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Central Europe
Europe
is the region comprising the central part of Europe. Central Europe
Europe
occupies continuous territories that are otherwise sometimes considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe.[3][4][5] The concept of Central Europe
Europe
is based on a common historical, social, and cultural identity.[6][7][8][9][10][9][11][12][13][14][15] Central Europe
Europe
is going through a "strategic awakening",[16] with initiatives such as the Central European Initiative
Central European Initiative
(CEI), Centrope, and the Visegrád
Visegrád
Four Group. While the region's economies shows considerable disparities of income,[17] all the Central European countries are listed by the Human Development Index
Human Development Index
as very highly developed.[18]

Contents

1 Historical perspective

1.1 Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and early modern era 1.2 Before World War I 1.3 Interwar period 1.4 Mitteleuropa 1.5 Central Europe
Europe
behind the Iron Curtain

2 Current views 3 States

3.1 Other countries and regions

4 Geography 5 Demography 6 Economy

6.1 Currencies 6.2 Human Development Index 6.3 Globalisation 6.4 Prosperity Index 6.5 Corruption 6.6 Infrastructure

6.6.1 Rail 6.6.2 River transport and canals

6.7 Branches

6.7.1 Agriculture 6.7.2 Business 6.7.3 Tourism 6.7.4 Outsourcing destination

7 Education

7.1 Languages 7.2 Education performance 7.3 Higher education

7.3.1 Universities 7.3.2 Central European University 7.3.3 Regional exchange program

8 Culture
Culture
and society

8.1 Architecture 8.2 Religion 8.3 Central Europe
Europe
church buildings gallery 8.4 Cuisine 8.5 Human rights

8.5.1 History 8.5.2 Present

8.6 Literature 8.7 Media 8.8 Sport

9 Politics

9.1 Organisations 9.2 Democracy Index 9.3 Global Peace Index

10 Central European Time 11 In popular culture 12 See also 13 References 14 Bibliography 15 Further reading 16 External links

Historical perspective[edit] Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and early modern era[edit] Elements of unity for Western and Central Europe
Europe
were Catholicism
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
Europe
developed cultural unity and resistance to the Western world
Western world
( Catholic
Catholic
and Protestant) within the framework of Church Slavonic
Church Slavonic
language and the Cyrillic alphabet.[19][20][21][22]

Frankish Empire
Frankish Empire
and its tributaries (AD 843–888)

Certain and disputed borders of Great Moravia
Great Moravia
under Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I
(AD 870–894)

Kingdom of Poland
Poland
in late 12th–13th centuries.

Bohemia
Bohemia
in 1273

Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
in 1190

Stages of German eastern settlement, 700–1400 adapted from Walter Kuhn

Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
in 1600 superimposed on modern state borders

According 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
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.[23] 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
Bohemia
and Hungary.[24] They agreed to cooperate closely in the field of politics and commerce, inspiring their post- Cold War
Cold War
successors to launch a successful Central European initiative.[24] In the Middle Ages, countries in Central Europe
Europe
adopted Magdeburg rights.

Before World War I[edit] A view of Central Europe
Europe
dating from the time before the First World War (1902):[25]   Central European countries and regions: Germany
Germany
and Austria- Hungary
Hungary
(without Bosnia & Herzegovina and Dalmatia)  Regions located at the transition between Central Europe
Europe
and Southeastern/Eastern Europe: Romania Before 1870, the industrialization that had developed in Western and Central Europe
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.[26] The concept of Central Europe
Europe
was already known at the beginning of the 19th century,[27] 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
Europe
was so fashionable that other languages started referring to it when indicating territories from Rhine
Rhine
to Vistula, or even Dnieper, and from the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
to the Balkans.[28] An example of that-time vision of Central Europe
Europe
may be seen in J. Partsch's book of 1903.[29] On 21 January 1904, Mitteleuropäischer Wirtschaftsverein (Central European Economic Association) was established in Berlin
Berlin
with economic integration of Germany
Germany
and Austria– Hungary
Hungary
(with eventual extension to Switzerland, Belgium
Belgium
and the Netherlands) as its main aim. Another time, the term Central Europe
Europe
became connected to the German plans of political, economic and cultural domination. The "bible" of the concept was Friedrich Naumann's book Mitteleuropa[30] 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
Germany
and the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austro-Hungarian Empire
but would also include all European nations outside the Triple Entente.[31] The concept failed after the German defeat in World War I
World War I
and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary. The revival of the idea may be observed during the Hitler era.

Interwar period[edit] Interwar Central Europe
Europe
according to Emmanuel de Martonne
Emmanuel de Martonne
(1927)CE countries, Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes 1910–1930 (L.A. County Museum of Art)[32] According to Emmanuel de Martonne, in 1927 the Central European countries included: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania
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.[33] The interwar period (1918–1939) brought a new geopolitical system, as well as economic and political problems, and the concept of Central Europe
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
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
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.[27] After the war, the Eastern part of Central Europe
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
Brussels
in 1923 was committed to Central Europe, and the 1933 Congress continued the discussions.[34] Hungarian scholar Magda Ádám wrote in her study Versailles System and Central Europe
Europe
(2006): "Today we know that the bane of Central Europe
Europe
was the Little Entente, military alliance of Czechoslovakia, Romania
Romania
and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
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
Hungary
must be kept down".[34] The avant-garde movements of Central Europe
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.[32] 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[edit] 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
Mitteleuropa
(or alternatively its literal translation into English, Middle Europe[35]) is an ambiguous German concept.[35] 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
Hungary
and Germany
Germany
in their pre-war formations but usually excluding the Baltic countries
Baltic countries
north of East Prussia).[citation needed] According to Fritz Fischer Mitteleuropa
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
Low Countries
through the steppes of Russia
Russia
to the Caucasus.[36] 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
Mitteleuropa
ideology before the Reich of 1871 ever came into being.[37] In Germany
Germany
the connotation was also sometimes linked to the pre-war German provinces east of the Oder-Neisse line[citation needed] which were lost as the result of World War II, annexed by People's Republic of Poland
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
Yalta Conference
and Potsdam Conference decisions. In this view Bohemia
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.[38] Most Central European Jews embraced the enlightened German humanistic culture of the 19th century.[39] German-speaking Jews from turn of the 20th century Vienna, Budapest
Budapest
and Prague
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.[35][39][40] 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
Germany
do not identify themselves as being part of Western Europe
Europe
and therefore prefer the term "Mitteleuropa".

