In this volume thirteen specialists of Central European history and politics inquire into the meaning of Europe by examining three themes related to the region's historical experience and the accession process in the EU. The first concerns Central Europe as a whole and seeks an answer to the question what relations the Central European nations had with Western Europe in the past, especially when their own development was subjected to a different rhythm and form. The second theme is the legacy of the national state in Central Europe, namely national symbols, how they were created, what meaning they acquired, and their contemporary relevance. The third theme examines some of the challenges of EU membership as a result of the incredibly rapid process of joining the EU that seemed to sweep in its wake a number of important historical questions that had been on the domestic agenda of the Central European states for decades. This volume makes an important contribution to our understanding of the ongoing debate on the meaning of Europe.