France’s policies toward the Eastern Partnership countries in context

David Cadier

France’s strategic attention interest and diplomatic engagement in the Eastern neighborhood have increased significantly during the last decade. Of the two geographical areas covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the ‘South’ remains a greater priority for Paris than the ‘East’: France has deeper economic, cultural and historical ties with – and is more exposed to security challenges emanating from – North Africa and the Near East than Eastern Europe or the Caucasus. Nevertheless, France has played a central role in two critical moments for EU policies towards the Eastern Neighbourhood: it acted as a peace-broker in the 2008 Russo-Georgian war; and with Germany it is currently co-leading the mediation efforts in Eastern Ukraine.

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