The European strategy for the Eastern Neighborhood is losing ground to the ever-changing reality. It has become in many regards a “post-factum foreign policy” that needs significant revisions. (THREAD /9)
1. The ability of the European institutions to forecast rapid change, many of which are imminent and therefore predictable, is questionable. Predicting and anticipating the steps of political actors in Eastern Neighborhood is a weakness for the EU, which has to be yet addressed.
2. Firstly, Brussels often resorts to an idealistic perception of political processes in the backyard of its eastern neighbors. Deviations from the rules of the game are considered exceptions rather than systemic behaviour, the fight against which requires lasting reforms.
3. The second feature that abounds in the EU's actions concerning its eastern neighbors is the tendency to focus credibility on a limited group of political actors. The pan-European parties, represented in the European Parliament, facilitate this.
4. The third dimension that marks the ability to manage the situation between the times of crisis & during the crises experienced by neighbors is the erroneous decoding of Russia's geopolitical interests. The EU's idealist position contradicts the realistic approach of Russia.
5. The cause of the disturbances in the Eastern Partnership is the endogenous intra-state problems.
6. The first category includes the positive effects of the association with the EU, as well as the reform procrastination - in Georgia, Moldova & Ukraine. Situation in the states with which the EU has Association deals is unstable; reforms are at constant risk of being reversed.
7.The second one integrates those circumstances where the reformist intention oscillates between the limitations produced by belonging to pro-Russian integrationist processes and the political-institutional abilities of the government to overcome them (Armenia).
8. The third category includes the metamorphosis of autocracies under the pressure of internal democratic constraints (Belarus) or as a result of self-stimulation through exploiting the security agenda and the national pride (Azerbaijan).
Following the differentiation principle, which the EU applies towards its eastern neighbors and not only, differentiated European diplomacy will reflect the real capabilities of the EU, excluding the projection of exaggerated geopolitical powers. Read the entire analysis here👇
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