The EU Eastern Partnership Policy: Economy versus Politics

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-12-27-37
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation;
Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS), 11–3, Mokhovaya Str., Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation.
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation;
Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS), 11–3, Mokhovaya Str., Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation.

Received 25.03.2022. Revised 17.09.2022. Accepted 03.10.2022.

Acknowledgements. The article has been supported by a grant of the Institute for International Studies, MGIMO University. Project no. 2022-02-01.

Abstract. The Eastern Partnership as one the European Union’s external activities is rarely analyzed through the prism of financing. At the same time, the analysis of instruments, volumes, dynamics and structure of financing allows not only to assess the efficiency of the funds spent in partner countries, but also to identify the real place of the Eastern Partnership in the structure of the EU foreign policy priorities. The aim of the study is to define the true role of partnership in the foreign policy of the Union. Analyzing the main directions and instruments of financing has resulted in a number of conclusions. Firstly, in terms of funding, the Eastern Partnership is inferior in importance not only to other countries and regions, which receive financial aid within the framework of the EU official development assistance, but also to the Southern Neighborhood. Secondly, the evolution of instruments has led to a further decrease in this role and the actual dissolution of financing the Eastern Partnership in the system of the EU official development assistance. Hence, we can conclude that the political component prevails over the economic one in case of the Eastern Partnership. Thirdly, the recipient countries within the framework of the program are clearly divided into two groups, based on the intensity of funding, and a larger amount of funds correlates not so much with the fulfillment of economic conditions, but with political loyalty and a demonstration of a pro-European foreign policy vector. Fourthly, even in the main beneficiary countries, the effectiveness of financing is very limited, since it does not lead to implementation of the stated goals. All this allows us to draw the key conclusion that the EU, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership, continues to build global regimes, the neighborhood being one of them. That is why the financing is aimed rather at stabilizing this neighborhood than at its active development.

Keywords: European Union, Eastern Partnership, European Neighborhood Policy, financing, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Poland


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For citation:
Sergeev E., Habarta A., Vorotnikov V. The EU Eastern Partnership Policy: Economy versus Politics. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 12, pp. 27-37.

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