La dimension nordique de l'Europe se dégèle

COPENHAGUE - Lentement, très lentement, l'Europe construit sa nouvelle géographie politique. Les négociations bilatérales progressant, le moment de l'élargissement de l'Union européenne au premier groupe de pays candidats pourrait être proche. Le plus grand obstacle qui reste est lié au manque de volonté politique des membres de l'UE pour fixer la date d'admission de ces pays.

Au cours de cette année, à Prague, les responsables de l'OTAN vont peut-être aussi donner le feu vert à l'arrivée de nouveaux membres. Ainsi, 2001 va sans doute être une année cruciale dans l'histoire sans fin de la création d'une Europe nouvelle et plus unie. C'est pourquoi la question des relations avec la Russie doit occuper l'une des premières places sur l'agenda européen de cette année.

Si l'on regarde la nouvelle carte de l'Europe, on voit tout de suite où l'attention doit se porter: vers le nord-ouest de la Russie qui a des frontières communes avec l'UE et avec l'OTAN (un fait souvent négligé par ceux qui s'opposent à "l'agrandissement de l'OTAN jusqu'aux frontières de la Russie"). Cette proximité peut être source de friction, mais tout aussi bien la meilleure occasion qui soit de croissance économique si l'Europe est capable de saisir la balle au bond. Après tout, en Russie, les réformes sont souvent parties de St Petersbourg et nombre d'éminents réformateurs russes, dont le président Poutine lui-même, y ont débuté leur carrière.

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