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Promoting Domestic Change in the EU Neighbourhood: Administrative Capacity, Hard Power and Legitimacy

Klaudijus Maniokas

Slow progress of Europeanization in the EU eastern neighborhood is in stark contrast to the success of the Europeanization of Central and Eastern Europe. Eventhough different evaluations are often ambiguous in their methodology, the general conclusion is quite clear: the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and its enhancedversion Eastern Partnership (EaP) do not seem to be an effective instrument of Europeanization of the EU Eastern neighborhood. It is argued that one of the mainreasons is the deficit of legitimacy of the EU projected norms. In the ENP, the EU has put an emphasis on European values such as democracy, good governance, fightagainst corruption and so forth, which hardly relate to the EU acquis, and are contested by the partners. Importantly, the EaP countries also question the EU acquis ontrade itself, in particular the concept of deep and comprehensive free trade agreements as there are competing norms (the US' and Russia's norms in particular) and thecountries suffer from weak administrative capacity. This legitimacy deficit EU norms as project in the ENP/EaP is analysed in qualitative country case studies includingGeorgia, Ukraine, Armenia and Moldova with a particular focus on the implementation of their ENP Actions Plans and identification of the most problematic areas inorder to re-define the research agenda.

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