Lucinda Creighton: As Ukraine and Moldova get the EU nod, what about their neglected neighbours?

The EU has lost the trust of many countries who do not believe the expansion process is fair or transparent, but last week’s vote has the potential to change that and to create a new dynamic towards democratic and economic reforms

Ursula von der Leyen: the European Commission president declared herself convinced that Ukraine and Moldova would move as swiftly as possible to implement reforms. Picture: Getty

In 1969, West Germany embarked on a new and untested policy approach towards its eastern neighbours. Ostpolitik was intended to strengthen political and economic ties with the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and eastern Europe, to bring their systems more closely into alignment with the West.

The ultimate aim of ostpolitik was to end the Cold War. In tandem with other strategies such as Mikhail Gorbachev’s reform policies of glasnost and perestroika, ostpolitik ...