When Legitimacy meets Violence. The Limits of EU’s Soft Power in the Eastern Partnership


  • Mihaela-Adriana Padureanu Danubius University of Galati


Eastern Partnership; legitimacy; violence; European Union


Looking at the evolution of the Eastern Partnership in the last decade we can identify a number of
contradictory messages on the part of both sides involved. On the one hand, the EU has its own stated
objectives with this initiative, and on the other hand the member states have their own expectations and goals,
that more than once are subject to heterogeneous pressures. While the EU has proposed economic and political
measures for the transformation of the EaP member states, these measures have been counterbalanced by
military interventions on the territory of three of the EaP member states: Republic of Moldova, Georgia and
Ukraine. Another important actor in the region, NATO has different relations with the three mentioned states,
but nonetheless can be considered as the other relevant transforming element in the region, together with EU.
EU’s relation with its Eastern neighbours has been under considerable pressure after 2014. Although the
relations continued to deepen this has be mostly on the economic rather than on the political sector. However,
some groups still consider EU as a legitimate actor in the region. The problem of legitimacy in the evolution
of international organizations has attracted a number of important researchers in the last years and the goal of
this article in to contribute to this discussion. Due to the fact that military interventions took place in the three
EaP member countries, we consider this to be a relevant feature that must be taken into account when
analysing the capacity of the member states to comply with the reforms asked of them.

Author Biography

Mihaela-Adriana Padureanu, Danubius University of Galati

Faculty of Communication and International Relations


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International Relations in the Contemporary World. Geopolitics and Diplomacy