This paper aims to look at the challenges faced by the EU in rendering the Eastern Partnership Roadmap 2012-2013 and the European Enlargement Strategy, both adopted last year, into efficient instruments to ensure deeper Europeanisation of its neighbourhood, as the continent is faced with numerous challenges, both internal and external. The two documents put the rule of law principle at the top of their assessment of individual country performance, underlining the need to ensure the irreversibility of democratic practices. Moreover, the indicators and values followed are very similar, in many cases even identical. This points out to a common vision as regards the consolidation of European integration on one hand and of the enlargement policy on the other hand. Similarly as in the case of the Western Balkans, the EU needs to give those Eastern Partnership countries with clear European aspirations and which have so far achieved major democratic progress concrete perspectives for integration. The challenges faced by countries in the Eastern neighbourhood towards continued Europeanisation are multiple, both internal and external. It is high time for the EU to better structure its strategy towards these countries, by adjusting its approach on visa liberalisation and mobility, on a merit-based principle.
Revised version of a paper presented at the Lisboan seminar on "The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?", Rome, 22 March 2013.
1. Eastern Partnership Roadmap 2012-2013 and the European Enlargement Strategy: common performance indicators and objectives
2. Challenges to the Eastern Partership Roadmap 2012-2013 and the European Enlargement Strategy
3. The Russia factor: a perspective on Russian-EU economic relations in the Eastern neighbourhood