Captive once more
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 21:17

EUROPEAN VOICE used to be this newspaper's sister publication in Brussels. Now the weekly is independently owned, and has beefed up its editorial staff and jazzed up its layout. But some things remain, including a weekly column (formerly known as Wilder Europe) which now appears under my byline.

The columns are behind a paywall, but I will post the gist of them here. Last week's unpicked the failure of the European Union's Eastern Partnership, which I say "reeked of lazy Western pigeonholing", lumping six different countries into an artificial category. I also bemoaned the mistaken assumption that rulers and ruled had the same interests.

The elites in most of these countries are corrupt and self-interested. They rig elections, muzzle the media, intimidate their opponents and regard their time in office as licence to loot. We used to call these countries ‘captive nations' because they were in thrall to the Soviet empire. Now they are captives of their own rulers.

I conclude

it may look hard to summon political enthusiasm inside the EU for future eastern-neighbourhood policies. Many senior people will feel they have wasted their time once and have no wish to repeat...Continue reading

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