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The Soon-to-Fail Eastern Partnership

A new 5-page policy brief by the Spanish think tank FRIDE takes a look at the EU’s Eastern Partnership proposal, and finds it riddled with holes and destined for failure.  One, among the many, flaws is that too many EU member states are unwilling to incur in the political costs of Russian disapproval – especially when there is no common policy.  Such are the benefits of disaggregation.

Another potential risk to the EaP comes from Russia. The Russian government is extremely sensitive to any kind of Western influence in its sphere of interest. Moreover, the EU is not ready to withstand Russia’s opposition to the growing Eastern Partnership. As in the case of European debate over NATO’s enlargement to Ukraine and Georgia prior to the Bucharest NATO summit of 2008, some EU members might find that it is not in their national interest to invest too much – either politically or financially – in the EaP. As long as there is no single EU position on Russia, the whole Eastern neighbourhood project will be at risk in the long term.