Central Europe
Europe
behind the Iron Curtain[edit]   Politically independent CE states during Cold War: Finland, Austria, Yugoslavia[41] Following World War II, large parts of Europe
Europe
that were culturally and historically Western became part of the Eastern bloc. Czech author Milan Kundera
Milan Kundera
(emigrant to France) thus wrote in 1984 about the "Tragedy of Central Europe" in the New York Review of Books.[42] Consequently, the English term Central Europe
Europe
was increasingly applied only to the westernmost former Warsaw
Warsaw
Pact countries (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary) to specify them as communist states that were culturally tied to Western Europe.[43] This usage continued after the end of the Warsaw Pact when these countries started to undergo transition. The post- World War II
World War II
period brought blocking of research on Central Europe
Europe
in the Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
countries, as its every result proved the dissimilarity of Central Europe, which was inconsistent with the Stalinist
Stalinist
doctrine. On the other hand, the topic became popular in Western Europe
Europe
and the United States, much of the research being carried out by immigrants from Central Europe.[44] At the end of communism, publicists and historians in Central Europe, especially the anti-communist opposition, returned to their research.[45] According to Karl A. Sinnhuber (Central Europe: Mitteleuropa: Europe Centrale: An Analysis of a Geographical Term)[41] 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
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,[46] Central Europe
Europe
is a part of Europe
Europe
composed of Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania
Romania
and Switzerland, and northern marginal regions of Italy
Italy
and Yugoslavia (northern states – Croatia, Serbia
Serbia
and Slovenia), as well as northeastern France.

Current views[edit] Geopolitical Challenges - Panel on the Future of Europe Rather than a physical entity, Central Europe
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:[47]

West-Central and East-Central Europe
Europe
– this conception, presented in 1950,[48] distinguishes two regions in Central Europe: German West-Centre, with imperial tradition of the Reich, and the East-Centre covered by variety of nations from Finland
Finland
to Greece, placed between great empires of Scandinavia, Germany, Italy
Italy
and the Soviet Union. Central Europe
Europe
as the area of cultural heritage of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
– Ukrainian, Belarusian and Lithuanian historians, in cooperation (since 1990) with Polish historians, insist on the importance of the concept. Central Europe
Europe
as a region connected to the Western civilisation for a very long time, including countries such as the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Kingdom of Croatia, Holy Roman Empire, later German Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy, the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
and the Crown of Bohemia. Central Europe
Europe
understood in this way borders on Russia and South-Eastern Europe, but the exact frontier of the region is difficult to determine. Habsburg-ruled lands Central Europe
Europe
as the area of cultural heritage of the Habsburg Empire (later Austria-Hungary) – a concept which is popular in regions along the Danube
Danube
River: Austria, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
and Slovakia, Slovenia, large parts of Croatia, Romania
Romania
and Serbia, also smaller parts of Poland
Poland
and Ukraine. In Hungary, the narrowing of Central Europe
Europe
into former Habsburg lands is not popular. A concept underlining the links connecting Belarus
Belarus
and Ukraine
Ukraine
with Russia
Russia
and treating the Russian Empire
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
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
Visegrád Group
became a vehicle for coordinating Central Europe's road to the European Union, while development of closer ties within the region languished.[49]

The European floristic regionsThe Pannonian Plain, between the Alps (west), the Carpathians
Carpathians
(north and east), and the Sava/Danube (south)Carpathian countries (north-west to south-east): CZ, AT, PL, SK, HU, UA, RO, RS American professor Peter J. Katzenstein described Central Europe
Europe
as a way station in a Europeanization process that marks the transformation process of the Visegrád Group
Visegrád Group
countries in different, though comparable ways.[50] According to him, in Germany's contemporary public discourse "Central European identity" refers to the civilizational divide between Catholicism
Catholicism
and Eastern Orthodoxy.[50] 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
Europe
or not.[51] Former University of Vienna
Vienna
professor Lonnie R. Johnson points out criteria to distinguish Central Europe
Europe
from Western, Eastern and Southeast Europe:[52]

One criterion for defining Central Europe
Europe
is the frontiers of medieval empires and kingdoms that largely correspond to the religious frontiers between the Catholic
Catholic
West and the Orthodox East.[53] The pagans of Central Europe
Europe
were converted to Catholicism
Catholicism
while in Southeastern and Eastern Europe
Europe
they were brought into the fold of the Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Church.[53] Multinational empires were a characteristic of Central Europe.[54] Hungary
Hungary
and Poland, small and medium-size states today, were empires during their early histories.[54] The historical Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
was until 1918 three times larger than Hungary
Hungary
is today,[54] while Poland
Poland
was the largest state in Europe
Europe
in the 16th century.[54] Both these kingdoms housed a wide variety of different peoples.[54] He also thinks that Central Europe
Europe
is a dynamic historical concept, not a static spatial one. For example, Lithuania, a fair share of Belarus
Belarus
and western Ukraine
Ukraine
are in Eastern Europe
Europe
today, but 230 years ago they were in Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.[54] Johnson's study on Central Europe
Europe
received acclaim and positive reviews[55][56] 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).[57] The Columbia Encyclopedia defines Central Europe
Europe
as: Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.[58] The World Factbook[1] uses a similar definition and adds also Slovenia. Encarta Encyclopedia
Encarta Encyclopedia
and Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
do not clearly define the region, but Encarta places the same countries into Central Europe
Europe
in its individual articles on countries, adding Slovenia
Slovenia
in "south central Europe".[59] The German Encyclopaedia Meyers Grosses Taschenlexikon (Meyers Big Pocket Encyclopedia), 1999, defines Central Europe
Europe
as the central part of Europe
Europe
with no precise borders to the East and West. The term is mostly used to denominate the territory between the Schelde
Schelde
to Vistula and from the Danube
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
Romania
and Serbia
Serbia
too, occasionally also Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The German Ständige Ausschuss für geographische Namen (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.[2] 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.[60]

Central Europe
Europe
according to Peter J. Katzenstein (1997)  The Visegrád Group
Visegrád Group
countries are referred to as Central Europe
Europe
in the book[50]  countries for which there's no precise, uncontestable way to decide whether they are parts of Central Europe or not[51]

According to The Economist
The Economist
and Ronald Tiersky a strict definition of Central Europe
Europe
means the Visegrád
Visegrád
Group[49][61]

Map of Central Europe, according to Lonnie R. Johnson (2011)[62]  Countries usually considered Central European (citing the World Bank
World Bank
and the OECD)  Countries considered to be Central European only in the broader sense of the term.

