Poland's role in the development of an 'Eastern Dimension' of the European Union
Auch die EU erkannte die Notwendigkeit, eine gemeinsame Politik für die neuen Nachbarn zu entwickeln. Der Rat der Europäischen Union beratschlagte im April 2002 zum ersten Mal über ‚Wider Europe’ und die Beziehungen der erweiterten EU zu den östlichen Nachbarn. In den folgenden Ratssitzungen wurde das Thema vertieft, allerdings wurde spätestens beim Europäischen Rat in Kopenhagen im Dezember 2002 klar, dass eine gemeinsame Europäische Nachbarschaftspolitk (ENP) für alle Nachbarländer der EU entwickelt werden sollte, die neue Politik sollte neben den osteuropäischen Staaten also auch die Länder des Mittelmeerraumes und zusätzlich die Kaukasus-Staaten umfassen.
In meiner Master-Arbeit mit dem Titel „Poland’s role in the development of an ‚Eastern Dimension’ of the European Union“ bin ich der Frage nachgegangen, wieso der polnische Vorschlag nicht umgesetzt wurde. Welche Interessensunterschiede oder Umstände führten dazu, dass keine neue Regionalpolitik für die östlichen Anrainerstaaten definiert wurde? Durch einen Vergleich der zentralen Dokumente der ‚Eastern Dimension’ und der ENP konnte ich die wesentlichen Unterschiede dieser beiden Politiken analysieren. Wichtig war natürlich auch der derzeitige Stand der Beziehungen zwischen der EU und den östlichen Nachbarn. Die Teilnahme der Ukraine und Belarus in der ENP ist vorgesehen, bisher ist allerdings erst die Ukraine in die Gemeinschaftspolitik integriert. Die Teilnahme von Belarus in der ENP kann erst erfolgen, wenn demokratische Reformen durchgeführt werden. Die bilateralen Beziehungen zwischen Russland und der EU stellen sich als schwierig dar, Russland lehnt es ab im Rahmen der ENP mit der EU zu kooperieren.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
List of figures
List of charts
1.1. The ‘Eastern Dimension’ of the European Union
2. Explaining Poland’s role with theoretical concepts
2.3. Intergovernmentalism vs. Supranationalism
3. Poland’s foreign policy after
3.1. Principles of Poland’s foreign policy
3.2. Poland’s Eastern Policy
3.3. Eastern policy and regional cooperations
4. Poland and its Eastern neighbours
4.1.1. 1991 to 1994: Polite declarations and mutual commitments
4.1.2. 1994 to 1998 Poland’s integration in the Western structures
4.1.3. 1998 to 2004: Poland’s way in the EU
4.1.4. From 2004: The ‘Orange Revolution’ and beyond
4.2.1. 1991 to 1994: Belarus’ decline under independence
4.2.2. 1994 to 1996: The begin of Aleksander Lukashenko’s presidency
4.2.3. 1996 to 2001: International isolation
4.2.4. From 2001: Belarus as the last dictatorship in Europe
4.3.1. 1989 to 1994: Poland’s Russia-centered policy
4.3.2. 1994 to 1999: Russian vs. Polish interests
4.3.3. 1999 to 2004: Slight normalisation of the relations
4.3.4. From 2004: Poland as a member of the EU
5. Poland and European foreign policy
5.1. From an Eastern policy to a ‘Wider Europe’
5.1.1. Poland’s contribution to the European Neighbourhood Policy
5.1.2. ‘Eastern Dimension’ vs. ENP: similarities and differences
5.1.3. The ENP in practice
5.1.4. Countries included in the ENP
5.2. The EU and Russia
5.2.1. Russia and the ENP
5.2.2. Poland, Russia and the EU
5.3. ‘Eastern Dimension’, ENP and theoretical concepts
Literature, Documents and Speeches
List of Abbreviations
illustration not visible in this excerpt
List of figures
Figure 1: EU policies and Poland’s approach toward Eastern neighbours
Figure 2: The ‘Eastern Dimension’ concept
Figure 3: The approach of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)
Figure 4: The geographical scope of the ENP
List of charts
Chart 1: Comparison of Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism
Chart 2: Development of the ENP and Poland’s engagement
Chart 3: Comparison of Council Conclusions and Polish Non-paper
Chart 4: Accordance of Polish proposals and ENP in different key areas
Chart 5: Ukraine and Belarus in the European Neighbourhood Policy
Chart 6: Ukraine’s European Choice: The viewpoints of Poland and the EU
Chart 7: The viewpoint of Poland and the EU on Belarus
Chart 8: The Polish and EU viewpoint on Russia
Chart 9: Intergovernmental and supranational aspects
Appendix 1: Non-paper with Polish proposals concerning policy toward new Eastern neighbours after EU enlargement
Appendix 2: Comparison of the ENP Strategy Paper and Polish Non-paper
Appendix 3: Interview with Agnieszka Walter-Drop, Deputy Chief of Mission/ Counsellor at the Polish Embassy Berlin
Appendix 4: Eigenständigkeitserklärung / Oświadczenie
Polens Beitritt zur Europäischen Union (EU) veränderte die geopolitische Lage des mitteleuropäischen Landes fundamental. Polen wurde von einem „Outsider“ an der Außengrenze der EU zu einem „Insider“ mit einer eigenen EU-Außengrenze. Gleichzeitig wurden Polens östliche Nachbarn Ukraine, Belarus und Russland (bzw. Kaliningrad) zu neuen Nachbarn der EU.
Mit Polens Aufnahme in die NATO im April 1999 und dem Beitritt in die EU im Mai 2004 haben sich die beiden wichtigsten Ziele der polnischen Außenpolitik nach dem Zerfall der Sowjetunion in 1989/1991 erfüllt. Polen hatte durch die internationale Allianz die eigene Sicherheitssituation gefestigt und durch die Mitgliedschaft in der EU den Weg zum „europäischen Mainstream“ eingeschlagen und seinen Platz unter den Demokratien Europas gefunden.
Ein weiteres Ziel der polnischen Außenpolitik war die Entwicklung und Durchsetzung einer effektiven und kohärenten Ostpolitik. Zu Beginn in 1989 implementierte Polen eine sehr geschickte „zweigleisige“ Politik, in der das sowjetische Zentrum in Moskau offiziell anerkannt wurde, gleichzeitig aber die ehemaligen Staaten der Sowjetunion in ihren Unabhängigkeitsbestrebungen unterstützt und gefördert wurden. Manche Kommentatoren sahen in Polens früher Ostpolitik einen wichtigen Grund für die Auflösung der Sowjetunion.
