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Central Europe

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Central Europe is a comprehensive system on the regional, continental, physical, economic, cultural and geopolitical scale. It consists of 7 states with a surface area of 1,211 million square km. The countries that constitute Central Europe are: Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. The total population of these seven nations put together is 177 million. The three big states of Central Europe are Germany, Poland, and Romania. Central Europe had a population growth of 28% between 1950 and 1996, and also had an urban growth of 80% between 1960 and 1995. Its economic power enables it to achieve a GDP of 2,885 billion. 58.6% of the GDP comes from services, and 38% from industry and mining. However, there is a strong asymmetry among the nations, because Germany alone contributes to 84% of the regional GDP.

Compared to Western Europe, Central Europe is characterized by several features that work to its benefit. These features are: its remote coastal and maritime openings, which benefit the major land and river routes ? its position between the West and the open ocean landmass of Eastern Europe ? its physical articulation on the great plain of Northern Europe. Historically, it had been the land of contacts, meetings and confrontations, because of the difference in languages, civilizations, religions and different kinds of people.

As far as competition is concerned, Central Europe is a closed field. It maintains the same attitude towards sharing people, spaces, resources, channels of communication and trade. One major event dissolved the divide between Eastern and Western Europe, and allowed for the formation of Central Europe. The appearance of a break between the most advanced and secular western Europe, and the lagging eastern part, along political, economic and social lines marked the arrival of a new era. However, the establishment of modern nation states is a very difficult, confrontational and unstable process. The structural differences inherited from the Cold War between East and West Germany were considerable.

Though unification of Germany happened, giving rise to Central Europe, the Eastern European countries are now facing the transition from a socialist economy to a market economy. This has also been accompanied by a profound crisis which undermines sustainable democratic progress. Germany has been facing significant challenges after the reunification and one of those challenges include the integration of the new states.

Physical factors that exert influences on the social organizations, territorial and geopolitical change and remain in history and human activity. A number of structures and specific factors, however, can be identified.

Central Europe has an area of 1.211 million square kilometers and extends from Bremen to Terespol and Gdansk in Pécs. It occupies a central position on the European continent. Longitudinal specifics are between West Finistere and the vast plains of Russia and Ukraine.
Europe is a somewhat compartmentalized by the units connected together, with the exception of Rhine and Danube axes above.

Tags: Rhine and Danube axes, unification of Germany, Cold War, West Finistere

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