Central European countries in Encarta
Encarta
Encyclopedia (2009)[59]  Central European countries   Slovenia
Slovenia
in "south central Europe"

The Central European Countries according to Meyers Grosses Taschenlexikon (1999):  Countries usually considered Central European  Central European countries in the broader sense of the term  Countries occasionally considered to be Central European

Middle Europe
Europe
(Brockhaus Enzyklopädie, 1998)

Central Europe
Europe
according to Swansea University professors Robert Bideleux and Ian Jeffries (1998)[63]

Central Europe, as defined by E. Schenk (1950)[64]

Central Europe, according to Alice F. A. Mutton in Central Europe. A Regional and Human Geography (1961)

Central Europe
Europe
according to Meyers Enzyklopaedisches Lexikon (1980)

States[edit] The comprehension of the concept of Central Europe
Europe
is an ongoing source of controversy,[65] though the Visegrád
Visegrád
Group constituents are almost always included as de facto C.E. countries.[61] Although views on which countries belong to Central Europe
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.

Austria Czech Republic Germany Hungary Liechtenstein Poland Slovakia Switzerland Depending on context, Central European countries are sometimes grouped as Eastern or Western European countries, collectively or individually[66][67][68][69] but some place them in Eastern Europe instead:[66][67][68] for instance Austria
Austria
can be referred to as Central European, as well as Eastern European[70] or Western European.[71]

Other countries and regions[edit] 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:

Croatia[72][73][74][75][76] (alternatively placed in Southeast Europe)[77][78] Romania
Romania
(Transylvania, along with Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș[79] as well as Bukovina[80])[81][82][83] Serbia
Serbia
(primarily Vojvodina
Vojvodina
and Northern Belgrade)[84][85][86][87][88][89] Slovenia[90] (alternatively placed in Southeast Europe)[91] Ukraine
Ukraine
(Transcarpathia,[92] Galicia and Northern Bukovina[80]) The Baltic states, geographically in Northern Europe, have been considered part of Central Europe
Europe
in the German tradition of the term, Mitteleuropa. Benelux
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:

Italy
Italy
(South Tyrol, Trentino, Trieste
Trieste
and Gorizia, Friuli, Lombardy occasionally Veneto
Veneto
or all of Northern Italy)[93] Geography[edit] Geography defines Central Europe's natural borders with the neighbouring regions to the North across the Baltic Sea, namely Northern Europe
Europe
(or Scandinavia), and to the South across the Alps, the Apennine peninsula
Apennine peninsula
(or Italy), and the Balkan peninsula[94] across the Soča-Krka-Sava- Danube
Danube
line. The borders to Western Europe
Europe
and Eastern Europe
Europe
are geographically less defined and for this reason the cultural and historical boundaries migrate more easily West-East than South-North. The Rhine
Rhine
river which runs South-North through Western Germany
Germany
is an exception.[original research?]

The Danube
Danube
river watercourse system throughout Central and Southeastern Europe Southwards, the Pannonian Plain
Pannonian Plain
is bounded by the rivers Sava
Sava
and Danube- and their respective floodplains.[95] The Pannonian Plain stretches over the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia
Slovakia
and Slovenia, and touches borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Republika Srpska) and Ukraine
Ukraine
("peri- Pannonian states"). As southeastern division of the Eastern Alps,[96] the Dinaric Alps
Alps
extend for 650 kilometres along the coast of the Adriatic Sea (northwest-southeast), from the Julian Alps
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.[97] The Central European flora region stretches from Central France
France
(the Massif Central) to Central Romania
Romania
(Carpathians) and Southern Scandinavia.[98] At times, the term "Central Europe" denotes a geographic definition as the Danube
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
Slovenia
and usually also Austria
Austria
and Germany, but never Russia
Russia
and other countries of the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
towards the Ural mountains.[99]

Demography[edit] Population density (people per km2) by country, 2018 Central Europe
Europe
is one of the continent's most populous regions. It includes countries of varied sizes, ranging from tiny Liechtenstein
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
Europe
("the core countries") number around 165 million people, out of which around 82 million are residents of Germany.[100] Other populations include: Poland
Poland
with around 38.5 million residents,[101] Czech Republic
Czech Republic
at 10.5 million,[102] Hungary
Hungary
at 10 million,[103] Austria
Austria
with 8.8 million, Switzerland
Switzerland
with 8.5 million,[104] Slovakia
Slovakia
at 5.4 million,[105] and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
at a bit less than 40,000.[106] If the countries which are occasionally included in Central Europe were counted in, partially or in whole – Croatia
Croatia
(4.3 million) [107], Slovenia
Slovenia
(2 million, 2014 estimate)[108], Romania
Romania
(20 million), Lithuania
Lithuania
(2.9 million), Latvia
Latvia
(2 million), Estonia
Estonia
(1.3 million), Serbia
Serbia
(7.1 million) [109] – it would contribute to the rise of between 25–35 million, depending on whether regional or integral approach was used.[110] If smaller, western and eastern historical parts of Central Europe
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[edit] Currencies[edit] Currently, the members of the Eurozone
Eurozone
include Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary
Hungary
and Poland
Poland
use their currencies (Croatian kuna, Czech koruna, Hungarian forint, Polish złoty), but are obliged to adopt the Euro. Switzerland
Switzerland
uses its own currency – Swiss franc, Serbia
Serbia
too (Serbian dinar).

Human Development Index[edit] World map by quartiles of Human Development Index
Human Development Index
in 2013.   Very High   Low   High   Data unavailable   Medium Countries in descending order of Human Development Index
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
Serbia
0.787 (ranked 67) Globalisation[edit] Map showing the score for the KOF Globalization Index. The index of globalization in Central European countries (2016 data):[111]

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
Serbia
78.34 (ranked 37) Liechtenstein: 54.37 (ranked 121) Prosperity Index[edit] Legatum Prosperity Index demonstrates an average and high level of prosperity in Central Europe
Europe
(2018 data)[112]

Switzerland
Switzerland
(ranked 4) Germany
Germany
(ranked 11) Luxembourg
Luxembourg
(ranked 12) Austria
Austria
(ranked 15) Slovenia
Slovenia
(ranked 18) Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(ranked 27) Slovakia
Slovakia
(ranked 32) Poland
Poland
(ranked 33) Croatia
Croatia
(ranked 41) Hungary
Hungary
(ranked 47) Serbia
Serbia
(ranked 56) Corruption[edit] Overview of the index of perception of corruption, 2015.      90–100      60–69      30–39      0–9      80–89      50–59      20–29      No information      70–79      40–49      10–19 Most countries in Central Europe
Europe
tend to score above the average in the Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
(2018 data):[113]

