Catherine Horel is Research Director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), she teaches Contemporary History of Central Europe at the University of Paris. She is a specialist of 19th century Central European history: social and political history of the Habsburg Monarchy, urban and Jewish studies. Her latest book, “Cette Europe qu'on dit centrale. Des Habsbourg à l'intégration européenne 1815–2004” (Paris, Beauchesne, 2009), has been translated into Hungarian and published this year in Hungary. It was introduced in our History Institute on 21st March, 2012.
Catherine Horel undertook a great task: she tried to provide an overview of the history of the Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Austrian, Hungarian, Croatian and Slovenian territories between 1815 and 2004 from a political and ideological history point of view. 1815 and 2004 show the two important European integration data of the “territory called Central-Europe”, the starting point with the Habsburg Empire and the closing point with the European Union. This interpretation shows the author’s opinion about the possible solution to the problems of this multiethnic region: federalism or integration. In her opinion this region is not “imaginary”, but a real unit with different nations and ethnic groups but with common history, characteristics and interests, differing from the other (both from the “West” and the “East”) regions of Europe, and as thus, should be dealt with in this form of a special region.