Hacia Europa con apatía

Cuando cayó el comunismo en Europa oriental, los nuevos líderes democráticos de la región estuvieron de acuerdo en que ingresar rápido a la Unión Europea debía de ser su prioridad. "¡Regresemos a Europa!" se convirtió en el lema, que la mayoría de la gente apoyó con entusiasmo. Sin embargo, ocho meses antes de que el sueño se vuelva formalmente una realidad, crecen las dudas en Europa oriental acerca de los benefecios de la membresía en la UE. ¿Qué ha salido mal?

Para las nuevas democracias del Este de Europa, la membresía en la UE tiene cinco dimensiones básicas: simbolismo histórico, seguridad, prosperidad económica, estabilidad política y la garantía del Estado de Derecho. Cada dimensión ha predominado en momentos diferentes a lo largo de los últimos catorce años. Cada una va aunada a expectativas distintas en la Europa oriental y la occidental.

El simbolismo histórico de la UE siempre se ha sentido con más fuerza en el Este que en Europa occidental. Mientras que los pueblos de Europa oriental percibían la membresía como una confirmación de su afiliación histórica con Occidente y como un paso más en su alejamiento del dominio soviético, a la UE parecía no correrle prisa por cumplir con esas expectativas.

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