The Influx of refugees into Europe surged at the moment when political and cultural divisions between Eastern and Western Europe seemed to be gradually disappear and many Western commentators described countries of the Visegrad Group as rare examples of successful democratic transitions. These assessments were suddenly called into question by the reluctance of East-Central European governments to accept refugee quotas proposed by the EU. Why did the thesis about “normalcy” of the region turned out to be so fleeting? Did societies of East-Central Europe collectively forget about solidarity they experienced before the fall of the Iron Curtain? Or maybe the reemergence of debates about fundamental divisions between Eastern and Western Europe is a proof that stereotypical representations are still very common in Western Europe?
Michal Buchowski is Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan.
Anna Durnova is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna.
Anna Visvizi is Head of Research at the Institute of East Central Europe, Lublin.
Pawel Marczewski is Head of Publications at the IWM.
In cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vienna