Slovakia belongs to those states with a high number of Romani in terms of population – of the population of about 5.3 million, 480 to 520 thousand people have Romani origin. In Slovakia, only since 1999 have the Gypsies been able to call themselves Roma. In the 1991, 2001, and 2011 censuses, the Romani could decide on their affiliation, they could be considered Roma citizens, but only a few people made use of this right. Only 25% of the Roma ethnic group called themselves Roma, while the majority referred to themselves as Slovakian or Hungarian; so, these demographic data do not reflect reality. The so-called ‘Atlas’-es show a more significantly accurate picture. The creators of these worked together with the local social workers who knew the local Roma communities well in the given settlements. Approximately half of the Romani living in Slovakia were able to change socially to some extent and adapt to the society’s majority. The rest of the Roma minority live isolated in some parts of the city, on the edge of the city, or in the nearby. These communities are characterized by social and ethnic isolation, which may be different in some specific cases. According to different indicators, they are divided into segregated, separated, integrated focused, and integrated scattered groups. Since the year 2003, the state has introduced various social reforms. Local governments have also joined the state-initiated reforms. They create various special projects for their own Roma communities in order to help their advancement.
The topic of the present article is the destruction of the common sense tradition linked to the urbanity of philosophy, which had deep roots both in the European and Hungarian traditions. This destruction was based on Hegelian ideas by János Erdélyi as an argument of the greatest philosophical controversy of the Hungarian philosophical life in the 1850s. In Erdélyi’s argumentation, the turn from the supposed urbanity to the supposed rurality of the common sense has a fundamental role. The idea of the rurality of the common sense has an influence on the Hungarian intellectual history of the next centuries, as well.
Estonia held the presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months from 1 July to 31 December 2017. This was a great opportunity to strengthen and shape the country image, also known as the country brand. They do have something to build on: there have been very few countries in recent years and decades where country branding was so conscious. It was a brave choice: in the early 2000s, they decided that they would become E-Estonia. This is not just a means to communicate but also involves policies and tangible developments regarding electronics, IT, and brand new technologies in order to build the most advanced digital society of Europe and the world.
But how did this appear during the EU Presidency and how are Estonian citizens involved in branding? This rather lengthy case study explores the concept as a good practice, also setting an example for other countries.