Archive for June 15th, 2013

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Death of the EaP if Vilnius is a disaster?

June 15, 2013

Following on nicely from yesterday’s post, and in particular from the below paragraph,  I was asked via an email from a reader, whether I thought a disastrous EU/EaP summit would be the death of the EaP project.

“One wonders whether the initialing of this document will take place at the EaP Vilnius Summit simply so the EU can come away claiming to have had some form of success in November should Ukrainian-EU documents fail to be signed thus preventing them going forth into years of ratification wilderness.”

My answer is no it will not be the final nail in the EaP coffin – I really don’t think a final nail will ever come – though policy and strategy may change from those currently in place.

It appears EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, is of the same opinion when it comes to the demise of the EaP project.

After all, when all is said and done – and even in spite of EU failure to walk its own talk on occasion – democracy and democracy promotion is a core theme and collective foreign policy for the EU and its Member States.  Thus from an ideological viewpoint,  it can never entirely walk away from promoting and supporting democracy within the EaP nations – particularly those that sit within feckless or dominant party democracies, as both states of transition have made the final leap to full and liberal democracies historically.

How could the EU walk away from such “transitional democracies” when it attempts to promote democracy in the most autocratic and despotic nations globally that are yet to witness any form of democratic breakthrough – let alone those on its borders with which it is to some degree dependent upon over security issues such as energy, migration, organised crime etc ?

Is it good policy to be seen to abandon transitional democracies – even if they appear stalled – and instead of at least trying to prevent a complete roll-back, wait for democracy to ultimately collapse before trying again?  How would allowing that to happen be viewed, not only by the pressurised democrats within any nation desperate for any and all support they can get, but also by the international community?

What self-pronounced democracy promoting entity wants to be seen walking away from the fight – especially one on its doorstep?

So, a disastrous Vilnius Summit or not, the EaP project to support democracy and democracy promotion will continue – in on guise or another – for the EU has few other “value” choices, despite any rhetoric to the contrary.

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