The map of Eastern Europe contains a number of de facto separatist states created by conflict. How can the EU enhance its engagement with these territories?
The EU’s policy of non-recognition and engagement in the South Caucasus has been modestly successful and may offer useful lessons for other parts of Eastern Europe.
A recent decision by the OSCE to revive arms-control talks is unlikely to achieve much without simultaneous efforts to resolve protracted conflicts in Eastern Europe.
Despite their appealing promises, oligarchs do not offer a viable form of governance in countries such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
Moldova’s election of a pro-Russian president may be symbolically important but is unlikely to assuage the conflict in the country’s breakaway region of Transdniestria.
Migration from Eastern Europe to Western EU member states is partly driven by the corruption perpetuated by political elites and local oligarchs.
From the East-West standoff in Ukraine to mass migration and its causes, corruption is a surreptitious underlying driver.
The recent deal sealed with Russia over Transnistria is an example of the EU at its best, operating as a technocratic normative actor and letting trade lead geopolitics.
To the EU’s detriment, its policy toward its Eastern neighbors is neither creating an arc of stability nor encouraging democracy.
In the last five years, Moldova has gone from success story to captured state. Any EU support for the country should be linked to the fight against corruption.