EU regional cooperation and governance of its eastern neighbourhood: a compilation of six research papers




Shaban, Tatsiana

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The European Union (EU) governance is very complex. Also, in order to have an impact on the democratic transformation of national settings in its Eastern Neighbourhood there is a need for the EU to govern more effectively. How can we understand the relations between the EU and countries in its Eastern Neighbourhood? Has the EU regional governance been able to bring positive change by influencing domestic processes including democratic institution-building in the region? What challenges has the EU encountered in its Eastern Neighbourhood and how has it responded to them? Even at times when the EU’s performance is being questioned by policy-makers and in academic literature, the EU retains a strong focus on sectoral and regional policies, along with a consistent presence in neighbouring countries. The six research papers of this thesis examine important aspects of regional development of the EU and its governance of the Eastern Neighbourhood. These analyses determine that the EU’s understanding of the governance of its Eastern Neighbourhood has developed and varied to a substantial degree since introduction of the European Neighbourhood Policy followed by addition of the Eastern Partnership. The papers provide empirical qualitative analysis on the factors shaping EU regional performance and address institutional, political, and cultural challenges that Ukraine and Belarus face in terms of democratization and regional cooperation. In addition, these papers engage with debates on borders and bordering in order to study the neighbourhood transformations through the European Neighbourhood Policy. New priorities, such as border management and a focus on multilateral initiatives under the Eastern Partnership, signalled the continuation of a region-based approach employed by the EU and the recognition of shared values, common traditions, and histories among neighbours in the EU’s shared borderland.



Eastern Neighbourhood, European Union, Governance, Cross-Border cooperation, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia