Is New Europe Backsliding? Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic 25 Years After Communism

The Visegrád countries have seen an extraordinary amount of economic and social progress since 1989, but their political institutions and rule of law remain fragile. In some cases, the problem of corruption and political patronage has worsened in recent years. Contrary to policymakers’ expectations in the early 2000s, the Visegrád states have not provided new vigor to NATO and to the transatlantic partnership. The new administration ought to hold the Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, and Hungarians to high standards, not only on their defense spending, but also on the quality of their democracies and their governance. The United States ought to help them also push back against the creeping Russian influence, in their economies, media, and politics.

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