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The EU and its Eastern Neighbours
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The European Neighbourhood Policy put to the test by the Ukrainian crisis

Gilles Lepesant
European Issue n°327 - 06/10/2014

One month after the signature of the Eurasian Economic Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in Astana, on 27th June the European Union signed an Association Agreement with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Although the former President of the Commission, Romano Prodi, who launched the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) saw in this an opportunity to create a "circle of friends" the European continent is in fact divided between two regional, competing and incompatible integration processes. The Ukrainian crisis– 10 years after the Orange Revolution - triggered off by the sudden response of civil society indeed caused not only a renewal in terms of the regime in place in Kiev, but also intervention by Russia in Crimea and the Donbass. Whatever the conclusion of this crisis might be Russia's goal of strengthening its grip on its "near abroad" is being challenged by its neighbours' attachment to their independence and invites us to question about the purpose and means available to the European Neighbourhood Policy.

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