Andrew Wilson, ECFR policy fellow
Ivaylo Kalfin, Foreign Minister of Bulgaria
Mark Leonard, Executive Director, ECFR
Nicu Popescu, ECFR policy fellow
Patrick Child, Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for External relations and European neighbourhood policy
Vessela Tcherneva, Head of ECFR Sofia office
As Europe’s troubled Eastern Neighbourhood has attracted fresh political attention in the aftermath of the war in Georgia, the renewed interest has not yet brought about a rethink of EU’s policies in this strategic region. The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership initiative currently being discussed are poorly suited to the new environment. ENP is stuck in a mind-set formed in the 1990s, based on three key assumptions that have been overhauled by the latest events: that the EU is the sole pole of power in a concentric Europe; that Europe’s neighbours are keen to adopt its values and standards; and that this process is long-term and irreversible. All three assumptions have been recently challenged by an increasingly assertive Russian posture. This calls for a dramatic shift in Europe’s current set of policies and goals to be pursed in the neighbourhood.