Switzerland
Switzerland
(ranked 3, tied) Germany
Germany
(ranked 11, tied) Austria
Austria
(ranked 14, tied) Poland
Poland
(ranked 36, tied) Slovenia
Slovenia
(ranked 36, tied) Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(ranked 38, tied) Slovakia
Slovakia
(ranked 57) Croatia
Croatia
(ranked 60) Hungary
Hungary
(ranked 64, tied) Serbia
Serbia
(ranked 87, tied) According to the Bribe Payers Index, released yearly since 1995 by the Berlin-based NGO Transparency International, Germany
Germany
and Switzerland, the only two Central European countries examined in the study, were respectively ranked 2nd and 4th in 2011.[114]

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

Rail[edit] Rail network density. Central Europe
Europe
contains the continent's earliest railway systems, whose greatest expansion was recorded in Austro-Hungarian and German territories between 1860-1870s.[115] By the mid-19th century Berlin, Vienna, and Buda/Pest were focal points for network lines connecting industrial areas of Saxony, Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia
Moravia
and Lower Austria
Austria
with the Baltic (Kiel, Szczecin) and Adriatic (Rijeka, Trieste).[115] Rail infrastructure in Central Europe
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
Poland
(121.0), Slovenia
Slovenia
(108.0), Germany
Germany
(105.5), Hungary (98.7), Serbia
Serbia
(87.3), Slovakia
Slovakia
(73.9) and Croatia (72.5).[116][117] when compared with most of Europe and the rest of the world.[118][119]

River transport and canals[edit] Before the first railroads appeared in the 1840s, river transport constituted the main means of communication and trade.[115] Earliest canals included Plauen Canal (1745), Finow Canal, and also Bega Canal (1710) which connected Timișoara
Timișoara
to Novi Sad
Novi Sad
and Belgrade via Danube.[115] The most significant achievement in this regard was the facilitation of navigability on Danube
Danube
from the Black sea to Ulm in the 19th century.

Branches[edit] Compared to most of Europe, the economies of Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia
Slovenia
and Switzerland
Switzerland
tend to demonstrate high complexity. Industrialisation has reached Central Europe
Europe
relatively early: Luxembourg
Luxembourg
and Germany
Germany
by 1860, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia
Slovakia
and Switzerland
Switzerland
by 1870, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Romania, Serbia
Serbia
and Slovenia by 1880.[120]

Agriculture[edit] Central European countries are some of the most significant food producers in the world. Germany
Germany
is the world's largest hops producer with 34.27% share in 2010,[121] third producer of rye and barley, 5th rapeseed producer, sixth largest milk producer, and fifth largest potato producer. Poland
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
Czech Republic
is world's fourth largest hops producer and 8th producer of triticale. Hungary
Hungary
is world's fifth hops and seventh largest triticale producer. Serbia
Serbia
is world's second largest producer of plums and second largest of raspberries.[122][123] Slovenia
Slovenia
is world's sixth hops producer.

Business[edit] 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
Europe
and supporting the advancement of professionals in America with a Central European background.[124]

Tourism[edit] Central European countries, especially Austria, Croatia, Germany
Germany
and Switzerland
Switzerland
are some of the most competitive tourism destinations.[125] Poland
Poland
is presently a major destination for outsourcing.[126]

Outsourcing destination[edit] Kraków, Warsaw, and Wrocław, Poland; Prague
Prague
and Brno, Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary; Bucharest, Romania; Bratislava, Slovakia; Ljubljana, Slovenia, Belgrade, Serbia
Serbia
and Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia
are among the world's top 100 outsourcing destinations.[127]

Education[edit] Central European countries are very literate. All of them have the literacy rate of 96% or over (for both sexes):

Country Literacy rate (all) Male Female Criteria

-9e99 -9e99 !a -9e99

World 84.1% 88.6% 79.7% age 15 and over can read and write (2010 est.)

Liechtenstein 100% 100% 100% age 10 and over can read and write

Poland 99.7% 99.9% 99.6% age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)

Slovenia 99.7% 99.7% 99.7% (2010 est.)

Slovakia 99.6% 99.7% 99.6% age 15 and over can read and write (2004)

Czech Republic 99% 99% 99% (2011 est.)

Germany 99% 99% 99% age 15 and over can read and write (2003 est.)

Hungary 99% 99.2% 98.9% age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)

Switzerland 99% 99% 99% age 15 and over can read and write (2003 est.)

Croatia 98.9% 99.5% 98.3% age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)

Austria 98% N/A N/A age 15 and over can read and write

Serbia

97.9%

N/A

N/A

age 15 and over can read and write

Languages[edit] Languages taught as the first language in Central Europe
Europe
are: Croatian, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romansh, Serbian, Slovak and Slovenian. The most popular language taught at schools in Central Europe
Europe
as foreign languages are: English, French and German.[128] Proficiency in English is ranked as high or moderate, according to the EF English Proficiency Index:[129]

Slovenia
Slovenia
(position 6) Luxembourg
Luxembourg
(position 8) Poland
Poland
(position 9) Austria
Austria
(position 10) Germany
Germany
(position 11) Serbia
Serbia
(position 18) Hungary
Hungary
(position 21) Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(position 18) Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 19) Slovakia
Slovakia
(position 25) Croatia
Croatia
(not ranked) Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(not ranked) Other languages, also popular (spoken by over 5% as a second language):[128]

Croatian in Slovenia
Slovenia
(61%) Czech in Slovakia
Slovakia
(82%)[130] French in Romania
Romania
(17%), Germany
Germany
(14%) and Austria
Austria
(11%) German in Slovenia
Slovenia
(42%), Croatia
Croatia
(34%), Slovakia
Slovakia
(22%), Poland
Poland
(20%), Hungary
Hungary
(18%), the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(15%) and Romania
Romania
(5%) Hungarian in Romania
Romania
(9%), Serbia
Serbia
(7%) Slovakia
Slovakia
(12%)[131] Italian in Croatia
Croatia
(14%), Slovenia
Slovenia
(12%), Austria
Austria
(9%) and Romania (7%) Russian in Poland
Poland
(28%), Slovakia
Slovakia
(17%), the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(13%) and Germany
Germany
(6%) Polish in Slovakia
Slovakia
(5%) Slovak in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(16%), Serbia
Serbia
(2%) Spanish in Romania
Romania
(5%) Education performance[edit] 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.[132] In maths:

The results for the 2012 "Maths" section on a world map. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(position 8) – above the OECD
OECD
average Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 9) – above the OECD
OECD
average Poland
Poland
(position 14) – above the OECD
OECD
average Germany
Germany
(position 16) – above the OECD
OECD
average Austria
Austria
(position 18) – above the OECD
OECD
average Slovenia
Slovenia
(position 21) – above the OECD
OECD
average Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(position 24) – similar to the OECD
OECD
average Slovakia
Slovakia
(position 35) – below the OECD
OECD
average Hungary
Hungary
(position 39) – below the OECD
OECD
average Croatia
Croatia
(position 40) – below the OECD
OECD
average Serbia
Serbia
(position 43) – below the OECD
OECD
average In the sciences:

