(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)
Without figuring out how to complete successfully the integration of Eastern and Western Europe, the EU will be doomed to failure.
Many, if not most, citizens of the European Union don’t seem to realize it but “Eastern Europe” (still) is the most important of all challenges and “issues” for the survival, success, and well-being of the European Union.
The failure to realize the importance of the lingering relative failure to achieve the all-out equalization and integration of the EU’s West and East is true of EU citizens anywhere – regardless of whether they live on the Atlantic Coast or in the Baltics or the Balkans.
In other words, continuing in a successful manner the integration of the Eastern European member states with Western Europe has always been and will always be the single most important thing (factor, challenge, decision, area, you name it) for the EU as a whole.
And, by extension, for the entire global West.
The significance of managing to integrate all EU member states into a single geopolitical being combining its globalized West with the former communist East into a single supranational entity dwarfs every other challenge before the EU that one could think of.
When, or if, that finally occurs, the supranational entity in question would be one of relatively equal economic well-being, opportunities, freedom, human rights, rule of law, quality of life, and a common identity – from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
The West – East integration inside the already existing EU membership is without a doubt the single most crucial issue for the EU.
(Except maybe climate change – but then, again, assuming there is, or was, enough time to tackle climate change, one would never be able to do that without all-out political stability, and certainly not if international relations in key world regions are in disarray. Certainly not if the EU, the world’s only post-modern zone of inter-state relations, is suffering from flawed integration.)
Perplexingly and counterintuitively, the importance of this “merging” of Western and Eastern Europe is routinely overlooked in both the Western European member states (“Old Europe” as the American neocons once styled it somewhat shrewdly) and the Eastern European member states (“New Europe”) off the European Union.
Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here
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