes considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe.WEB,weblink Regions, Regionalism, Eastern Europe by Steven Cassedy, New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005, 31 January 2010, Lecture 14: The Origins of the Cold War. Historyguide.org. Retrieved on 29 October 2011.NEWS, Central Europe –The future of the Visegrad group,weblink The Economist, 14 April 2005, 7 March 2009, The concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical, social, and cultural identity.{{harvnb|Ágh|1998 |pages=2–8}}WEB,weblink Central European Identity in Politics – Jiří Pehe, Czech, Conference on Central European Identity, Central European Foundation, Bratislava, 2002, 31 January 2010, WEB,weblink Europe of Cultures: Cultural Identity of Central Europe, Europe House Zagreb, Culturelink Network/IRMO, 24 November 1996, 31 January 2010, BOOK,weblink Comparative Central European culture, Purdue University Press, 2002, 978-1-55753-240-4, 31 January 2010, WEB, An Introduction to Central Europe: History, Culture, and Politics – Preparatory Course for Study Abroad Undergraduate Students at CEU,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100617165111weblink">weblink 17 June 2010, Central European University, Budapest, Fall 2006, yes, dmy, WEB, Ben Koschalka – content, Monika Lasota – design and coding,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20010303043837weblink">weblink yes, 3 March 2001, To Be (or Not To Be) Central European: 20th Century Central and Eastern European Literature, Centre for European Studies of the Jagiellonian University, 31 January 2010, dmy-all, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20031214153917weblink">weblink 2003-12-14, Ten Untaught Lessons about Central Europe-Charles Ingrao, Habs burg Occasional Papers, No. 1., 1996, 31 January 2010, WEB,weblink Introduction to the electronic version of Cross Currents, Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library, 31 January 2010, WEB,weblink History of the literary cultures of East–Central Europe: junctures and disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries, Volume 2, WEB,weblink When identity becomes an alibi (Institut Ramon Llull), Central Europe is going through a "strategic awakening",WEB,weblink The Mice that Roared: Central Europe Is Reshaping Global Politics, Spiegel.de, 26 February 2006, 31 January 2010, with initiatives such as the Central European Initiative (CEI), Centrope, and the Visegrád Four Group. While the region's economies shows considerable disparities of income,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100403224316weblink">weblink 2010-04-03, Which regions are covered?, European Regional Development Fund, 31 January 2010, all the Central European countries are listed by the Human Development Index as very highly developed.weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101121150504weblink">2010 Human Development Index. (PDF) . Retrieved on 29 October 2011.

Historical perspective

Middle Ages and early modern era

Elements of unity for Western and Central Europe were Catholicism and Latin. However Eastern Europe, which remained Eastern Orthodox, was the area of Graeco-Byzantine cultural influence; after the East-West Schism (1054), Eastern Europe developed cultural unity and resistance to the Western world (Catholic and Protestant) within the framework of Church Slavonic language and the Cyrillic alphabet.BOOK, Historical Atlas of Central Europe, Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press,weblink 0-8020-8486-9, The development of Central Europe (Chapter 11), 2002, BOOK, Religion and Culture in Early Modern Europe, Kasper von Greyerz, Oxford University Press,weblink 0-19-804384-8, 38–, 2007, BOOK, East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000–1500, Jean W Sedlar, University of Washington Press,weblink 0-295-97291-2, 161–, 1994, File:Carolingian empire 843 888.jpg|Frankish Empire and its tributaries (AD 843–888)File:Great Moravia.svg|alt=Moravia under Svatopluk|Certain and disputed borders of Great Moravia under Svatopluk I (AD 870–894)File:Church in poland 12-13c.svg|Kingdom of Poland in late 12th–13th centuries.File:Karte Böhmen unter Ottokar II.png|Bohemia in 1273File:Europe mediterranean 1190 cropped.jpg|Kingdom of Hungary in 1190File:Deutsche Ostsiedlung.png|Stages of German eastern settlement, 700–1400 adapted from Walter KuhnFile:Holy Roman Empire ca.1600.svg|Holy Roman Empire in 1600 superimposed on modern state bordersAccording to Hungarian historian Jenő Szűcs, foundations of Central European history at the first millennium were in close connection with Western European development. He explained that between the 11th and 15th centuries not only Christianization and its cultural consequences were implemented, but well-defined social features emerged in Central Europe based on Western characteristics. The keyword of Western social development after millennium was the spread of liberties and autonomies in Western Europe. These phenomena appeared in the middle of the 13th century in Central European countries. There were self-governments of towns, counties and parliaments.WEB,weblink László Zsinka, Similarities and Differences in Polish and Hungarian History, 15 January 2015, In 1335, under the rule of the King Charles I of Hungary, the castle of Visegrád, the seat of the Hungarian monarchs was the scene of the royal summit of the Kings of Poland, Bohemia and Hungary. They agreed to cooperate closely in the field of politics and commerce, inspiring their post-Cold War successors to launch a successful Central European initiative.BOOK, Halman, Loek, Wilhelmus Antonius Arts, European values at the turn of the millennium, Brill Publishers, 2004, 120, 978-90-04-13981-7, In the Middle Ages, countries in Central Europe adopted Magdeburg rights.

Before World War I

File:Central Europe 1902.PNG|thumb|A view of Central Europe dating from the time before the First World War (1902):Source: Geographisches Handbuch zu Andrees Handatlas, vierte Auflage, Bielefeld und Leipzig, Velhagen und Klasing, 1902. {{legend|#FF0000|Central European countries and regions: Germany and Austria-Hungary (without Bosnia & Herzegovina and Dalmatia)}}{{legend|#FB607F|Regions located at the transition between Central Europe and Southeastern/Eastern Europe: RomaniaRomaniaBefore 1870, the industrialization that had developed in Western and Central Europe and the United States did not extend in any significant way to the rest of the world. Even in Eastern Europe, industrialization lagged far behind. Russia, for example, remained largely rural and agricultural, and its autocratic rulers kept the peasants in serfdom.Jackson J. Spielvogel: Western Civilization: Alternate Volume: Since 1300. p. 618.The concept of Central Europe was already known at the beginning of the 19th century,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081217051750weblink">weblink 2008-12-17, "Mitteleuropa" is a multi-facetted concept and difficult to handle, PDF, 31 January 2010, but its real life began in the 20th century and immediately became an object of intensive interest. However, the very first concept mixed science, politics and economy – it was strictly connected with intensively growing German economy and its aspirations to dominate a part of European continent called Mitteleuropa. The German term denoting Central Europe was so fashionable that other languages started referring to it when indicating territories from Rhine to Vistula, or even Dnieper, and from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans.A. Podraza, Europa Środkowa jako region historyczny, 17th Congress of Polish Historians, Jagiellonian University 2004 An example of that-time vision of Central Europe may be seen in J. Partsch's book of 1903.Joseph Franz Maria Partsch, Clementina Black, Halford John Mackinder, Central Europe, New York 1903On 21 January 1904, Mitteleuropäischer Wirtschaftsverein (Central European Economic Association) was established in Berlin with economic integration of Germany and Austria–Hungary (with eventual extension to Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands) as its main aim. Another time, the term Central Europe became connected to the German plans of political, economic and cultural domination. The "bible" of the concept was Friedrich Naumann's book MitteleuropaF. Naumann, Mitteleuropa, Berlin: Reimer, 1915 in which he called for an economic federation to be established after World War I. Naumann's idea was that the federation would have at its centre Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire but would also include all European nations outside the Triple Entente.WEB,weblink Regions and Eastern Europe Regionalism – Central Versus Eastern Europe, Science.jrank.org, 31 January 2010, The concept failed after the German defeat in World War I and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary. The revival of the idea may be observed during the Hitler era.

