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Central Europe
Europe
is the region comprising the central part of Europe. It is said to occupy continuous territory that are otherwise conventionally Eastern Europe
Europe
and Western Europe.[1][2][3] The concept of Central Europe
Europe
is based on a common historical, social and cultural identity.[4][5][6][7][8][7][9][10][11][12][13] Central Europe
Europe
is going through a phase of "strategic awakening",[14] with initiatives such as the CEI, Centrope
Centrope
and the Visegrád
Visegrád
Four. While the region's economy shows high disparities with regard to income,[15] all Central European countries are listed by the Human Development Index
Human Development Index
as very highly developed.[16]

Central Europe
Europe
according to The World Factbook
The World Factbook
(2009),[17] Encyclopædia Britannica, and Brockhaus Enzyklopädie
Brockhaus Enzyklopädie
(1998)

Central Europe
Europe
according to P. Jones (Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography). Many Central European countries and regions were part of the German and Austro-Hungarian empires and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and thus share common cultural and historical connections.

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 1.6 Current views

2 States

2.1 Other countries and regions

3 Geography 4 Statistics

4.1 Data 4.2 Demography

5 Economy

5.1 Currencies 5.2 Human Development Index 5.3 Globalisation 5.4 Prosperity Index 5.5 Corruption 5.6 Infrastructure

5.6.1 Rail 5.6.2 River transport and canals

5.7 Branches

5.7.1 Agriculture 5.7.2 Business 5.7.3 Tourism 5.7.4 Outsourcing destination

6 Education

6.1 Languages 6.2 Education performance 6.3 Higher education

6.3.1 Universities 6.3.2 Central European University 6.3.3 Regional exchange program

7 Culture
Culture
and society

7.1 Architecture 7.2 Religion 7.3 Central Europe
Europe
church buildings gallery 7.4 Cuisine 7.5 Human rights

7.5.1 History 7.5.2 Present

7.6 Literature 7.7 Media 7.8 Sport

8 Politics

8.1 Organisations 8.2 Democracy Index 8.3 Global Peace Index

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

Historical perspective Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and early modern era Elements of unity for Western and Central Europe
Europe
were Roman Catholicism
Catholicism
and Latin. However Eastern Europe, which remained Eastern Orthodox Christian, was the area of Graeco-Byzantine cultural influence; after the 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.[18][19][20][21]

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
Hungary
in 1190

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.[22] 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.[23] They agreed to cooperate closely in the field of politics and commerce, inspiring their late successors to launch a successful Central European initiative.[23] In the Middle Ages, countries in Central Europe
Europe
adopted Magdeburg rights. Before World War I

A view of Central Europe
Europe
dating from the time before the First World War (1902):[24]   Central European countries and regions: Germany
Germany
and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
(without Bosnia & Herzegovina and Dalmatia)   Regions located at the transition between Central 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.[25] The concept of Central Europe
Europe
was already known at the beginning of the 19th century,[26] 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.[27] An example of that-time vision of Central Europe
Europe
may be seen in J. Partsch’s book of 1903.[28] 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[29] in which he called for an economic federation to be established after the war. 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 Anglo-French alliance, on one side, and Russia, on the other.[30] 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

Interwar Central Europe
Europe
according to Emmanuel de Martonne
Emmanuel de Martonne
(1927)

Little Entente, Central European defense union of Czechoslovakia, Romania
Romania
and Yugoslavia[31]

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 use both Human and Physical Geographical features to define Central Europe.[33] The interwar period (1918–1939) brought new geopolitical system and economic and political problems, and the concept of Central Europe took 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
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.[26] After the war, the Eastern part of Central Europe
Europe
was placed at the centre of the concept. At that time the scientists took 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 Adam wrote in her study Versailles System and Central Europe
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
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

The Mitteleuropa: AT, HR, CZ, DE, HU, PL, SK, SI, EE/LV/LT, large parts of RO, RS, minor parts of FR, IT, RU, UA

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
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
Potsdam Conference
decisions. In this view Bohemia
Bohemia
and Moravia, with its dual Western Slavic and Germanic heritage, combined with the historic 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 elder 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

  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
Warsaw
Pact when these countries started to undergo transition. The post- World War II
World War II
period brought blocking of the 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 the communism, publicists and historians in Central Europe, especially anti-communist opposition, came back 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, Vojvodina
Vojvodina
and Slovenia), as well as northeastern France. Current views 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. Main propositions, gathered by 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
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. 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.

Habsburg-ruled lands

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 an accent on the 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 in the South-Eastern states, which prefer the enlarged concept of the "East Centre" expressing their links with the Western culture.

