Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
Panel 801: Claiming Partnership? Neighbourhood Countries’ Influence on EU Foreign Policy
Time:
Wednesday, 04/Sep/2019:
9:30am - 11:00am

Session Chair: Giselle Bosse, Maastricht University
Location: Room 12.27

Presentations

Claiming Partnership? Neighbourhood Countries’ Influence on EU Foreign Policy

Chair(s): Giselle Bosse (Maastricht University, Netherlands, The)

Discussant(s): Dorina Baltag (Maastricht University)

Much scholarly attention has been placed on examining the EU’s influence on countries in its eastern and southern neighbourhood, and the EU’s promotion of democratic and economic reforms. Neighbourhood countries are often understood as ‘objects’ or ‘recipients’ of EU external governance, whose progress in ‘downloading’ EU laws and norms is analysed. Yet, there have been many instances in which neighbourhood countries have managed to shape EU foreign policy and to gain considerable concessions from the EU, for example in the context of negotiations on Association Agreements (AAs) and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs), on Visa Liberalisation, EU financial assistance or EU engagement more generally. The EU’s willingness to make concessions vis-à-vis smaller and weaker states in its neighbourhood is puzzling, especially in light of the EU’s superior bargaining power in such highly asymmetrical relationships.

The papers in this panel examine how and under which conditions small states in the EU’s neighbourhood have gained concessions from the EU and/or have managed to shape or influence EU foreign and external relations policies more generally.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Bargaining Power in Negotiating Alternatives to the Association Agreement: Assessing Regime Learning in Azerbaijan and Armenia

Eske Van Gils
University of Kent

The European Union (EU) and the governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia have negotiated different agreements for a new legal basis underpinning their relationship, since 2010. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia rejected the Association Agreement which was proposed by the EU, and then negotiated alternative agreements. The government in Baku was the first partner state ever to propose an agreement to the EU, and the lengthy negotiations reflect Azerbaijan’s use of bargaining power to enforce a more inclusive basis for co-operation. Armenia, in turn, initially joined the Eurasian Economic Union after rejecting the Association Agreement, but in 2017 also concluded an alternative agreement for co-operation with the EU.

This paper will compare the two negotiation processes to see whether there may have been any instances of regime learning (Hall & Ambrosio 2017) and/or a change of susceptibility by the EU to consider tailor-made agreements with partner countries. It will do so by analysing the use of policy strategies by the governments in Baku and Yerevan to obtain more favourable outcomes, in line with their national interests; and by considering reactions and actions by the EU institutions regarding the behaviour of these two partner states.

The paper builds on previous work on the use of bargaining power in negotiations between the EU and Azerbaijan; the contribution it aims to make by comparing the cases of Azerbaijan and Armenia is to gain more insight into the possible connectedness of these two negotiation processes, which in turn might help to shed light on the broader context in which resistance against the perceived unilateralism of the EU’s approach takes place.

 

Classifying the Implementation of the EU’s Normative Power in its Southern Neighbourhood: The Role of Local Actors

Assem Dandashly1, Christos Kourtelis2
1Maastricht University, 2Loughborough University

This paper examines the role of local actors in the implementation of the EU norms in the Arab Mediterranean countries after 2011. It argues that local actors are distinguished in three types: cooperative, competitive and transnationally integrated. Based on this categorization, the article generates an innovative typology of the application of the EU norms, and claims that their implementation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) takes a thin or a thick form. The findings of this typology suggest that holistic and Eurocentric narratives of the EU’s normative power should be revisited. The implementation of EU norms must be contextualized and is conditional upon the differentiated role of the local elites. For explaining the articulation of the EU’s norms in the MENA, this study considers two key sectors of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy: (1) democracy promotion and (2) sustainable development in rural areas.

 

Claiming Partnership? Assessing the Influence of Eastern Neighbourhood Countries on EU Policy

Giselle Bosse1, Alena Vieira2, Moritz Höpner1
1Maastricht University, 2University of Minho

Much scholarly attention has been placed on examining the EU’s influence on countries in its eastern neighbourhood, and the EU’s promotion of democratic and economic reforms. Neighbourhood countries are often understood as ‘objects’ or ‘recipients’ of EU external governance, whose progress in ‘downloading’ EU laws and norms is analysed. Yet, there have been many instances in which Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries have managed to shape EU foreign policy and to gain considerable concessions from the EU, for example in the context of negotiations on Association Agreements (AAs) and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs), on Visa Liberalisation, EU financial assistance or EU engagement more generally. The EU’s willingness to make concessions vis-à-vis smaller and weaker states in its Eastern neighbourhood is puzzling, especially in light of the EU’s superior bargaining power in such highly asymmetrical relationships. This paper examines how and under which conditions small states in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood have gained concessions from the EU through simulating bargaining power (Belarus), persuasion (Armenia) and identity politics (Ukraine).