Two new „IEP Policy Papers on Eastern Europe and Central Asia” published
As part of the research project “The EU’s policy towards Eastern Europe and Central Asia – A key role for Germany.” Financed by the Otto Wolff Foundation.
In the second Policy Paper, titled “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained? The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the Effectiveness of the European Neighbourhood Policy,” Jakob Hauter examines the EU’s policy toward Ukraine as a test case for the effectiveness of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Hauter shows that while the EU consistently pursues its policy objectives, these are marked by strong risk aversion. The EU has managed to convince Ukrainian political elites of an Association Agreement, which further moves Ukraine toward the EU. However, the EU has only insufficiently included civil society in this process. Hauter recommends that the EU scale down its normative aspirations in Ukraine. Furthermore, the EU must avoid the impression of making demands without offering anything in return. Finally, the EU must increase its financial support for Ukraine in order to increase the effectiveness of its policy toward Ukraine in particular and of the ENP in general.
In the third Policy Paper titled: “Conditionality and election performance within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy – the case study of the 2012 and 2013 elections in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine,” Magdalena Nasieniak and Bogadan Depo examine the use of conditionality by the EU in the framework of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Focusing on the recent elections in the Eastern Partnership countries of Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine, the authors emphasise that election performance with regard to democracy and the rule of law is now at the core of EU conditionality and the primary determinant of further support and cooperation with the respective countries. However, they point out that the EU still lacks a coherent methodology to respond to the actual level of democratisation in the countries, since the EU bases its assessments on the reports made by the OSCE/ODIHR election observation missions. Thus, the EU benchmarks election performance against international standards relative to previous elections rather than against international standards. The authors recommend that the EU draw conclusions from the OSCE/ODIHR reports for the use of conditionality that more accurately reflect the political will of incumbent authorities to implement democratic reforms. Furthermore, the EU must do more to include civil society, in particular domestic non-governmental organisations, in the formulation of election assessments and recommendations.