The results for the 2012 "Science" section on a world map. Poland
Poland
(position 9) – above the OECD
OECD
average Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(position 10) – above the OECD
OECD
average Germany
Germany
(position 12) – above the OECD
OECD
average Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 19) – above the OECD
OECD
average Slovenia
Slovenia
(position 20) – above the OECD
OECD
average Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(position 22) – above the OECD
OECD
average Austria
Austria
(position 23) – similar to the OECD
OECD
average Hungary
Hungary
(position 33) – below the OECD
OECD
average Serbia
Serbia
(position 34) – below the OECD
OECD
average Croatia
Croatia
(position 35) – below the OECD
OECD
average Slovakia
Slovakia
(position 40) – below the OECD
OECD
average In reading:

The results for the 2012 "Reading" section on a world map. Poland
Poland
(position 10) – above the OECD
OECD
average Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(position 11) – above the OECD
OECD
average Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 17) – above the OECD
OECD
average Germany
Germany
(position 19) – above the OECD
OECD
average Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(position 26) – similar to the OECD
OECD
average Austria
Austria
(position 27) – below the OECD
OECD
average Hungary
Hungary
(position 33) – below the OECD
OECD
average Croatia
Croatia
(position 35) – below the OECD
OECD
average Slovenia
Slovenia
(position 38) – below the OECD
OECD
average Serbia
Serbia
(position 49) – below the OECD
OECD
average Higher education[edit] Universities[edit] Karolinum
Karolinum
of the Charles University in Prague The first university east of France
France
and north of the Alps
Alps
was the Charles University in Prague
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).[133] The list of Central Europe's oldest universities in continuous operation, established by 1500, include (by their dates of foundation):

Czech Republic
Czech Republic
Charles University in Prague,[134] Czech Republic (1348) Poland
Poland
Jagiellonian University[135] in Kraków, Poland
Poland
(1364) Austria
Austria
University of Vienna[136] in Vienna, Austria
Austria
(1365) Hungary
Hungary
University of Pécs[137] in Pécs, Hungary
Hungary
(1367) Germany
Germany
Heidelberg University[138] in Heidelberg, Germany (1386) Germany
Germany
Cologne University[139] in Cologne, Germany
Germany
(1388) Croatia
Croatia
University of Zadar[140] in Zadar, Croatia
Croatia
(1396) Germany
Germany
University of Leipzig[141] in Leipzig, Germany
Germany
(1409) Germany
Germany
University of Rostock[142] in Rostock, Germany
Germany
(1419) Germany
Germany
University of Greifswald[143] in Greifswald, Germany (1456) Germany
Germany
University of Freiburg[144] in Freiburg, Germany (1457) Switzerland
Switzerland
University of Basel[145] in Basel, Switzerland (1460) Germany
Germany
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich[146] in Munich, Germany
Germany
(1472) Germany
Germany
University of Tübingen[147] in Tübingen, Germany (1477) Central European University[edit] The entrance of the Central European University
Central European University
in Budapest The Central European University
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.[148] In the academic year 2013/2014, the CEU had 1,381 students from 93 countries and 388 faculty members from 58 countries.[149]

Regional exchange program[edit] 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):[150]

Albania (2006) Austria
Austria
(2005) Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(2008) Bulgaria (2005) Croatia
Croatia
(2005) Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(2005) Hungary
Hungary
(2005) Kosovo*[151] (2008) Macedonia (2006) Moldova (2011) Montenegro (2006) Poland
Poland
(2005) Romania
Romania
(2005) Serbia
Serbia
(2005) Slovakia
Slovakia
(2005) Slovenia
Slovenia
(2005) Culture
Culture
and society[edit] See also: Magdeburg rights Research centres of Central European literature include Harvard (Cambridge, MA),[152] and Purdue University.[153]

Architecture[edit] Central European architecture has been shaped by major European styles including but not limited to: Brick Gothic, Rococo, Secession
Secession
(art) and Modern architecture. Seven Central European countries are amongst those countries with higher numbers of World Heritage Sites:

Germany
Germany
(position 5th, 42 sites) Poland
Poland
(position 18th, 16 sites) Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(position 22nd, 12 sites) Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 25th, 12 sites) Austria
Austria
(position 27th, 10 sites) Croatia
Croatia
(position 29th, 10 sites) Serbia
Serbia
(position 35th, 6 sites) Religion[edit] Central European major Christian denomination is Catholicism
Catholicism
(map) as well as large Protestant
Protestant
populations Jews in Central Europe
Europe
(1881) Central European countries are mostly Catholic
Catholic
(Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) or mixed Catholic
Catholic
and Protestant, ( Germany
Germany
and Switzerland). Large Protestant
Protestant
groups include Lutheran
Lutheran
and Calvinist. Significant populations of Eastern Catholicism
Catholicism
and Old Catholicism
Catholicism
are also prevalent throughout Central Europe. Central Europe
Europe
has been a centre of Protestantism in the past; however, it has been mostly eradicated by the Counterreformation.[154][155][156] The Czech Republic
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
Catholic
(10.3%). Romania
Romania
and Serbia
Serbia
are mostly Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
with significant Protestant
Protestant
and Catholic
Catholic
minorities. Before the Holocaust
Holocaust
(1941–45), there was also a sizeable Ashkenazi Jewish community in the region, numbering approximately 16.7 million people.[157] In some of these countries, there is a number of atheists, undeclared and non-religious people: the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(non-religious 34.2% and undeclared 45.2%), Germany
Germany
(non-religious 38%), Slovenia
Slovenia
(atheist 30.2%), Luxembourg
Luxembourg
(25% non-religious), Switzerland
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
Liechtenstein
(10.6% with no religion), Croatia
Croatia
(4%) and Poland
Poland
(3% of non-believers/agnostics and 1% of undeclared).

