An Introduction to Central
Central Europe has played a large part in global affairs, from economic and political decisions, to being the
focal point of several major wars.
While it may be argued that some nations should belong to Western or Eastern
Europe, the states of Central Europe have played a great role in the past and present in determining the
current state of global affairs.
Central Europe is usually understood to include a small but distinguished number of countries, which includes
Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Their relation to one another is mostly understood through a shared history, and similar religious and political
viewpoints. Though the geographical boundaries are more distinct to the south, with the
Alps blocking the way to Italy, and to the north of Central Europe, as one would need a boat to cross the
Baltic Sea, some also consider the whole of Scandinavia to be part of this territory. Some may also define
nations of Central Europe according to similar patterns of plant life found in the Central European Flora
The iron curtain split Central Europe down the middle, nicely dividing Germany into two with most of the
Eastern-Central nations supporting the communist cause.
Central Europe has produced many great men and women throughout history. Countless numbers of great composers were born and
raised in the nations of Germany and Austria, including well recognized musician Ludwig Beethoven who was born
in Bonn, Germany and Johann Mozart who was born in Salzburg, Austria.
Albert Einstein, the physicist who developed the theory of relativity, is one of many great German scientists
who have won the Nobel Prize over the years. Germany also had a claim on being the greatest nation in philosophical
thought, home to the likes of Leibniz, Kant and Nietzsche.
Germany is the most notable nation of the region for its part in the two world wars. Dreams of expansion and a
more important role in world decisions led the nation to instigate both wars, enlisting the aid of Austro-Hungry
for the First World War. Eastern Germany was also one of many Communist nations involved in the Warsaw Pact.
Switzerland is historically recognized for their neutrality during major international conflicts. Renowned for
their banking and their chocolate, the Swiss have got along peacefully throughout their existence.
The Central European University, one of the leading universities in Europe is located in Budapest, Hungary. Built
in 1991, the university offers many programs to helps students from around Europe and the world to become properly
integrated into society.
To propel struggling nations into the bright future offered by the European Union, the Central European
Initiative was created in 1989 following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Its purpose is to help countries make the transition into the EU. This is part of the role that European nations
are playing to help one another after far too many years have already been spent warring with one another.
The nations of Central Europe play a large role in global interactions and the European economy and show no sign
of slowing as the human race creeps further into the twenty-first century.