Romania and Bulgaria have been a pair for quite some time in Eastern Europe and their simultaneous accession into the European Union seemed only to strengthen this relationship. But this may not be the case anymore. Or, at least, not how it used to be. Recently, the EU let the two countries know that the Union’s attitude towards each of the countries is not the same anymore: Bulgaria is repaid for doing many of the home works, Romania is still kept at bay not to cause even more trouble.
And yet, forms of anti-Western speech are to be encountered in both countries. Either it is about not being in favor of European values or rejecting American ideas, Romania and Bulgaria still have to tackle, at least partially, strong opposition to Western concepts.
LINX investigated the anti-Western public speech in both countries for three consecutive months of this year (July, August and September) by surveying relevant media outlets and monitoring political statements on a daily basis. The outcome is a series of maps that accurately depict “territories” of topics, media outlets and politicians active in anti-Western areas.
So what are the topics that trigger the most anti-EU and anti-US debates? Are those topics similar in the two countries or there’s a noticeable difference? But what about media outlets promoting not so Western ideas? And what makes a Romanian or Bulgarian politician being in opposition to EU and US democratic values?
Surprisingly or maybe not, the results of our RO-BG research show that those two countries are getting more and more different by the day, at least in relation to their connection to the West.