European Neighbourhood


The Europe in the World unit has been extending its research and outreach activities since 1999, when it was triggered into activity by the war over Kosovo. Projects have covered conflict regions in the vicinity of the EU in the several years that followed: the Balkans, Cyprus, the Caucasus and the Middle East. Since the start of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2004 there has been a continuous stream of projects concerning EU policy towards Eastern Europe and the Southern Mediterranean. 

The unit covers the political and economic relations, including energy cooperation, between the EU and countries in its Eastern neighbourhood, which includes Russia and the Eastern Partnership (Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and the South Caucasus). Research also focuses on the EU’s democratisation and conflict resolution efforts in the wider Black Sea region, and the political and economic relations between the EU and countries of the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East. In addition, the section covers the EU’s enlargement policy towards the accession states of the Western Balkans and Turkey, whilst also focusing on various aspects related to the EFTA and the EEA.


Selected publications:

How should the EU respond to Russia's war in Ukraine? 

Towards a Fragmented Neighbourhood: Policies of the EU and Russia and their consequences for the area that lies in between 

The EU’s Enlargement Agenda – Credibility at stake?

Saving Libya from itself: What the EU should do now 


CEPS European Neighbourhood Watch

The unit's CEPS European Neighbourhood Watch monthly newsletter focuses on the EU’s relations with its geographical neighbours: those in its midst, those included in the enlargement process, and countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy and Russia. Each issue of the newsletter presents an overview of the previous month’s major developments, complemented by editorial commentary on the most important current developments in these regions. The newsletter is distributed electronically and free of charge to over 3,000 international recipients.

CEPS Neighbourhood Watch Archive

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Ongoing Projects

The EU’s Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia

Research and policy advice project supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

This three-year project, which started in April 2015, aims at clarifying the legal, political and economic implications of three Association Agreements and DCFTAs. The agreements are long and technical legal texts, which cannot be ‘read like a book’. While some simplified information documents are being produced by the EU, the project has two major objectives:

  • The first objective is to produce a comprehensive but compact Handbook for each of the three country cases. The Handbooks, to be published after a first year of work in English and in the languages of the three states, will explain in readily understandable and concrete terms what the legal commitments undertaken amount to, and also describe the challenges of implementation for the public and private sectors.
  • The second objective is to analyse selected ‘hot topics’, both in the first year in parallel with the Handbooks, and on a larger scale in second and third years. The ‘hot topics’ will be issues related to the agreements that are of priority concern to the three states. The outputs may range in scale between short commentaries on topical questions through to in-depth studies on sectors where the agreements are particularly complex or most challenging for their implementation.

The agreements should help shape to a considerable degree the political and economic reform agendas of the three states, alongside important contributions being made by the international financial institutions (especially the IMF, World Bank, EBRD) in their respective spheres of competence, and most fundamentally the evolving domestic political agendas of the three states.  

The project is led by:

·         The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels: team leaders Michael Emerson and Steven Blockmans,

in partnership with:

·       The Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER) in Kyiv: team leaders Igor Burakovsky and Veronika Movchan

·         Expert-Grup in Chisinau: team leader Denis Cenusa

·         Reformatics in Tblisi: team leader Tamara Kovziridze.

The project will be conducted in close cooperation with the three governments, the EU institutions and Sida. Although the project has its three country pillars, the content of the agreements are very similar and often identical, which means that the work programme will be an integrated whole, with the intention of sharing the learning experiences of the three states.