These days, the Department of Political Science and Management at the UiA hosts Dr. Iryna Fyshchuk, whose research interests lie at the crossroads between public administration and digitalization. Prior to Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine, Iryna was part of the Department of Parliamentarism at Educational and Scientific Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
For the time being, Iryna works on a third-party funding application to develop her research on digitalization at Ukrainian local communities. We wish much success!
From 30 June to 07 July 2022, Director of Security Programmes at the “Lowering the Bar” project’s partner organization Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism” Dr. Hanna Shelest had been at the UiA for a research stay. The research part of the stay was dedicated to exploring ways to enhance security cooperation and integration between the EU and Ukraine amid the war and following its end. Upon completion, the results of the research will be published with an international peer-reviewed journal. During her stay, Dr. Hanna Shelest also taught a session titled “Ukraine and Europe: Between Politics and Security” at the European Integration Summer School (EISS). We thank Hanna for the visit and are looking forward to further cooperation.
Hanna Shelest (PhD) is the Editor-in-chief of UA: Ukraine Analytica, Head of the Security Programmes at the Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”. She previously served as a Senior Researcher at the Odesa branch of the National Institute for Strategic Studies and a Visiting Research Fellow at the NATO Defence College (Italy). She has a PhD in International Relations, specializing in conflict resolution and security issues. Dr Shelest was an adviser of the Working Group preparing the Ukrainian Navy Strategy 2035 and was involved in working groups developing the Foreign Policy Strategy of Ukraine, Asian Strategy for MFA, and Ukraine’s NATO Public Communication Strategy. She led different policy-related projects, among others: Scorecards of the Ukrainian Foreign Policy (2015-2021); Ukraine-NATO: Enhanced Level (2021-2022); The Hybrid War Decade: Lessons Learned to Move Forward Successfully (2019). Dr Shelest is a Rotary Peace Fellow (2010), John Smith Fellow (2012), Marshall Memorial Fellow (2016), and Visegrad Think Fellow (2019).
The blog entry narrates the history of independent Ukraine as a story of societal mobilization and pro-European choices. Particular attention is paid to the 2013 Euromaidan Revolution and the signing and implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement as factors, conducive to Ukraine’s resilience in the current war.
On 9 of June 2022, Project Team took part in the Jean Monnet Seminar “Best practices on doing research and teaching in European Studies: Ukrainian and European Perspectives”, organized by the Ukrainian Association of European Studies.
During the seminar, Project Post-Doc Maryna Rabinovych gave the project-based talk “Differentiated Integration and Compliance as Key Research Topics in the Relations between Ukraine and the EU”. The talk focused on the increasing role of differentiated in the EU’s foreign policy and the challenge of enforcing compliance in an increasingly externally differentiated Union.
On 1-2 June 2022, “Lowering the Bar” Project Leader Dr. Anne Pintsch and Post-Doc Dr. Maryna Rabinovych participated in the Interdisciplinary Trans-Nordic Conference on European Differentiated Integration at the University of Agder (UiA). Conducted under the auspices of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Laboratories of Differentiated Integration in the post-Brexit Europe” at the UiA, the conference brought together scholars working on European integration across the Nordic countries from various disciplinary perspectives as well as practitioners. Given Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, the EU’s efforts to redefine its future relations with Eastern Neighbours were actively debated by conference participants.
In terms of the conference, Dr. Anne Pintsch and Dr. Maryna Rabinovych presented two draft co-authored papers, tentatively titled “From the 2014 Annexation of Crimea to the 2022 Russia-Ukraine War: Association, Resilience and Socialization in the EU-Ukraine Relations between the Critical Junctures” and “Sustainable Development: A Common Denominator for the EU’s Policy towards the Eastern Partnership?”. The Power point presentations are available below.
In addition to the paper presentations, project leader Anne Pintsch chaired an Ambassadors’ Panel on “The War in Ukraine and European Integration – An Eastern Perspective”. The panel participants included Cristian Bădescu, Ambassador of Romania to Norway; Wolfgang Behrendt, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Norway; Eszter Sándorfi, Ambassador of Hungary to Norway and Iwona Woicka-Żuławska, Ambassador of Poland to Norway.
On 26-27 May 2022, “Lowering the Bar” project Post-Doc Dr. Maryna Rabinovych took part at the Peder Sather workshop “Governing Crisis in the European Union” at University of California, Berkeley. Titled “EU Response to Russia’s War Against Ukraine: A Research Agenda”, her presentation took stock of the consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine for the EU and EU-Ukraine relations and presented a research agenda on the EU’s response to war. This research agenda includes, inter alia, new dynamics in the EU’s relations with all associated Eastern Neighbours (Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia), organizational theory perspectives on the EU’s war response, discussion as to the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership, and the war’s implications for intra-EU policies.
On 19-22 May 2022, project post-doc Maryna Rabinovych took part at the 2022 EUSA 17th Biennial Conference in Miami. The European Studies Association is one of the world leading scholarly and professional associations, focusing on the intra-EU integration and EU external relations. This year, Russia’s war against Ukraine and EU’s response to war have been among the key topics of the Conference.
While the volume seeks to offer a nuanced picture of differentiation in the European Union, the book chapter by the Project Team explores compliance in light of external EU differentiation. This phenomenon includes, for instance, the Schengen Area, EU sectoral agreements with Switzerland, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the EU Association Agreements with Eastern Neighbours. As a first step, the chapter introduces theoretical expectations about compliance in the abovementioned cases, referring to the external enforcement, management, domestic pressure and legitimacy approaches. Next, it provides a nuanced overview of legal tools these agreements use to enforce compliance and discusses their relevance in light of compliance theories. It is concluded that fostering compliance under differentiated integration would require strengthening stakeholder engagement and structures for multistakeholder engagement.
News about Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine and its provocations in the Donbas region have been hitting the headlines of world top newspapers since autumn 2021. What is the role of the EU in the current crisis? How has the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement helped improve Ukraine’s resilience amid hybrid and immediate military threats? And why is the 2022 crisis so different from the one in 2014? Find answers to all these questions in the blog post by the “Lowering the Bar” project’s Post-Doc Maryna Rabinovych, published with the EUROPP blog at the London School of Economics.
Dr. Maryna Rabinovych and Dr. Anne Pintsch worked together towards a book chapter “EU Differentiated Integration as a Tangible: Internal and External Dimensions” published with the Routledge Handbook of European Integrations, edited by Thomas Hoerber, Gabriel Weber and Ignazio Cabras. The Handbook offers a comprehensive coverage of various aspects of European integration, including the ones “usually neglected or excluded in European integration collections”. Such aspects relate to, for instance, football, tourism, Erasmus, as well as artificial intelligence, transport and energy. Moreover, the Handbook is marked by an insight into tangible benefits European integration has brought about, and this is where the Project Team’s chapter on differentiated integration comes into play.
The contribution explains tangible benefits, intangibles and challenges associated with a broad range of differentiated integration structures both within the EU itself (e.g., enhanced cooperation between Member States) and the ones also involving third states, such as Eastern Neighbours. It is demonstrated that the Association Agreements with Eastern Neighbours create valuable tangibles for the EU in terms of trade liberalization, sectoral cooperation and political dialogue. Strong association relations with third countries also help the Union to increase its visibility and reach in numerous policy domains, such as development and conflict management. Nevertheless, Member States’ divergent geopolitical interests and EU foreign policy’s contestation represent crucial challenges to the further advancement of the EU-Neighbours relations. Differentiation, nevertheless, remains a crucial aspect of European integration, requiring careful management and nuanced research for it to continue producing tangibles, rather than mushrooming challenges.