Eastern Partnership summit marks no progress in Eastern neighborhood policy

On 24 November, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels concluded without any consequential actions for the relationship between the EU and its eastern neighbours. Reasons for this stagnation range from the opposition of some EU members towards deeper integration process to fears of retaliation from Moscow.

The stalling is also due to the fact that this initiative has become a two-speed arrangement. Armenia, Belarus, and Azerbaijan do not seek an EU membership, while Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia wish to join the club. While the summit declaration “acknowledges their European aspirations”, it doesn’t offer a concrete perspective for integration, stating that the partnership’s goal is to accelerate their “political association” with the EU. Euronews reported the Summit's results provoked anger in Kiev. Some EU members, the Netherlands in particular, are reluctant to offer the aspiring trio a path to integration. The V4 seems split on the issue, while Hungary’s foreign policy is generally perceived as Kremlin-friendly and anti-Ukrainian, Poland, one of the EaP's original authors, is supportive of these countries’ Euro-Atlantic integration. As for Russia, Merkel stated that EU’s relations with Moscow, who has its own integration projects in its so-called “near abroad”, are of main importance for EaP’s future.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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