Central Europe
Europe
church buildings gallery[edit]

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague
Prague
(Catholic), Czech Republic

Zagreb
Zagreb
Cathedral, Zagreb
Zagreb
(Catholic), Croatia

Wrocław
Wrocław
Cathedral (Catholic), Poland

St. Mary's Basilica in Kraków
Kraków
(Catholic), Poland

St. Stephen's Basilica
St. Stephen's Basilica
in Budapest
Budapest
(Catholic), Hungary

Jesuit Church, Lucerne
Jesuit Church, Lucerne
(Catholic), Switzerland

Berlin
Berlin
Cathedral (United Protestant
Protestant
- Lutheran
Lutheran
& Calvinist), Germany

Grossmünster
Grossmünster
(Calvinist), Switzerland

Reformed Great Church of Debrecen
Debrecen
(Calvinist), Hungary

Abbey of Saint Gall
Abbey of Saint Gall
(Catholic), Switzerland

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral
(Catholic), Germany

Matthias Church
Matthias Church
is a Catholic
Catholic
church in Budapest, Hungary

Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Brno
Brno
(Catholic), Czech Republic

Vaduz Cathedral
Vaduz Cathedral
(Catholic), Liechtenstein

St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna
Vienna
(Catholic), Austria

St. Elisabeth Cathedral
St. Elisabeth Cathedral
in Košice
Košice
(Catholic), Slovakia

St. Theresa of Avila Cathedral, Subotica, Serbia
Serbia
(Catholic)

Evangelical church in Partizánska Ľupča
Partizánska Ľupča
(Lutheran), Slovakia

Esztergom Basilica
Esztergom Basilica
(Catholic), is an ecclesiastic basilica in Esztergom, Hungary

Cuisine[edit] Central European 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
Europe
are sausages and cheeses, where the earliest evidence of cheesemaking in the archaeological record dates back to 5,500 BCE (Kujawy, Poland).[158] Other foods widely associated with Central Europe
Europe
are goulash and beer. List of countries by beer consumption per capita is led by the Czech Republic, followed by Germany
Germany
and Austria. Poland
Poland
comes 5th, Croatia 7th and Slovenia
Slovenia
13th.

Human rights[edit] History[edit] 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
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
Poland
in 1505 which forbade peasants from leaving their land without permission from their feudal lord.

Present[edit] 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
Poland
also have a history of participation in the CIA's extraordinary rendition and detention program, according to the Open Society Foundation.[159][160]

Literature[edit] Regional writing tradition revolves around the turbulent history of the region, as well as its cultural diversity.[161][162] Its existence is sometimes challenged.[163] Specific courses on Central European literature are taught at Stanford University,[164] Harvard University[165] and Jagiellonian University[166] The as well as cultural magazines dedicated to regional literature.[167] 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.[168] Likewise, the Vilenica International Literary Prize is awarded to a Central European author for "outstanding achievements in the field of literature and essay writing."[169]

Media[edit] Press Freedom Index
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
Hungary
and Croatia is described as "problematic". Some of the top scoring countries in the Press Freedom Index
Press Freedom Index
are in Central Europe, and include:[170]

Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 7) Austria
Austria
(position 11) Germany
Germany
(position 16) Slovakia
Slovakia
(position 17) Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(position 23) Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(position 32) Slovenia
Slovenia
(position 37) Poland
Poland
(position 54) Hungary
Hungary
(position 71) Croatia
Croatia
(position 74) Serbia
Serbia
(position 76) Sport[edit] There is a number of Central European Sport events and leagues. They include:

Central European Tour Miskolc GP (Hungary)* Central European Tour Budapest
Budapest
GP (Hungary) Central Europe
Europe
Rally ( Romania
Romania
and Hungary)* Central European Football League (Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia
Slovenia
and Turkey) Central European International Cup (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Switzerland
Switzerland
and Yugoslavia; 1927–1960) Central Europe
Europe
Throwdown*[171] Football is one of the most popular sports. Countries of Central Europe
Europe
had many great national teams throughout history and hosted several major competitions. Yugoslavia hosted UEFA Euro 1976
UEFA Euro 1976
before the competition expanded to 8 teams and Germany
Germany
(at that times as West Germany) hosted UEFA Euro 1988. Recently, 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships were held in Austria
Austria
& Switzerland
Switzerland
and Poland
Poland
& Ukraine
Ukraine
respectively. Germany
Germany
hosted 2 FIFA World Cups (1974 and 2006) and are the current champions (as of 2014).[172][173][174]

Politics[edit] Organisations[edit] Central Europe
Europe
is a birthplace of regional political organisations:

Visegrád
Visegrád
Group Centrope Central European Initiative Central European Free Trade Agreement Middleeuropean Initiative Central European Defence Cooperation Three Seas Initiative

Central European Initiative

Central European Defence Cooperation

Visegrád
Visegrád
Group

CEFTA
CEFTA
founding states

CEFTA
CEFTA
members in 2003, before joining the EU

Current CEFTA
CEFTA
members

Democracy Index[edit] The Economist
The Economist
Intelligence Unit Democracy index map for 2016, with greener colours representing more democratic countries Central Europe
Europe
is a home to some of world's oldest democracies. However, most of them have been impacted by totalitarianism, particularly Fascism
Fascism
and Nazism. Germany
Germany
and Italy
Italy
occupied all Central European countries, except Switzerland. In all occupied countries, the Axis powers
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
Europe
(the Eastern and Middle part) was occupied by Communists. Communism
Communism
also banned democracy and free elections, and human rights did not exist in Communist countries. Most of Central Europe
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
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:[175]

Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 6) Germany
Germany
(position 13) Austria
Austria
(position 14) Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(position 25) Slovenia
Slovenia
(position 37) Poland
Poland
(position 40) Slovakia
Slovakia
(position 45) Croatia
Croatia
(position 50) Hungary
Hungary
(position 51) Serbia
Serbia
(position 57) Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(not listed) Global Peace Index[edit] Global Peace Index Scores. In spite of its turbulent history, Central Europe
Europe
is currently one of world's safest regions. Most Central European countries are in top 20%:[176]

Austria
Austria
(position 3) Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 5) Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(position 11) Slovenia
Slovenia
(position 14) Germany
Germany
(position 17) Slovakia
Slovakia
(position 19) Poland
Poland
(position 23) Hungary
Hungary
(position 22) Serbia
Serbia
(position 23) Croatia
Croatia
(position 26) Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(not listed) Central European Time[edit] Central European Time
Central European Time
Zone (dark red) The time zone used in most parts of the European Union
European Union
is a standard time which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is commonly called Central European Time
Central European Time
because it has been first adopted in central Europe
Europe
(by year):[citation needed]

Hungary Slovakia Czech Republic Germany Austria Poland
Poland
(1893)[177] Serbia Slovenia Switzerland Liechtenstein In popular culture[edit] Central Europe
Europe
is mentioned in 35th episode of Lovejoy, entitled "The Prague
Prague
Sun", filmed in 1992. While walking over the famous Charles Bridge, the main character, Lovejoy
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."[178] Wes Anderson's Oscar-winning film The Grand Budapest
Budapest
Hotel is regarded as a fictionalised celebration of the 1930s in Central Europe, and the region's musical tastes.[179][180]

See also[edit]

Geography portal Europe
Europe
portal Geographical midpoint of Europe Central and Eastern Europe Central European Initiative Central European Time
Central European Time
(CET) Central European University East-Central Europe Eurovoc Life zones of central Europe Międzymorze
Międzymorze
(Intermarum) Mitteleuropa

References[edit]

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^ a b Jordan, Peter (2005). "Großgliederung Europas nach kulturräumlichen Kriterien" [The large-scale division of Europe according to cultural-spatial criteria]. Europa Regional. Leipzig: Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL). 13 (4): 162–173. Retrieved 21 January 2019 – via Ständiger Ausschuss für geographische Namen (StAGN).

