Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Enlargement of the EU Towards the East: A Pivotal Change in EU’s External Policy?

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Abstract:  The EU’s Eastern enlargement in 2004 was marked by the entry of mostly smaller states, whose ability to shape the external direction of the EU was questioned. However, the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine has shown how important the Eastern dimension of external policy is for the EU and that this Easternisation of the EU has occurred precisely in the wake of the 2004 enlargement. This is due to the fact that these states have been able to push their own narratives in the discourse on the EU’s Eastern direction, particularly in the case of the Eastern Partnership. This article analyses the discourse of Central and Eastern European states regarding the Eastern partnership, specifically the narratives of the official documents of three Baltic and four Visegrad group countries in the 2009–2022 period. The analysis made it possible to identify narrative structures and showed that the narratives are relatively similar in the selected countries. Despite the lack of cooperation between the two groups and the West’s neglect of the Eastern Partnership policy, they were able to individually strengthen their position in the EU and maintain the discussion about the Eastern Partnership at the EU level as a result.

Keywords:  Eastern Partnership; European Union; Easternisation; V4; B3

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.7464


© Zbyněk Dubský, Kateřina Kočí, Markéta Votoupalová. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.