According to 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] 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 Roman 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
Bulgaria
are parts of Central Europe or not.[51] Lonnie R. Johnson points out criteria to distinguish Central 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 Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
West and the Orthodox East.[53] The pagans of Central Europe
Europe
were converted to Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism
while in Southeastern and Eastern Europe
Europe
they were brought into the fold of the 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 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[17] uses the same definition adding Slovenia
Slovenia
too. Encarta Encyclopedia
Encarta Encyclopedia
and Encyclopædia Britannica do not clearly define the region, but Encarta
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
too, occasionally also Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

The European floristic regions

The Pannonian Plain, between the Alps
Alps
(west), the Carpathians
Carpathians
(north and east), and the Sava/ Danube
Danube
(south)

Carpathian countries (north-west to south-east): CZ, AT, PL, SK, HU, UA, RO, RS

States The comprehension of the concept of Central Europe
Europe
is an ongoing source of controversy,[60] though the Visegrád Group
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  Croatia[62][63][64][65][66] (alternatively placed in Southeastern Europe)[67][68]  Czech Republic  Germany  Hungary  Liechtenstein  Poland  Slovakia  Slovenia[69] (sometimes placed in Southeastern Europe)[70]   Switzerland

Depending on context, Central European countries are sometimes grouped as Eastern or Western European countries, collectively or individually[71][72][73][74] but some place them in Eastern Europe instead:[71][72][73] for instance Austria
Austria
can be referred to as Central European, as well as Eastern European[75] or Western European.[76] 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:

  Romania
Romania
(Transylvania[77] and Bukovina[78])[79][80][81]  Serbia[82][83][84][85][86]

The Baltic states, geographically located 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, occasionally Veneto
Veneto
or all of Northern Italy)[87]   Ukraine
Ukraine
(Transcarpathia,[88] Galicia and Northern Bukovina[78])

Geography Geography defines Central Europe's natural borders with the neighbouring regions to the North across the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
namely the Northern Europe
Europe
(or Scandinavia), and to the South across the Alps, the Apennine peninsula
Apennine peninsula
(or Italy), and the Balkan peninsula[89] 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?]

Danube
Danube
river in Central and Southeast Europe

Southwards, the Pannonian Plain
Pannonian Plain
is bounded by the rivers Sava
Sava
and Danube- and their respective floodplains.[90] The Pannonian Plain stretches over the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia
Slovakia
and Slovenia, and touches borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republika Srpska) and Ukraine
Ukraine
("peri- Pannonian states"). As southeastern division of the Eastern Alps,[91] the Dinaric 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 Universitaet Berlin, this mountain chain is classified as South Central European.[92] The Central European flora region stretches from Central France
France
(the Massif Central) to Central Romania
Romania
(Carpathians) and Southern Scandinavia.[93] 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.[94] Statistics Data

Area: 1.036.370 km2 (2012) Population: (calculated data) 163.518.571 (July 2012) Population
Population
density: (calculated data) 157.78/km2 (2012) GDP (PPP) per capita: US$34.444 (2012) Life expectancy: (calculated data) 78.32-year (2012) Unemployment rate: 8.2% (2012) Fertility rate: 1.41 births/woman (2012) Human Development Index: 0.874 (2012) (very high) Globalization Index (regional): 80.09 (2013) [95]

Demography Central Europe
Europe
is one of 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.[96] Other populations include: Poland
Poland
with around 38.5 million residents,[97] Czech Republic
Czech Republic
at 10.5 million,[98] Hungary
Hungary
at 10 million,[99] Austria
Austria
with 8.5 million, Switzerland
Switzerland
with its 8 million inhabitants,[100] Slovakia
Slovakia
at 5.4 million,[101] Croatia
Croatia
with its 4.3 million[102] residents, Slovenia
Slovenia
at 2 million (2014 estimate)[103] and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
at a bit less than 40,000.[104]

Population
Population
density (people per km2) by country, 2015

If the countries which are occasionally included in Central Europe were counted in, partially or in whole – Romania
Romania
(20 million), Serbia
Serbia
(6.9 million), Lithuania
Lithuania
(2.9 million), Latvia
Latvia
(2 million), Estonia
Estonia
(1.3 million) – it would contribute to the rise of between 25–35 million, depending on whether regional or integral approach was used.[105] 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 Currencies 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. Human Development Index

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
(2014 data):

  Switzerland: 0.917 (ranked 3)  Germany: 0.911 (ranked 6)  Liechtenstein: 0.889 (ranked 18)  Austria: 0.881 (ranked 21)  Slovenia: 0.874 (ranked 25)  Czech Republic: 0.861 (ranked 28)  Poland: 0.834 (ranked 35)  Slovakia: 0.830 (ranked 37)  Hungary: 0.818 (ranked 43)  Croatia: 0.812 (ranked 47)

Globalisation

Map showing the score for the KOF Globalization Index.

