(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)
Western Europe has overwhelming reasons, both geopolitical and civilizational, to prioritize Eastern Europe above other regions.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron, the wannabe top leader of the post-Brexit, post-Merkel European Union, has demonstrated his questionably and wrongfully low regard for Eastern Europe twice over the past couple of weeks.
And in an at least slightly brazen fashion at that.
Macron first bluntly vetoed even the start of EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, two small but crucial Western Balkan countries, possibly even as part of some grand Trump – Putin, West – Russia bargain brokered by the French President.
Then he went on to give a controversial interview to a controversial magazine declaring his preference for “legal migrants” from Africa (mentioning Guinea and Ivory Coast) to “clandestine Bulgarian and Ukrainian channels” (whatever that means for a fellow EU country and a country granted visa-free travel to the EU).
The diplomatic scandal (exacerbated by some fake news sites embellishing Macron’s quote to have stated “Bulgarian and Ukrainian gangs”) aside,
The bizarre comparison choice between one thing that is legal, and another that is illegal “clandestine” (what decent person would choose the latter over the former, right?) aside,
Macron’s comment demonstrates just one more time the deeply flawed logic of a European Union led and dominated by Western Europe and Western Europeans. Namely: preferring and prioritizing many other things, places and people to Eastern Europe and the Eastern Europeans.
The reasons for that range from “colonial guilt” and modern-day “political correctness” to pure historical ignorance and lack of awareness of both threats and opportunities.
Yet, this is one case of a very crucial issue in global politics where the reasons don’t really matter. What matters is changing the paradigm as soon as possible. That matters for the entire EU but also in particular for Western Europe more than it does for anyone else.
Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here
(310 words cited out of a total of 1,258 words)