Verträge über bilaterale Beziehungen und gute Nachbarschaft konnten mit allen Nachbarstaaten Polens bis Juli 1992 abgeschlossen werden. Die bilateralen Beziehungen mit der Ukraine, Belarus und Russland entwickelten sich allerdings sehr unterschiedlich. Von diesen drei Staaten gibt es heutzutage nur mit der Ukraine eine sehr enge und gute Beziehung, die oft als „strategische Partnerschaft“ bezeichnet wird. Belarus, die „letzte Diktatur Europas“, ist sowohl für Polen, als auch für alle anderen westlichen Länder ein schwieriger Fall. Durch die interne Situation im Lande beschloss die EU mehrere Sanktionen gegen führende Mitglieder des Regimes, die auch von Polen umgesetzt werden. Heutzutage gibt es keine offiziellen Kontakte mit hochrangigen Regierungsmitgliedern von Belarus. Es scheint, dass Russland Polen nicht als gleichwertigen und unabhängigen Partner behandelt. Die bilateralen Beziehungen werden oft durch Spannungen und Konflikte überschattet. Deshalb ist es wichtig die Beziehungen Polens mit diesen drei Staaten seit 1989/1991 aufzuschlüsseln.
Dennoch sprechen einige Kommentatoren von einer erfolgreichen polnischen Ostpolitik, die nach 1989 eingeführt und umgesetzt wurde. Im Zuge des Beitrittsprozesses war es deshalb konsequent, die eigene Ostpolitik auf eine europäische Ebene zu heben. Polen versuchte damit seine eigenen Interessen im europäischen Rahmen umzusetzen. Demgegenüber standen verschiedene Interessen der anderen Mitgliedsstaaten der EU. Der frühere polnische Außenminister Bronisław Geremek erklärte bei der Eröffnung der EU-Beitrittsverhandlungen im Jahre 1998 zum ersten Mal den Wunsch und die Notwendigkeit einer gemeinsamen europäischen Ostpolitik. Er gilt damit als der Vater der ‚Östlichen Dimension’, die Polen im Zuge der Beitrittsverhandlungen umsetzen wollte. Alle polnischen Regierungen bis heute benennen die Implementierung einer ‚Östlichen Dimension’ als Ziel der eigenen Außenpolitík.
Allerdings ist die ‚Östliche Dimension’ bis heute keine gemeinsame Politik, im Gegensatz zu anderen EU-Regionalpolitiken wie die ‚Nördliche Dimension’ oder die Euro-Mediterrane Partnerschaft (bzw. Barcelona Prozess), die Vorbilder für Polens Konzept waren. Die ‚Östliche Dimension’ war sozusagen als Erweiterung der ‚Nördlichen Dimension’ gedacht. Polen veröffentlichte einige Dokumente und Papiere zu den Möglichkeiten und Zielen der geforderten Europäischen Ostpolitik. Diese Papiere lassen viel Spiel- und Freiraum für die Beziehungen mit den östlichen Nachbarn. Ein zentraler Punkt in Polens Forderungen ist eine „Europäische Perspektive“ für die Staaten Osteuropas. Polen befürwortet einen mittelfristigen EU-Beitritt der Ukraine und eine längerfristige Beitrittsstrategie für Belarus. Gerade dieser Vorschlag einer erneuten EU-Osterweiterung dürfte aber auf Ablehnung bei den meisten anderen EU-Staaten stoßen
Aber auch die EU erkannte die Notwendigkeit, eine gemeinsame Politik für die neuen Nachbarn zu entwickeln. Der Rat der Europäischen Union beratschlagte im April 2002 zum ersten Mal über ‚Wider Europe’ und die Beziehungen der erweiterten EU zu den östlichen Nachbarn, acht Monate nachdem das polnische Außenministerium seine Sichtweise zu einer europäischen Ostpolitik veröffentlichte. In den folgenden Ratssitzungen wurde das Thema weiter vertieft, allerdings wurde spätestens beim Europäischen Rat in Kopenhagen im Dezember 2002 klar, dass eine gemeinsame Europäische Nachbarschaftspolitk (ENP) für alle Nachbarländer der EU entwickelt werden sollte, die neue Politik sollte neben den osteuropäischen Staaten also auch die Länder des Mittelmeerraumes und zusätzlich die Kaukasus-Staaten umfassen.
Nun entsteht natürlich die Frage, wieso der polnische Vorschlag nicht umgesetzt wurde. Welche Interessensunterschiede oder Umstände führten dazu, dass keine neue Regionalpolitik für die östlichen Anrainerstaaten definiert wurde? Dieser Frage wird in dieser Master-Arbeit nachgegangen. Eine gemeinsame Ostpolitik der EU blieb ein erklärtes Ziel der polnischen Außenpolitik. Aus diesem Grund liegt es nahe, dass das Konzept der ENP und der ‚Eastern Dimension’ nicht übereinstimmen. Es ist wichtig die Unterschiede und die Gemeinsamkeiten aus dem Ansatz Polens und der EU herauszuarbeiten und zu vergleichen. In dieser Arbeit liegen diesem Vergleich das „Non-paper with Polish proposals concerning policy toward new Eastern neighbours after EU enlargement” (MFA 2003) des polnischen Außenministeriums von Januar 2003 und das „European Neighbourhood Policy – Strategy Paper“ (European Commission 2004a) von Mai 2004 zugrunde. Diese beiden Dokumente sind die zentralen Dokumente der beiden Politikkonzepte.
Wichtig für diese Arbeit ist der derzeitige Stand der Beziehungen zwischen der EU und den östlichen Nachbarn, welcher dann mit den Forderungen und Wünschen Polens verglichen werden kann. Die Teilnahme der Ukraine und Belarus in der ENP ist vorgesehen, bisher ist allerdings erst die Ukraine in die Gemeinschaftspolitik integriert. Die bilateralen Beziehungen zwischen diesem großen und bevölkerungsreichen osteuropäischen Land und der EU wurden in den vergangenen Jahren schrittweise verbessert und ausgebaut. Es gibt weitere Projekte und Initiativen um diesen Prozess weiterzuentwickeln, auch wenn es noch nicht sicher ist, in welche Richtung dieses Land strebt. Die Teilnahme von Belarus in der ENP kann erst erfolgen, wenn demokratische Reformen durchgeführt werden.
