EAST EUROPEAN REGIONAL IDENTITY: MYTH OR REALITY?

The political and economic fragmentation of the EU, intensified by the migrant crisis, leads to the intensification of nationalism and regionalism. In this context, East European common historical heritage as well as current economic and security challenges encourage speculations that enhanced regionalization may bring additional resources to empower resilience capacity of the regional countries. Given that the European integration is a remote prospect, the ideas of subregional alliances are becoming popular among Ukrainian politicians and analysts, and the issue of the East European regional identity as a possible unifying factor arises. Analysing the origin and evolution of this perception and self-perception of Eastern Europe in the context of the regional identity, we come to a conclusion that it cannot become a crucial factor for subregion consolidation. This fact should be taken into account in Kyiv when shaping long-term foreign policy goals and developing relations with its neighbours and partners.

The political and economic fragmentation of the EU, intensified by the migrant crisis, leads to the intensification of nationalism and regionalism. In this context, East European common historical heritage as well as current economic and security challenges encourage speculations that enhanced regionalization may bring additional resources to empower resilience capacity of the regional countries. Given that the European integration is a remote prospect, the ideas of subregional alliances are becoming popular among Ukrainian politicians and analysts, and the issue of the East European regional identity as a possible unifying factor arises. Analysing the origin and evolution of this perception and self-perception of Eastern Europe in the context of the regional identity, we come to a conclusion that it cannot become a crucial factor for subregion consolidation. This fact should be taken into account in Kyiv when shaping long-term foreign policy goals and developing relations with its neighbours and partners.
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Olena Khylko

Dr. Olena Khylko, Associate Professor at the Institute of International Relations at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Senior Research Fellow. She is also an expert at the East European Security Research Initiative Foundation. Being the author of more than 50 academic and analytical publications, she focuses her research interest on international relations and security in Eastern Europe, identity issues, foreign policy of Ukraine and geopolitics


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