This chapter provides a short history of European Union (EU)–Belarus relation. It outlines the different phases of the EU's engagement with Belarus over the past two and a half decades, with a specific emphasis on the 2004 European Neighbourhood Policy and the 2009 Eastern partnership. The chapter focuses on the driving forces behind EU–Belarus relations and explains continuities and change in the relationship by examining the role of values and principles, as well as economic and geopolitical interests in the development of the policy. Initially, the EU had only a very limited interest in – and interactions with – Belarus. Despite the brutality of the government-led crackdown, the EU was remarkably slow to react to the events in Belarus. The chapter presents an assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the EU's policy towards Belarus, including a brief outlook of future EU–Belarus relations after the outbreak of the de facto war in Eastern Ukraine in 2014.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Handbook on the European Neighbourhood Policy|
|Editors||T. Schumacher, A. Marchetti, Thomas Demmelhuber|
|Publisher||Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Dec 2017|