Europe de l'Est : une adhésion sans enthousiasme à l'UE

En Europe de l'Est, après l'écroulement du communisme, les nouveaux dirigeants démocratiques ont fait de l'adhésion rapide à l'Union européenne une priorité. Le "Retour vers l'Europe" est devenu le slogan de la majorité de la population des pays de la région. Mais huit mois avant que ce rêve ne se concrétise, les doutes qui s'expriment quant à l'intérêt de l'appartenance à l'UE se font de plus en plus forts. Que s'est-il passé ?

Pour ces nouvelles démocraties, l'adhésion à l'UE recouvre cinq dimensions : un symbole historique, la sécurité, la prospérité économique, la stabilité politique et la garantie d'un Etat de droit. Chacune de ces dimensions a occupé le devant de la scène à un moment ou à un autre au cours des 14 dernières années. A chacune d'entre elles, se rattachent des attentes qui ne sont pas les mêmes à l'est et à l'ouest du continent.

Le symbole historique que représente l'UE a toujours été ressenti avec beaucoup plus de force à l'Est. Alors qu'en Europe de l'Est, l'adhésion à l'UE était perçue comme la confirmation des liens historiques avec l'Ouest et une marque supplémentaire de la fin de l'hégémonie soviétique, l'UE ne semblait pas pressée de répondre à ces attentes.

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