The index of globalization in Central European countries (2015 data):[106]

 Austria: 89.83 (ranked 4)   Switzerland: 87.01 (ranked 5)  Hungary: 85.78 (ranked 9)  Slovakia: 83.62 (ranked 16)  Czech Republic: 83.60 (ranked 17)  Slovakia: 83.55 (ranked 18)  Poland: 79.90 (ranked 23)  Germany: 78.24 (ranked 27)  Slovenia: 76.24 (ranked 32)  Croatia: 75.59 (ranked 35)  Liechtenstein: not listed (ranked 180 in 2015 with 29.23)

Prosperity Index Legatum Prosperity Index demonstrates an average and high level of prosperity in Central Europe
Europe
(2016 data):[107]

   Switzerland
Switzerland
(ranked 4)   Germany
Germany
(ranked 11)   Luxembourg
Luxembourg
(ranked 12)   Austria
Austria
(ranked 15)   Slovenia
Slovenia
(ranked 20)   Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(ranked 27)   Poland
Poland
(ranked 34)   Slovakia
Slovakia
(ranked 36)   Croatia
Croatia
(ranked 43)   Hungary
Hungary
(ranked 47)

Corruption

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
score tend to score above the average in the Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
(2015 data):[108]

   Switzerland
Switzerland
(ranked 7)   Germany
Germany
(ranked 10, tied)   Austria
Austria
(ranked 16, tied)   Poland
Poland
(ranked 30, tied)   Slovenia
Slovenia
(ranked 35)   Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(ranked 37, tied)   Croatia
Croatia
(ranked 50, tied)   Hungary
Hungary
(ranked 50, tied)   Slovakia
Slovakia
(ranked 50, 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.[109] Infrastructure Industrialisation occurred early in Central Europe. That caused construction of rail and other types of infrastructure. Rail

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.[110] 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).[110] 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), Slovakia
Slovakia
(73.9) and Croatia
Croatia
(72.5).[111][112] when compared with most of Europe
Europe
and the rest of the world.[113][114] River transport and canals Before the first railroads appeared in the 1840s, river transport constituted the main means of communication and trade.[110] Earliest canals included Plauen Canal (1745), Finow Canal, and also Bega Canal (1710) which connected Timișoara
Timișoara
to Novi Sad
Novi Sad
and Belgrade
Belgrade
via Danube.[110] 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 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.[115] Agriculture 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,[116] 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.[117][118] Slovenia
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
Europe
and supporting the advancement of professionals in America with a Central European background.[119] Tourism Central European countries, especially Austria, Croatia, Germany
Germany
and Switzerland
Switzerland
are some of the most competitive tourism destinations.[120] Poland
Poland
is presently a major destination for outsourcing.[121] Outsourcing destination Kraków, Warsaw, and Wroclaw, Poland; Prague
Prague
and Brno, Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary; Bucharest, Romania; Bratislava, Slovakia; Ljubljana, Slovenia
Slovenia
and Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia
are among the world's top 100 outsourcing destinations.[122] Education 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

Languages Languages taught as the first language in Central Europe
Europe
are: Croatian, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romansh, Slovak and Slovenian. The most popular language taught at schools in Central Europe
Europe
as foreign languages are: English, French and German.[123]

Map of the results of the EF English Proficiency Index

Proficiency in English is ranked as high or moderate, according to the EF English Proficiency Index:[124]

  Slovenia
Slovenia
(position 6)   Luxembourg
Luxembourg
(position 8)   Poland
Poland
(position 9)   Austria
Austria
(position 10)   Germany
Germany
(position 11)   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):[123]

Croatian in Slovenia
Slovenia
(61%) Czech in Slovakia
Slovakia
(82%)[125] 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
(5%) Slovakia
Slovakia
(12%)[126] 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 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.[127] 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   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

Higher education Universities

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).[128] The list of Central Europe's oldest universities in continuous operation, established by 1500, include (by their dates of foundation):

