European Integration – Democracy Promotion by the EU in Eastern Europe
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There have been a few historical turning points in modern European history. The turning points of 1648, 1815, 1919 and 1945 had great impact on the developments of Europe. The last turning point of 1991 is not an exception to such record. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the liberalization and transition of the former Eastern Europe changed the balance of power and the European landscape. This article stresses the new role of the EU as a norm-provider in determining the future outlook of Europe. Such a new role led to the big bang enlargement in May 2004, which indicated that the Cold War was sent to the historical dustbin. It also shed light on the new role of the EU as the most important hegemonic actor in European politics.