Future of the Eastern Partnership in the Region

Future of the Eastern Partnership in the Region

Aaron Thomas Walter (University of St. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2906-5.ch003

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to examine the main objectives and key challenges of the EU's Eastern Partnership (EaP). In this effort, the outlook and aspirations of the EU's policy towards its eastern neighbors (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) are explored, and the key issues of the (eastern dimension) policy are discussed as well offering key forecasts as to the EaP future. The chapter endeavors to show that, while relatively new, the EaP has enhanced the role of the EU at the global level in terms of foreign, security, and defense policy. Despite the war in Donbas and the crisis in Ukraine and unresolved issues in the Eastern Neighborhood on matters of governance, democracy, and economy, progress continues improving the EaP.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

Following the enlargement waves of 2004 and 2007, the European Union was compelled to redefine its relations with its new neighbors. The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) has been designed in 2004 to create closer ties between the EU and its neighboring countries. It was also set up to complement EU policies towards the EU’s eastern and southern neighbors, including bilateral relations and agreements (Mocanu, 2007) . In 2009 a joint initiative between the 28 Member States and 6 Eastern countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) was started, on the shared basis of supporting prosperity and good neighborliness (Vardakis, 2014). The Eastern Partnership (EaP) strengthens and increases political association, economic integration, sector cooperation, mobility and people contacts with the EU without offering membership perspectives to the above mentioned six nations (Keukeleire and Delreux, 2014). The aim of the EaP mirrors that of the ENP in as such that both support Eastern countries in their political, economic and institutional integration, meanwhile strengthening democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. However, through contractual relations the EU has conducted its structural foreign policy while recognizing the limitations of EaP members due to Russian influence which has strategic interests in this region.

The EU set up EaP cooperation is based upon two dimensions: a bilateral one, used for developing closer cooperation between the EU and each partner country as well as a multilateral dimension, dealing with common challenges. Deepening the bilateral relations between the EU and the individual EaP country has been realized through the negotiating and conclusion of European Association Agreements (EAAs) . These agreements provide gradual economic integration through a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), improving access to the European market of goods and services. This provides tools to modernize and maximize the benefits of integration. Nevertheless, the EAA and the DCFTA present incentives towards reforms, it is also a challenge to fully apply EU standards and regulations. As such, for all the EaP nations, the EAA and DCFTA constitute a long-term endeavor.

The following chapter endeavors to show that, while relatively new, the EaP has enhanced the role of the EU at the global level in terms of foreign, security and defense policy. Meanwhile, despite the war in Donbas, escalated crisis in Ukraine and unresolved issues in the Eastern Neighborhood on matters of governance, democracy, and economy, progress does continue improving the EaP for the future.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset