Policy Paper 71
 

The EU in the East: too ambitious in rhetoric, too unfocused in action

Lucia Najšlová, Vera Rihácková, Senior Researchers, Europeum and Olga Shumylo-Tapiola, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Europe —
Although the EU is today mired in a number of uncertainties regarding the future of its own internal decision-making structures, it still is a source of inspiration for reform-minded groups and individuals in its Eastern neighbourhood. While strengthening of democratic institutions and improvement of governance are tasks that have to be desired and accomplished by Eastern neighbours themselves, the EU can contribute to the process by focusing on areas in which it has already a track-record. Encouraging a multi-stakeholder dialogue and amplifying the voice of non-state actors acting in the public interest are key issues on which the Union should focus its assistance to the East. In its dialogue with partner governments, the EU should emphasize that it supports only projects for which such groups have been previously consulted. At the same time, those in charge of policy towards Eastern neighbours should follow more closely developments in Turkey’s and Russia’s neighbourhood policies towards the same countries.

|   15/02/2013             |   Olga Shumylo-Tapiola   |   Vera Rihackova             |   Europe in the world
Policy Paper
This Policy Paper is a contribution of Lucia Najšlová (Europeum), Vera Rihácková (Europeum) and Olga Shumylo-Tapiola (Carnegie Europe), to the project Think Global – Act European (TGAE). Thinking strategically about the EU’s external action directed by Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute (report available in March 2013, dir. Elvire Fabry, Senior Research Fellow, Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute).

Although the EU is today mired in a number of
uncertainties regarding the future of its own internal decision-making
structures, it still is a source of inspiration for reform-minded groups and
individuals in its Eastern neighbourhood. While strengthening of democratic
institutions and improvement of governance are tasks that have to be desired
and accomplished by Eastern neighbours themselves, the EU can contribute to the
process by focusing on areas in which it has already a track-record. Encouraging
a multi-stakeholder dialogue and amplifying the voice of non-state actors
acting in the public interest are key issues on which the Union should focus
its assistance to the East. In its dialogue with partner governments, the EU
should emphasize that it supports only projects for which such groups have been
previously consulted. At the same time, those in charge of policy towards
Eastern neighbours should follow more closely developments in Turkey’s and
Russia’s neighbourhood policies towards the same countries.

Before the publication of the final report presenting the key recommendations of the 16 think tanks involved in the project, 5 series of policy papers address the following key challenges: EU neighbourhood, CSDP, strategic resources, migration and economic policy.

This Policy Paper is part of the series entitled
“How to make out of its neighbourhood an opportunity for the EU itself?” which
includes contributions by Michele Comelli (IAI), Haizam Amirah Fernández (Elcano Royal Institute), Timo Behr (Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute), Christophe Hillion (SIEPS), Adam Balcer (demosEuropa).

Go to the other contributions of the neighbourhood series>>

The project is led with the support of the