10 Years Eastern Partnership – The EU and its Strategic Dilemma

Johann Wolfschwenger

ÖGfE Policy Brief. June 2019 [Link]


10 years after the launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), the EU finds itself in a strategic dilemma: On the one hand the ‘European aspirations’ of many of the Eastern partners are the driving force behind their domestic democratic reform process; on the other hand, the very same European course nurtures a climate of geopolitical instability in which a democratic transformation and subsequently EU integration seems hardly possible. It has become obvious that the Kremlin’s policy responses are a significant factor to determine the outcome of EU policies in the neighbourhood. Moreover, the EU is internally divided over the future course of the EaP and the relations with Russia. The loophole to resolve this strategic dilemma is understanding the EaP in its entire complexity as an interplay of geopolitics and domestic politics.

This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.