Lenka Wieluns

Lenka Wieluns – Boston University, Political Science

Lenka Wieluns received a B.A. in History, Society and Culture from Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH in 2002. She completed her M.A. in Euroculture in 2005 at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Since then, she held several positions as a researcher and an analyst in the U.S. and Europe, including working as a security advisor at the International Relations Department at the Slovak Ministry of Defense. She entered the PhD program at the Department of Political Science at Boston University in 2009 and passed her qualifying examinations in October 2010. Her research interests include issues of international security, identity politics and democracy with regional focus on the European Union and its immediate neighborhood.

The European Neighborhood: Privileged, Tentative or Frozen?

This paper will analyze the nature of the European neighborhood by examining the balance of power between states that are party to the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). Although the policy refers to a singular ‘neighborhood’, this paper will propose a typology of varied ENP neighborhoods, modeled as a function of 3 types of power relations: 1) a privileged neighborhood resulting from the effort of the ‘new’ EU member states to balance the ‘old’ EU states’ focus on the southern neighborhood with new regional foreign policy priorities, 2) a tentative neighborhood defined by the EU’s projection of its ‘soft power’ influence to stabilize the ENP neighborhood, 3) a frozen neighborhood resulting from the balance of power between the EU and Russia. The paper will argue that according to the first model, the ENP neighborhood, understood as a community with a shared identity, does not exist; rather it is a collection of disparate neighbors who share privileged relations with some of the EU member states. The second model will highlight the potential for an expansion or a contraction of the ENP neighborhood; a sufficient convergence on values between the EU and some ENP states may contract the ENP neighborhood as an ENP state transitions to hold an EU candidate status. The third model will focus on Russia as the external factor in balancing the influence of the EU in some parts of the ENP neighborhood. If balance of power is achieved, the political borders of the eastern ENP neighborhood may remain frozen.