Interwar period

{{multiple image | direction=vertical | width=220| image1=Central Europe (Geographie universelle, 1927).PNG
Interwar period>Interwar Central Europe according to Emmanuel de Martonne (1927)| image2= Avantgarde CE.jpg| caption2=CE countries, Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes 1910–1930 (L.A. County Museum of Art)}}According to Emmanuel de Martonne, in 1927 the Central European countries included: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Switzerland. The author uses both Human and Physical Geographical features to define Central Europe, but he doesn't take into account the legal development, or the social, cultural, economic, infrastructural developments in these countries.weblink" title="https:/-/web.archive.org/web/20100212050523weblink">weblink, weblink" title="https:/-/web.archive.org/web/20100212050523weblink">weblink and weblink" title="https:/-/web.archive.org/web/20100212050523weblink">weblink; Géographie universelle (1927), edited by Paul Vidal de la Blache and Lucien GalloisThe interwar period (1918–1939) brought a new geopolitical system, as well as economic and political problems, and the concept of Central Europe took on a different character. The centre of interest was moved to its eastern part – the countries that have (re)appeared on the map of Europe: Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. Central Europe ceased to be the area of German aspiration to lead or dominate and became a territory of various integration movements aiming at resolving political, economic and national problems of "new" states, being a way to face German and Soviet pressures. However, the conflict of interests was too big and neither Little Entente nor Intermarium (Międzymorze) ideas succeeded.The interwar period brought new elements to the concept of Central Europe. Before World War I, it embraced mainly German states (Germany, Austria), non-German territories being an area of intended German penetration and domination – German leadership position was to be the natural result of economic dominance. After the war, the Eastern part of Central Europe was placed at the centre of the concept. At that time the scientists took an interest in the idea: the International Historical Congress in Brussels in 1923 was committed to Central Europe, and the 1933 Congress continued the discussions.JOURNAL, Deak, I., The Versailles System and Central Europe, 10.1093/ehr/cej100, 338, CXXI, 2006, The English Historical Review, 490, Hungarian scholar Magda Ádám wrote in her study Versailles System and Central Europe (2006): "Today we know that the bane of Central Europe was the Little Entente, military alliance of Czechoslovakia, Romania and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia), created in 1921 not for Central Europe's cooperation nor to fight German expansion, but in a wrong perceived notion that a completely powerless Hungary must be kept down".The avant-garde movements of Central Europe were an essential part of modernism's evolution, reaching its peak throughout the continent during the 1920s. The Sourcebook of Central European avantgards (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) contains primary documents of the avant-gardes in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, and Poland from 1910 to 1930.WEB,weblink Between Worlds – The MIT Press, Mitpress.mit.edu, 31 January 2010, yes,weblink 22 September 2006, The manifestos and magazines of Western European radical art circles are well known to Western scholars and are being taught at primary universities of their kind in the western world.

Mitteleuropa

Mitteleuropa may refer to an historical concept, or to a contemporary German definition of Central Europe. As an historical concept, the German term Mitteleuropa (or alternatively its literal translation into English, Middle EuropeJohnson, p. 165) is an ambiguous German concept. It is sometimes used in English to refer to an area somewhat larger than most conceptions of 'Central Europe'; it refers to territories under Germanic cultural hegemony until World War I (encompassing Austria–Hungary and Germany in their pre-war formations but usually excluding the Baltic countries north of East Prussia).{{Citation needed|date=April 2008}} According to Fritz Fischer Mitteleuropa was a scheme in the era of the Reich of 1871–1918 by which the old imperial elites had allegedly sought to build a system of German economic, military and political domination from the northern seas to the Near East and from the Low Countries through the steppes of Russia to the Caucasus.Hayes, p. 16 Later on, professor Fritz Epstein argued the threat of a Slavic "Drang nach Westen" (Western expansion) had been a major factor in the emergence of a Mitteleuropa ideology before the Reich of 1871 ever came into being.Hayes, p. 17In Germany the connotation was also sometimes linked to the pre-war German provinces east of the Oder-Neisse line{{Citation needed|date=April 2012}} which were lost as the result of World War II, annexed by People's Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union, and ethnically cleansed of Germans by communist authorities and forces (see expulsion of Germans after World War II) due to Yalta Conference and Potsdam Conference decisions. In this view Bohemia and Moravia, with its dual Western Slavic and Germanic heritage, combined with the historical element of the "Sudetenland", is a core region illustrating the problems and features of the entire Central European region.The term "Mitteleuropa" conjures up negative historical associations among some elderly people, although the Germans have not played an exclusively negative role in the region.Johnson, p. 6 Most Central European Jews embraced the enlightened German humanistic culture of the 19th century.Johnson, p. 7 German-speaking Jews from turn of the 20th century Vienna, Budapest and Prague became representatives of what many consider to be Central European culture at its best, though the Nazi version of "Mitteleuropa" destroyed this kind of culture instead.Johnson, p. 170 However, the term "Mitteleuropa" is now widely used again in German education and media without negative meaning, especially since the end of communism. In fact, many people from the new states of Germany do not identify themselves as being part of Western Europe and therefore prefer the term "Mitteleuropa".

Central Europe behind the Iron Curtain

File:Politically independent Central European states during Cold war.png|thumb|upright|{{legend|#9966CC|Politically independent CE states during Cold War: Finland, Austria, (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia|Yugoslavia]]JOURNAL, Central Europe: Mitteleuropa: Europe Centrale: An Analysis of a Geographical Term, 621131, Transactions and Papers (Institute of British Geographers), 1954-01-01, 15–39, 20, 10.2307/621131, Karl A., Sinnhuber, }})Following World War II, large parts of Europe that were culturally and historically Western became part of the Eastern bloc. Czech author Milan Kundera (emigrant to France) thus wrote in 1984 about the "Tragedy of Central Europe" in the New York Review of Books.WEB,weblink Kundera's article in PDF format, Consequently, the English term Central Europe was increasingly applied only to the westernmost former Warsaw Pact countries (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary) to specify them as communist states that were culturally tied to Western Europe.WEB,weblink Central versus Eastern Europe, This usage continued after the end of the Warsaw Pact when these countries started to undergo transition.The post-World War II period brought blocking of research on Central Europe in the Eastern Bloc countries, as its every result proved the dissimilarity of Central Europe, which was inconsistent with the Stalinist doctrine. On the other hand, the topic became popular in Western Europe and the United States, much of the research being carried out by immigrants from Central Europe.One of the main representatives was Oscar Halecki and his book The limits and divisions of European history, London and New York 1950 At the end of communism, publicists and historians in Central Europe, especially the anti-communist opposition, returned to their research.A. Podraza, Europa Środkowa jako region historyczny, 17th Congress of Polish Historians, Jagiellonian University 2004According to Karl A. Sinnhuber (Central Europe: Mitteleuropa: Europe Centrale: An Analysis of a Geographical Term) most Central European states were unable to preserve their political independence and became Soviet Satellite Europe. Besides Austria, only the marginal Central European states of Finland and Yugoslavia preserved their political sovereignty to a certain degree, being left out of any military alliances in Europe.According to Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon,Band 16, Bibliographisches Institut Mannheim/Wien/Zürich, Lexikon Verlag 1980 Central Europe is a part of Europe composed of Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Switzerland, and northern marginal regions of Italy and Yugoslavia (northern states – Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia), as well as northeastern France.

