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Eastern Partnership: An Effective Political Tool or Refreshed Vain Promises?

Kiryl Kascian

Launched as a supplement toward the geographically balanced ENP development, the EaP was aimed to improve drawbacks of the ENP and claimed enhanced EU policies toward the Eastern neighbours for the convenience of the entire Union. Upon its implementation the EaP 'relegated' to 'ENP Eastern track' with all shortcomings of the latter. The main weaknesses of the EaP could be divided: 1. Internal inconsistencies. 2. External over-rated optimism and motivation. External over-rated optimism and motivation by the EaP countries that the EU expressed them to show (EU soft power) could be seen as continuation of the existing inconsistencies since motivation should be constantly supported. Moreover, that was the reason why the EaP development did not elaborate understandable outcome (EU carrot) that EaP countries expected to obtain. An additional external EaP problem rests on different situations and needs of the partner countries as well as considerable differences between its two regions (Belarus-Ukraine-Moldova vs. Caucasus). Application of the case-by-case approach may be harshly criticised so that interest in the EaP among certain partners considerably decreased. Therefore, understanding of the specific needs and elaboration of unique programmes for each country is the key solution. Moreover, the EU should maintain its one-voice foreign policy and start applying it toward the EaP countries.

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