Austria joined the European Union in 1995, with the overwhelming support of its citizenry. In June 1994, a record 66.6 percent of the Austrian population voted in favor of joining the Union, and Austria acceded on January 1, 1995. Only three years later, in the second half of 1998, Austria assumed its first presidency of the European Union. Its competent conduct of the Union's business enhanced its reputation. The sense that Austria was a role model collapsed overnight, after a new conservative People's Party (VP/FP) coalition government was formed in Austria in early February 2000. Austria became Europe's nightmare.
This volume has two purposes. The first is to assess Austria's first five years in the European Union. The second is Austria's ongoing struggle with its past. Heinrich Neisser evaluates and assesses Austria's commitment to the European Union. Thomas Angerer offers a long-term perspective of regionalization and globalization trends in Austrian foreign affairs. Waldemar Hummer analyzes contradictions between Austrian neutrality and Europe's emerging common security policy. Johannes Pollak and Sonja Puntscher Rieckmann look at current debates over weighing future voting rights in the European Commission. Michael Huelshoff evaluates Austria's EU presidency in 1998 and compares it to the subsequent 1999 German presidency. Gerda Falkner examines the withering away of the previously much admired Austrian welfare state. Walter Manoschek scrutinizes the Nazi roots of Jorg Haider's Freedom Party. Michael Gehler critiques the EU sanctions and bemoans the absence of mediation through transnational Christian conservative parties.
In reviewing how Austria deals with World War II, Richard Mitten investigates discourses on victimhood in postwar Austria and the place of Jews in this process. A "Roundtable" presents overwhelming evidence of Austrians' deep involvement in Nazi war crimes, and includes articles by Sabine Loitfellner and Winfried Garscha. This addition to the Contemporary Austrian Studies series will be welcomed by political scientists, historians and legal scholars, particularly those with a strong interest in European affairs.
Gnter Bischof is professor of history and executive director of the International Studies Center at the University of New Orleans. Anton Pelinka is professor of political science at the University of Innsbruck and director of the Institute of Conflict Research in Vienna. Michael Gehler is professor of contemporary history at the University of Innsbruck.
""Austria in the European Union" is a highly detailed, expertly researched blend of history, economics, and a calculating appraisal of a nation's future within the context of the evolving European international collaboration. "Austrian in the European Union" is strongly recommended for European Studies, Political Studies, and International Relations supplemental reading lists and academic reference collections."-" The Midwest Book Review"
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