Current views

(File:Geopolitical Challenges.jpg|thumb|Geopolitical Challenges - Panel on the Future of Europe)Rather than a physical entity, Central Europe is a concept of shared history which contrasts with that of the surrounding regions. The issue of how to name and define the Central European region is subject to debates. Very often, the definition depends on the nationality and historical perspective of its author.The main proposed regional definitions, gathered by Polish historian Jerzy Kłoczowski, include:Jerzy Kłoczowski, Actualité des grandes traditions de la cohabitation et du dialogue des cultures en Europe du Centre-Est, in: L'héritage historique de la Res Publica de Plusieurs Nations, Lublin 2004, pp. 29–30 {{ISBN|83-85854-82-7}} File:Growth of Habsburg territories.jpg|thumb|upright=1.35|Habsburg-ruled lands ]]
  • Central Europe as the area of cultural heritage of the Habsburg Empire (later Austria-Hungary) – a concept which is popular in regions along the Danube River: Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovenia, large parts of Croatia, Romania and Serbia, also smaller parts of Poland and Ukraine. In Hungary, the narrowing of Central Europe into former Habsburg lands is not popular.
  • A concept underlining the links connecting Belarus and Ukraine with Russia and treating the Russian Empire together with the whole Slavic Orthodox population as one entity – this position is taken by the Russian historiography.
  • A concept putting the accent on links with the West, especially from the 19th century and the grand period of liberation and formation of Nation-states – this idea is represented by the South-Eastern states, which prefer the enlarged concept of the "East Centre" expressing their links with Western culture.
According to American professor Ronald Tiersky, the 1991 summit held in Visegrád, Hungary and attended by the Polish, Hungarian and Czechoslovak presidents was hailed at the time as a major breakthrough in Central European cooperation, but the Visegrád Group became a vehicle for coordinating Central Europe's road to the European Union, while development of closer ties within the region languished.Tiersky, p. 472{{multiple image | direction=vertical | width=220| image1=Floristic regions in Europe (english).png| caption1=The European floristic regions| image2=Carpathian Basin-Pannonian Basin.jpg| caption2=The Pannonian Plain, between the Alps (west), the Carpathians (north and east), and the Sava/Danube (south)| image3=Mapcarpat2.png
Carpathian Mountains>Carpathian countries (north-west to south-east): Czech Republic, Austria>AT, Poland, Slovakia>SK, Hungary, Ukraine>UA, Romania, Serbia>RS}}American professor Peter J. Katzenstein described Central Europe as a way station in a Europeanization process that marks the transformation process of the Visegrád Group countries in different, though comparable ways.Katzenstein, p. 6 According to him, in Germany's contemporary public discourse "Central European identity" refers to the civilizational divide between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. He says there's no precise, uncontestable way to decide whether the Baltic states, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, and Bulgaria are parts of Central Europe or not.Katzenstein, p. 4Former University of Vienna professor Lonnie R. Johnson points out criteria to distinguish Central Europe from Western, Eastern and Southeast Europe:Lonnie R. Johnson "Central Europe: enemies, neighbors, friends", Oxford University Press, 1996 {{ISBN|0-19-538664-7}}
  • One criterion for defining Central Europe is the frontiers of medieval empires and kingdoms that largely correspond to the religious frontiers between the Catholic West and the Orthodox East.Johnson, p.4 The pagans of Central Europe were converted to Catholicism while in Southeastern and Eastern Europe they were brought into the fold of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
  • Multinational empires were a characteristic of Central Europe.Johnson, p. 4 Hungary and Poland, small and medium-size states today, were empires during their early histories. The historical Kingdom of Hungary was until 1918 three times larger than Hungary is today, while Poland was the largest state in Europe in the 16th century. Both these kingdoms housed a wide variety of different peoples.
He also thinks that Central Europe is a dynamic historical concept, not a static spatial one. For example, Lithuania, a fair share of Belarus and western Ukraine are in Eastern Europe today, but {{roundup|{{age|format=raw|1791|5|3}}|-1}} years ago they were in Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Johnson's study on Central Europe received acclaim and positive reviewsWEB,weblink Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends, Legvold, Robert, May–June 1997, Foreign Affairs, Council on Foreign Relations, 20 May 2009, WEB,weblink Selected as "Editor's Choice" of the History Book Club, Oxford University Press, 20 May 2009, {{dead link|date=October 2015}}{{cbignore}} in the scientific community. However, according to Romanian researcher Maria Bucur this very ambitious project suffers from the weaknesses imposed by its scope (almost 1600 years of history).WEB,weblink The Myths and Memories We Teach By, Bucur, Maria, June 1997, Indiana University, HABSBURG, 23 December 2011, The Columbia Encyclopedia defines Central Europe as: Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Columbia Encyclopedia, Europe, Columbia University Press, 2009, The World Factbook uses a similar definition and adds also Slovenia. Encarta Encyclopedia and Encyclopædia Britannica do not clearly define the region, but Encarta places the same countries into Central Europe in its individual articles on countries, adding Slovenia in "south central Europe".ENCYCLOPEDIA, Slovenia, Encarta,weblink 1 May 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20091028131206weblink">weblink 28 October 2009, yes, dmy, The German Encyclopaedia Meyers Grosses Taschenlexikon (Meyers Big Pocket Encyclopedia), 1999, defines Central Europe as the central part of Europe with no precise borders to the East and West. The term is mostly used to denominate the territory between the Schelde to Vistula and from the Danube to the Moravian Gate. Usually the countries considered to be Central European are Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland; in the broader sense Romania and Serbia too, occasionally also Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.The German (Standing Committee on Geographical Names), which develops and recommends rules for the uniform use of geographical names, proposes two sets of boundaries. The first follows international borders of current countries. The second subdivides and includes some countries based on cultural criteria. In comparison to some other definitions, it is broader, including Luxembourg, Croatia, the Baltic states, and in the second sense, parts of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Italy, and France.The terminology EU11 countries refer the Central, Eastern and Baltic European member states which accessed in 2004 and after: in 2004 the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, and the Slovak Republic; in 2007 Bulgaria, Romania; and in 2013 Croatia.JOURNAL, Vértesy, László, 2018, Macroeconomic Legal Trends in the EU11 Countries,weblink Public Governance, Administration and Finances Law Review, Vol. 3. No. 1. 2018, File:Central Europe Katzenstein.png|Central Europe according to Peter J. Katzenstein (1997){{legend|#0000ff|The Visegrád Group countries are referred to as Central Europe in the book}}{{legend|#95e6ff|countries for which there's no precise, uncontestable way to decide whether they are parts of Central Europe or not }}File:Visegrad group countries.png|According to The Economist and Ronald Tiersky a strict definition of Central Europe means the Visegrád GroupFile:Central Europe (Lonnie R. Johnson)2.PNG|Map of Central Europe, according to Lonnie R. Johnson (2011)Johnson, pp. 16{{legend|#FF0000|Countries usually considered Central European (citing the World Bank and the OECD)}}{{legend|#FFB6C1|Countries considered to be Central European only in the broader sense of the term.}}File:Central-Europe-Encarta.png|Central European countries in Encarta Encyclopedia (2009){{legend|#520fff|Central European countries}}{{legend|#57c5fa|Slovenia in "south central Europe"}}File:Central Europe (Meyers Grosses Taschenlexikon).PNG|The Central European Countries according to Meyers Grosses Taschenlexikon (1999):{{legend|#008000|Countries usually considered Central European}}{{legend|#74CC66|Central European countries in the broader sense of the term}}{{legend|#00FF00|Countries occasionally considered to be Central European}}File:Central Europe (Brockhaus).PNG|Middle Europe (Brockhaus Enzyklopädie, 1998)File:Central-Europe-SwanseaUniv.png|Central Europe according to Swansea University professors Robert Bideleux and Ian Jeffries (1998)BOOK, Robert Bideleux, Ian Jeffries, A History of Eastern Europe: Crisis and Change,weblink 16 October 2015, 10 April 2006, Routledge, 978-1-134-71984-6, 12, File:Central Europe (by E. Schenk).PNG|Central Europe, as defined by E. Schenk (1950)Erich Schenk, Mitteleuropa. Düsseldorf, 1950File:Central Europe (by A.Mutton).PNG|Central Europe, according to Alice F. A. Mutton in Central Europe. A Regional and Human Geography (1961)File:Central Europe (Mayers Enzyklopaedisches Lexikon).PNG|Central Europe according to Meyers Enzyklopaedisches Lexikon (1980)

States

The comprehension of the concept of Central Europe is an ongoing source of controversy,NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110624033956weblink">weblink yes, 24 June 2011, For the Record, The Washington Post, Highbeam.com, 3 May 1990, 31 January 2010, though the Visegrád Group constituents are almost always included as de facto C.E. countries.NEWS,weblink The Economist, From Visegrad to Mitteleuropa, 14 April 2005, Although views on which countries belong to Central Europe are vastly varied, according to many sources (see section Current views on Central Europe) the region includes the states listed in the sections below. Depending on context, Central European countries are sometimes grouped as Eastern or Western European countries, collectively or individuallyWEB,weblink United Nations Statistics Division – Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications (M49), Unstats.un.org, 31 October 2013, 4 August 2014, WEB,weblink World Population Ageing: 1950–2050, United Nations, 15 January 2015, WEB,weblink Browse MT 7206, Eurovoc.europa.eu, 4 August 2014, WEB, Webra International Kft.,weblink The Puzzle of Central Europe, Visegradgroup.eu, 18 March 1999, 4 August 2014, but some place them in Eastern Europe instead: for instance Austria can be referred to as Central European, as well as Eastern EuropeanWEB,weblink Highlights of Eastern Europe (Vienna through Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic), a-ztours.com, 15 January 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141020034106weblink">weblink 20 October 2014, dmy-all, or Western European.WEB,weblink Mastication Monologues: Western Europe, masticationmonologues.com, 15 January 2015,