Charles University in Prague,[129] Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(1348) Jagiellonian University[130] in Kraków, Poland
Poland
(1364) University of Vienna[131] in Vienna, Austria
Austria
(1365) University of Pécs[132] in Pécs, Hungary
Hungary
(1367) Heidelberg University[133] in Heidelberg, Germany
Germany
(1386) Cologne University[134] in Cologne, Germany
Germany
(1388) University of Zadar[135] in Zadar, Croatia
Croatia
(1396) University of Leipzig[136] in Leipzig, Germany
Germany
(1409) University of Rostock[137] in Rostock, Germany
Germany
(1419) University of Greifswald[138] in Greifswald, Germany
Germany
(1456) University of Freiburg[139] in Freiburg, Germany
Germany
(1457) University of Basel[140] in Basel, Switzerland
Switzerland
(1460) Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich[141] in Munich, Germany
Germany
(1472) University of Tübingen[142] in Tübingen, Germany
Germany
(1477)

Central European University

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.[143] In the academic year 2013/2014, the CEU had 1,381 students from 93 countries and 388 faculty members from 58 countries.[144] 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):[145]

  Albania
Albania
(2006)   Austria
Austria
(2005)   Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(2008)   Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(2005)   Croatia
Croatia
(2005)   Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(2005)   Hungary
Hungary
(2005) Kosovo*[146] (2008)  Macedonia (2006)   Moldova
Moldova
(2011)   Montenegro
Montenegro
(2006)   Poland
Poland
(2005)   Romania
Romania
(2005)   Serbia
Serbia
(2005)   Slovakia
Slovakia
(2005)   Slovenia
Slovenia
(2005)

Culture
Culture
and society Research centres of Central European literature include Harvard (Cambridge, MA),[147] Purdue University[148] Architecture Central European architecture has been shaped by major European styles including but not limited to: Brick Gothic, Rococo, Secession
Secession
(art) and Modern architecture. Six 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 22th, 12 sites)    Switzerland
Switzerland
(position 25th, 12 sites)   Austria
Austria
(position 27th, 10 sites)   Croatia
Croatia
(position 29th, 10 sites)

Religion

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 Roman Catholic
Roman 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.[149][150][151] The Czech Republic (Bohemia) was historically the first Protestant
Protestant
country, then violently recatholised, and now overwhelmingly non-religious, nevertheless the largest number of religious people are Catholic (10.3%). Romania
Romania
and Serbia
Serbia
are mostly 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.[152] 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

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

Zagreb
Zagreb
Cathedral, Zagreb
Zagreb
(Catholic), Croatia

Wrocław Cathedral
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 Churchis a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
church located 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

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

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

Cuisine 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).[153] 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
Croatia
7th and Slovenia
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
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 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.[154][155] Literature Regional writing tradition revolves around the turbulent history of the region, as well as its cultural diversity.[156][157] Its existence is sometimes challenged.[158] Specific courses on Central European literature are taught at Stanford University,[159] Harvard University[160] and Jagiellonian University[161] The as well as cultural magazines dedicated to regional literature.[162] 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.[163] Likewise, the Vilenica International Literary Prize is awarded to a Central European author for "outstanding achievements in the field of literature and essay writing."[164] Media

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
Croatia
is described as "problematic". Some of the top scoring countries are in Central Europe
Europe
include:[165]

   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)

Sport 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*[166]

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
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).[167][168][169] Politics Organisations Central Europe
Europe
is a birthplace of regional political organisations:

Visegrad 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

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
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)[170]   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 Encyclopedia
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)[171]

Central Europe, as defined by E. Schenk (1950)[172]

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)

Democracy Index

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 totalitarian rule, particularly Nazism (Germany, Austria, other occupied countries) and Communism. Most of Central Europe
Europe
have been occupied and later allied with the USSR, 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:[173]

   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)   Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(not listed)

Global Peace Index

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%:[174]

  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)   Croatia
Croatia
(position 26)   Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(not listed)

Central European Time
Central European Time
Zone (dark red)

Central European Time

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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):

 Hungary  Slovakia  Czech Republic  Germany  Austria   Poland
Poland
(1893[175])  Slovenia   Switzerland  Liechtenstein

In popular culture 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."[176] Wes Anderson's Oscar-winning film The Grand Budapest
Budapest
Hotel is regarded as a fictionalised celebration of the 1930s in Central Europe[177] and region's musical tastes[178] See also

