CLEER Paper 2015/1 - Kochenov, Basheska

ENP’s Value Conditionality from Enlargements to Post-Crimea

Dimitry Kochenov and Elena Basheska

This paper puts the problems with value conditionality in the EU’s neighbourhood in the context of the general resounding failure of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Embarking to establish a ‘ring of friends’ around the EU, the policy has not delivered: the neighbourhood is much poorer and in infinitely more dangerous now than ever before in the recent past. From Russia’s annexation of the part of Ukraine and its pocket war in Donbass to the rise of the Islamic State, the initial goal of the ENP could not be any further from achievement than it is now. The Union, advancing its policy of slogans, has entirely ignored Realpolitik, to a point that led to the aforementioned embarrassing results. We look at the objective of the ‘ring of friends’ (2) and then focus on the three key presumptions underlying the deployment of the principle of conditionality in the context of the ENP: the presumption of shared values (3); the presumption of effectiveness of the value based conditionality (4); the presumption of the sufficient incentives (5); – all the three untenable, we argue – only to address the issue of what could be done to solve the outstanding problems (6). The ENP should be getting much stricter scrutiny in the post-Crimea world, in which Russian propaganda bureaucrats and ISIS fundamentalists seem to be much more effective – in the short term at least – than the European Union. This puts to light the fourth untenable presumption – the presumption that the EU acts in vacuum in a world with no opposition and disagreement, while doing ‘the right thing’. We argue that the ENP has to be rethought in the vein of Realpolitik with less reliance on questionable slogans and utterly unattainable goals.

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