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Title: Geopolitics and democracy in the European neighbourhood policy
Other Titles: The Routledge handbook on the European neighbourhood policy
Authors: Khakee, Anna
Youngs, Richard
Keywords: European Union -- Membership
European Union -- Balkan Peninsula
European Union -- Relations -- Ukraine
European Union -- Relations -- Morocco
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Khakee, A., & Youngs, R.(2017). Geopolitics and democracy in the European neighbourhood policy. In T. Schumacher, A. Marchetti & T. Demmelhuber (Eds.), The Routledge handbook on the European neighbourhood policy (pp. 456-466). Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.
Abstract: A standard criticism of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is that it has adopted a 'one size fits all' approach. Analysts routinely admonish the EU for pursuing an overly uniform policy, using similar instruments for virtually identical aims across countries that are radically different from each other. Critics argue that it makes little sense to follow the same set of policy recipes in the eastern neighbourhood as those that are prioritized in the South. I The EU has gradually acknowledged these criticisms, most notably since the Arab uprisings. The ENP reviews since then have promised that principles of 'more for more' and 'differentiation' will guide future policy development (European Commission and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy 2011, 2015). These principles suggest that the EU will begin to make more significant distinction between East and South, and differentiate its strategies within each subregion. This formally recognizes the reality that Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova want closer relations with the Union and to adopt many EU rules, willie Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus do not; and it accepts that among Arab states only Tunisia and Morocco appear to be interested in the standard range of ENP instruments and incentives. In fact, the 'one size fits all' assertion was never entirely correct. It is true that many EU aims are relatively uniform across the whole neighbourhood. The Union's set of generic political goals in the East are defined in a way that is similar to those in the South: to ensure a ring of stability and prosperity on the outer borders of the EU (European Council 2003). The EU seeks to benefit from extensive trade with well-governed, stable and democratic neighbouring states in Eastern Europe and to the South of the Mediterranean. It wants to minimize the spill-over from eastern and southern instability: drugs and contraband, organized crime, terrorism, refugees and economic migrants. The EU has deployed a common set of bilateral tools through the neighbourhood, most notably in the form of Association Agreements. The rhetoric has also remained uniform: market economies and democracies brought stability to Europe and can have the same effect in the neighbourhood (European Commission and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy 2015). However, as geopolitical challenges have evolved and deepened, variation between East and South has become increasingly apparent - and has also become more notable within each sub-region. In practice, much differentiation has already taken shape as the ENP has evolved since 2004. This is especially evident in the way the EU conceives and approaches the question of democratic reform. Very different geopolitical dynamics have taken root in different parts of the neighbourhood. In some countries, the EU has intensified its support for democratic reform as a geopolitical strategy. In other countries, the Union's geopolitical aims militate against a prioritization of democracy support. Analysts and policy-makers alike have come to focus on 'geopolitical' interests; the 2015 ENP review clearly crystalizes the priority now attached to 'stabilization' and 'security sector reform, conflict prevention, counter-terrorism and anti-radicalization policies' (European Commission and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy 2015: 2-3). This focus has very different implications for democracy and human rights policies in different parts of the neighbourhood. The EU and its Member States have moulded themselves to a varied set of geopolitical dynamics - and this trend is underplayed by an analysis centred principally on the de jure and discursive uniformity of the ENP framework or on the apparently sui generis nature of the Union's external policy instruments.
ISBN: 9781138913721
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtIR

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