Other countries and regions

Some sources also add neighbouring countries for historical reasons (the former Austro-Hungarian and German Empires, and modern Baltic states), or based on geographical and/or cultural reasons:
  • CroatiaLonnie Johnson, Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends, Oxford University PressWEB,weblink In the Heavy Shadow of the Ukraine/Russia Crisis, page 10, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, September 2014, 15 January 2015, WEB,weblink UNHCR in Central Europe, UNCHR, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130826202405weblink">weblink 26 August 2013, dmy-all, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150402222032weblink">weblink 2015-04-02, Central European Green Corridors – Fast charging cross-border infrastructure for electric vehicles, connecting Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany and Croatia, Central European Green Corridors, October 2014, WEB,weblink Interreg Central Europe Homepage, central2020.eu, (alternatively placed in Southeast Europe)Andrew Geddes, Charles Lees, Andrew Taylor : "The European Union and South East Europe: The Dynamics of Europeanization and multilevel governance", 2013, RoutledgeKlaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner, Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald : "European Economic Integration and South-East Europe: Challenges and Prospects", 2005, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
  • Romania (Transylvania, along with Banat, CriÈ™ana, and MaramureÈ™Sven Tägil, Regions in Central Europe: The Legacy of History, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1999, p. 191 as well as BukovinaKlaus Peter Berger, The Creeping Codification of the New Lex Mercatoria, Kluwer Law International, 2010, p. 132)BOOK,weblink Alan Rogers Central Europe 2007 – Quality Camping & Caravanning Sites, Alan Rogers Guides, Ltd., 78, United States. Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily report: East EuropeBOOK, Council of Europe. Parliamentary Assembly. Official Report of Debates,weblink 16 October 2015, 1994, Council of Europe, 978-92-871-2516-3, 1579,
  • Serbia (primarily Vojvodina and Northern Belgrade)WEB, United Nations Development Programme, About Serbia,weblink UNDP in Serbia, 2018, Irena Kogan: Delayed Transition: Education and Labor Market in Serbia weblink, Making the Transition: Education and Labor Market Entry in Central and Eastern Europe, 2011, chapter 6WEB, Peter, Shadbolt,weblink CNN, Serbia: the country at the crossroads of Europe, 11 December 2014, WMO, UNCCD, FAO, UNW-DPC weblink, Country Report: Drought conditions and management strategies in Serbia, 2013, p. 1BOOK, Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, Louise Olga Vasvári,weblink Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies, Purdue University Press, 24 November 2014, 978-1557535931, 2011, Government of Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the Energy Forum following a joint meeting of the Serbian and Hungarian cabinets weblink, Government of Hungary on Serbia, 2018
  • SloveniaBOOK,weblink Geopolitics of European Union Enlargement: The Fortress Empire, 165, Borders in Central Europe: From Conflict to Cooperation, Armstrong, Werwick. Anderson, James, Routledge, 2007, 978-1-134-30132-4, (alternatively placed in Southeast Europe)WEB,weblink Map of Europe, TheFreeDictionary.com, 15 January 2015,
  • Ukraine (Transcarpathia,BOOK,weblink Transcarpathia: Perephiral Region at the "Centre of Europe", Routledge, Region State and Identity in Central and Eastern Europe, 2013, 155, Google eBook, 1-136-34323-7, Galicia and Northern Bukovina)
The Baltic states, geographically in Northern Europe, have been considered part of Central Europe in the German tradition of the term, Mitteleuropa. Benelux countries are generally considered a part of Western Europe, rather than Central Europe. Nevertheless, they are occasionally mentioned in the Central European context due to cultural, historical and linguistic ties.The following states or some of their regions may sometimes be included in Central Europe:

Geography

Geography defines Central Europe's natural borders with the neighbouring regions to the North across the Baltic Sea, namely Northern Europe (or Scandinavia), and to the South across the Alps, the Apennine peninsula (or Italy), and the Balkan peninsulaBOOK, Paul Robert Magocsi, Paul Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe,weblink 16 October 2015, 2002, University of Toronto Press, 978-0-8020-8486-6, 20, across the Soča-Krka-Sava-Danube line. The borders to Western Europe and Eastern Europe are geographically less defined and for this reason the cultural and historical boundaries migrate more easily West-East than South-North. The Rhine river which runs South-North through Western Germany is an exception.{{original research inline|date=November 2013}}File:Danubemap.jpg|thumb|The DanubeDanubeSouthwards, the Pannonian Plain is bounded by the rivers Sava and Danube- and their respective floodplains.Danube Facts and Figures. Bosnia and Herzegovina (April 2007) (PDF file) The Pannonian Plain stretches over the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, and touches borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republika Srpska) and Ukraine ("peri- Pannonian states").As southeastern division of the Eastern Alps,WEB, Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink Dinaric Alps (mountains, Europe), 31 January 2010, the Dinaric Alps extend for 650 kilometres along the coast of the Adriatic Sea (northwest-southeast), from the Julian Alps in the northwest down to the Šar-Korab massif, north-south. According to the Freie Universität Berlin, this mountain chain is classified as South Central European.WEB, Juliane Dittrich,weblink Die Alpen – Höhenstufen und Vegetation – Hauptseminararbeit, GRIN, 31 January 2010, The Central European flora region stretches from Central France (the Massif Central) to Central Romania (Carpathians) and Southern Scandinavia.(:de:Wolfgang Frey|Wolfgang Frey) and (:de:Rainer Lösch|Rainer Lösch); Lehrbuch der Geobotanik. Pflanze und Vegetation in Raum und Zeit. Elsevier, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, München 2004 {{ISBN|3-8274-1193-9}}At times, the term "Central Europe" denotes a geographic definition as the Danube region in the heart of the continent, including the language and culture areas which are today included in the states of Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and usually also Austria and Germany, but never Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union towards the Ural mountains.BOOK, Louise Olga Vasvári, Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies,weblink 16 October 2015, 2011, Purdue University Press, 978-1-55753-593-1, 24,

Demography

(File:Population density countries 2018 world map, people per sq km.svg|upright=1.3|thumb|Population density (people per km2) by country, 2018)Central Europe is one of the continent's most populous regions. It includes countries of varied sizes, ranging from tiny Liechtenstein to Germany, the largest European country by population (that is entirely placed in Europe). Demographic figures for countries entirely located within notion of Central Europe ("the core countries") number around 165 million people, out of which around 82 million are residents of Germany.WEB, PDF, Demography report 2010, Eurostat,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120227155258weblink">weblink 2012-02-27, 12 May 2012, Other populations include: Poland with around 38.5 million residents,WEB,weblink Główny Urząd Statystyczny / Spisy Powszechne / NSP 2011 / Wyniki spisu NSP 2011, 14 July 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140714010001weblink">weblink 14 July 2014, dmy-all, Czech Republic at 10.5 million,WEB, PDF,weblink Czech Republic: The Final Census Results to be Released in the Third Quarter of 2012, Czech Statistical Office, 7 May 2012, 15 October 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160303225533weblink">weblink 3 March 2016, dmy-all, Hungary at 10 million,PRESS RELEASE, PDF,weblink Sajtótájékoztató 2013, Press Conference 2013, hu, Hungarian Central Statistical Office, 28 March 2013, 15 October 2015, Austria with 8.8 million, Switzerland with 8.5 million,WEB,weblink Swiss Statistics – Overview, 27 August 2015, Bfs.admin.ch, 24 September 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160628063919weblink">weblink 28 June 2016, dmy-all, Slovakia at 5.4 million,NEWS, PDF,weblink Development in the number of inhabitants – 2011, 2001, 1991, 1980, 1970, Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2012, y,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121114211217weblink">weblink 14 November 2012, and Liechtenstein at a bit less than 40,000.WEB,weblink Landesverwaltung Liechtenstein, Llv.li, 24 September 2015, If the countries which are occasionally included in Central Europe were counted in, partially or in whole – Croatia (4.3 million) WEB,weblink Central Bureau of Statistics, Dzs.hr, 2015-09-27, , Slovenia (2 million, 2014 estimate)WEB,weblink Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia - Population, Slovenia, 1 January 2014 – final data, 2 May 2014, bot: unknown,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140502032343weblink">weblink 2 May 2014, dmy-all, , Romania (20 million), Lithuania (2.9 million), Latvia (2 million), Estonia (1.3 million), Serbia (7.1 million) WEB,weblink ПОЧЕТНА {{!, Републички завод за статистику Србије|website=www.stat.gov.rs|access-date=2019-02-13}} – it would contribute to the rise of between 25–35 million, depending on whether regional or integral approach was used.WEB, Total population, Candidate countries and potential candidates, Eurostat,weblink If smaller, western and eastern historical parts of Central Europe would be included in the demographic corpus, further 20 million people of different nationalities would also be added in the overall count, it would surpass the 200 million people figure.

