Print version

The EU Neighbourhood and Comparative Modernisation


This paper analyses the European Union and its member states’ role in promoting democracy and human rights in its neighbourhood. The key research question is whether the European Union lives up to its rhetoric and in practice prefers multilateral to bilateral activities. The paper operates with three scenarios of possible EU action: multilateral action, bilateral action, and non-action. We present three case studies that examine the EU’s involvement in providing stability and democracy in the different regions of its neighbourhood – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Morocco. Within the broad agenda of human rights and democracy support, the case studies focus on two issues: prohibition of inhuman treatment and support for political pluralism. We focus on both political and donor coordination within the EU (the internal dimension) and with other international actors (external dimension). In conclusion, the paper shows how the EU contributes (or not) to effective multilateralism in democracy and human rights promotion in the neighbouring countries asserting that, for various reasons, the effective multileral approach is rarely used by the EU in order to achieve its defined policy goals.

Paper prepared within the framework of Mercury, a project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union.

Related content