Lahodynsky, President of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) and European
editor of Austrian weekly “Profil,” analyzed the contrasting political views towards the EU between the West and East that go beyond the socioeconomic relationship between the two sides.
“Clear differences between the western, old EU countries and the new members in
Central and Eastern Europe appeared: Among the new ones, more and more authoritarian governments are rebelling against fundamental European values that are taken for granted in the West: such as independence of the judiciary, freedom of the media, rights for minorities, equal treatment of people with different sexual orientations, to name but a few,” Lahodynsky said in his article.
He also cited as a pivotal difference between the two sides the lack of influence that Central and Eastern European countries currently have in terms of influencing major EU-related decision. According to Lahodynsky, this contributes to a dichotomous view of the bloc instead of a more cohesive approach bringing the old and new EU countries together.
Whether the West and East will be able to not only coexist but cooperate within the EU
framework will be one of the key questions the bloc will face in the post-Brexit era.