Rethinking relationships in Europe’s East

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Series Details No.21, November 2014
Publication Date 04/11/2014
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EU neighbourhood policies have produced few results in the tumultuous South and have been derailed both by Russia’s assertiveness and by very uneven local commitment in the East. A thorough review of the EU’s approach should be a top priority of the new EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and neighbourhood commissioner Johannes Hahn. EU policy towards the East (perhaps via a renewed Eastern Partnership) should be more flexible, potentially broader in the number of countries it includes, but especially customise bilateral ties. The EU should be prepared for ongoing problematic relations with Russia and be ready to assist countries that genuinely want to implement democratic reform and build closer ties with the Union.

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