Within a “ring of secure third countries”

Regional and local effects of the extraterritorial engagement of the European Union in Belarus, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova

The political integration of the European Union is associated with a growing focus on achieving and maintaining the internal security of the confederation of states. With the aim of establishing a “secure Europe”, the EU increasingly exercises influence over its neighbouring states and intervenes in social and civil society affairs outside its own territory. This is legitimated internally with the claim of contributing to “reinforcing security in our neighbourhood” in the interest of EU citizens. Scientific research tends to address the association thereby invoked between the creation of internal security and the creation of secure milieus/environments outside the EU’s own territory primarily as an issue relating to the internal dynamics of the EU.
 
This project is intended to close a gap in this regard, by analyzing the extraterritorialisation strategies of the EU from the perspective of the neighbouring states Belarus, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. Its aim is to carry out a comparative study of intended and unintended effects of EU involvement in the neighbouring states in local and regional contexts using the examples of the policy fields of migration, education and support for economic development, and bearing in mind the different states’ heterogeneous initial situations.
 
Within the empirical part of the research project the regional and local effects of two EU financed extra-territorial measures belonging to the mentioned policy fields in the EU neighbour countries were investigated. It becomes apparent that many of these measures are a balancing act between approximation and demarcation referring to the relation between EU and neighbour state. Therefore, it is often difficult for the local staff to continue the accomplished changes on a permanent basis in a local and regional context. Furthermore,  the respective social and political context as well as financial imponderables put the sustainability of these EU-projects in the third countries into question.

In the framework of the research project three central questions are addressed with the help of ethnographic field research:

  • What is the common logic of the mechanisms of extraterritorial EU involvement?
  • What are the intended and unintended effects of extraterritorial EU involvement for local and regional contexts in the EU neighbouring states?
  • What are the motivations and options for action of the EU neighbouring states with regard to EU involvement?

Results/Publications

Bruns, Bettina / Happ, Dorit / Zichner, Helga (eds.) (2016): European Neighbourhood Policy. Geopolitics between Integration and Security. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Bruns Bettina / Happ, Dorit / Zichner, Helga (2016): Introduction. In: Bruns, Bettina / Happ, Dorit / Zichner, Helga (eds.): European Neighbourhood Policy. Geopolitics between Integration and Security. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1–21

Bruns, Bettina / Happ, Dorit (2016): EU Extra-Territorialization and Securitization: What does It Mean for Ukraine and Belarus? In: Bruns, Bettina / Happ, Dorit / Zichner, Helga (eds.): European Neighbourhood Policy. Geopolitics between Integration and Security. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 139–159

Zichner, Helga / Saran, Vladislav (2016): The EU’s Education Policy Abroad: The ‘Power of Attraction‘ and the Case of Moldova. In: Bruns, Bettina / Happ, Dorit / Zichner, Helga (eds.): European Neighbourhood Policy. Geopolitics between Integration and Security. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 161–183

Bruns, Bettina / Zichner, Helga (2016): That’s what friends are for – external migration management of the European Union in its eastern neighbourhood. In: Axyonova, Vera (Hrsg.): European Engagement under Review: Exporting Values, Rules and Practices to the Post-Soviet Space. Stuttgart: ibidem, pp. 151–176

Zichner, Helga (2016): How can you grow an English lawn in Moldova? Reflecting on the reasons for establishing and participating in the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Union. In: Segert, Dieter (Hrsg.): Civic Education and Democratisation in the Eastern Partnership Countries. Schriftenreihe (Bd. 1697) [Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung]. Bonn, no page numbers (ebook), Website / Republication of the 2013 in the Journal for Social Science Education published article "How to grow English lawn in Moldova? ..."

Zichner, Helga (2016): Как вырастить английский газон в Молдове? Размышления о мотивах создания и участия в программе Европейского союза «Эразмус Мундус». In: Segert, Dieter (Hrsg.): Гражданское образование и демократизация в странах Восточного. Schriftenreihe [Bundeszentrale für politsche Bildung], 1698, Bonn, not specified [e-book], Website / retrieved: 2016-03-29. Repprint / Russian translation of the 2013 in the Journal for Social Science Education published article "How to grow English lawn in Moldova? ..."

Happ, Dorit / Bruns, Bettina (2016): The EU and Its “Ring of Friends” –Eye-level or Top-down Relationships? In: Problems of Post-Communism, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10758216.2016.1176863

Bruns, Bettina / Doevenspeck, Martin (2015): Identitäten, Grenzen und Territorien in Bewegung – Zur Geopolitik der EU-Außengrenzen. In: Geographische Rundschau 11, pp. 4-9.

Zichner, Helga (2015): Cum să transferi modele „europene” în Moldova? O reflecţie asupra motivelor de a stabili Programul Uniunii Europene Erasmus Mundus şi de a participa în cadrul acestuia. In: PLURAL. Journal of the History and Geography Department, "Ion Creanga". State pedagogical University, 3 (2).
Online (Reprint respectively Roman translation of the article "How to grow English lawn in Moldova ..." in JSSE/2013)

Happ, Dorit (2014): Processes of identification through extra-territorial measures. Zderzenie/a i nowe poczatki w literaturze i kulturze. In: Sikorska, Liliana / Chudzinska-Parkosadze, Anna / Jarzab, Joanna / Fratczak, Marta (Hrsg.): Clash(es) and new beginnings in literature and culture. Poznan: Wydzial Anglistyki UAM, S. 43-58

Zichner, Helga / Happ, Dorit / Bruns, Bettina (2014): Dealing with “lived experience”. Benefits and limitations. In: Erdkunde 86 (4), S. 289-300
online

Zichner, Helga (2013): How to grow English lawn in Moldova? Reflecting on the reasons to establish and those to participate in the Erasmus Mundus Programme of the European Union. In: Journal of Social Science Education 12 (4), S. 29-41
online

Bruns, Bettina / Zichner, Helga (2011): Within a “ring of secure third countries”: Regional and local effects of the extraterritorial engagement of the European Union in Belarus, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. In: Eurolimes 11, S. 78-89

Project information

Researcher/Research team

Bettina Bruns

Cooperation

State University of Brest (Belarus), Institute for Regional and Urban Planning, Minsk, Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, Chisinau (Republic of Moldova), German-Moldavian Forum, Association of Foreign Policy, Republic of Moldova, National Academy of Sciences, Kiev (Ukraine), Mechnikov University, Odessa, National Academy of Public Administration, the President of Ukraine, L’viv Regional Institute of Public Administration

Duration of project

06/2011–05/2018

Project sponsorship

Volkswagen Foundation (Schumpeter Fellowship)

Further information

Bettina Bruns
B_Bruns(at)ifl-leipzig.de
Tel.: +49 341 600 55-131