THE BALTIC STATES AND THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP: A STRENGTHENING FACTOR FOR REGIONALISM?

When newly arising challenges constantly threaten to divert European capitals’ attention from the EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) , the position of three Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – remains unshaken. Such solidarity and assistance to democratic reforms can be compared to one of Nordic states, which invested a great deal into the post-Soviet transformation of the Baltics. However, the Baltic states’ engagement into the EaP region, which often includes criticizing Russia, is more complex than a policy of ‘giving back’. The article takes a closer look into the role the Baltic States play in the EaP region, with particular attention to Ukraine. In addition to estimating the Baltic support, the main aim is to assess the impact that active involvement and transfer of the best reform-related practices to the EaP countries has on the Baltic States. It will also evaluate the hypothesis that the Baltic States’ actions in the EaP region strengthen them as a region.

When newly arising challenges constantly threaten to divert European capitals’ attention from the EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) , the position of three Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – remains unshaken. Such solidarity and assistance to democratic reforms can be compared to one of Nordic states, which invested a great deal into the post-Soviet transformation of the Baltics. However, the Baltic states’ engagement into the EaP region, which often includes criticizing Russia, is more complex than a policy of ‘giving back’. The article takes a closer look into the role the Baltic States play in the EaP region, with particular attention to Ukraine. In addition to estimating the Baltic support, the main aim is to assess the impact that active involvement and transfer of the best reform-related practices to the EaP countries has on the Baltic States. It will also evaluate the hypothesis that the Baltic States’ actions in the EaP region strengthen them as a region.
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Dovilė Šukytė

Dovilė Šukytė is a Policy Analyst at the Eastern Europe Studies Center in Vilnius. She also serves as a Steering Committee Member of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. Previously, Šukytė was a Research Fellow for the New European Democracies Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Her research interests include Russian foreign policy as well as democratization and reform in the Eastern Partnership countries, among other issues.


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