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

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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
— The future of the Visegrad group". The Economist. 14 April 2005. Retrieved 7 March 2009.  ^ Agh 1998, pp. 2–8 ^ "Central European Identity in Politics — Jiří Pehe" (in Czech). Conference on Central European Identity, Central European Foundation, Bratislava. 2002. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ " Europe
Europe
of Cultures: Cultural Identity of Central Europe". Europe House Zagreb, Culturelink Network/IRMO. 24 November 1996. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ a b Comparative Central European culture. Purdue University Press. 2002. ISBN 978-1-55753-240-4. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ "An Introduction to Central Europe: History, Culture, and Politics – Preparatory Course for Study Abroad Undergraduate Students at CEU" (PDF). Central European University. Budapest. Fall 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2010.  ^ Ben Koschalka – content, Monika Lasota – design and coding. "To Be (or Not To Be) Central European: 20th Century Central and Eastern European Literature". Centre for European Studies of the Jagiellonian University. Archived from the original on 3 March 2001. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ "Ten Untaught Lessons about Central Europe-Charles Ingrao". HABSBURG Occasional Papers, No. 1. 1996. Archived from the original on 2003-12-14. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ "Introduction to the electronic version of Cross Currents". Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ "History of the literary cultures of East-Central Europe: junctures and disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries, Volume 2".  ^ "When identity becomes an alibi (Institut Ramon Llull)" (PDF).  ^ "The Mice that Roared: Central Europe
Europe
Is Reshaping Global Politics". Spiegel.de. 26 February 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ "Which regions are covered?". European Regional Development Fund. Archived from the original on 2010-04-03. Retrieved 31 January 2010.  ^ 2010 Human Development Index. (PDF) . Retrieved on 29 October 2011. ^ a b "The World Factbook: Field listing – Location". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2009.  ^ Paul Robert Magocsi
Paul Robert Magocsi
(2002). "The development of Central Europe (Chapter 11)". Historical Atlas of Central Europe. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-8486-9.  ^ Kasper von Greyerz (2007-10-22). Religion and Culture
Culture
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Bibliography

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

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 form French by Oleg Kobtzeff) Article 'Mapping Central Europe' in hidden europe, 5, pp. 14–15 (November 2005) "Journal of East Central Europe": http://www.ece.ceu.hu Central European Political Science Association's journal "Politics in Central Europe": http://www.politicsincentraleurope.eu/ CEU Political Science Journal (PSJ): http://www.ceu.hu/poliscijournal Central European Journal of International and Security Studies: http://www.cejiss.org/ Central European Political Studies Review: http://www.cepsr.com/

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Middle 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

v t e

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v t e

Regions of Africa

Central 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 Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean
Ocean
islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt 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 Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta 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

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Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields

Yedisan Muravsky Trail

Ural

Ural Mountains

Volga region Idel-Ural Kolyma Transbaikal 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 Far East

Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Extreme North Siberia

Baikalia
Baikalia
(Lake Baikal) Transbaikal Khatanga Gulf Baraba steppe

Kamchatka Peninsula Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Beringia Sikhote-Alin

East

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

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North China Plain

Yan Mountains

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Tibet

Tarim 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 Delta Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass

West

Greater Middle East

MENA MENASA Middle East

Red Sea Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains 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 Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia

Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
coastal fog desert

Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia

Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia

Canaan Aram Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant

Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan Rift Valley

Israel Levantine Sea Golan Heights Hula Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti-Lebanon Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Palestine Iranian Plateau Armenian Highlands Caucasus

Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains

Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus

North Caucasus South Caucasus

Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt

South

Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan 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 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

Karakoram

Saltoro Mountains

Siachen Glacier Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Mannar Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands

Maldive Islands Alpide belt

Southeast

Mainland

Indochina Malay Peninsula

Maritime

Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands

Indonesian Archipelago Timor New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

Philippine Archipelago

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt

Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of Europe

North

Nordic Northwestern Scandinavia Scandinavian Peninsula Fennoscandia Baltoscandia Sápmi West Nordic Baltic Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Iceland Faroe Islands

East

Danubian countries Prussia Galicia Volhynia Donbass Sloboda Ukraine Sambia Peninsula

Amber Coast

Curonian Spit Izyum Trail Lithuania
Lithuania
Minor Nemunas Delta Baltic Baltic Sea Vyborg Bay Karelia

East Karelia Karelian Isthmus

Lokhaniemi Southeastern

Balkans Aegean Islands Gulf of Chania North Caucasus Greater Caucasus Kabardia European Russia

Southern Russia

Central

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West

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South

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French Hispanic

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Regions of Oceania

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Australia Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia

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Melanesia

Islands Region

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Fiji New Caledonia Papua New Guinea Vanuatu

Micronesia

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Regions of South America

East

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North

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South

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West

Andes

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Latin Hispanic American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

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Polar regions

Antarctic

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Antarctic
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Earth's oceans and seas

Arctic
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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

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Timor
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Pacific Ocean

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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

Landlocked seas

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 151180158 GND: 4039677-0 SUDOC: 033661766 BNF:

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