Preparing a special issue on such a technical issue as the Eastern Partnership is always a challenge from the editorial point of view. The European Union’s policy towards the East is one that is never easily explained nor well understood among Europeans and their Eastern neighbours alike. As James Nixey points out in his essay, less than one per cent of Europeans has ever even heard of it. Certainly readers of this magazine have a good sense of what the Eastern Partnership is and how much has it changed (or not) in this region since it was launched in 2009. And that is why the milestone of the Eastern Partnership turning ten should be an opportunity to not only celebrate but also reflect on what has been achieved and how this policy can be shaped for the future. As you will read in the following pages, our authors have very different views of the Eastern Partnership. Arguably, however, they all agree that there is still plenty of work to do if the Eastern Partnership is to truly transform Eastern Europe.
Another transformative event that we are recognising in this issue is the 30-year anniversary of the fall of communism in Central Europe, specifically in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and East Germany. Our authors look at whether the promises of the transformation have been fulfilled for the societies that dreamed of a new future, what the memory of the year 1989 means today and, in some ways, why it generates social divisions. We recognise that these two anniversaries – together with the anniversaries of NATO and EU membership, 15 and 20 respectively – are a part of the wider context of a changing Europe in a changing world.
In the end, these anniversaries encourage us to look back and answer the question as to what have we learnt over these last 10, 20 or 30 years and how these lessons can help us shape this region by not repeating the same mistakes in order to deliver a better future for the next generation.
New Eastern Europe is a new bi-monthly magazine dedicated to Central and Eastern European affairs. The magazine is the sister edition of the Polish version Nowa Europa Wschodnia, which has been on the Polish market since 2008. Countries in particular focus in New Eastern Europe include Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, as well the Caucasus region - Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, etc.
Articles in New Eastern Europe focus on a wide range of social, political and cultural issues facing this region. The journal includes original opinion and analytical texts; historical accounts; reports from correspondents in the countries with full colour photos; and reviews of books, music and film about and emerging from Eastern Europe.