Publications of Lyubashenko, Igor

The Rocky Road Ahead: Deepening Good Governance Progress in the Eastern Neighbourhood

On the example of Ukraine and Moldova, this paper demonstrates that the European Union’s influence over its Eastern Neighbourhood in terms of promoting good governance principles is highly limited and strongly conditional on domestic politics and the prevailing interests of several domestic political forces that try to maintain the status quo. In the context of missing credible EU membership prospects offered to these countries and the subsequent lack of conditionality, top-down norm transfer, which was one of the key aspects to the EU’s success in the recent enlargement rounds, does not work. Moreover, internal affairs of the EU’s eastern neighbours are also subject to other, more dominant external influences (such as that of Russia and China), which further weaken the EU’s ability to shape domestic politics in its Eastern Neighbourhood. Unless the EU demonstrates greater engagement and develops better cooperation mechanisms towards these countries, it will be unable to generate further democratization of its Eastern Neighbourhood.