Der kurze Marsch der Populisten in Mittel- und Osteuropa

Ein Gespenst geht um in den neuen EU-Mitgliedsstaaten – das Gespenst des populistischen Nationalismus. Die polnische Partei Recht und Gerechtigkeit (PIS) hat gerade die Parlaments- und Präsidentenwahlen gewonnen, und populistische und nationalistische Kräfte könnten nächstes Jahr auch bei den Wahlen in Ungarn, Tschechien und der Slowakei die Oberhand gewinnen.

Dabei handelt es sich um folgenschwere Entwicklungen. 15 Jahre lang waren Mittel- und Osteuropa Musterschüler in Sachen Demokratisierung. Jetzt könnte die Region, wie es der frühere tschechische Präsident Václav Havel ausdrückt, in die Falle einer „erstickenden Atmosphäre“ geraten. Sogar Havels Nachfolger Václav Klaus wettert gegen den Multikulturalismus und den Niedergang des traditionellen europäischen Nationalstaates. Was ist passiert?

Paradoxerweise ist die EU – die als Garant für Stabilität und Fortschritt gesehen wird – selbst ein Teil des Problems. Motiviert durch die Aussicht auf einen Beitritt, unterzogen sich die Länder, die letztes Jahr der EU beitraten, einer 15 Jahre dauernden Phase des sozialen, wirtschaftlichen, rechtlichen und politischen Wandels, dessen Ausmaß in der modernen europäischen Geschichte beispiellos war. Öffentliche Institutionen wurden rasant modernisiert, Demokratie und marktwirtschaftliche Standards eingeführt. Die Menschen kamen dadurch allerdings unter enormen Druck, sich rasch anzupassen, was in manchen Fällen durchaus schmerzvoll war.

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