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Artur Kacprzak

Misunderstood European Neighborhood Policy

A new publication titled ‘Trudne początki – nowa unijna dyplomacja, a Partnerstwo Wschodnie’ (Difficult beginnings – New Union diplomacy and the Eastern Partnership) – authored by Elzbieta Kaca and Monika Sus – featured on the website of the Institute of Public Affairs. Its lecture reminds the readers about superficiality concerning understanding of the Eastern Partnership.

The analysis combines two themes – the Eastern Partnership and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It is hard to understand why such experienced authors decided to mix both subjects. Maybe their aim was to draw attention of the audience with the help of popularity of the topic regarding the Partnership. Maybe it is an answer to limited knowledge about functioning of the European Union institutions. Maybe both. Or it could be just as well a result of internal policy of the Institute itself. The European Neighbourhood Policy is a subject complex enough to make a separate analysis of this magnitude. It would have been more useful if the authors focused exclusively on solving a puzzle regarding division of power among the European Commission, External Action Service of the European Union (EEAS) and President of the European Union – a subject which, in theory, is drawing less attention. As a consequence, understanding this matter would help to systematize knowledge and thereafter help with placing the Partnership within the Union structures. The analysis concerns, to a large extent, exactly such clarification of a subject. However, the authors interlace their recommendations which make reception of a text, complicated anyway, more difficult. Simplifying the matter to a certain degree would help readers to find solutions themselves. Discussion over this subject is important, for the knowledge it concerns is very limited in Poland. Thus significance of promoting understanding how ENP functions is greater than debating how to improve this instrument. Recommendations shall wait. Comprehending should become the focus.

As a result of the lecture, a broader idea comes to mind: experts in Poland are making the language of their texts hermetic – they narrow a range of recipients to other experts and policy makers. Using such style and language causes that information does not flow towards mainstream audience. Understanding matters, which in fact influence the every-day life, is limited to an elite group. In effect, less educated readers are afraid of expressing their reservations about the text – especially its clarity of language affecting process of comprehension – on account of being suspected of indolence. But the worst consequence is readers’ withdrawal from attempting to understand their own surroundings. Yet Polish readers are intelligent enough to comprehend even most complex subjects. The key is clear explanation – and this is the role for an expert: studying and exploring complicated problems and then clarifying the matter. Did Elzbieta Kaca and Monika Sus – who took on the European Neighbourhood Policy concept – manage to do it? In my opinion, despite providing useful information, they did not.

Read the analysis on the Institute of Public Affairs website.

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Łodzianin, rocznik 1983, dziennikarz, bloger, manager. Współzałożyciel Fundacji Wspólna Europa wydawcy Eastbook.eu - Portalu o Partnerstwie Wschodnim. Wychowanek XXVI LO w Łodzi. Absolwent Wydziału Stosunków Międzynarodowych i Politologicznych Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego. Student Studium Europy Wschodniej Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego na specjalizacji: Rosja. Obszar zainteresowań: polska i unijna polityką wschodnia, Rosja. tel. +48 694 473 288; e-mail: a.kacprzak@eastbook.eu.

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