European Neighbourhood Policy

The EU should abandon ‘soft power’ in Ukraine and adopt a new approach focused on geostrategic concerns

Ukraine’s refusal to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union has been seen as a significant blow for the EU’s neighbourhood strategy. André Härtel writes that this failure stems from the EU’s misunderstanding of Ukrainian politics, its inability to act coherently on foreign policy, and its preoccupation with normative aims such as democratisation. He argues that the EU requires […]

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High quality political institutions are a precondition for a strong civil society

Strengthening civil society is often assumed to be a mechanism for promoting improved governance. Thilo Bodenstein assesses this perspective using comparative data on the strength of civil society across different regions. He finds that the single biggest factor leading to a strong civil society is the presence of high quality political institutions within a given country. Crucially, however, this effect […]

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The European Neighbourhood Policy has failed because of its own contradictions and small budget. But the Arab spring offers a renewed opportunity for the EU to reinvigorate the programme.

For many, the Arab Spring graphically illustrated the European Neighbourhood Policy’s failure in its aims to promote security and prosperity in the European neighbourhood, and that it should now be disbanded. Julian Kirchherr argues that the new democracies emerging in some Arab Spring countries offer an opportunity for the reinvention of the policy if the European Union continues to increase its budget […]

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Despite its costs and limited effectiveness, the European Neighbourhood Policy’s symbolic commitment to engage beyond the EU may mean that it is doomed to survive.

Set up to promote security and prosperity in the EU’s neighbors, the European Neighbourhood Policy has struggled in recent years to cope with the pace of change in the region.  Giulia Pastorella argues that recent events such as the Arab Spring illustrate the ineffectiveness of the policy, with many countries making little progress. While reform is badly needed, budget squeezes, […]

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