Die bilateralen Beziehungen zwischen Russland und der EU stellen sich als schwierig dar. Russland lehnt es ab im Rahmen der ENP mit der EU zu kooperieren. Die bilateralten Beziehungen sollen in „vier gemeinsamen Räumen“ weiterentwickelt werden. Das rohstoffreiche Land setzt mehr und mehr die Energieversorgung als politisches Instrument ein. Es wäre in Polens Interesse, einen größeren Einfluss auf die europäische Russlandpolitik zu bekommen, was bisher eher nicht der Fall war.
In theoretischer Hinsicht kann die Fragestellung im Gegensatz zwischen Intergouvernementalismus und Supranationalismus erörtert werden. Die Frage ist, wie eigene Interessen (gemäß dem intergouvernmentalen Ansatz) durchgesetzt wurden, bzw. ob die Politik gemeinschaftlich (auf einer supranationalen Ebene) umgesetzt wurde. Dabei können z.B. die Interessen von Polen und den anderen EU-Staaten im Gegensatz stehen. Es wird dargestellt, wie diese Theorien als Erklärungsansatz der ‚Eastern Dimension’, bzw. ENP, dienen können.
Zum Abschluss der Arbeit wird ein Fazit gezogen, welche Rolle Polen tatsächlich in der Entwicklung einer ‚Östlichen Dimension’ und der Nachbarschaftspolitk gespielt hat, und warum der polnische Vorschlag nicht umgesetzt wurde. Zudem werden Ausblicke aufgezeigt, wie sich das Projekt weiterentwickeln könnte oder welche Chancen sich eventuell für die Zukunft ergeben.
1.1. The ‘Eastern Dimension’ of the European Union
Poland’s accession into the European Union (EU) in May 2004 changed the geopolitical situation of the country fundamentally. Poland moved from an “outsider” to an “insider” and changed its location from being at the EU-external border to a country with an external border toward the Eastern European states. The countries at Poland’s Eastern borders became as well the Eastern neighbours of the European Union after 1 May 2004.
The break-up of the Soviet Union in 1989/1991 was the starting point for a new and self-determined foreign policy. The strategic objectives of Poland’s foreign policy for the following years were clear. The most important aims were the NATO-accession, which was seen as the highest priority for Poland’s security, and the EU-accession, which should secure Poland’s return into the “European mainstream”. A subordinated objective was the establishment of an effective and coherent policy toward Poland’s Eastern neighbours.
Poland’s Eastern policy in the first years concentrated on consolidating sovereignty and independence of the former Soviet republics Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus and on good relations to the former Soviet centre Russia. With all of the Eastern neighbours Poland reached a status of good-neighbourly and friendly relations. But the bilateral relations in the following years developed unequally. Today Ukraine is Poland’s most important and closest Eastern neighbour. The bilateral relations are defined as a “strategic partnership”. Poland imposed, like all EU states, sanctions on Belarus and does not have contacts with the Belarusian government on a high political level. Russia is a difficult partner. The country sees itself on a higher level and often treats Poland with disrespect.
On the European scene Poland was very engaged for its Eastern neighbours. Already in 1992 former Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski warned against a new division of Europe, not because of ideological reasons but more because of economic-political facts (Shynkarjov 2005: 47). The concept of a future ‘Eastern Dimension’ was formulated for the first time at the inauguration meeting of Poland’s accession negotiations with the EU in 1998 by former Foreign Minister Bronisław Geremek. The introduction of such an Eastern policy of the EU was an important part of the Polish mandate for the accession negotiations. Geremek highlighted the importance of the Eastern neighbours for Poland and the EU and called for the development of a common EU policy with Poland’s and the EU’s Eastern neighbours after enlargement. Geremek launched with his call an active and vigorous debate about the possibility and shape of a future European Eastern policy among experts and politicians. In 2001 the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs published its viewpoint about “The Eastern policy of the European Union in the run-up to the EU’s enlargement to include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe”. Poland referred to a policy which should “apply uniform and identical standards to all states established in the post-Soviet space [and] should further try to develop a model of cooperation giving all states equal access thereto, ensuring equal participation therein and and guaranteeing equal benefits to be driven therefrom” (MFA 2001: 8). The new Eastern policy should comprise the entire post-Soviet space, which means Poland’s direct neighbours Ukraine, Belarus and Russia (respectively the Russian exclave Kaliningrad) as well as Moldova, the Caucasia and Central Asia (MFA 2001: 11; MFA 2003: 85/6).
The archetypes for the ‘Eastern Dimension’ were the ‘Euro-Mediterranean Partnership’ (or Barcelona Process) and especially the Northern Dimension. Both common EU policies came into existence after an enlargement of the EU. Spain and Portugal promoted the Euro-Mediterranean relations after their accession to the EU, the Northern Dimension was a result of the accession of Sweden and Finland (Cieszkowski 2004: 103).
The ‘Euro-Mediterranean Partnership’ was launched in 1995 at a conference in Barcelona. It should provide a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between EU member states and countries of the Southern Mediterranean. The ‘Northern Dimension’ addresses special regional development challenges of Northern Europe. It reflects the EU relations with Russia (particularly North-west Russia) in the Baltic Sea and Arctic regions. The ‘Eastern Dimension’ would not be in concurrence with other EU policies, it was rather thought as an enlargement of the ‘Northern Dimension’, as Poland’s former Foreign Minister Cimoszewicz clarified: “The Eastern Dimension would be complementary to the Northern Dimension of the EU. I believe that it can use the experience of the Northern Dimension as well as other policies of the EU toward adjacent regions” (Cimoszewicz 2003: 18).
The development of a coherent and effective policy toward the new EU neighbours after enlargement was as well a major interest of the EU. The discussion on the EU level was launched in 2002 by Great Britain and Sweden. In April 2002 the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) discussed for the first time about “Wider Europe – Relations between the future enlarged EU and its Eastern neighbours“ (Council 2002a: 10). Poland contributed actively to that debate in 2003 with a Non-paper with proposals concerning the new Eastern neighbours (MFA 2003) and the organisation of numerous conferences in order to win support from EU members and the states of Eastern Europe (Cieszkowski 2004: 105). The European Commission and the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (HR for the CFSP) Javier Solana worked up ideas for the Union’s policy toward the new neighbourhood. Former Commission President Romano Prodi presented the ‘Wider Europe’ concept in December 2002. His aim was to see “a ring of friends surrounding the union [and to share] everything but institutions [with them]” (Prodi 2002).
