The New Europe

August 2007 • Volume 1, Issue 8
Are the former communist countries thriving?
By Brian Beary


Photo of girl in Warsaw celebrates Poland's accession to the EU (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
With a European Union flag painted on her cheek, a girl in Warsaw celebrates Poland's accession to the EU on May 1, 2004, along with seven other former communist countries. Bulgaria and Romania joined this year. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former Eastern bloc began emerging from its communist past, with 10 Central and Eastern European countries joining the European Union (EU) since 2004. The EU-10 — as they are called — have embraced a bold new course in foreign policy, focusing solidly on the West with their allegiances resolutely bound up with the EU and NATO. Democracy has gained a foothold in the so-called New Europe, and the region's enthusiastic adoption of free-market policies has spurred faster growth. But it has had its dark side too: Large-scale westward emigration has robbed their economies of many of their best and brightest and strained relations with their new European partners. In addition, former Soviet satellites in the region also harbor growing apprehension about estranged “Big Brother” Russia's intentions under the increasingly authoritarian President Vladimir Putin.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
European Unification
Apr. 05, 2019  European Union at a Crossroads
Dec. 16, 2016  European Union's Future
Jan. 09, 2015  European Unrest
Apr. 17, 2012  Future of the EU
Aug. 2007  The New Europe
Oct. 28, 2005  Future of the European Union
Nov. 27, 1998  European Monetary Union
Jun. 28, 1991  Europe 1992
Jan. 13, 1989  Europe 1992: Danger or Opportunity?
May 11, 1979  Electing Europe's Parliament
Jan. 17, 1973  European Security
Sep. 03, 1969  Benelux Cooperation
Jun. 15, 1966  European Realignment
Sep. 19, 1962  Political Integration of Europe
Mar. 27, 1957  European Economic Union
Jan. 02, 1952  European Unification
Jan. 08, 1951  Defense of Europe
May 21, 1947  Federation of Europe
Nov. 16, 1939  Federal Union and World Peace
Apr. 12, 1933  European Political Alignments
Regional Political Affairs: Europe