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The role of Poland in EU policies toward Eastern Europe: is Poland a bridge between East and West?

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  1. Poland's experience with Soviet hegemony
  2. The role of Poland in the democratisation and the independence from Moscow of the new States
  3. Polish official speech
  4. Poland and EU's foreign policies

It is often hard to define a common foreign policy of the EU, as in most cases national interest and bilateral relations are the rule. Nevertheless, some agreements and partnerships have created and enhanced ties between the EU and other countries of Eastern Europe. The enlargement of the EU in 2004 gave a more important role to those relations, as the EU would now have borders with Belarus and Ukraine. As the biggest State within the new member States, Poland became the main partner for talks and the spokesman in dealings with the new member States. Poland and its representatives accepted this role and wanted to play a major role in EU foreign policies. One of the main ideas related to this point, was that Poland "should be influencing the shape of the EU policy toward the non-European regions" and to develop it's "strategy toward the non-European developing states".

[...] Although we might think that considering the Neighborhood Policy, Polish efforts should turn into European efforts, Poland's views are not necessarily in synch with the rest of Europe. Poland has an important role both in shaping the transformation in Eastern Europe and in challenging the EU to risk a new approach towards the Eastern European states. Its aim is to ?seek to it that the European Union raises its relations with Ukraine to the level of Strategic Partnership and opens the prospect of integration[2].? Former President Aleksander Kwasniewski and the State has been very helpful to incite the Poles to support the revolution in Ukraine, by organising manifestations and concerts where Poles waved orange flags. [...]


[...] The role of Poland in this evolution is arguable though. But first of all, we must underline that Poland played a passive role due to its geographical location. Relations with those countries, and especially with Ukraine, have been boosted after the enlargement, as the UE would have borders with them thanks to Poland. Nevertheless, we can see that Poland, conscious of the logic of the EU, has chosen to encourage the transition process in Eastern Europe so that the EU, in respect with its stance, would work toward countries that would have given proofs of motivation to change. [...]


[...] The role of Poland in EU policies toward Eastern Europe: is Poland a bridge between East and West? It is often hard to define a common foreign policy of the EU as in most cases national interest and bilateral relations are the rule. Nevertheless, some agreements and partnerships created and enhanced ties between the EU and countries of Eastern Europe. The enlargement in 2004 gave a most important role to those relations, as the EU would now have borders with Belarus and Ukraine. [...]


[...] Active policies of the early nineties have faded away as the evolution of those countries disappointed European expectations (nuclear security in Khmelnitski and Rovno, cooperation with Iraq in Ukraine, election of President Lukashenko in 1994 in Belarus). The logic behind this step-back is that the EU stands ready to cooperate as soon as those countries will give concrete proofs of their democratisation. Through its euro-deputies and involvement of other politicians, Poland has been calling for a greater engagement of the West. Indeed, we can see that the EU, without any concrete advance, has to consider the problem more and more seriously. [...]

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