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Russia and eastern neighbours

Although the EU’s eastern neighbourhood is of strategic importance, the Union’s relations with the states of the region vary significantly.That said, there are high levels of interdependence between the EU and (virtually all of) its eastern neighbours in a number of different spheres - from trade and energy flows, to the joint management of security challenges and migration. The EU develops its policies in the region along two major strands - a strategic relationship with Russia, and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP) Policy in its relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Russia is the EU’s biggest neighbour – and one of its most important, but also challenging partners. Over the past 15 years, the EU and Russia have developed a deep and complex network of political ties and diplomatic contacts. Yet, Moscow’s actions in Ukraine have greatly strained EU-Russia relations in recent years: tensions around Ukraine now dominate a relationship which once was mostly built on fostering trade and energy cooperation, a security dialogue, and a process that aims at liberalising visas.Elsewhere in the eastern neighbourhood, the cornerstones of the EU policy are the Association Agreements, which contain provisions on the establishment of deep and comprehensive free trade areas. Such Agreements have been signed and are implemented by Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Relations with the other neighbours – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus – are also advancing, but on a more modest scale than the frontrunners.

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  • 24February 2006

    On 24 February 2006, the Institute organised a high-level seminar on whether the EU can have a policy towards the Black Sea region and develop a region-wide strategy and, if so, how and in which areas.

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    01February 2006

    The Rose Revolution of 2003 may have brought fragile democracy to this former Soviet republic, but the country remains bedevilled by institutional weakness and internal conflicts. This Chaillot Paper evaluates the EU’s stakes in Georgia as well as the security challenges it poses, and presents ways forward for EU engagement to strengthen this strategically important state.

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    18January 2006

    The appointment of a new EU Special Representative towards the South Caucasus offers an opportunity to review EU policy towards the region. The following analysis is an extract of a Chaillot Paper, entitled 'Why Georgia Matters', focusing on how the EU can sharpen its policy towards Georgia in particular.

  • 08November 2005

    That the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan party won in the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan on Sunday was no surprise. The good news is that the election was far less fraudulent than the last, even though the OSCE reported that the voting fell short of international standards. Much now hangs in the balance for this Caspian Republic

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    01November 2005

    The existence of Belarus - Europe's 'last dictatorship' - on its borders poses a problem for the newly enlarged EU. The authoritarian regime in Belarus may be fearful of the changes that have recently occurred in its vicinity yet it continues to rule with confidence.

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    26October 2005
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    In November 2004, the EU set forth a new framework for policy towards Belarus. The regional context around Belarus has since changed dramatically, with an enlarged EU, a 'revolutionary' Ukraine, a more defensive Russia and more active US. EU policy may be strengthened to reflect and work with these changes.

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    01October 2005

    A key objective of the European Union is to have a stable, secure, prosperous and democratic neighbourhood. Failing an offer of accession to close neighbours in the medium term, the EU should and can offer stronger CFSP engagement.

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    01July 2005

    With the European Union’s 2004 round of enlargement, its neighbourhood now stretches from the Balkans to the Southern Caucasus, and from Russia to the Southern Mediterranean. This new neighbourhood suffers from serious deficits in terms of security, development and democracy, which constitute a serious challenge for the EU’s own security.

  • 01January 2005

    Events in Ukraine reflect the changes occurring in Europe and pose a new ‘eastern question’. The first story relates the birth of a revitalised Ukraine. The two candidates in the elections, Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych, in themselves do not signal this birth – but 17 days of peaceful demonstrations in Kyiv and other cities do, as does the decision of the Ukrainian Supreme Court to call for a new second round on 26 December.

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    01January 2005

    The Cold War is finally ending in Europe and the shape of a new order is becoming visible. Europe’s institutional structure is different from the bipolar era or even the transition years of the 1990s. The European Union is emerging as the Continent’s primary security provider. With enlargement in 2004, a new Europe has been born, founded around the ambitions and values of the EU.

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    01July 1999

    Following an approach adopted by WEU well before other European security organisations, the Institute has devoted part of its research to regions that do not yet include full member states of either the EU or NATO. After the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, the CFSP will only have sense and credibility to the extent that it addresses the concerns of third countries, which will put the EU’s force of attraction as well as its conviction to the test.

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    01November 1998

    The Baltic Sea area has for centuries been a hub of international activity and exchange, embodied in particular by the Hanseatic League, with resulting conditions of intense cooperation and shared prosperity. It is therefore not surprising that, contrary to widespread fears, the situation in the region did not break loose after the bitter divisions imposed by the Cold War: in more ways than one, the region constitutes another 'mediterranean' area, with a potential for political solidarity and common security.

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    01April 1998

    A European security policy is in the making. It received a decisive impulse in 1997, in particular with the Amsterdam Treaty. It will have to take into account a much transformed international scene in which the traditional balance of power and coexistence mechanisms are pushed aside by a renewed attempt at cooperative security that is not bound by rigidly pre-established formulas.

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    01February 1996

    Rudolf Joó, a former Hungarian Deputy Minister of Defence sets out his thoughts on the subject, starting from the successes and difficulties encountered on the path to reform that he helped promote and widening the study to a more general context.

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    01October 1995

    This study is about extending that community eastwards, and makes the claim that a lasting peace is already beginning to be consolidated in the area of Central and East European that was under Soviet domination during the Cold War.

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    01June 1995

    Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the three Baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - have made significant strides in consolidating their independence, putting themselves not only on the geographical map of Europe, but also on the mental map of Western policy-makers.

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    01November 1994

    The issue of crisis management and conflict prevention in post-communist Europe is an issue which has already been addressed by the Institute in earlier Chaillot Papers, and this paper takes the discussion further by looking at the problems arising over peacekeeping in the member states of the CIS.

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    01February 1994

    Among the range of problems which have arisen following the breakup of the Soviet Union, those of Ukraine and its relations with Russia, particularly in the nuclear field, are among the most difficult. They present particular dilemmas for West European security policy-makers endeavouring to develop a satisfactory mix of approaches to the two countries.

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    01May 1993

    In Europe the collapse of the communist system has given rise to great aspirations to democracy and civil rights. At the same time, new tensions are accompanying this move to democracy, whether in connection with the right to self-determination, minority rights, or the dissolution of former compound states - the USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.

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