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.