GLOBAL AND DIFFUSE RISKS IN THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP COUNTRIES
Kornely Kakachia and Bidzina Lebanidze
Originally published by EU-LISTCO
This paper explores the extent to which global and diffuse risks impact the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries of the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood and identifies tipping points at which risks can turn into immediate threats for the EaP countries, with implications for the EU. We apply five major risk categories to the EaP area that cover the majority of global and diffuse risks and suggest their prioritization based on temporality, probability of occurrence, and potential multiplication effects. We identify 28 tipping points which may exacerbate the impact of global and diffuse risks in EaP countries and result in governance breakdowns or new violent conflicts. The evidence suggests three global risks ‒ geopolitical rivalry, unconventional security risks and global economic and financial risk ‒ as most probable and with the most destabilizing impact on the EaP area in the short term. Disease outbreaks can be equally destructive, but with less certain probability. In terms of actorness, a majority of global risks seem to be linked to Russia and its assertive agenda, whereas others are diffuse in nature and hard to locate. Finally, in terms of resilience and mitigation of risks, societies in the EaP area seem to possess a basic degree of governance capacity which needs to be further strengthened by the EU to better cope with global and diffuse risks.