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EU external governance: successful good governance promotion in Moldova and Ukraine?

Dorina Baltag
Loughborough University
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Abstract

After the last enlargement round(s) the EU acquired not only 12 new members, but also faced new neighbours on its Eastern frontier. Republic of Moldova and Ukraine became participants of the new European policy – that of a New Neighborhood and currently of its new eastern dimension – the Eastern Partnership. The EU strives to involve these countries into a number of policy areas with a long-term aim of integrating them into the broader framework of the European cooperation. Interestingly, the transfer of the norms and rules takes place without being promised the reward of becoming a member of the EU. On the other hand, the internal developments in neighboring countries (e.g. political instability after parliamentary elections in Moldova, anti-democratic trends in the internal developments after the last presidential elections in Ukraine) often demonstrate the power to hinder the transfer of EU rules to these countries. The paper presents an analysis of the conditions that influence a commitment of the neighbouring countries to implement EU-induced reforms. A central argument of the study is that the model of good governance promotion with vague or even no membership perspective is not successful. Under such circumstances a successful transfer of the EU rules in neighbourhood countries is unlikely. The two case studies of Ukraine and Moldova in the domain of energy and trade policies indicate the low level of implementation of acquis communautaire in respective areas. Additionally, the paper points to a necessity to pay more detailed look at the context in which the EU rule transfer takes place in the neighbouring countries. The scholars of the EU external governance field might find it beneficial to consult the literature on post-communist (transitional) studies as well as research on geopolitics of the Central and Eastern Europe in order to bring additional insights in their studies.