Nur schleppend nach Europa

Als der Kommunismus in Osteuropa zusammenbrach, waren sich die neuen demokratischen Führer in der Region einig, dass der schnelle Eintritt in die Europäische Union für sie Priorität haben müsse. "Zurück nach Europa" wurde zum Motto, das von der Mehrheit ihrer Bevölkerungen begeistert aufgegriffen wurde. Doch nun, acht Monate bevor der Traum formell Wirklichkeit wird, häufen sich in Osteuropa Zweifel am Nutzen einer EU-Mitgliedschaft. Was ist falsch gelaufen?

Für die neuen Demokratien im Osten Europas hat die EU-Mitgliedschaft fünf grundlegende Dimensionen, nämlich: historische Symbolkraft, Sicherheit, wirtschaftlicher Wohlstand, politische Stabilität und die Garantie der Rechtsstaatlichkeit. Jede dieser Dimensionen hatte zu verschiedenen Zeiten in den letzten vierzehn Jahren die Oberhand gewonnen. An jede knüpften sich in Ost- und Westeuropa unterschiedliche Erwartungen.

Die historische Symbolkraft der EU wurde schon immer im Osten stärker als in Westeuropa empfunden. Während die Bevölkerung in Osteuropa die Mitgliedschaft als Bestätigung ihrer historischen Zugehörigkeit zum Westen und als einen weiteren Schritt aus dem sowjetischen Herrschaftsbereich heraus verstand, schien die EU keine Eile zu haben, diesen Erwartungen zu entsprechen.

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