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Europeanization of Polish foreign policy. Case of Eastern Partnership.

Monika Sus
Hertie School of Governance
Monika Sus
Hertie School of Governance
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper seeks to assess the degree to which Poland can exercise power and influence in the European Union’s foreign policy, particularly its eastern dimension - Eastern Partnership (EaP). On 1 July 2011, Poland will take over the Presidency in the Council of EU. One of the priorities of Polish Presidency is the further development of EaP. The EU’s Eastern Partnership was endorsed at the opening summit in Praque in May 2009. The Polish – Swedish proposal assumed a substantial upgrade of the level of political engagement but so far expectations related to EaP seem not to be fulfilled. Democracy has not seen any improvements, further political reform has not been undertaken. There is no doubt: the Eastern Partnership needs to be reconsidered and restructured and Poland, especially during the Presidency, wants to play an important role in this process. In order to investigate to what extend Poland is able to influence European foreign policy objectives concerning its eastern neighbours, the Europeanization of Polish foreign policy has to be researched. A particular level of Europeanization seems to be an essential condition of effectiveness for the national foreign policy to transfer its interest and ideas to the European stage. This paper will evaluate the process of Europeanization of Polish foreign policy defined as mutually constitutive process of change at the national and the European level. Based on the above definition, two dimensions of the Europeanization process can be useful in explaining possible changes taking place in foreign policy-making in the EU: national adaptation (a top-down process) and national projection (a bottom-up process). To be able to measure the Polish ability to upload its interest in the eastern neighbours, this article will use Miskimmon and Paterson’s model (Miskimmon and Paterson, 2003). It presents tools and methods used by the state to influence the EU, such as institution building, agenda setting, example setting and ideational export. Poland has already managed to upload its position towards eastern dimension of the EU foreign policy. The challenge now is to revitalize the initiative dealing with lack of support from big European players, financial crisis, new division of responsibilities on the field of CFSP after Lisbon and political changes in EaP countries. Uploading a political ideas from the national to the European level calls for a experienced and strong player. This paper will analyze whether Poland has enough power to push its ideas for the further development of EaP.