Developments in Ukraine in 2013–14 and a new, aggressive Russian foreign policy represent the most pressing challenge the EU has faced to its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). What is at stake is both the integrative capacity of the EU vis-à-vis its east European member states and a coherent response to the threat of destabilization resulting from ‘a Russia that has made unpredictability a signature element of its strategy’ (Bagger, 2015: 31). The Ukrainian crisis thus ‘undermines key elements of the post-World War II political and security arrangements in Europe’ (Menon and Rumer, 2015: 157). This chapter describes the failure of the EU to achieve the ambitious goals of its European Security Strategy and Eastern Partnership and it analyses the perceptions, responses, and learning patterns that shaped EU policy towards Russia and Ukraine before and during the crisis. The crucial argument is that a mixture of misperceptions and successful learning explain the EU’s actions and that future effectiveness hinges on the commitment and diplomatic skill with which the EU implements what eventually emerged as a relatively coherent position in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine. For the EU, from the early 2000s the idea of building a cordon sanitaire along its southern and eastern flanks and combining it with a new tool known as the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was pragmatic and unrealistic at the same time. Like the USA, the EU identified democracy and good governance, built on freedom and prosperity, as the main pillars of international stability.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- The European Union, Ukraine and The Unstable East
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number
- Chapter 14