^ "Regions, Regionalism, Eastern Europe
Europe
by Steven Cassedy". New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles Scribner's Sons. 2005. Retrieved 31 January 2010.

^ Lecture 14: The Origins of the Cold War. Historyguide.org. Retrieved on 29 October 2011.

^ "Central Europe
Europe
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Bibliography[edit] Ádám, Magda (2003). The Versailles System and Central Europe Variorum Collected Studies. Ashgate. ISBN 0-86078-905-5. Ádám, Magda (1993). The Little Entente
Little Entente
and Europe(1920–1929). Akadémiai Kiadó. ISBN 963-05-6420-3. Ágh, Attila (1998). The politics of Central Europe. Sage. ISBN 0-7619-5032-X. Hayes, Bascom Barry (1994). Bismarck and Mitteleuropa. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. ISBN 978-0-8386-3512-4. Johnson, Lonnie R. (1996). Central Europe: enemies, neighbors, friends. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-510071-6. Katzenstein, Peter J. (1997). Mitteleuropa: Between Europe
Europe
and Germany. Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-57181-124-0. O. Benson, Forgacs (2002). Between Worlds. A Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes, 1910–1930. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-02530-0. Tiersky, Ronald (2004). Europe
Europe
today. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-2805-5. Tötösy de Zepetnek, Steven (2002), Comparative Central European culture, Purdue University Press, ISBN 1-55753-240-0 Shared Pasts in Central and Southeast Europe, 17th–21st Centuries. Eds. G. Demeter, P. Peykovska. 2015 Further reading[edit] Jacques Rupnik, "In Search of Central Europe: Ten Years Later", in Gardner, Hall, with Schaeffer, Elinore & Kobtzeff, Oleg, (ed.), Central and South-central Europe
Europe
in Transition, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2000 (translated from French by Oleg Kobtzeff) Article 'Mapping Central Europe' in hidden europe, 5, pp. 14–15 (November 2005) Journal of East Central Europe Central European Political Science Association's journal "Politics in Central Europe" CEU Political Science Journal (PSJ) Central European Journal of International and Security Studies Central European Political Studies Review External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Central Europe.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: East/Central Europe

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Central Europe.

The dictionary definition of central europe at Wiktionary Halecki, Oscar. "BORDERLANDS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION A History of East Central Europe" (PDF). Oscar Halecki. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. The Centrope
Centrope
region Maps of Europe
Europe
and European countries CENTRAL EUROPE 2020 Central Europe
Europe
Economy UNHCR Office for Central Europe vteEarth's primary regionsvteRegions of AfricaCentral Africa Guinea region Gulf of Guinea Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland Mbaise Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau East Africa African Great Lakes Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Kavirondo Zanj Serengeti Horn of Africa Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Dahlak Archipelago Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
islands Comoro Islands Lamu Archipelago Red Sea Hanish Islands North Africa Maghreb Ifriqiya Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains Nile
Nile
Valley Nile
Nile
Delta Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile
Nile
Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt Western Sahara West Africa Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region Gulf of Guinea Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Dahomey Gap Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta Yorubaland Fouta Djallon Southern Africa Madagascar Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands Rhodesia North South Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Skeleton Coast Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta Cape Peninsula False Bay Hydra Bay Macro-regions Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

vteRegions of AsiaCentral Greater Middle East Aral Sea Aralkum Desert Caspian Sea Dead Sea Sea of Galilee Tartary Transoxiana Turan Greater Khorasan Ariana Arachosia Khwarazm Sistan Kazakhstania Kazakh Steppe Betpak-Dala Eurasian Steppe Asian Steppe Kazakh Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields Yedisan Muravsky Trail Ural Ural Mountains Volga region Idel-Ural Pryazovia Bjarmaland Kuban Zalesye Ingria Novorossiya Gornaya Shoriya Tulgas Iranian Plateau Altai Mountains Pamir Mountains Tian Shan Badakhshan Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Mount Imeon Mongolian Plateau Western Regions Taklamakan Desert Karakoram Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract Siachen Glacier North Inner Asia Northeast Ural Ural Mountains Far East Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga Beringia Chukchi Peninsula Kamchatka Peninsula Extreme North Tartary Siberia Baikalia
Baikalia
(Lake Baikal) Baraba steppe Khatanga Gulf Transbaikal West Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Sikhote-Alin Kolyma Bering Strait Ring of Fire Asia-Pacific East Orient Japanese archipelago Northeastern Japan Arc Sakhalin Island Arc Korean Peninsula Gobi Desert Taklamakan Desert Greater Khingan Mongolian Plateau Inner Asia Inner Mongolia Outer Mongolia China proper Manchuria Outer Manchuria Inner Manchuria Northeast China
Northeast China
Plain Mongolian-Manchurian grassland North China Plain Yan Mountains Kunlun Mountains Liaodong Peninsula High-mountain Asia Himalayas Tibetan Plateau Tibet Tarim Basin Sichuan Basin Northern Silk Road Hexi Corridor Nanzhong Lingnan Liangguang Jiangnan Jianghuai Guanzhong Huizhou Wu Jiaozhou Zhongyuan Shaannan Ordos Loop Loess Plateau Shaanbei Hamgyong Mountains Central Mountain Range Japanese Alps Suzuka Mountains Leizhou Peninsula Gulf of Tonkin Yangtze River Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Delta Yellow River Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Far East Ring of Fire Asia-Pacific West Greater Middle East MENA MENASA Middle East Red Sea Hanish Islands Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains Elam Persian Gulf Pirate Coast Strait of Hormuz Greater and Lesser Tunbs Al-Faw Peninsula Gulf of Oman Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Aden Balochistan Arabian Peninsula Najd Al-Yamama Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
coastal fog desert Tropical Asia Al-Sharat Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia Canaan Aram Aram-Naharaim Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan Rift Valley Levantine Sea Holy Land Palestine Land of Israel Golan Heights Hula Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti-Lebanon Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Hauran Iranian Plateau Dasht-e Kavir Armenian Highlands Caucasus Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus North Caucasus South Caucasus Shirvan Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula Kartli Anatolia Taurus Mountains Aeolis Paphlagonia Phasiane Isauria Ionia Bithynia Cilicia Cappadocia Caria Corduene Chaldia Doris Lycaonia Lycia Lydia Galatia Pisidia Pontus Mysia Arzawa Speri Sophene Biga Peninsula Troad Tuwana Alpide belt South Orient Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Bactria Carnatic region Tamilakam Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Guzgan Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan Gedrosia Makran Marathwada Kashmir Kashmir
Kashmir
Valley Pir Panjal Range Thar Desert Indus Valley Indus River
Indus River
Delta Indus Valley Desert Indo-Gangetic Plain Eastern Coastal Plains Kalinga Western Coastal Plains Meghalaya subtropical forests MENASA Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Doab Bagar tract Great Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Deccan Plateau Coromandel Coast Konkan False Divi Point Hindi Belt Ladakh Aksai Chin Gilgit-Baltistan Baltistan Shigar Valley High-mountain Asia Karakoram Saltoro Mountains Siachen Glacier Bengal Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Halar Gulf of Mannar Trans- Karakoram
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Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Laccadive Islands Amindivi Islands Paropamisadae Andaman and Nicobar Islands Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands Maldive Islands Alpide belt Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Southeast Orient Sundaland Mainland Indochina Malay Peninsula Northern Triangle temperate forests Maritime Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands Indonesian Archipelago Wallacea Timor New Guinea Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula Bismarck Archipelago Philippine Archipelago Luzon Visayas Mindanao Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt Far East Ring of Fire Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia

vteRegions of EuropeNorth Nordic Northwestern Scandinavia Scandinavian Peninsula Fennoscandia Baltoscandia Jutland Sápmi Ingria West Nordic Baltic Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Iceland Faroe Islands British Isles East Danubian countries Prussia Galicia Volhynia Wallachia Transylvania Moldavia Bukovina Bessarabia Livonia Ruthenia Carpathian Ruthenia Donbass Sloboda Ukraine Sambia Peninsula Amber Coast Curonian Spit Izyum Trail Lithuania
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Group Rhineland Eastphalia Westphalia Prussia Lusatia Bohemia Moravia Silesia Czech Silesia Pomerania Pomerelia Kashubia Bukovina Istria Transdanubia Polesia Germania Germania
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(Padania) Italian Peninsula Tuscan Archipelago Insular Italy Aegadian Islands Iberia Al-Andalus Baetic System Gibraltar Arc Southeastern Mediterranean Alpide belt

Germanic Romance Celtic Slavic countries Uralic European Plain Eurasian Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe Wild Fields Pannonian Basin Great Hungarian Plain Little Hungarian Plain Eastern Slovak Lowland

vteRegions of North AmericaNorth(Canada)Eastern Central Canada Atlantic Canada Atlantic Northeast The Maritimes Great Lakes region Western Pacific Northwest Prairie Pothole Region Northern Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Greenland

Canadian Prairies The Maritimes French Canada English Canada Acadia Acadian Peninsula Quebec City–Windsor Corridor Peace River Country Cypress Hills Palliser's Triangle Canadian Shield Interior Alaska- Yukon
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lowland taiga Kodiak Island Newfoundland (island) Vancouver Island Gulf Islands Strait of Georgia Labrador Peninsula Gaspé Peninsula Avalon Peninsula Bay de Verde Peninsula Brodeur Peninsula Melville Peninsula Bruce Peninsula Banks Peninsula (Nunavut) Cook Peninsula Gulf of Boothia Georgian Bay Hudson Bay James Bay North(United States)Arctic Aleutian Arc Aleutian Range Alaska
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Area San Francisco Bay North Bay East Bay Silicon Valley Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Gulf of Mexico Lower Colorado River Valley Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta Colville Delta Arkansas Delta Mobile–Tensaw River Delta Mississippi Delta Mississippi River Delta Columbia River Estuary Great Basin High Desert Monterey Peninsula Upper Peninsula of Michigan Lower Peninsula of Michigan Virginia Peninsula Keweenaw Peninsula Middle Peninsula Delmarva Peninsula Alaska
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Caribbean
Zone Isthmus of Panama Gulf of Panama Pearl Islands Azuero Peninsula Mosquito Coast Caribbean Antilles Greater Antilles Lesser Antilles Leeward Leeward Antilles Windward Lucayan Archipelago Southern Caribbean West Indies

Aridoamerica Mesoamerica Oasisamerica Anglo Latin French Hispanic American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

vteRegions of OceaniaAustralasia Gulf of Carpentaria Zealandia Kula Gulf Australia Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia Maralinga Sunraysia Great Victoria Desert Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf St Vincent Lefevre Peninsula Fleurieu Peninsula Yorke Peninsula Eyre Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Bellarine Peninsula Mount Henry Peninsula Melanesia Islands Region Bismarck Archipelago Solomon Islands North Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Guinea Papua New Guinea Republic of West Papua Vanuatu Micronesia Caroline Islands Federated States of Micronesia Palau Kiribati Mariana Islands Guam Northern Mariana Islands Marshall Islands Nauru Wake Island Polynesia Easter Island Hawaiian Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia Austral Islands Gambier Islands Mangareva Islands Marquesas Islands Society Islands Tuamotus Kermadec Islands New Zealand South Island North Island Niue Pitcairn Islands Samoan Islands American Samoa Independent State of Samoa Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu

Asia-Pacific Ring of Fire

vteRegions of South AmericaEast Amazon basin Atlantic Forest Caatinga Cerrado North Caribbean
Caribbean
South America West Indies Los Llanos The Guianas Amazon basin Amazon rainforest Gulf of Paria Paria Peninsula Paraguaná Peninsula Orinoco Delta South Tierra del Fuego Patagonia Pampas Pantanal Gran Chaco Chiquitano dry forests Valdes Peninsula Triple Frontier West Andes Tropical Andes Wet Andes Dry Andes Pariacaca mountain range Altiplano Atacama Desert

Latin Hispanic Bolivarian American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

vteEarth's polar regionsAntarctic Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula East Antarctica West Antarctica Eklund Islands Ecozone Extreme points Islands Arctic Arctic
Arctic
Alaska British Arctic
Arctic
Territories Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Finnmark Greenland Northern Canada Northwest Territories Nunavik Nunavut Russian Arctic Sakha Sápmi Yukon North American Arctic

vteEarth's oceans and seas Arctic
Arctic
Ocean Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea Atlantic Ocean Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland
Greenland
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Timor
Sea Pacific Ocean Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea Southern Ocean Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea Endorheic basins Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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