Isolation or Transformation? Europe and the Eastern Neighbourhood

Panel discussion on the future of Europe's Eastern Partnership.


Andrew Wilson, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Knut Abraham, Head of Division, Bilateral relations with the States of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe as well as Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus, Federal Chancellery

Iryna Solonenko, Project Manager, Kyiv Dialogue; Associate Fellow, Robert Bosch Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

Introduction by H.E. Dr. Peter Lizák, Ambassador of Slovakia to Germany

Chaired by

Gudrun Dometeit, Head Foreign Desk, Focus Magazine

Isolation or Transformation? Europe and the Eastern Neighbourhood


Thursday, 9 November, 11:00 – 12:30 (followed by lunch)

Venue: Embassy of Slovakia in Berlin, Hildebrandstraße 25, 10785 Berlin

To register: [email protected]

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the Embassy of Slovakia in Berlin cordially invite you to an on-the-record event on the  European Neighbourhood Policy.

2016 was not kind to the EU’s neighbourhood policy. The multiple hits of the Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the Brexit vote, Trump’s election, and the rise of anti-enlargement populists in several EU member states shook the foundations of the policy.

Critics of enlargement argue that the policy is now effectively dead, and the EU should treat Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova ‘as independent buffer states rather than as member-states-in-waiting’. On the other side of the debate, supporters of enlargement argue that transformation of the neighbourhood serves Europe’s core interests and is the most effective way to ensure its stability. Reinvigorating the neighbourhood policy would also restore some élan and sense of purpose to the European project.

Should the EU isolate itself or keep actively trying to transform the neighbourhood? What would happen if the EU option withered and the Eastern Partnership states do not want to swing back towards Russia? Would countries like Ukraine be capable of real reform on their own? Could the traditional transformation track evolve into something newer, more suited to the current context, and ultimately more beneficial for all parties? At the event we will launch the new report on the topic: Partners for life: Europe’s unanswered ‘Eastern Question’.

Please let us know if you will be able to attend until November 7 to [email protected].