EUROPEAN UNION - BELARUS: A FRIENDLIER, WARMER RELATIONSHIP ? THE CASE OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP

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EUROPEAN UNION - BELARUS: A FRIENDLIER, WARMER RELATIONSHIP ? THE CASE OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title EUROPEAN UNION - BELARUS: A FRIENDLIER, WARMER RELATIONSHIP ? THE CASE OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP
Author(s) Baranava, Tatiana
Date 2010
English abstract
After 12 years of isolation, the relations between Brussels and Minsk have been thawing starting in the last year. One of the components of the policy of re-engagement is the new initiative adopted by the EU called Eastern Partnership (EaP). This thesis sought to answer following question: what were the main reasons for the change in the EU policy towards Belarus after 2008? In order to answer the research question I formulated two hypotheses. The first hypothesis argues that while the EU has acted according to the normative power expectations up until 2008, after that date a more pragmatic approach in the foreign policy has been at work. The second hypothesis explains this change by the increasing influence of Eastern European countries in realm of decision-making processes within the EU, which resulted in a reformed EU foreign policy towards Belarus. These hypotheses are tested in a qualitative case study of the launching of the Eastern Partnership initiative, seen as the most important instrument that defines the new policy of EU. I will focus on the process of decision–making in regards to the adoption of the new initiative towards the Eastern European countries, using the rational actor model and the theory of formal leadership. The results of the paper point out that the main reason for changing the EU foreign policy towards Belarus were connected to pragmatic interests in the economic and energy areas, which weakened the EU normative claims. However, EU values are still counted as political conditionality has recently re-entered the agenda. Thus, the current foreign policy is two-fold: based on rational model of acting and normative power. Moreover, the EaP is the result of the strengthened position of Eastern European countries in terms of the power hierarchy among EU members, with Poland, and the Baltic States playing an increasingly larger role.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 60
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Eastern Partnership; EU-Belarus relations; normative power; pragmatic interests; Eastern European countries; decision-making process; political conditionality
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/12494 (link to this page)

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