Recasting Relations with the Neighbours – Prospects for the Eastern Partnership

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Series Details Number 4
Publication Date February 2009
ISBN 978-2-86592-475-2
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The European Commission's proposal for an Eastern Partnership has found a groundswell of support in the run up to the Prague Eastern Summit in May. The Commission's vision sees both strengthened bilateralism as well as innovative multilateral initiatives and ‘flagship' projects to put relations with the eastern neighbours on a more dynamic and strategic footing. Though the proposal holds much promise, its ultimate success rests on a number of conditions, including whether the prospective partners can be convinced of the partnership’s value and equally whether the EU can prove that it is serious about free trade, mobility and energy policy in the Eastern neighbourhood.

In this paper, we put the Eastern Partnership under the spotlight as the EU edges closer to the Eastern Summit. We also provide an overview of the current ENP configuration in the
East and consider why it seems flawed. By way of a conclusion we identify some “conditions for success” which, we argue must be seriously considered if the Eastern Partnership is to meet its potential to recast the EU’s relations with the Eastern neighbours.

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