In March 2003 the Commission introduced the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Partner countries in the framework of the ENP could be all neigbours of the EU from Belarus in the east to Morocco in the south. The EU and Russia decided to develop the mutual relations through “four common spaces”, therefore Russia is not involved in the ENP.
With the use of mechanism of the ENP, the EU tried to gain new partners for economic, political and security cooperation in the direct neighbourhood without offering a membership perspective. The introduction of this policy marked a new step in the EU external policy. Before, neighbouring countries were honoured with a membership perspective if they implemented a succesful way of transformation and good political behaviour. The enlargement of the EU was the most important foreign policy tool of the EU, after the Eastern enlargement it became obvious that this could not be a durable concept for the future (Stratenschulte 2003).
The exclusion of a prospect of membership is clearly against Poland’s objectives. Poland follows an open-door policy, especially for the Eastern European country. “In the long-term perspective, the countries […] should have an option of accession to the European Union, though the process of their integration would certainly be much more difficult and long-winded than that of the present candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The perspective of joining the EU, however distant, would constitute for them a strong incentive to undertake efforts in furthering democratic and economic reforms” (MFA 2003: 88/9).
The ‘Eastern Dimension’ remains up to now a theoretical model with no clear prospect, it is unclear if it will become reality. The direct neighbours of the EU (Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Moldova) have always been the subject of a wider European policy. From the beginning of the 1990s different policy instruments and agreements were enforced in the region. The EU approach to these countries was always a combination of a regional and a bilateral approach. The implementation of the ‘Eastern Dimension’ would enhance the regional aspect. Poland proposed to establish a regional framework addressed to all countries in Eastern Europe, but individually and differentiated Action Plans with each of the involved states (Solonenko 2004: 2/3).
A coherent and effective Eastern policy has been an important policy goal for all Polish governments since 1989/1991. In the early 1990s it was the objective to create its own policy toward the neighbouring countries. In the run-up to the accession into the EU, Poland wanted to upgrade its own Eastern policy to a higher level, a common European Eastern policy. Since the inauguration speech of former Foreign Minister Geremek in 1998 the ‘Eastern Dimension’ of the EU has remained a policy goal on the political agenda of Poland.
The ENP was the answer of the EU toward the new neighbours after the EU Eastern enlargement in 2004. Poland contributed to the development of the common EU policy, according to its possibilities. After the introduction of the ENP, Poland still called for the creation of an ‘Eastern Dimension’. This situation leads to the supposition that the ENP and the ‘Eastern Dimension’ contain different policy goals. Assuming that Poland could not pursue all policy objectives toward its Eastern neighbours it is necessary to analyse the differences between Poland’s proposal and the ENP.
This thesis follows the assumption that the ‘Eastern Dimension’ is Poland’s main chance to extend the country’s influence and the political weight in the EU. The ‘Eastern Dimension’ and the ENP are not a conflict of interests, Poland’s concept would rather be a component of the whole ENP. The question is however, how Poland contributed to the development of the neighbourhood policy and to which extent Poland succeeded to involve its own proposals in it. How and to which extent did Poland’s influence on the EU and its policies increase after the enlargement in 2004? Is it still necessary for Poland to introduce the ‘Eastern Dimension’ or would be the framework of the ENP be sufficient to reach Poland’s policy goals toward the Eastern neighbours? The process of the development of this policy could also be seen in the area of conflict between Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism. The analysis will show to which extent intergovernmental of supranational aspects played a role in the development of the policy.
The two relevant policy actors in this thesis are Poland and the European Union. Poland undertakes bilateral relations with its neighbouring states Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. As a candidate country and since May 2004 as a member of the EU Poland influences as well the foreign policy of the EU toward these states.
There are two approaches of the EU toward the countries of Eastern Europe. The ENP is a common European policy under the guidance of the European Commission (as a rather supranational institution) and provides the framework for the relations of the EU with Ukraine and Belarus (as well as other countries). The framework for Russia is different. At the St. Petersburg Summit in May 2003 the EU and Russia agreed to strengthen their mutual relations by creating four ‘common spaces’. The policy toward Russia belongs to the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and is therefore under the guidance of the European Council (which works more in an intergovernmental way).
In the forerun of the Eastern enlargement Poland proposed the implementation of an ‘Eastern Dimension’ which would involve all above mentioned Eastern European states plus eventually others. The development of two different policy concepts (ENP and Euro-Russia Partnership) was not in accordance to Poland’s proposal. The following figure structures the different foreign policy approaches of the EU and Poland toward Eastern European.
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 1: EU policies and Poland’s approach toward Eastern neighbours
Source: Author’s Illustration
RUS- Russia; BY – Belarus; UA – Ukraine; PL – Poland; MS – Member States
The relevant framework of Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism will be explained in the following chapter. The development of the ENP and the proposal of the ‘Eastern Dimension’ could be analysed between these two theoretical concepts.
Chapter 3 presents an overview about Poland’s foreign policy after 1989. Poland’s two main objectives were clearly the accession into NATO and the EU. The creation of an Eastern policy was the third and subordinated aim. Poland’s Eastern policy was an integral part of the foreign policy. Another aspect of Poland’s foreign policy was the participation in various regional groupings in Central Europe, the Baltic Sea region and cooperation with Western European partners. All of these groupings had different objectives. A European Eastern policy was somehow a discussed topic in these regional groupings, often because Poland put it on the agenda. Poland lobbied in this groupings for an European Eastern policy and tried to find allies for this project. Today some of these regional frameworks are involved in the ENP and play an important part in cross-border cooperation and on the local level.
Next to Poland’s efforts in creating an Eastern policy toward this region, it is important to analyse the different bilateral relations of Poland with the involved countries. Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are Poland’s direct Eastern neighbours which would be involved in the proposed ‘Eastern Dimension’ concept. The relations between Poland and Ukraine have been developing fruitfully with many institutional cooperations and common policy objectives. The relationship is often described as a “strategic partnership”. Poland is Ukraine’s most important partner and “advocate” in Western Europe. Contrary to the relations with Ukraine, the relations to Belarus are difficult. Belarus is called the “last dictatorship in Europe”. The country is isolated, bilateral relations turned out to be difficult. Poland tries to support a democratic development in the country. Russia is the biggest of the Eastern European states. In many occasions Russia tried to preserve a dominant position in the region. The relations between Poland and Russia are tense. Russia opposed important policy objectives of Poland like the accession into NATO. Historical conflicts remain unsolved and are still a problem. The analysis of the bilateral relations between Poland and the three countries shows that a constant and coherent Eastern policy toward these countries is a difficult task. Therefore Poland’s policy approach toward these countries is diverse and differentiated.
