Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

EESC Research paper: “Eastern Partnership in a Changed Security Environment: New Incentives for Reform”

The Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) published a paper on the “Eastern Partnership in a Changed Security Environment” and the “new incentives for Reform”. It argues that as the geopolitical landscape in the EaP region has been changing recently, especially with regards to security, the EU should change its approach towards its Eastern neighbours. The study proposes three scenarios for that approach.

With Russia showing its ambition to maintain a strong influence in the region, and to influence the Association and Free Trade Agreements between the EaP countries and the EU, the paper suggests three possible EaP policy scenarios. The first one would be to create more incentives for reform in the Eastern Neighbourhood trough a clear roadmap. The partner countries would then be able to see what level of progress they have made, and assume consistent and continuous reforms for a better integration. The second scenario is based on the assumption that the turmoil in Ukraine was caused by over-active EU attempts to democratise and westernise post-Soviet countries, and suggests that the EU could scale down its ambitions and engage with Russia. This would undermine the role of the EU as a normative power, meaning the return of realpolitik and balance of power. The third scenario suggests to establish a status quo, satisfying the interests of many, only partially. However, it would show that EU initiatives can be blocked using aggressive measures, and it would impede Ukraine’s rapprochement with the EU and would prevent the flow of European goods to the Russian Market.

Full paper

Project funded by the European UnionEU