Vol. 1, No. 67, Part II, 7 July1997
HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION PARTY CALLS FOR CAMPAIGN AGAINST SLOVAKIA.
Forum chairman Sandor Lezsak has called on the government to appeal to the
OSCE and the EU to deal with the grievances of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia,
Hungarian media reported on 7 July. He said failure to do so would be to
abandon the interests of ethnic Hungarians. He also called upon European
Democratic Union leader Alois Mock to take steps to resolve the matter, and he
criticized the governing parties for having concluded an "unacceptable" basic
treaty with Slovakia in 1995.
FACTION LEADER EXPELLED FROM HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION PARTY. The disciplinary
ethics committee of the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) has
expelled parliamentary faction leader Tamas Isepy for publicly questioning the
legitimacy of the party's recent leadership elections (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
23 June 1997), Hungarian media reported on 5 July. Despite his expulsion,
Isepy remains the party's faction leader. He said he would not leave the
parliamentary group unless he loses a confidence vote by the group. KDNP
parliamentary and local government deputies on 6 July set up the "Barankovics
Platform" (named after a Christian Democratic leader of the 1940s), whose
objective is to reintroduce what they call "genuine" Christian Democratic
values into the party. They unanimously objected to Isepy's expulsion.
WHY ONLY THREE COUNTRIES WILL LIKELY BE INCLUDED IN FIRST WAVE OF NATO
by Michael Mihalka
NATO will likely invite only three countries--the Czech Republic, Hungary, and
Poland--to join the alliance at the Madrid summit on 8-9 July. Several NATO
members wanted to extend an invitation to Slovenia and Romania, but the United
States has made it clear that it would like the first wave of NATO enlargement
to be small. The U.S. government's decision says a great deal about the
current dynamics of European security.
First, by restricting the first wave to the three Central European countries,
the U.S. has removed the Baltic States' candidacy from the security agenda for
the time being. Both Washington and Bonn wish to avoid needlessly antagonizing
Moscow, which strongly objects to NATO enlarging to include countries from the
former Soviet Union. Russia acquiesced to the first wave of enlargement by
signing the Russia-NATO Founding Act, which states that NATO has neither plans
nor reasons to deploy nuclear weapons or foreign troops on the territory of
the new members. Russia has interpreted this to also mean that NATO will not
build any new infrastructure there either.
Second, the U.S. government is particularly concerned about how the debate on
enlargement will unfold in the Senate. To date, the NATO enlargement process
has failed to prompt a public debate in the U.S. This is surprising, since
enlargement will entail not only clear obligations but also costs that have
not yet been determined.
Third, many feel that Romanian democracy and economic reform, despite having
made significant progress in the last year, need more time to take root before
that country can be considered for NATO membership. The government of Vladimir
Meciar in Slovakia has come under fire from both the EU and U.S. for its
anti-democratic tendencies. And in Sofia, it is only recently that a
center-right government in favor of NATO membership has been reinstalled to
replace the Socialists, who had shown greater interest in siding with Moscow.
Fourth, while few observers dispute Slovenia's democratic credentials and its
economic successes (despite lagging behind other countries in the region with
regard to privatization), some point out that, with its population of some 2
million, it is unlikely to make much of a military contribution to the
alliance. That argument has also been made against the candidacy of the Baltic
States, whose prospects for NATO entry would be undercut by Slovenia's
Fifth, the admission of Romania and Slovenia would cause a shift in the
strategic focus of the alliance to southeastern Europe. This is one of the
reasons that countries like Italy, Turkey, and Greece have been supporting
Bucharest and Ljubljana. However, the implications of such a shift have not
yet been thought through. And in the meantime, NATO's continued participation
in Bosnia following the expiry of SFOR's mandate remains in doubt.
Sixth, the Madrid summit will cover a number of topics that will command the
attention of the alliance. These include the enlargement of NATO's integrated
military structure to include Spain and possibly France.
Finally, the alliance will also embark on an enhanced Partnership for Peace
program to promote integration with those countries that are not be invited to
join in the first wave. Planning cells will be set up in NATO headquarters in
which the military from partnership countries will be invited to participate.
The North Atlantic Cooperation Council has already been transformed into the
Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which has increased responsibilities.
Thus, enlargement of the alliance to include the Czech Republic, Hungary, and
Poland will take place at a time of considerable change within the alliance.
Those three countries have sound democratic and economic credentials, and
their accession to NATO will not significantly alter the alliance's strategic
The author teaches at the George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies in
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