Chapter 5 provides an overview of the development of the ENP and shows Poland’s contribution toward this process. Poland was very active to promote its own policy goals and perception of a common European policy toward these countries. A majority of proposals of Poland’s ‘Eastern Dimension’ are involved in the concept of the ENP. A comparison of the two major documents about the ENP and the ‘Eastern Dimension’ will show the similarities and differences of the policy approaches. The status of the current relations of the EU toward the involved Eastern European countries Ukraine and Belarus points out the differences between Poland’s requests to a European neighbourhood policy and the real policy. The EU and Russia are developing their partnership outside the ENP. Poland’s policy objectives toward this country and the European approach will be compared as well. Concluding, it is possible to state where the approaches rank between Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism.
Finally the conclusion summarizes the outcome of the thesis with a prospect for the future relations of Poland and the EU with their common Eastern European neighbours. An outlook and possibilities for the development of the ENP will be provided.
2. Explaining Poland’s role with theoretical concepts
The theory of intergovernmentalism says that states remain important actors of international politics, even in supranational organisations like the EU. The classical intergovernmentalism sees the responsibility for the construction and functioning of international organisations on the side of the member states. The behaviour of member states is dominated by different traditions, political styles, identities and geopolitical interests. The EU does not minimise the role of the member states. On the contrary it strengthens the position of members in the international context. International threats, competition and challenges could be faced collectively. But often member states are not willing to reach a high degree of integration in important policy areas like foreign, tax or social policy (Pollak/Slominski 2006: 60).
After World War II, in the first years of European Integration, the common expectation was that the success of the integration process would lead to an ever closer union and would eventually overcome the concept of the national state. This comprehension was dominated in the minds of the federal movement, the political elites and theorists of federalism and neo-functionalism. In the 1960s this presumption of an ever closer collectivisation was challenged through the theory of intergovernmentalism. Stanley Hoffmann developed in his contributions for the first time a theory of European Integration inspired by a realistic approach. The basic conclusion expressed that the national states are still the central actors of European Integration and the common policy is dominated by national governments (Bieling 2005: 91).
Hoffmann plead for the approach to analyse the background of European policy in the context of global politics and societal processes. He understood European Integration as a framework which was introduced under the conditions of the Cold War. The nation states still remain the central actors of European and world politics. For the explanation of historical tendencies it would be necessary to analyse the domestic processes and the external actions of the governments. Parallel the character of the “whole” and the connection between domestic, transnational and interstate processes must be regarded (Bieling 2005: 94/5).
Hoffmann argued that European Integration and the reproduction of national sovereignty are two sides of the same coin. The transfer of political competences to a supranational level means therefore a selective process which follows particular interests and is controlled by national governments. Integration is a means and instrument to realise national objectives, but is not an objective on its own. Governments are willing to collectivise policy fields when they see advantages. If they see a threat to vital national interests they argue against a collectivisation because of reasons of the own sovereignty. Hoffmann distinguished between two areas of politics. “Low politics” involve mainly the economical integration from which the costs for collectivisation are low, but the expected advantages are high. “High politics” involve strategic decisions, which influence the national sovereignty. In this area it is difficult to reach a high degree of integration because of national retentions (Bieling 2005: 102/3).
John Van Oudenaren developed the following definition for intergovernmentalism: “Intergovernmentalism is an approach to integration in which national governments establish institutions and procedures to pursue common interests, but in which those governments retain the ultimate authority to pursue an independent policy if they desire. […] Countries tend to pursue intergovernmental integration when they want to reap the benefits of stable international cooperation without surrendering their independence” (Van Oudenaren 2005: 8).
Andrew Moravcsik is the best-known representative of “liberal intergovernmentalism”. He defined the EU as an “international regime for policy co-ordination”. Three basic assumptions represent the founding for his theses:
1. States act on a national level,
2. the definition of national preferences are based on a liberal model and
3. negotiations between states follow an intergovernemental logic.
He defines the integration process in the EU as an supply and demand model. The demand side is represented by national interest groups, which see the advantages of economical cooperation. State actors try to promote different interests on a European level. The supply of integration is the function of negotiations between states. The governments bundle different national interests which gives them a certain room to negotiate. They chose a promising strategy of negotiations, at the same time they know that supranational solutions might be effective but mean a loss of power (Pollak/Slominski 2006: 61).
The intergovernmental theory sees the governments of the member states as the most important actors which negotiate between the domestic and international level. Other actors play only a subordinated or not relevant role. Progress in integration are only reached if the interests of the dominant national states are convergent and they agree upon common rules which are helpful for national interests. In comparison to the intergovernmental approach, the liberal intergovernmentalism sees not only the balance of power of the states, but as well a inner-social process as a relevant component. Moravcsik is interested to find out “why” the European Integration takes place and what are the driving forces for this process. According to Moravcsik it is the task to formulate a theoretical framework which could explain the “history making decisions” on the European level (Steinhilber 2005: 169ff.).
Supranationalism deals with the question why the integration process in the EU proceeds in different speeds in various fields. Some decisions in different policy fields follow the intergovernmental approach, while other areas could be described as supranational governance. This means the ability of institutions of the EU to define some rules for all relevant actors in a certain policy area. As central motor of supranational policy patterns transnational exchange processes could be identified, especially in the economical sphere. The groups which benefit from these exchange processes are driving forces to enlarge the competences of the European institutions in these policy fields (Nölke 2005: 145).
Supranationalism is based on the theories of neofunctionalism and was therefore called “modified neofunctionalism”. The integration marks the centre of the supranational theory. In contrast to neofunctionalism, supranationalism rejects the supposition that the EU will replace the national states. The role of negotiation processes and convergent interests was stressed. The member states keep an important role in the theory, the relevance of a transfer of loyalty and identity from the national states to the European level was however presumed. Important protagonists of the supranationalism are Wayne Sandholtz and Alec Stone Sweet. They want to explain the development and extension of supranational governance (Nölke 2005: 147/8).
The theoretical model of Sandholtz and Stone Sweet does not explain the “grand bargains” (e.g. the Single European Act or different EU-treaties) or decision processes in specific policy fields, but the general change of patterns. The dependent variable is not the integration process itself, but the movement from national or intergovernmental to supranational politics. In the intergovernmental approach the executives of the member states are the relevant actors and the extent of the negotiations is determined by the relative power of these states. The European institutions have in this approach rather a “passive structure”. In the supranational approach the common institutions are supposed to have the possibility to influence and restrict the behaviour of all actors, including the member states (Nölke 2005: 150).
