25 October 2018

Integration with the EU without Membership: Finding the Best Model

Analytical Research

Why is it so interesting and important? Political and economic integration in Europe has advanced significantly over the last decades, but deep divides still exist. The EU turns out as pretty successful and effective project of regional integration, however that is not enough to ensure development and prosperity of whole Europe. Integration and cooperation between all states of region is the single way to achieve these goals.  

The EU is the leading, but not sole actor in Europe. There are number of European countries beyond the Union. Some of them have no perspective of accession to the EU under no circumstances (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia). The other ones meet all criteria of accession and have clear perspective, but don’t want to limit their sovereignty by joining the EU (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, UK soon). Finally, Russia tries to develop its own integration project in Europe, which couldn’t be neglected.

To ensure development and prosperity of whole Europe the EU must be the engine and leader of integration of whole region. Naturally, that the EU cannot adsorb all countries of the continent, that’s why it has to find such model (or models) of relationship with other states of the continent, which will allow to cooperate with the non-EU countries without membership perspective.

Central research focus is on relationship between the EU and non-EU member states in Eastern Europe countries. This region is the most complex and unintelligible in Europe, especially in term of political and economic developments. The EU has to deal with different group of states, with characterized by dissimilar attitudes towards the EU. Some countries aspire to join the European Union. For this reason, the European Neighbourhood Policy can be accepted by them only as temporal framework of cooperation with the EU (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia). Some states do not need full membership but would like to cooperate more closely in the economic field (Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan). Besides, two other regional powers (Russia and Turkey) aspire to play a significant role in Europe's development, that’s why they strive for equal partnership.

Ambitious goal of the project is to develop the best models of cooperation between the EU with all these groups of Eastern European countries.

Project is an interdisciplinary research, which deals with economic, political and law issues of integration and cooperation. Four experts of are engaged in the European Consulting Group "Business & Politics"

Project Leader:                                                                 dr Aleksy Mołdowan

Duration of Research Project:                                 1.05.2019 — 31.12.2019

Publication of the briefing paper:                          January 2020

Public presentation:                                                        February 2020

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