Ten years of the Eastern Partnership: What role for the EU as a promoter of democracy?

Giselle Bosse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Since the launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in 2009, the scope and content of democratic reforms has varied significantly across the six partner countries despite the EU???s increased interest in and commitment to differentiated bilateral relations. The quality of democracy in Ukraine continuously declined between 2010 and 2014, but has significantly improved since then. Armenia has long been considered a semi-autocratic state, but since its Velvet Revolution in 2018 the new government has embarked on promising democratic reforms. Moldova, a country once considered the front-runner of the EaP, has experienced democratic backsliding since 2014, while democratic reform progress in Georgia has slowed considerably. The autocratic regimes in Azerbaijan and Belarus have further consolidated their power, without showing signs of democratic change. The article outlines some of the key issues and developments pertaining to democratic reforms in each country and assesses the factors that explain the uneven progress in this area across the six EaP countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-232
JournalEuropean View
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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