History of the European Neighborhood Policy and Eastern Partnership

History of the European Neighborhood Policy and Eastern Partnership

Aaron Thomas Walter (University of St. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2906-5.ch001

Abstract

The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) was designed in 2004 to create closer ties between the EU and its eastern and southern neighboring countries. In 2009, the Eastern Partnership (EaP), a joint initiative between the 28 EU Member States and 6 Eastern countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), was launched on the same basis of supporting area of prosperity and good neighborliness. To understand how the EU engages its neighboring countries in the southern Mediterranean and northern borders and fulfills the EaP in its requirements of security and stability, a history of the ENP and EaP is provided. The following chapter shall also explore the ENP and EaP framework and challenges linked to consequentialism and appropriateness between 2005 and 2017, including new approaches in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and 2015 migration crisis.
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Introduction

The EU encourages regional cooperation, promotion of human rights, democracy, and good governance with countries lying in close proximity of the European continent. Peace and security of the European continent is a top priority of the EU since the formation of the community, therefore, to ensure continued security and its peaceful coexistence the EU has been formulating new policies since the mid-1990s with an aim to engage the neighboring countries in the southern Mediterranean, and eastern European borders to meet requirements of security and stability.

The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) was designed in 2004 to create closer ties between the EU and its eastern and southern neighboring countries. This occurred through bilateral relations and agreements. In 2009, the Eastern Partnership (EaP), a joint initiative between the 28 EU Member States and 6 Eastern European countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), was launched on the same basis of supporting an area of prosperity and good neighborliness (Keukeleire and Delreux, 2014, pp. 256-258). The EaP has a complementary role but also strengthens economic integration, increases political association, sector cooperation, mobility and people contacts.

The enlargement waves of 2004 and 2007, compelled the EU to redefine its relations with its new neighbors. The EU set up cooperation based on two dimensions: a bilateral one, used for developing closer cooperation between the EU and each of the partner country individually and a multilateral one, to address common challenges. As such, the EaP has a complementing role without systematically offering a membership perspective to the six countries mentioned above. In this way, the Eastern Partnership differs substantially from the European Association Agreements (EAAs) with Central and East European Countries that contain the perspective of EU membership (Gylfason, T., Wijkman, 2012, pp. 14-15).

The literature on the topic of the ENP and EaP while not exhaustive has provided very good edited books, notably Political and Legal Perspectives of EU Eastern Partnership Policy Tanel Kerikmäe and others published in 2016 that examined the EU Eastern Partnership within geopolitical challenges of EU integration. The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics in 2014 published an edited work by Elena Korosteleva along with Michal Natorski, Licínia Simão titled “EU Policies in the Eastern Neighbourhood: The practices perspective”, offering a collective assessment of the development and impact of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership Initiative on its eastern neighbours - Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova in particular, with Russia’s added perspective. As recently as 2018 there was the special issue 'The Politics' and 'The Political' of the Eastern Partnership Initiative. Reshaping the Agenda, editors Elena Korostelva and Igor Merheim-Eyre, et.al., consolidated new approaches to the study of the EU’s role in the eastern neighbourhood, informed by post-structuralist traditions in international relations. Notable articles: “The EU’s interpretation of the ‘Arab uprisings’: understanding the different visions about democratic change in EU-MENA relations”, “New Wine in old Wineskins: Promoting Political Reforms through the New European Neighborhood Policy”, and “Europeanisation: solution or problem?” discussed the ENP and EaP on specific elements of the partnership. This chapter deliberately take a more broad view within the historical development of EU policy towards its neighborhood.

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