欧盟的维也纳镜子

如果一位欧盟官员能有机会游览世纪末的维也纳,就会惊讶地发现昔日的哈布斯堡王朝与今天的欧洲联盟是多么地如出一辙。像欧盟一样,奥匈帝国也是跨民族管理的伟大尝试,拥有5100万人口、11个种族和14种不同语言。管理这个微缩版欧洲的是头戴两顶王冠的帝王以及代表帝国两个基本独立的组成部分——奥地利和匈牙利的孪生议会。

哈布斯堡王朝对其治下的民众和欧洲来讲都是一种稳定的力量。对于地处分散的种族群体来说,它发挥了裁判和保镖的双重功效,在安抚本土竞争对手的同时也保护了小国免遭弱肉强食的厄运。哈布斯堡王朝还填补了欧洲大陆核心地区的地缘政治真空,遏制了德国与俄国力量的膨胀。

只要能够发挥上述功效,奥地利就在欧洲发挥了“不可或缺”的作用——它是国家和民族的平衡因素,而且找不到任何其他因素可以替代。但到20世纪早期,奥地利帝国面临着两种困难,导致人们对它是否具备完成任务的能力产生了怀疑。

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