The EU's Eastern Partnership: normative or geopolitical power projection?

Valiyeva K.

EASTERN JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES, vol.7, no.2, pp.11-29, 2016 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.11-29
  • Keywords: European Union, normative power, geopolitical power, Eastern Partnership, value-based transformation, post-Soviet countries, EUROPEAN NEIGHBORHOOD POLICY, ENLARGEMENT, UNION
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


This paper examines the European Union's Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative through the lens of theoretical debate between constructivist and rationalist approaches with a specific focus on the normative and geopolitical dimensions of the EU's power projection in a specific region. In doing so the paper aims to determine whether the initiative is a pursuit of the EU's interests in the post-Soviet area and an attempt to weaken Russia's traditional great power potential in the region or a policy to enhance regional stability through the promotion of fundamental European values which serves as a framework for democratic institution-building in partner countries. This paper argues that the EU's ambivalent actorness in this particular post-Soviet region, which is shaped both by value considerations and self-interest concerns, while lacking a strategic coherence, constitutes a fundamental reason behind a policy failure.