The state capture and oligarchic control of political power and electoral processes in the associated countries of the Eastern Partnership – Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – are acknowledged by EU institutions, civil society organisations and in public opinion. That inevitably puts pressure on the resilience of these three countries, in addition to Russia’s aggressive campaigns, carried out with or without the use of conventional weaponry. This policy brief looks at the EU’s actions to invest in and consolidate the rule of law, in the direction of stimulating internal resilience. It provides a range of arguments supporting the idea that the EU is not sufficiently tackling the oligarchic influences in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. These are followed by timely recommendations for the EU institutions to remedy the situation.
This paper has been prepared as part of the ENGAGE II Fellowship Programme, with support by the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE). The Fellowship Programme involves academic, civil society and think tank actors from Central and Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries. It engages selected fellows in EU-level policy debates on the rule of law in domains such as rights and security, foreign and economic affairs. The programme entails training, study visits, public events and the publication of policy papers. See the penultimate page for more details about the ENGAGE II Fellowship. The programme is coordinated by the CEPS Justice and Home Affairs Unit and includes several CEPS senior research fellows. This publication has been written under the supervision of Steven Blockmans, Head of the Foreign Policy Unit and Sergio Carrera, Head of CEPS Justice and Home Affairs Unit.