Un partenariat ? Quel partenariat ?

LONDRES – La politique que l’Union européenne applique envers ses voisins de l’est est mise à mal, malgré le lancement d’un nouveau partenariat oriental. La société civile européenne se replie de plus en plus sur elle-même et verse de temps à autre dans le protectionnisme. Mais que faire de la « zone grise » – ces six pays situés entre l’UE et la Russie ? L’inaction est inacceptable. La région, touchée par la crise économique, souffre d’autant plus en raison d’agitation politique interne et de graves problèmes de sécurité.

Le « Partenariat oriental » provient d’une idée suédo-polonaise émise l’été dernier. Son élaboration a été expédiée très rapidement par rapport aux habituelles procédures de l’UE. Seule la zone à l’est de l’Union – Ukraine, Moldova, Bélarus, Géorgie, Arménie et Azerbaïdjan – est concernée par cette nouvelle initiative. Elle vise à compléter la politique européenne de voisinage et se limite à quelques ressources novatrices assorties d’un budget consacré à des projets techniques (600 millions d’euros sur quatre ans pour les six pays). Ce partenariat a pour but de donner un signe positif à ces pays, d’améliorer le climat pesant à leur propos au sein de l'UE et d’amener doucement mais sûrement ces pays dans l’orbite de l’UE.

Même si cette proposition contrarie la Russie, elle n'est pas sans problèmes pour l’UE. En effet, persuader les dirigeants de participer au sommet de Prague ce jeudi ne s’est pas fait sans mal. Et ceux qui ont accepté ne font pas la meilleure publicité de la région.

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