Supranationalism is “an approach to international integration under which national governments cede sovereignty over certain matters to transnational institutions. These institutions then can make laws and policies that are binding upon those governments. […] There are several explanations for the willingness of governments to sometimes cede powers to supranational institutions. They include ideological commitment to the cause of integration, the desire to create effective institutions able to cope with problems no longer solvable in a national framework, and a perceived need to establish binding rules that govern the behaviour of other countries, even if it means limiting their own freedom of action” (Van Oudenaren 2005: 8).
2.3. Intergovernmentalism vs. Supranationalism
Poland’s role in the development of an ‘Eastern Dimension’ of the EU, respectively the ENP, must be analysed in the area of conflict between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism. Following the intergovernmental theory, interests from national states are the driving forces for the development of policies. In this context it is necessary to analyse Poland’s interest and as well the interests of other EU member states. The question is if there are substantial differences between them and who achieved its objectives. Assuming that the ‘Eastern Dimension’ was not implemented this could mean that other actors (e.g. EU member states) had other national objectives which were not accourding to Poland’s aims, respectively Poland was too weak to foster its own proposal.
In the supranational concept new policies are developed and accomplished under the guidance of a supranational institution. The ENP was developed and is now administrated under the guidance of the European Commission. It is worth analysing to what extent this policy is or became a supranational policy. Was it really the supranational institution which led to the ENP or were national interests mor important for the development?
In comparison to the ENP, the EU-Russia Partnership was developed under the guidance of the European Council, an intergovernmental body of the EU. The question is, to what extent Poland could contribute and influence this policy, especially because the framework was concluded before Poland’s EU accession. Following table compares the actors, assumptions and effects of the theories of Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism
Chart 1: Comparison of Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism
illustration not visible in this excerpt
* not relevant bodies in this thesis
source: adaption of Pollack/Slominski 2006: 67; Author’s chart
3. Poland’s foreign policy after 1989
3.1. Principles of Poland’s foreign policy
Poland regained its state sovereignty in 1989 which implied at the same time the establishment of a new and independent foreign policy. The first tasks between 1989 and 1991 were the formal liquidation of the Warsaw Pact and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, and the establishment of relations with the still existing USSR on the basis of equal rights. All goals were achieved with a number of different problems, like the still existing Soviet forces in Poland, the former GDR and the attempt of the Kremlin to preserve its interests in Central Europe. On the Western border the unification process of Germany created an atmosphere of uncertainty and speculations about the future place of the united Germany in Europe. Nevertheless the future place of Poland in the international community was already determined “by its choice to belong to the civilisation of the West” (Całka 1998: 35/6). This defined objective made it necessary to launch a process of economical and political transformation with the aim to reduce the gap between Poland and the Western partners. Poland’s strategic foreign policy goal already became clear in 1991 to 1992: the accession into NATO and the EU.
At the beginning of the 1990s it was necessary to solve old disputes with neighbouring countries which burdened the bilateral relations. The treaties concerning the finality of the Oder-Neisse border and on good-neighbourliness and cooperation with Germany in 1990 and 1991 opened the way for a reconciliation between these two European states. At the same time it was an important step for a future accession of Poland into the EU. Germany became the main promoter of Poland’s membership in the EU. Treaties about the bilateral relations with the other neighbours Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania were signed until July 1992.
Basic objectives of Poland’s foreign policy contained in detail the consolidation of the Polish sovereignty and security, support of the economical and social development in Poland and the extension of Poland’s role in Europe and the world. In May 1992 foreign minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski outlined Poland’s concept of the future foreign and European policy. The priority was Poland’s European orientation which meant the integration into the Western organisations EU, WEU and NATO. He mentioned as well the construction of a European security architecture which was realised under the umbrella of the CSCE/OSCE. Poland’s foreign policy tried to focus on the development of good-neighbourly and friendly relations with Poland’s neighbours and the creation and deepening of regional cooperations. Another objective was the development of bilateral cooperations with the states of Western Europe, the USA and Canada. One year later in 1993 Skubiszewski added the development of an active and coherent Eastern policy to the previous mentioned policy goals. The outlined objectives remained stable and decisive for all governments in the following years until Poland’s accession into the EU in 2004 (Shynkarjov 2005: 27ff.).
The NATO invited already in 1990 all former Warsaw Pact members to establish diplomatic relations with the alliance. In 1993 NATO secretary general Manfred Woerner declared “to open a more concrete perspective” for a membership of Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC). The membership in the NATO meant for Poland the most important security guarantee. Poland’s former Defence Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz stated that only NATO guaranteed the continued political and military presence of the US in Europe. This was very important for Poland, a country which was affected by power rivalries between Russia and Germany for many years (Terry 2000: 30). The NATO and the Central European Countries institutionalised their common relations. Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary were invited to join the alliance on its 50th anniversary in April 1999.
A difficult situation emerged because of Russia’s rejection of a NATO accession of the CEEC. The former superpower wanted to preserve its dominant role in the region and refused the Eastern enlargement of the alliance. The retention of Moscow was overcome with the help of NATO members. Especially the USA took a leading role in the decision for the accession of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Germany and other Western European states resisted to refuse clearly Russia’s objections (Terry 2000: 23/4).
In 1991 Poland signed a Europe Agreement with the EU. The aim was to bring the country closer to the norms and standards of the Union. In 1994 Poland applied officially for the accession into the EU. This step marked an important symbol for Poland, described as the “Holy Trinity: the common heritage of European civilisation, democratic rules and forms of government, and market-based economies” (Rosati 1997: 9).
The Luxemburg European Council in December 1997 invited Poland and other CEEC to enter accession negotiations with the EU. The accession negotiations started in an opening ceremonial on 31 March 1998. On the Copenhagen Council in 2002 Poland and seven other CEEC plus the Mediterranean islands Malta and Cyprus concluded successfully the accession negotiations with the EU. In April 2003 the accession treaty was signed. The people of Poland voted in a referendum in June with a great majority for Poland’s EU accession. On May 1st, 2004, the Eastern enlargement of the EU took place in which Poland and nine other countries joined the EU.
