Central and Eastern Europe has a long history of, on the one hand, ethnic conflicts and, on the other, of a revolutionary tradition against expansionism. Both have their roots in the geographical situation and ethnic composition of the region. The great powers bordering the Danube region -- Germany and Russia -- have strived to develop their own versions of confederations (Mitteleuropa and Pan-Slavic movements). Politicians and intellectuals of the countries affected have proposed various theories, and encouraged initiatives for different forms of closer or looser confederative formations.
This book examines the reasons for the failure of these initiatives including such factors as ethnically-motivated political antagonism, and the lack of economic complementarity. At a time when the countries of the region are looking towards the European Union for solutions to their various conflicts, the book makes a valuable contribution to political and economic integration.