Democratisation in EU Foreign Policy: The Cases of Belarus, Turkey and Ukraine

Three countries on the eastern border of the EU have caused significant political and economic challenges to the EU’s accession policy (Turkey) and to the European Neighbourhood Policy (Belarus and Ukraine). All three have revealed some weaknesses of the intra-EU decision-making processes (especially the lack of flexibility and the unwillingness to apply ‘hard’ power politics) and the disunity of the EU member states’ voices, which reflects their very divergent national interests. Still, the policies adopted by the EU with regard to these countries also represent an opportunity for the EU.

The paper focuses on the key attributes that the EU needs to consider when drafting its policies, both bilateral and multilateral, towards these countries. We argue that the EU should form rules-based relationships that take a step-by-step approach. Individual member states could assume more active roles in promoting specific policy recommendations. This approach could bring together the differing interests of the EU member states and the EU institutions.