With Poland’s accession into the NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004 the two main important policy objectives, to which Poland strived since its independence in 1989/1991, were fulfilled. The membership in the Western European and North Atlantic structures led to a more self-confident policy of Poland. Despite the membership in the EU Poland sees the USA and a presence of the US in Europe as an important factor for the country’s future security. This was shown by Poland’s actions as a strong ally of the US in the Iraq crisis in 2003 which caused tensions in the relations with European partners, mainly France and Germany. For Poland the support of the American policy meant a strengthening of the transatlantic ties. Poland still sees the transatlantic relations as most important for the country’s security and feels threatened from a possible withdrawal of the USA from Europe (Bratkiewicz 2004: 25ff.).
Former Foreign Minister Cimoszewicz announced in 2004, a few months before the accession into the EU, the rearrangement of Poland’s foreign policy goals: “We must precisely define our interests, the place we would like to occupy in the Union, our own identity that we would like to protect, the profile of our commitment in the region and the world at large. There is a lot of commotion in the European and global politics. Let us set for ourselves ambitious, but realistic goals and let us strive to achieve them consistently” (Cimoszewicz 2004a: 24). In 2004 he gave an outline of the future foreign policy goals of Poland in which he mentioned “the space between the present EU border and Russia that appears the greatest strategic challenge to Poland” (Cimoszewicz 2004b: 12).
An open-door policy for future accessions of countries to international organisations became one of Poland’s principles for the foreign policy. The second Eastern enlargement of the NATO in 2004 was strongly supported by Poland. With Lithuania and Slovakia two other neighbours of Poland joined the alliance. Another enlargement of the EU and NATO is one of Poland’s vital interests. Poland lobbies for a European perspective and an equal treatment and chance for the Eastern European countries.
Relations with the Eastern neighbours were “the third major sphere of interest in Polish foreign policy, next to NATO and the European Union” (Najder 2000: 223) as written by Professor Zdisław Najder in 2000. Poland tried to build up a coherent policy toward Poland’s Eastern neigbours after 1989. Parallel to the EU-accession process this Eastern policy should be consequently upgraded to a common European Eastern policy with a major Polish influence. This objective could be subsumed under the ‘Eastern Dimension’ concept of Poland which remains one of the main objectives of Poland’s European policy.
3.2. Poland’s Eastern Policy
In the history two different approaches emerged which defined an Eastern policy with Polish national interests. The aim of both policies was to regain Poland’s independence and to unite all Polish lands. The so-called “realistic option” was represented by the National Democratic Party. It comprised the strategy to keep correct or eventually friendly relations with Russia at the expense of the countries lying between them. Poland and Russia were assumed to be equal partners as two independent nations. The second school of thought was called the “Promethean” doctrine. This approach originated at the beginning of the 19th century under Marshal Józef Piłsudski, “the father of Polish independence”. It followed the argumentation that Poland’s security must be based on the independence of the neighbouring states Lithuania, Belarus and especially Ukraine, eventually with a confederation between these states. During the time of the Cold war, representatives of the “realistic” ideas were the authorities of the Polish People Republic, the writers of the Parisian journal “Kultura” developed and promoted the “Promethean” ideas (Całka 1998: 36/7).
Jerzy Giedroyc was the chief editor of the magazin “Kultura”, which was published in Paris since 1947. Giedroyc was not only a journalist, he acted as well as a politician. The “Kultura” was understood as the “centre of independent Polish ideas”. One of the most important influences the magazine had on the Polish foreign policy was the fight for a normalisation of Poland’s relations to the Eastern neighbours. For Giedroyc an approximation of Poland to Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania was not contrary, but complementary, for Poland’s EU accession (Shynkarjov 2005: 18ff.)
“Our main goal should be normalizing relationships with Russia and Germany, exerted together with defense of the independence of Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states, and with a close cooperation with them. We should realise that the stronger our position in the East is, the more we mean in the West” (Kość 2000), Giedroyc wrote in his autobiography.
He anticipated this modern Polish foreign policy before 1989, when the bipolar balance was still in power. The appearance of new, independent and sovereign states in Eastern Europe was not predetermined. In this context Giedroyc’ thinking about a changing of Poland’s policy vis-à-vis the national minorities and a neighbourhood with the people of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine was quite radical. In the year 1989 his thoughts formed the basis for the new Polish Eastern policy (Ziółkowski 2000: 307).
In the first phase of Polish Eastern policy after 1989 it was necessary to establish contacts with the new authorities of the neighbouring states and to find a new policy approach toward Russia. Former Foreign Minister Skubiszewski introduced the so-called “two-track” policy, which meant the most correct relations with the Soviet centre in Moscow and at the same time the support of independent forces in the former Soviet republics with the the acknowledgement of the autonomy of the Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine. The two-track policy was also supported from forces outside the government. This policy applied to be successful. Many Polish and foreign analysts argued that the two-track policy was one factor which led to the collapse of the USSR and helped to build-up good-neighbourly relations between Poland and the former Soviet republics after 1991 (Całka 1998: 38).
Official statements of the Polish foreign minister in 1992 showed that relations to the Eastern neighbours and the Eastern European states were seen as a priority of Polish foreign policy. The aim in the long-run was the cooperation in the political, economic and legal field, as well as judiciary matters. The Eastern policy proved to be a dynamic and developing policy field. The basis of this policy was the development of good-neighbourly and friendly relations with all neighbouring states in the East (Shynkarjov 2005: 40). The Polish Eastern policy in the middle of the 1990s followed some well defined guidelines which included:
- support for independence, international autonomy and stability;
- development of good-neighbourly and friendly relations;
- construction of a secure neighbourhood and promotion of political and military stability in the region;
- promotion of Poland as an exporter of stability in the region;
- support of the democratisation and development of a market economy and economic cooperation with the neighbouring states;
- care for Polish minorities and Polish cultural heritage in former Polish regions (Ziółkowski 2000: 309; Shynkarjov 2005: 41).
Following the traditional “Promethean” doctrine the Polish leaders saw the independence of the Eastern neighbours as a precondition for Poland’s security. The discussion about the Eastern policy of Poland based on the will to ensure international security and to gain potential economic benefits by strengthening the ties with the East. A future pillar of Poland’s foreign policy should be good relations with Russia, and a policy of national rebirth, sovereignty and independence of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine (Cichocki/Cichocki/Kowal 2002: 4)
Since the political change in 1989 Poland saw an own Eastern policy as an important part of its European policy. The relations of Poland to the neighbouring states in the East were a basic principle of the foreign policy. Other CEEC turned quickly away from the former Soviet block and deepened predominantly their relations with the NATO and EU, while Poland declared its will to integrate the Eastern states into the Western structures (Smolar 2002: 10).
