A dozen years ago, change swept through Central and Eastern Europe, bringing an end to communism and launching the development of democratic open societies in many countries. Ten states from the region—Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia—are now poised to enter the European Union. With the exception of Bulgaria and Romania, all of these accession candidates are likely to join the EU by 2004.
This issue of Open Society News (OSN) calls attention to how EU membership may affect open society issues such as harm reduction, media freedom, and the protection of marginalized groups. The views and analyses contained in this edition of OSN make it clear that EU accession will not resolve these issues overnight.