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Sustainable Development: A Common Denominator for the EU’s Policy Towards the Eastern Partnership?


The heterogeneity of the Eastern Partnership countries’ cultures, political regimes and foreign policy aspirations has been a challenge to the EU’s formulation of a coherent umbrella policy towards the region since the 2004 enlargement. Document analysis with a focus on region-level documents and the cases of Ukraine and Azerbaijan demonstrates the EU’s tendency to shift from an emphasis on European integration and common values to the sustainable development concept in order to address this challenge. By also taking into account the context of this tendency, this analysis highlights the need to balance sustainable development, integration efforts and democratisation in the Eastern Partnership amidst increasing differentiation between target countries and geopolitical pressures.
Keywords: Eastern Partnership; sustainable development; common values; European integration; Ukraine; Azerbaijan