This thesis examines the external activities of the European Union conducted in the wider Europe against the backdrop of eastern enlargement. It focuses on the technical aspects of EU diplomacy, using qualitative research methodology to study the programmes and initiatives launched since the year 2000 in the countries lying along the Union’s new border to the east. Drawing on evidence from Ukraine, it hypothesises that the EU is an agent of transformation in the eastern neighbourhood and that this transformation has important implications for the regional order in the post-Soviet space. The thesis constitutes an investigation into the transformational activities engaged by the EU in Ukraine conducted with an eye to their strategic implications. It documents and analyses three instances of EU intervention in Ukraine’s internal processes that relate to management of cross-border traffic in the Ukrainian-Russian borderland, restructuring of the country’s energy sector, and conduct of its contentious presidential election in 2004. It is argued that while these interventions have explicitly sought to advance the Union’s security with respect to certain twenty-first century transnational threats, they have at the same time served to confer important strategic advantages on the EU that include giving the bloc greater knowledge and control over developments in Ukraine and that contribute to the dismantling of infrastructural, institutional and other ties between Kiev and the other Soviet successor states, notably Russia. The effect of the European Union’s actions in the region, whether intended or not, has thus been to undermine any competing regional initiatives that cut across its own functions, and thereby to assert itself as the primary integration project in Europe. By showing how technical interventions in the politics, economics and administration of Ukraine can yield important geopolitical dividends, this thesis demonstrates that, in the context of EU external relations, high and low politics are interlinked.
|Date of Award||Oct 2009|
|Supervisor||Anne F Stevens (Supervisor)|
- external governance
- wider europe