Growth and Regional Development in an Enlarged European Union
Edited by Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell and Peter Mooslechner
Chapter 25: The impact of the EUÂês new eastern border on processes of convergence and divergence in Europe: policy implications
25. The impact of the EU’s new eastern border on processes of convergence and divergence in Europe: policy implications Judy Batt 25.1. INTRODUCTION With the ﬁrst wave of EU eastward enlargement, Poland’s eastern border and Hungary’s eastern and southern borders will become the new external borders of the EU, operating according to the ‘Schengen’ regime of controls. The same will apply to Slovakia’s (much shorter) eastern border if it joins at the same time. The candidate countries are already under pressure to implement the EU’s common visa policy towards their neighbours, including Ukraine, Romania and Yugoslavia, even before they accede to full EU membership. The implication is that what has been a relatively ‘soft’, easily traversed border in the last ten years will once again become ‘hard’. In popular perceptions in the region, this threatens to restore the status quo ante of the Soviet period, when movement of people was tightly restricted. This seems likely to impede, rather than promote convergence – both economic and political – in the wider Europe, and thus become a source of renewed instability in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). 25.2. IMPACT ON INTERSTATE RELATIONS IN CEE The impact of such a development on interstate relations in CEE is already fairly well known. A brief recapitulation follows below. 25.2.1 Polish–Ukrainian Relations The rapprochement between Poland and Ukraine in the 1990s has been one of the most positive and hopeful developments in post-communist Europe. Despite 150 years of historical enmity between Poles and 425 426 Policy challenges...
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