Civil Society Voices: How the EU Should Engage Its Eastern Neighbours
The EU’s “eastern neighbourhood” is an increasingly complicated and contested space. The challenge of Russia’s resurgence and regional elites’ resistance to reform are forcing the EU to reevaluate its policies.
With the launch of its Eastern Partnership six years ago, the EU was ready to offer its neighbors to the east—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine—integration into the EU market, mobility of people, and close political ties in exchange for rule of law and democratic and economic reforms. Today, it questions whether this policy has secured its strategic interests and political influence.
The Eastern Partnership reinforced domestic constituencies for change in at least three partners—Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine—that in 2014 signed association agreements. It has not lost the potential to contribute to democratic processes and support reformers in the other three: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus. The Eastern Partnership remains the EU’s most effective foreign policy instrument to build accountable and stable institutions and states, and uphold the EU’s commitment to its neighbors’ sovereignty and right to make independent foreign policy choices.
This policy paper—the result of extensive discussions with experts and civil society leaders—highlights local concerns and expectations about the EU’s role in the region and its support for stability and democracy. As the EU rethinks its policies in the area, this paper offers recommendations on how to make the Eastern Partnership more effective and relevant to people, societies, and government, and to secure the EU’s interests in an increasingly polarized and unstable region.
Civil Society Voices: How the EU Should Engage Its Eastern Neighbours (1016.67 Kb pdf file)
Download the complete 32-page briefing paper.
The Legacy of 1989
George Soros on Europe after the Berlin Wall
Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, Open Society Foundations Founder and Chair George Soros looks back at his support for Central and Eastern European democracy, which began when few imagined the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Confronting the EU’s Three Biggest Challenges
During this moment of change and instability, the EU has an opportunity to make reforms that will ensure it can tackle the problems of the 21st century. A new report offers a guide for turning this potential into reality.
Right to Housing
The Fight to Reclaim Housing Rights as European Human Rights
What use is a booming economy if you cannot find a place to live? A little-known EU charter can help re-establish housing as a human right.