Economy

Currencies

Currently, the members of the Eurozone include Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland use their currencies (Croatian kuna, Czech koruna, Hungarian forint, Polish złoty), but are obliged to adopt the Euro. Switzerland uses its own currency – Swiss franc, Serbia too (Serbian dinar).

Human Development Index

(File:2013 UN Human Development Report Quartiles.svg|upright=1.35|thumb|World map by quartiles of Human Development Index in 2013.{| border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" style="width:100%; background:none;"
#003399#E6EDFF|Low}}
#3072D9#858585|Data unavailable}}
#A8C3FF|
)Countries in descending order of Human Development Index (2018 data):
  • Switzerland: 0.944 (ranked 2)
  • Germany: 0.936 (ranked 5)
  • Liechtenstein: 0.916 (ranked 17)
  • Austria: 0.908 (ranked 20)
  • Slovenia: 0.896 (ranked 25)
  • Czech Republic: 0.888 (ranked 27)
  • Poland: 0.865 (ranked 33)
  • Slovakia: 0.855 (ranked 38)
  • Hungary: 0.838 (ranked 45)
  • Croatia: 0.831 (ranked 46)
  • Serbia 0.787 (ranked 67)

Globalisation

(File:Globalization Index.svg|thumb|right|upright=1.35|Map showing the score for the KOF Globalization Index.)The index of globalization in Central European countries (2016 data):NEWS, PDF,weblink 2018 KOF Globalization Index, KOF Index of Globalization, 2018, 5 Aug 2019,
  • Switzerland: 91.17 (ranked 1)
  • Austria: 88.95 (ranked 7)
  • Germany: 88.17 (ranked 8)
  • Czech Republic: 85.19 (ranked 13)
  • Hungary: 85.13 (ranked 14)
  • Slovakia: 82.89 (ranked 21)
  • Slovenia: 81.28 (ranked 25)
  • Poland: 81.20 (ranked 26)
  • Croatia: 80.90 (ranked 28)
  • Serbia 78.34 (ranked 37)
  • Liechtenstein: 54.37 (ranked 121)

Prosperity Index

Legatum Prosperity Index demonstrates an average and high level of prosperity in Central Europe (2018 data)WEB,weblink Rankings :, Legatum Prosperity Index 2018, en, 2019-07-25,
  • Switzerland (ranked 4)
  • Germany (ranked 11)
  • Luxembourg (ranked 12)
  • Austria (ranked 15)
  • Slovenia (ranked 18)
  • Czech Republic (ranked 27)
  • Slovakia (ranked 32)
  • Poland (ranked 33)
  • Croatia (ranked 41)
  • Hungary (ranked 47)
  • Serbia (ranked 56)

Corruption

(File:Transparency international 2015.png|thumb|upright=1.35|Overview of the index of perception of corruption, 2015.{| border="0" style="width: 100%; background: #f9f9f9;"#0000ff|90–100}}#ffce63|60–69}}#ff0000|30–39}}#2b0000|0–9}}#287fff|80–89}}#ffa552|50–59}}#c60000|20–29}}#e0e0e0|No information}}#00ffff|70–79}}#ff6b6b|40–49}}#800000|10–19}})Most countries in Central Europe tend to score above the average in the Corruption Perceptions Index (2018 data):WEB,weblink Corruption Perceptions Index 2018, e.V, Transparency International, www.transparency.org, 2019-07-25,
  • Switzerland (ranked 3, tied)
  • Germany (ranked 11, tied)
  • Austria (ranked 14, tied)
  • Poland (ranked 36, tied)
  • Slovenia (ranked 36, tied)
  • Czech Republic (ranked 38, tied)
  • Slovakia (ranked 57)
  • Croatia (ranked 60)
  • Hungary (ranked 64, tied)
  • Serbia (ranked 87, tied)
According to the Bribe Payers Index, released yearly since 1995 by the Berlin-based NGO Transparency International, Germany and Switzerland, the only two Central European countries examined in the study, were respectively ranked 2nd and 4th in 2011.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130502091347weblink">weblink 2013-05-02, Bribe Payers Index Report 2011, 2012, 15 January 2015,

Infrastructure

Industrialisation occurred early in Central Europe. That caused construction of rail and other types of infrastructure.

Rail

(File:Rail density map.svg|thumb|upright=1.35|Rail network density.)Central Europe contains the continent's earliest railway systems, whose greatest expansion was recorded in Austro-Hungarian and German territories between 1860-1870s.BOOK, Paul Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe,weblink 16 October 2015, 2002, University of Toronto Press, 978-0-8020-8486-6, 1758, By the mid-19th century Berlin, Vienna, and Buda/Pest were focal points for network lines connecting industrial areas of Saxony, Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia and Lower Austria with the Baltic (Kiel, Szczecin) and Adriatic (Rijeka, Trieste). Rail infrastructure in Central Europe remains the densest in the world. Railway density, with total length of lines operated (km) per 1,000 km2, is the highest in the Czech Republic (198.6), Poland (121.0), Slovenia (108.0), Germany (105.5), Hungary (98.7), Serbia (87.3), Slovakia (73.9) and Croatia (72.5).WEB,weblink Launch of railway projects puts Serbia among EU member states, Railway Pro, 27 February 2013, 4 August 2014, WEB, PDF,weblink Response to questionnaire for: Assessment of strategic plans and policy measures on Investment and Maintenance in Transport Infrastructure Country: Serbia, internationaltransportforum.org, 15 October 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150924035757weblink">weblink 24 September 2015, dmy-all, when compared with most of Europe and the rest of the world.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130508143341weblink">weblink 8 May 2013, Inland transport infrastructure at regional level – Statistics Explained, Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu, 4 August 2014, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141022173535weblink">weblink 2014-10-22, Statistical Database – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, W3.unece.org, 29 December 1980, 4 August 2014,

River transport and canals

Before the first railroads appeared in the 1840s, river transport constituted the main means of communication and trade. Earliest canals included Plauen Canal (1745), Finow Canal, and also Bega Canal (1710) which connected Timișoara to Novi Sad and Belgrade via Danube. The most significant achievement in this regard was the facilitation of navigability on Danube from the Black sea to Ulm in the 19th century.

Branches

Compared to most of Europe, the economies of Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland tend to demonstrate high complexity. Industrialisation has reached Central Europe relatively early: Luxembourg and Germany by 1860, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland by 1870, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia by 1880.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050123181314weblink">weblink yes, 23 January 2005, Spread of the Industrial Revolution, Srufaculty.sru.edu, 16 August 2001, 4 August 2014,

Agriculture

Central European countries are some of the most significant food producers in the world. Germany is the world's largest hops producer with 34.27% share in 2010,Gnel Gabrielyan, Domestic and Export Price Formation of U.S. Hops {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140426215451weblink |date=26 April 2014 }} School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University. PDF file, direct download 220 KB. Retrieved 25 April 2014. third producer of rye and barley, 5th rapeseed producer, sixth largest milk producer, and fifth largest potato producer. Poland is the world's largest triticale producer, second largest producer of raspberry, currant, third largest of rye, the fifth apple and buckwheat producer, and seventh largest producer of potatoes. The Czech Republic is world's fourth largest hops producer and 8th producer of triticale. Hungary is world's fifth hops and seventh largest triticale producer. Serbia is world's second largest producer of plums and second largest of raspberriesweblinkweblink Serbia Overview, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 14 June 2013, Slovenia is world's sixth hops producer.

