CONFERENCE RATIONALE & TOPICS
The 2016 EURINT international conference series reached an important milestone, its 5
edition. In this regard, this anniversary edition
draw some of most relevant scholars, researchers, experts, civil society activists into a constructive exchange of views on the
effectiveness of the Eastern Partnership in the light of the events in Ukraine. EURINT 2016 was one of the most visible and relevant
international events in the academic year 2015-2016 dealing with the EaP region.
The conceptual framework of EURINT 2016 was centred on the EU ‘actorness’ topic. The ongoing turmoil from Ukraine is seriously
testing the EU’s capacity to effectively stand up to these regional challenges. It is perhaps not surprising that in some circles the EU’s
approach towards the EaP region is perceived today as being not entirely comprehensive. The EU seems not fully capable of delivering
meaningful results which could negatively impact, on the long-run, the EU’s credentials in the region. Concurrently, in post-Soviet
Eastern Europe, the EU has still not been able to fully accommodate the large spectrum of expectations stemming from the EaP states,
instead vacillating in its discourse between exclusion and inclusion, between limited vs. potential full integration, move which has
puzzled many of its observers. Last but not least, the pressing security concerns from the EaP region having the Ukrainian crisis as
centrepiece are still unsettled which could damage the EU’s presence in the neighbourhood as an important player for the near future.
Hence, we believe time is ripe for a detailed reconsideration of the EU’s neighbourhood instruments (particularly the EaP). In our view, a
lack of in-depth inquiry into the factors at play might irreversibly sap the EU’s role in the region. EURINT 2016 tried to fill a visible gap in
the current debate and, thus, provide novel answers and raise awareness of the intrinsic and extrinsic challenges the EU faces when
conceptualizing its strategy towards the eastern proximity.
The conference was hosted by the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania, the oldest institution of higher learning in
Romania. Iasi, “the city on the seven hills”, “just like Rome”, as an old local poem depicts, it will serve – especially in the month of May –
as the perfect background and host for flourishing discussions for the 5
anniversary of EURINT.
EURINT 2016 is co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme within the frame of Jean Monnet Project “The Eastern Partnership under strain
- time for a rethink?” (EaPpeal). The EaPpeal project aims at assessing the implications of the latest events from the eastern vicinity on
the resilience and the viability of the Eastern Partnership. For more details please consider the following link.
Explaining the effectiveness and relevance of the EaP | Some questions: Is it really possible to have a detailed
reconsideration of the EU’s neighbourhood instruments in relation to its Eastern neighbours? Adjusting the nonadjustable: has
the EU perhaps miscalculated its strategy in the region from its very first steps? Has the conceptualization/design of the
ENP/EaP been flawed from the very beginning? What about the EaP’s institutional set-up? Will the implementation of the ENP
review really make a difference?
Testing EU international ‘actorness’ | Some questions: The perception that the EU is lacking a comprehensive approach
towards the EaP region exists. Could this negatively impact, on the long-run, the EU’s credentials in the region? Could we still
speak of an European ‘transformative power’ in its near abroad? Could the EU still reach out to the EaP countries? Has the
current Ukrainian crisis irreversibly affected EU’s ‘actorness’? What new theoretical propositions could be envisaged for framing
Regional geopolitics and the implications of the Ukrainian debacle | Some questions: The pressing security concerns from
the EaP region, the tensions between the Euro-Atlantic community are still unsettled. Could we witness future regional spill-over
effects? Is the EU’s 'soft power' approach still valid today when confronted with a revival of Realist consideration and Cold War
type-rivalries? How can we explain Russia’s role in the region? Under which conditions an agreement between the Euro-Atlantic
community and Russia can be reached?
The economic ‘gamble’ of the eastern neighbourhood | Some questions: How realistic are the prospects of economic growth
for the EaP states which signed the AA? What about the ones who have been left outside the AA framework? Does the DCFTA
bring added value? Is the full implementation of the DCFTAs achievable? In economic terms, are the diplomatic rows between
Russia and the EU over the DCFTA justifiable? Is the DCFTA between EU and Ukraine negatively impacting Russia’s economy?
Societal implications of the cooperation between the EU and EaP states | Some questions: Did cooperation between EU-
EaP countries visibly increase the role of the role of the civil society? What about perceptions vis-à-vis the EU in the EaP
societies? What are the attitudes towards European integration? Under which conditions can the EU hold sway over political
elites and societal actors? How can the EU further increase its appeal to the wider population?
The Eastern Partnership under strain – time for a rethink?
20-21 May, 2016
Centre for European Studies, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi, Romania
The following experts have partcipated at EURINT 2016: •
Prof. dr. Elena Korosteleva, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK;
Prof. dr. Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK;
Prof. dr. Matthew Rhodes, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany;
Prof. dr. Ralf Roloff, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany;
Prof. dr. Armand GOSU, University of Bucharest, Romania;
Researcher Vsevolod SAMOKHVALOV, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Hanna SHELEST, Ukraine Analytica, Odessa, Ukraine