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EU Eastward Democracy Promotion under the European Neighbourhood Policy

Sergiu Buscaneanu

The paper evaluates the extent to which EU democracy promotion approach under the ENP has been effective and consistent. Cases considered are all Eastern partners of the EU involved in the ENP: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The paper finds out that the increased incentive structures and more intense socialization dynamics in which Eastern ENPC have been brought in since the launch of the ENP are not reflected into higher levels of democracy. At the same time, the EU was only partly consistent while delivering its incentive structures under the ENP. However, zooming out and considering a longer period from 1991 to 2010, one could find out that the EU democracy promotion approach to the region under focus was largely consistent. The size of incentive structures provided by the EU along this time frame mirrors individual performances registered on the democratization front. Moreover, there is even a stronger association between individual regime patterns in the region and the extent to which cases under scrutiny have been caught into the EU socialization dynamics. Though the EU's influence on the democratization process in Eastern ENPC appears to be close to nil in the post-ENP period, content analysis of regular Progress Reports released by the European Commission on the implementation process of ENP Action Plans (ENPAPs) shows that some of these countries have considered in their reform agendas the democracy-related objectives of the Plans. The ENPC have also sought to adopt international instruments in the field of democracy and human rights as provided for in the ENPAPs. This suggests that one should be cautious while totally sweeping away the EU's role.

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