Business

Central European business has a regional organisation, Central European Business Association (CEBA), founded in 1996 in New York as a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting business opportunities within Central Europe and supporting the advancement of professionals in America with a Central European background.WEB,weblink Welcome centraleurope.org – Hostmonster.com, www.centraleurope.org,

Tourism

Central European countries, especially Austria, Croatia, Germany and Switzerland are some of the most competitive tourism destinations.WEB, PDF,weblink The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011: Beyond the Downturn, World Economic Forum, 2011, 16 October 2015, Poland is presently a major destination for outsourcing.NEWS, Midsize Cities in Poland Develop as Service Hubs for Outsourcing Industry,weblink The New York Times, 2013-12-22, 2015-10-06, 0362-4331, Jack, Ewing,

Outsourcing destination

Kraków, Warsaw, and Wrocław, Poland; Prague and Brno, Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary; Bucharest, Romania; Bratislava, Slovakia; Ljubljana, Slovenia, Belgrade, Serbia and Zagreb, Croatia are among the world's top 100 outsourcing destinations.WEB, PDF,weblink 2013 Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations: Rankings and Report Overview, Tholons, January 2013, 16 October 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160304030815weblink">weblink 4 March 2016, yes, dmy-all,

Education

Central European countries are very literate. All of them have the literacy rate of 96% or over (for both sexes):{| class="sortable wikitable" style="width:95%;"! Country !! data-sort-type="number"|Literacy rate (all) !! data-sort-type="number"|Male !! data-sort-type="number"|Female !! Criteria style="display:none;"|-9e9984.1% >88.6% >79.7% >| age 15 and over can read and write (2010 est.)| age 10 and over can read and write| age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)| (2010 est.)| age 15 and over can read and write (2004)| (2011 est.)| age 15 and over can read and write (2003 est.)| age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)| age 15 and over can read and write (2003 est.)| age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)| age 15 and over can read and write|Serbia|97.9%|N/A|N/A|age 15 and over can read and write

Languages

Languages taught as the first language in Central Europe are: Croatian, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romansh, Serbian, Slovak and Slovenian. The most popular language taught at schools in Central Europe as foreign languages are: English, French and German.NEWS, PDF,weblink Special Eurobarometer 386: Europeans and Their Languages Report, European Commission, June 2012, 16 October 2015, Proficiency in English is ranked as high or moderate, according to the EF English Proficiency Index:WEB,weblink Overview - EF Proficiency Index, Ef.co.uk, 2 November 2015, 2 November 2015,
  • Slovenia (position 6)
  • Luxembourg (position 8)
  • Poland (position 9)
  • Austria (position 10)
  • Germany (position 11)
  • Serbia (position 18)
  • Hungary (position 21)
  • Czech Republic (position 18)
  • Switzerland (position 19)
  • Slovakia (position 25)
  • Croatia (not ranked)
  • Liechtenstein (not ranked)
Other languages, also popular (spoken by over 5% as a second language):
  • Croatian in Slovenia (61%)
  • Czech in Slovakia (82%)WEB, Robert Lindsay, PDF,weblink Mutual Intelligibility of Languages in the Slavic Family, Last Voices/Son Sesler, 16 October 2015,
  • French in Romania (17%), Germany (14%) and Austria (11%)
  • German in Slovenia (42%), Croatia (34%), Slovakia (22%), Poland (20%), Hungary (18%), the Czech Republic (15%) and Romania (5%)
  • Hungarian in Romania (9%), Serbia (7%) Slovakia (12%)WEB,weblink Hungarian language in Europe, Language knowledge, 20 October 2014,
  • Italian in Croatia (14%), Slovenia (12%), Austria (9%) and Romania (7%)
  • Russian in Poland (28%), Slovakia (17%), the Czech Republic (13%) and Germany (6%)
  • Polish in Slovakia (5%)
  • Slovak in the Czech Republic (16%), Serbia (2%)
  • Spanish in Romania (5%)

Education performance

Student performance has varied across Central Europe, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment. In the last study, countries scored medium, below or over the average scores in three fields studied.WEB, PDF,weblink PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, 2014, 16 October 2015, In maths:(File:PISA-Maths-2012.svg|upright=1.35|right|thumb|The results for the 2012 "Maths" section on a world map.)
  • Liechtenstein (position 8) – above the OECD average
  • Switzerland (position 9) – above the OECD average
  • Poland (position 14) – above the OECD average
  • Germany (position 16) – above the OECD average
  • Austria (position 18) – above the OECD average
  • Slovenia (position 21) – above the OECD average
  • Czech Republic (position 24) – similar to the OECD average
  • Slovakia (position 35) – below the OECD average
  • Hungary (position 39) – below the OECD average
  • Croatia (position 40) – below the OECD average
  • Serbia (position 43) – below the OECD average
In the sciences:(File:PISA-Science-2012.svg|upright=1.35|right|thumb|The results for the 2012 "Science" section on a world map.)
  • Poland (position 9) – above the OECD average
  • Liechtenstein (position 10) – above the OECD average
  • Germany (position 12) – above the OECD average
  • Switzerland (position 19) – above the OECD average
  • Slovenia (position 20) – above the OECD average
  • Czech Republic (position 22) – above the OECD average
  • Austria (position 23) – similar to the OECD average
  • Hungary (position 33) – below the OECD average
  • Serbia (position 34) – below the OECD average
  • Croatia (position 35) – below the OECD average
  • Slovakia (position 40) – below the OECD average
In reading:(File:PISA-Reading-2012.svg|upright=1.35|right|thumb|The results for the 2012 "Reading" section on a world map.)
  • Poland (position 10) – above the OECD average
  • Liechtenstein (position 11) – above the OECD average
  • Switzerland (position 17) – above the OECD average
  • Germany (position 19) – above the OECD average
  • Czech Republic (position 26) – similar to the OECD average
  • Austria (position 27) – below the OECD average
  • Hungary (position 33) – below the OECD average
  • Croatia (position 35) – below the OECD average
  • Slovenia (position 38) – below the OECD average
  • Serbia (position 49) – below the OECD average

Higher education

Universities

File:156 Univerzita Karlova, o Karolinum (Universitat Carolina).jpg|upright=1.35|right|thumb|KarolinumKarolinumThe first university east of France and north of the Alps was the Charles University in Prague established in 1347 or 1348 by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and modeled on the University of Paris, with the full number of faculties (law, medicine, philosophy and theology).Joachim W. Stieber: "Pope Eugenius IV, the Council of Basel and the secular and ecclesiastical authorities in the Empire: the conflict over supreme authority and power in the church", Studies in the history of Christian thought, Vol. 13, Brill, 1978, {{ISBN|90-04-05240-2}}, p.82; Gustav Stolper: "German Realities", Read Books, 2007, {{ISBN|1-4067-0839-9}}, p. 228; George Henry Danton: "Germany ten years after", Ayer Publishing, 1928, {{ISBN|0-8369-5693-1}}, p. 210; Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius: "The German Myth of the East: 1800 to the Present", Oxford Studies in Modern European History Series, Oxford University Press, 2009, {{ISBN|0-19-954631-2}}, p. 109; Levi Seeley: "History of Education", BiblioBazaar, {{ISBN|1-103-39196-8}}, p. 141 The list of Central Europe's oldest universities in continuous operation, established by 1500, include (by their dates of foundation):

