Comparative European Politics

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 414–431

Of power and powerlessness: The EU and its neighbours


  • Dimitar Bechev
    • European Council on Foreign Relations
Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/cep.2011.9

Cite this article as:
Bechev, D. Comp Eur Polit (2011) 9: 414. doi:10.1057/cep.2011.9


EU's policies towards neighbouring countries and subregions are often blamed for their ineffectiveness. This article explores the sources and dynamics of the Union's leverage. Surveying the literature on eastern enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy, it draws on IR conceptual apparatus to distinguish two modes of interaction between the EU and its neighbours – gatekeeping and power projection. Its core claim is that the former mode is central to the Union's influence in ‘near abroads’, including parts of the former Soviet Union and the Western Balkans.


EU enlargementNeighbourhood PolicyintegrationCommon Security and Defence PolicyBalkanseastern Europe

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011