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Népszabadság - Hungary | Friday, September 30, 2011

Europe ignores Eastern partnership

The two-day summit of EU heads of state and government with countries of the Eastern Partnership ends today in Warsaw. The idea behind the meeting is to strengthen economic and political ties with six former Soviet republics. But too little attention is paid to the Partnership despite its significance, writes the left-liberal daily Népszabadság: "Europe hardly pays any attention at all to this region. That goes for the media as well as the politicians, who are understandably caught up with EU affairs and the Middle East. ... The background to the Eastern Partnership can be explained as follows: 1. For the West, the post-Soviet states on the other side of the EU eastern frontier serve so to speak as a buffer zone to Russia while at the same time offering economic prospects and sources of raw materials. 2. The inhabitants of these states don't feel any less European than the citizens of today's EU states - like for example Poland or Romania. For that reason the main subject of discussion at the summit is what this Partnership actually is."

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