Central European University

File:Building of CEU entrance.jpg|upright=1.35|right|thumb|The entrance of the Central European University in BudapestBudapestThe Central European University (CEU) is a graduate-level, English-language university promoting a distinctively Central European perspective. It was established in 1991 by the Hungarian philanthropist George Soros, who has provided an endowment of US$880 million, making the university one of the wealthiest in Europe.WEB,weblink For President of Central European University, All Roads Led to Budapest, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aisha Labi, 2 May 2010, 15 January 2015, In the academic year 2013/2014, the CEU had 1,381 students from 93 countries and 388 faculty members from 58 countries.WEB,weblink CEU Facts and Figures, Central European University, 15 January 2015,

Regional exchange program

Central European Exchange Program for University Studies (CEEPUS) is an international exchange program for students and teachers teaching or studying in participating countries. Its current members include (year it joined for the first time in brackets):WEB,weblink Central European Exchange Program for University Studies, ceepus.info, 15 January 2015,
  • Albania (2006)
  • Austria (2005)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (2008)
  • Bulgaria (2005)
  • Croatia (2005)
  • Czech Republic (2005)
  • Hungary (2005)
  • KosovoWEB,weblink CEEPUS Member Countries and NCOs (2008), ceepus.info, 15 January 2015, (2008)
  • Macedonia (2006)
  • Moldova (2011)
  • Montenegro (2006)
  • Poland (2005)
  • Romania (2005)
  • Serbia (2005)
  • Slovakia (2005)
  • Slovenia (2005)

Culture and society

{{see also|Magdeburg rights}}Research centres of Central European literature include Harvard (Cambridge, MA),WEB,weblink Central European Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Harvard College, Static.fas.harvard.edu, 24 September 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160304075439weblink">weblink 4 March 2016, yes, dmy-all, and Purdue University.WEB,weblink Project MUSE – Comparative Central European Culture, Muse.jhu.edu, 24 September 2015,

Architecture

Central European architecture has been shaped by major European styles including but not limited to: Brick Gothic, Rococo, Secession (art) and Modern architecture. Seven Central European countries are amongst those countries with higher numbers of World Heritage Sites:
  • Germany (position 5th, 42 sites)
  • Poland (position 18th, 16 sites)
  • Czech Republic (position 22nd, 12 sites)
  • Switzerland (position 25th, 12 sites)
  • Austria (position 27th, 10 sites)
  • Croatia (position 29th, 10 sites)
  • Serbia (position 35th, 6 sites)

Religion

File:Catholic Church by Country in Europe.PNG|thumb|right|upright=0.8|Central European major Christian denomination is Catholicism (map) as well as large ProtestantProtestant(File:Juden 1881.JPG|thumb|right|Jews in Central Europe (1881))Central European countries are mostly Catholic (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) or mixed Catholic and Protestant, (Germany and Switzerland). Large Protestant groups include Lutheran and Calvinist. Significant populations of Eastern Catholicism and Old Catholicism are also prevalent throughout Central Europe. Central Europe has been a centre of Protestantism in the past; however, it has been mostly eradicated by the Counterreformation.WEB,weblink pError, Go.hrw.com, 2015-09-27, WEB,weblink Map: The Religious Divisions of Europe ca. 1555, Pearson, 16 October 2015, WEB,weblink Map of Europe in 1560: Religion, Emersonkent.com, 24 September 2015, The Czech Republic (Bohemia) was historically the first Protestant country, then violently recatholised, and now overwhelmingly non-religious, nevertheless the largest number of religious people are Catholic (10.3%). Romania and Serbia are mostly Eastern Orthodox with significant Protestant and Catholic minorities.Before the Holocaust (1941–45), there was also a sizeable Ashkenazi Jewish community in the region, numbering approximately 16.7 million people.WEB,weblink The Jewish Population of the World (2010), Jewish Virtual Library, , based on BOOK, American Jewish Year Book, American Jewish Committee,weblink In some of these countries, there is a number of atheists, undeclared and non-religious people: the Czech Republic (non-religious 34.2% and undeclared 45.2%), Germany (non-religious 38%), Slovenia (atheist 30.2%), Luxembourg (25% non-religious), Switzerland (20.1%), Hungary (27.2% undeclared, 16.7% "non-religious" and 1.5% atheists), Slovakia (atheists and non-religious 13.4%, "not specified" 10.6%) Austria (19.7% of "other or none"), Liechtenstein (10.6% with no religion), Croatia (4%) and Poland (3% of non-believers/agnostics and 1% of undeclared).

Central Europe church buildings gallery

File:Veitsdom-sideview.jpg|St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague (Catholic), Czech RepublicFile:Kathedrale - Zagreb - 2010.jpg|Zagreb Cathedral, Zagreb (Catholic), CroatiaFile:Katedra św. Jana Chrzciciela we Wrocławiu - widok z bulwaru z drugiej strony Odry.jpg|Wrocław Cathedral (Catholic), PolandFile:Krakow- Kosciol Mariacki.jpg|St. Mary's Basilica in Kraków (Catholic), PolandFile:Basilique Saint-Étienne de Pest.jpg|St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest (Catholic), HungaryFile:Jesuit Church, Lucerne, Switzerland.jpg|Jesuit Church, Lucerne (Catholic), SwitzerlandFile:View from Humboldtbox - Berlin Cathedral.jpg|Berlin Cathedral (United Protestant - Lutheran & Calvinist), GermanyFile:Grossmünster - Münsterhof 2014-05-23 12-08-43.JPG|Grossmünster (Calvinist), SwitzerlandFile:Debreceni református nagytemplom.jpg|Reformed Great Church of Debrecen (Calvinist), HungaryFile:Convent of St Gall.jpg|Abbey of Saint Gall (Catholic), SwitzerlandFile:Kölner Dom 2013-06-06-01.JPG|Cologne Cathedral (Catholic), GermanyFile:Matthias Church, Budapest, 2017.jpg|Matthias Church is a Catholic church in Budapest, HungaryFile:Brno - Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul V.jpg|Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Brno (Catholic), Czech RepublicFile:Catedral-Vaduz-Liechtenstein.jpg|Vaduz Cathedral (Catholic), LiechtensteinFile:Wien - Stephansdom.JPG|St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna (Catholic), AustriaFile:Kosice - St. Elisabeth Cathedral 1.JPG|St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice (Catholic), SlovakiaFile:Subotica (Szabadka, Суботица) - catholic cathedral.JPG|St. Theresa of Avila Cathedral, Subotica, Serbia (Catholic)File:Partizánska Ľupča (Deutschliptsch, Németlipcse) - evanjelický kostol.JPG|Evangelical church in Partizánska Ľupča (Lutheran), SlovakiaFile:EsztergomBazilikaFotoThalerTamas.JPG|Esztergom Basilica (Catholic), is an ecclesiastic basilica in Esztergom, Hungary

Cuisine

Central European cuisine has evolved through centuries due to social and political change. Most countries share many dishes. The most popular dishes typical to Central Europe are sausages and cheeses, where the earliest evidence of cheesemaking in the archaeological record dates back to 5,500 BCE (Kujawy, Poland).WEB,weblink Art of cheese-making is 7,500 years old, Nature News & Comment, Other foods widely associated with Central Europe are goulash and beer. List of countries by beer consumption per capita is led by the Czech Republic, followed by Germany and Austria. Poland comes 5th, Croatia 7th and Slovenia 13th.

Human rights

History

Human rights have a long tradition in Central Europe. In 1222 Hungary defined for the first time the rights of the nobility in its "Golden Bull". In 1264 the Statute of Kalisz and the General Charter of Jewish Liberties introduced numerous rights for the Jews in Poland, granting them de facto autonomy. In 1783 for the first time, Poland forbid corporal punishment of children in schools. In the same year, a German state of Baden banned slavery.On the other hand, there were also major regressions, such as "Nihil novi" in Poland in 1505 which forbade peasants from leaving their land without permission from their feudal lord.

