Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Policy paper "The Institutional Functioning of the Eastern Partnership: An Early Assessment"


A new institutional framework was designed under the Eastern Partnership and it has been progressively established over the past two years to frame the increasingly close relationship between the EU and its Eastern neighbours. This working paper provides an early assessment of the Eastern Partnership’s institutional functioning. It focuses on the multilateral track (thematic platforms and panels, participatory initiatives, flagship initiatives) which for the first time gathers all six Eastern partners and the EU at various levels of representation and in different arenas. The EaP’s multilateral track is thus an attempt to develop a multilayered and participative institutional framework based upon a logic of socialisation.

An examination of the ‘governmental track’ highlights however a discrepancy between levels of cooperation. While panels are assessed very positively and foster links both among Eastern partners and with the EU, other formats, including platform meetings, do not appear to favour joint ownership of the policy process. Another weakness is the current lack of synergies between various institutional formats under the multilateral track. Overall the paper identifies three potential sources of tensions in the EaP functioning:

• EU member states’ uneven engagement in the policy process: while Western European member states’ participation in the multilateral track is weak, their involvement is needed to turn the Eastern Partnership into a EU-wide foreign policy;
• Partner countries’ different level of involvement in the multilateral track, which is perceived by some of them as a ‘one-size-fits-all’exercise;
• The combination, in the multilateral track, of a logic based upon joint ownership, inclusiveness and socialisation with some elements reflecting a more hierarchical approach and limiting participation.

Download full artical - Dr. Laure Delcour,  policy paper "The Institutional Functioning of the Eastern Partnership: An Early Assessment"

Policy paper is published on the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership

Project funded by the European UnionEU