Eastern Partnership Index 2018 Update

On 25 January 2018, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum published the fifth edition of the Eastern Partnership Index. The Index is a set of individual and composite indicators which measure the extent to which the six Eastern European neighbour countries of the European Union have established sustainable democratic institutions and made progress towards closer integration with the EU.

In the methodology suggested by me, “integration” is conceived as a core and multi-dimensional concept that consists of converging norms, growing economic exchange, deeper transnational networks linking up societies, and more frequent contacts between people. This broad notion of integration implies that EU membership or association may be aims, stages or final states of the integration process. However, it is not limited to a measure of harmonisation with EU norms and standards, but also reflects actual societal, economic and political change. The levels of contractual relations between the Eastern Partnership states and the EU are viewed as elements of a much broader process that is, as a whole, not driven or controlled solely by governments and intergovernmental negotiations. read more

Serbia between EU/NATO and Russia

An interview with Aleksandra Nenadović, Voice of America, 27 October 2016

Nikolai’ Patrushev, Secretary of Russia’s National Security Council, met with Serbia’s President, Prime Minister and other ministers in Belgrade on 25/26 October 2016. The official aim of this visit was to discuss the security situation and options for a military-technical cooperation between Serbia and Russia. Patrushev also proposed a memorandum of understanding on a security cooperation between Serbia and Russia. read more

Zum Einfluss des IWF in Bosnien und Herzegowina

Ein Interview mit Harun Cero, Al Jazeera Balkans, 8.5.2016

Picture source: EPA Archive

– Der Internationale Währungsfonds verhandelt mit Bosnien und Herzegowina über ein neues Stand-by Arrangement. Wuerden Sie der Analyse zustimmen, dass Bosnien wirtschaftlich unabhängig ist?

Die komplexen Verwaltungsstrukturen behindern ausländische Investititionen und vergrößern die Rechtsunsicherheit für alle Investoren. Bosnien ist aber in hohem Maße vom Ausland abhängig, da das Land nicht nur ausländische Investitionen benötigt, sondern auch über seinen Außenhandel, Kredite, Finanzhilfen und die Rücküberweisungen von bosnischen Arbeitsmigranten international verflochten ist. read more

Spielräume und Grenzen der Visegrád-Kooperation

in Ungarn 1989-2014. Eine Bilanz nach 25 Jahren, hrsg. v. H. Küpper, Zs. H. Lengyel und H. Scheuringer, Verlag F. Pustet, Regensburg 2015, 55-76


Dieser Beitrag bilanziert die Kooperation zwischen den vier ostmitteleuropäischen Staaten Polen, Slowakei, Tschechien und Ungarn, die auf die Visegráder Erklärung von 1991 zurückgeht und als sogenannte Visegrád-Gruppe organisiert wurde. Vor dem Hintergrund der demokratischen Umbrüche 1989/90 waren die neuen politischen Eliten mit ähnlichen Herausforderungen konfrontiert und sich einig in dem Ziel, ihre Staaten vollständig in das europäische politische, ökonomische, Sicherheits- und Rechtssystem zu integrieren. Dieses Ziel erreichten sie mit den Beitritten zur NATO 1999/2004 und zur Europäischen Union 2004. Dennoch setzten die vier Visegrád-Staaten ihre verstärkte Kooperation nach 2004 fort, und ihre Beziehungen verdichteten sich sogar. read more

Business Elites and the Eurasian Economic Union Project

Paper for the Workshop  “Elite Networks in Russia and Ukraine. Change, Structures and Political Role”, , German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin, 13-14 February 2014


Business elites can be considered important advocates of Eurasian integration since neofunctionalist theory has assigned them a key role in the emergence of supranational EU governance structures. Do business elites in Russia articulate a demand for supranational policies that supports political elites in their efforts to create such structures? To examine this question, the paper firstly discusses existing political and economic rationales for the recent steps of integration. While political motives appear to prevail, plausible economic reasons can also be identified. The relevance of the economic rationales is further explored by studying whether and how Russian business elites assess the Eurasian Economic Union project. The paper finds that the Eurasian Economic Commission has sought to incorporate business representatives into its legislative procedure. However, major Russian business associations have devoted only selective and limited attention to Eurasian economic integration. There is empirical evidence that representatives of medium-technology industries outside the fuel sector most actively promote the project. In contrast, leading business representatives have revealed expectations of intergovernmentalist politics that are likely to impede a neofunctionalist mechanism of reinforcing Eurasian integration. read more

A Eurasian European Union?

Relaunching Post-Soviet Economic Integration

A paper presented at the ECPR General Conference 4-7 September 2013, Bourdeaux, European Consortium for Political Research

Abstract In November 2011, the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia agreed to establish a “Eurasian Economic Commission” (EAEK) charged with the development and functioning of the Customs Union and a “Single Economic Space” comprising the three states. Their presidents and other political actors referred to the European Union and its formation to frame these projects and the envisaged creation of a “Eurasian Union” until 2015. The paper studies how these references are emulated in Russian public discourse and the legal regulation of the EAEK. Combining theories of policy transfer and gradual institutional change, the paper conceptualizes different modes of emulation. A weak authority of the EU model and weak powers of integration advocates suggest a “facade emulation” where formal similarities coexist with persisting inherited practices and behavioral patterns. This hypothesis is confirmed by (1) labeling and framing strategies that relate the EU model to familiar ideas in Russian political culture and previous initiatives of post-Soviet integration and (2) a limited emulation of labels and organizational structures from the EU within an essentially intergovernmentalist institutional arrangement. Go to project page Download paper:Brusis_EurasianEuropeanUnion

Trade Liberalization and Democracy

A Research Note for the Policy Planning Staff, Federal Foreign Office of Germany, 10 June 2013


The aim of the proposed study is to analyze whether trade liberalization has facilitated market economy and democracy, how to reinforce this impact through complementary policies and how to use trade liberalization to achieve a democratization in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. This study is to be elaborated in a cooperation between economists and political scientists, and its findings / policy recommendations are to be discussed and agreed with scholars from France and Poland. To organize this cooperation, the research questions need to be addressed and operationalized in different modules. read more

Twenty Years after the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Change, Continuity and New Challenges

Conference organized by the Project Network “Institutions and Institutional Change in Postsocialism“, German Association for East European Studies (DGO) and Frankfurt Institute for Transformation Studies (FIT), Berlin 1-3 December 2011

plakat_webThe dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 marked the collapse of a state, of an empire, and of a project of an alternative modernity. Initially, the collapse of the “Soviet civilization” seemed to provide an opportunity for the countries of the CEE and Eurasia to arrive in the West with its capitalist democracies, its liberal individualist values, and a global pax americana. History as a struggle between ideologies appeared to have reached its (liberal) end. This was an error of judgement, however. Since then, new, non-Western powers and global threats have emerged, and the historico-political region “Eastern Europe” has disappeared. Today, this region is more diverse than any other region in the world: while most of the countries of Central and Southeast Europe adapt successfully to the liberal standards of the West and are now members of the European Union, the post-Soviet states have embarked on a search for alternatives. Here, we encounter authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes and state-run capitalist economies, new regional cooperation and security alliances, as well as attempts to develop local models or to learn from other non-Western experiences, especially from China and the Asian “tigers”. read more