Present

Generally, the countries in the region are progressive on the issue of human rights: death penalty is illegal in all of them, corporal punishment is outlawed in most of them and people of both genders can vote in elections. Nevertheless, Central European countries struggle to adopt new generations of human rights, such as same-sex marriage. Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland also have a history of participation in the CIA's extraordinary rendition and detention program, according to the Open Society Foundation.WEB,weblink CIA Secret Detention and Torture, Open Society Foundations, 24 September 2015, yes,weblink 25 September 2015, dmy-all, WEB,weblink TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE, TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 September 2015,

Literature

Regional writing tradition revolves around the turbulent history of the region, as well as its cultural diversity.NEWS,weblink In praise of writers' bloc: How the tedium of life under Communism gave rise to a literature alive with surrealism and comedy, The Independent, 24 September 2015, WEB,weblink Comparative Central European Culture, Thepress.purdue.edu, 24 September 2015, Its existence is sometimes challenged.WEB,weblink Czech mates, Newstatesman.com, 24 September 2015, Specific courses on Central European literature are taught at Stanford University,weblink {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150223160430weblink |date=23 February 2015 }} Harvard UniversityWEB,weblink Secondary Fields, Slavic.fas.harvard.edu, 24 September 2015, and Jagiellonian UniversityWEB,weblink Literatura Środkowoeuropejska w poszukiwaniu tożsamości, Usosweb.uj.edu.pl, 24 September 2015, The as well as cultural magazines dedicated to regional literature.WEB,weblink literalab, literalab, 24 September 2015, Angelus Central European Literature Award is an award worth 150,000.00 PLN (about $50,000 or £30,000) for writers originating from the region.WEB,weblink Regulations, Angelus.com.pl, 24 September 2015, Likewise, the Vilenica International Literary Prize is awarded to a Central European author for "outstanding achievements in the field of literature and essay writing."WEB,weblink About Vilenica, Vilenica Literary Festival, 14 February 2018,

Media

(File:Press freedom 2019.svg|thumb|right|upright=1.35|Press Freedom Index results.)There is a whole spectrum of media active in the region: newspapers, television and internet channels, radio channels, internet websites etc.Central European media are regarded as free, according to the Press Freedom Index, although the situation in Poland, Hungary and Croatia is described as "problematic". Some of the top scoring countries in the Press Freedom Index are in Central Europe, and include:WEB,weblink Reporters Without Borders,
  • Switzerland (position 7)
  • Austria (position 11)
  • Germany (position 16)
  • Slovakia (position 17)
  • Czech Republic (position 23)
  • Liechtenstein (position 32)
  • Slovenia (position 37)
  • Poland (position 54)
  • Hungary (position 71)
  • Croatia (position 74)
  • Serbia (position 76)

Sport

There is a number of Central European Sport events and leagues. They include: Football is one of the most popular sports. Countries of Central Europe had many great national teams throughout history and hosted several major competitions.Yugoslavia hosted UEFA Euro 1976 before the competition expanded to 8 teams and Germany (at that times as West Germany) hosted UEFA Euro 1988. Recently, 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships were held in Austria & Switzerland and Poland & Ukraine respectively.Germany hosted 2 FIFA World Cups (1974 and 2006) and are the current champions (as of 2014).WEB,weblink 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia - Qualifiers, FIFA.com, 24 September 2015, WEB,weblink Germany are FIFA World Cup Champions!, NDTVSports.com, 24 September 2015, WEB,weblink World Cup Football Daily: Germany crowned champions of the world, James Richardson, the Guardian, 24 September 2015,

Politics

Organisations

Central Europe is a birthplace of regional political organisations: File:CEI members.svg|Central European InitiativeFile:CEDC.svg|Central European Defence CooperationFile:Visegrad group countries.svg|Visegrád GroupFile:CEFTA 1992.PNG|CEFTA founding statesFile:CEFTA 2003.PNG|CEFTA members in 2003, before joining the EUFile:Europe-cefta-map.png|Current CEFTA members

Democracy Index

File:Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy index.svg|thumb|upright=1.35|The Economist Intelligence UnitEconomist Intelligence UnitCentral Europe is a home to some of world's oldest democracies. However, most of them have been impacted by totalitarianism, particularly Fascism and Nazism. Germany and Italy occupied all Central European countries, except Switzerland. In all occupied countries, the Axis powers suspended democracy and installed puppet regimes loyal to the occupation forces. Also, they forced conquered countries to aplly racial laws and formed military forces for helping German and Italian struggle against Communists. After World War II, almost the whole of Central Europe (the Eastern and Middle part) was occupied by Communists. Communism also banned democracy and free elections, and human rights did not exist in Communist countries. Most of Central Europe had been occupied and later allied with the Soviet Union, often against their will through forged referendum (e.g., Polish people's referendum in 1946) or force (northeast Germany, Poland, Hungary et alia). Nevertheless, these experiences have been dealt in most of them. Most of Central European countries score very highly in the Democracy Index:WEB, PDF,weblink Democracy index 2012: Democracy at a standstill: A report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, The Economist, 2013, 15 October 2015, yes,weblink 3 January 2015, dmy,
  • Switzerland (position 6)
  • Germany (position 13)
  • Austria (position 14)
  • Czech Republic (position 25)
  • Slovenia (position 37)
  • Poland (position 40)
  • Slovakia (position 45)
  • Croatia (position 50)
  • Hungary (position 51)
  • Serbia (position 57)
  • Liechtenstein (not listed)

Global Peace Index

(File:Global Peace Index.svg|thumb|right|upright=1.35|Global Peace Index Scores.)In spite of its turbulent history, Central Europe is currently one of world's safest regions. Most Central European countries are in top 20%:WEB,weblink Vision of Humanity,
  • Austria (position 3)
  • Switzerland (position 5)
  • Czech Republic (position 11)
  • Slovenia (position 14)
  • Germany (position 17)
  • Slovakia (position 19)
  • Poland (position 23)
  • Hungary (position 22)
  • Serbia (position 23)
  • Croatia (position 26)
  • Liechtenstein (not listed)

Central European Time

(File:Time zones of Europe.svg|thumb|right|Central European Time Zone (dark red))The time zone used in most parts of the European Union is a standard time which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is commonly called Central European Time because it has been first adopted in central Europe (by year):{{Citation needed|date=July 2019}}
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Poland (1893)Since Poland was partitioned since 1922 (official adoption), the dates of introduction in Germany (1893) and Austria (1893) should be understood as de facto adoption
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein

In popular culture

Central Europe is mentioned in 35th episode of Lovejoy, entitled "The Prague Sun", filmed in 1992. While walking over the famous Charles Bridge, the main character, Lovejoy says: " I've never been to Prague before. Well, it is one of the great unspoiled cities in Central Europe. Notice: I said: "Central", not "Eastern"! The Czechs are a bit funny about that, they think of Eastern Europeans as turnip heads."WEB, Lovejoy – Season 3, Episode 13: The Prague Sun – TV.com,weblink TV.com, 26 November 2014, Wes Anderson's Oscar-winning film The Grand Budapest Hotel is regarded as a fictionalised celebration of the 1930s in Central Europe, and the region's musical tastes.WEB,weblink "The Grand Budapest Hotel": Wes Anderson's Artistic Manifesto, Richard Brody, 7 March 2014, The New Yorker, 24 September 2015, WEB,weblink Oscars 2015 live updates: J.K. Simmons, 'Grand Budapest Hotel' win first awards – LA Times, Los Angeles Times, 22 February 2015, latimes.com, 24 September 2015,

See also

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References

{{reflist|group=note}}{{Reflist|30em | refs=WEB
,weblink
, The shape of Europe. The spirit of unity through culture in the eve of Modern Europe
, Uspořádání Evropy – duch kulturní jednoty na prahu vzniku novověké Evropy
, Czech
, registration
, Dumitran
, Adriana
, 2010
, Czech Republic
, Bibliography of the History of the Czech Lands, The Institute of History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
, }}

Bibliography

  • BOOK, The Versailles System and Central Europe Variorum Collected Studies, Magda, Ádám, Ashgate, 2003, 0-86078-905-5,
  • BOOK, The Little Entente and Europe(1920–1929), Magda,
Ádám, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1993, 963-05-6420-3,
  • BOOK, The politics of Central Europe, Attila,
Ágh, Sage, 1998, 0-7619-5032-X,

Further reading

External links

{{Commons category|Central Europe}}{{Wikivoyage}} {{regions of the world}}{{European Union topics|state=collapsed}}{{Europe topics (small)}}{{Authority control}}

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