The European Union and Eastern Partner Countries - An Inside-Out Analysis and Strategic Assessment (EU-STRAT)


Project coordinator

Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel

Involved scholars

Dr. Julia Langbein

Dr. Esther Ademmer

Head of administration team

Kaja Kreutz

Student assistants

Laura Milchmeyer, Jakob Wigand


Why has the European Union fallen short of creating peace, prosperity and stability in its Eastern neighbourhood? And how can the EU support political and economic change in Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, such as Ukraine, Belarus or Moldova? Against the background of the war in Ukraine and the rising tensions with Russia, a reassessment of the European Neighborhood Policy has become both more urgent and more challenging. The research project EU-STRAT addresses these questions and challenges. Adopting an inside-out perspective on the challenges of transformation the EaP countries and the EU face, EU-STRAT will

  • develop a conceptual framework for the varieties of social orders in EaP countries to explain the propensity of domestic actors to engage in change;
  • investigate how bilateral, regional and global interdependencies shape the scope of action and the preferences of domestic actors in the EaP countries;
  • de-centre the EU by studying the role of selected member states and other external actors active in the region;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the Association Agreements and alternative EU instruments, including scientific cooperation, in supporting change in the EaP countries;
  • analyse normative discourses used by the EU and Russia to enhance their influence over the shared neighbourhood.

EU-STRAT features an eleven-partner consortium including six universities, three think-tanks, one civil society organization and one consultancy. This consortium will achieve the research and policy relevant objectives of the project by bringing together various disciplinary perspectives and methodologies and strengthening links with academics and policy makers across six EU member states, Switzerland and three EaP countries.

EU-STRAT partners:

Partner 1 - Freie Universität Berlin (FU), Germany

Partner 2 - Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands

Partner 3 - Foundation Masion des Sciences de l´homme (FMSH), France

Partner 4 - Vilniaus Universitetas (VU), Lithuania

Partner 5 - Ukrainian Institute for Public Policy (UIPP), Ukraine

Partner 6 - Universität St. Gallen (SG), Switzerland

Partner 7 - Osrodek Studio Wschodnich (OSW), Poland

Partner 8 - Europos socialiniai teisiniai ir ekonominiai projektai (ESTEP), Lithuania

Partner 9 - The School of Young Managers in Public Administration (SYMPA), Belarus

Partner 10 - Institul pentru Dezvoltare si Initiative Sociale (IDIS), Republic of Moldova

Partner 11 - University of Birmingham (UoB), United Kingdom