Poland’s Eastern policy was an integral and essential part of the country’s foreign policy. Polish foreign ministers emphasized in front of the Sejm (Polish parliament) that there is only one Polish foreign policy. Good political contacts with Western states meant a comparative advantage for good relations with the Eastern neighbours, simultaneously Poland wanted to contribute with its engagement in the East to the integration of Europe (Shynkarjov 2005: 42).
„For the first time in several hundred years, Poland’s geographical situation is no longer a handicap, but an opportunity. Poland is no longer trapped between hostile neighbours. It has now the opportunity to build bridges between East and West” (Solana 2001: 31) stated the Polish journalist Adam Krzemiński. High Representative for the CFSP Solana quoted him in a speech and described Poland’s asset because of the new geographical situation.
One clear directive for the policy to the Eastern neighbours was the rejection of the evolution of a new division on the European continent. Poland’s former foreign minister Dariusz Rosati stated in 1997: “Erecting an iron curtain on our eastern frontiers or anywhere else runs counter to our vital interests, especially our policy of partnership and cooperation with all our neighbours” (Rosati 1997: 13).
Professor Anton Kamiński underlined the necessity for a differentiated policy approach toward the Eastern European space. As basic principles of Poland’s policy toward its Eastern neighbours he counted the “pursuit of efforts to create conditions conducive to consolidation of democracy and efficient economy in this region while at the same time minimising the risks stemming from its political, economic and cultural instability. Since the interests of Belarus and Ukraine differ from those of Russia, Poland’s policy toward these three states must likewise be differentiated”. He criticised the consistence and effectiveness of Poland’s Eastern policy: “Polish eastern policy is well-judged in the declaratory sphere but in practice suffers from a poor grasp of its strategic dimension” (Kamiński 2000: 231/2).
Professor Zdisław Najder gave a similar judgement about Poland’s efforts to establish an Eastern policy. Najder could not define one Eastern policy, because this policy would be for “four states, four frontiers, four sets of problems, four economic zones”. He emphasised the differences of the neighbouring countries and therefore as well the necessity to introduce different policy approaches to them. The Polish Eastern policy, or rather the lack of such a policy, was often criticised in the Polish media. For the time after EU accession of Poland, Najder saw two roles: a historic neighbour and a NATO and EU member (Najder 2000: 223ff.).
It was Poland’s declared aim that the Eastern neighbours would not become the losers of Poland’s EU accession. Before the Eastern enlargement took place, Poland started to analyse the possible consequences for its neighbours. An often discussed problem was the provision for Poland to introduce the Schengen visa regime. Warsaw reduced border controls with its Eastern neighbours, especially with Ukraine, in the previous years. The reinstallation of controls was seen as a negative sign for the bilateral relations (Terry 2000: 39).
In 2000 about 12 millions border crossings were counted at the Polish-Ukrainian border, 13 millions at the Polish-Belarusian border and about 4.5 millions at the Polish-Russian (Kaliningrad) border (data provided from the Polish border guards). About 95 per cent of these people who crossed the border were from the Newly Independent States (NIS). Their purposes included trade, tourism, temporary employment, smuggling, family visits, or a combination of those. Ukrainians travelled visa-free to Poland and Russians and Belarusians could apply for a visa or enter with a voucher very easily. Many Poles have families in the neighbouring Eastern states, there is an extensive network of family, cultural and economic ties, especially in the regions which belonged to Poland before 1945. Minorities are present on both sides of the borders: 250.000 Poles in Ukraine, 300.000 Ukrainians in Poland, 400.000 Poles in Belarus and 250.000 Belarusians in Poland (Guicherd 2002: 45/6).
The Polish border control counted in in 2002 5.8 millions entries from Ukraine. All of them were practically trade- and working-tourists. Trade and non-registrated commerce is an important factor for stability in the bordering region. On October 1st, 2003, Poland had to introduce visa for incoming persons from the Eastern neighbours. It was the declared aim of the Polish policy to keep the entry into Poland as easy as possible, new consular representations opened. In 2003 Poland concluded an agreement with Ukraine under which Ukrainian nationals were granted visas free of charge, while Poles were allowed entry into Ukraine without visa. Despite this open regulations the introduction of visa led to a dramatic decrease in border crossings. The Polish ministry of the interior estimated that 3.5 millions visa must be set out to keep the travelling on the same level. Up to 2004 the Polish consular representations gave only 220.000 to 230.000 visa worldwide. In the first three months after the introduction of the visa the number of incoming Ukrainians decreased by 60 per cent (Lang 2004: 47/8).
Poland tried to address such upcoming problems in a European context. The ‘Eastern Dimension’ initiative was the attempt to raise the Polish Eastern policy on the European level. The EU accession of Poland was seen as a chance to foster more complex policy goals in Eastern Europe. Former Vice-Foreign Minister Barbara Tuge-Erecińska expressed the Polish view the other way round. She emphasized the impracticality of a “third way” of a Russia or Ukraine policy of Poland after NATO and EU accession and sees the possibility to join the policy of the international institutions toward these states (Tuge-Erecińska 2000: 14).
Such a common and coherent Eastern policy of the EU is seen as one of the obvious national interests of Poland and the EU. The aim should be to encourage economic, political and social processes in the eastern neighbouring countries and to bring these states to an EU-like standard. This should include fundamental values and ideas of the EU, as well as pragmatic security and economic interests. Therefore the four spheres of this policy could be economic, social, political and security issues (Cichocki/Cichocki/Kowal 2002: 3ff.).
The ‘Eastern Dimension’ included as well the long-term goal of another Eastern enlargement of the EU. Following strategic objectives for the country’s relations with its neighbours were defined: “Poland’s view is that Russia, which will not be part of the EU, could become its second most important partner after the United States, while Poland’s immediate Eastern neighbours should be granted the prospect of eventual EU membership” (Olendzki 2002: 57). Poland’s foreign policy always followed the principle of an open-door policy. No states should be excluded from EU accession. Poland resisted to fulfil the function of a “protective barrier” or “security zone” between the EU and its “backyard” (Tuge-Erecińska 2000: 15/6).
The ‘Eastern Dimension’ could be as well Poland’s chance to gain a bigger weight in the EU. Poland’s “eastern specialty” (Kowal 2002: 34) would be needed in an ‘Eastern Dimension’. Therefore the initiative was as well an attempt to counterbalance the weak condition of the Polish state in terms of economic, political and military power. The Eastern policy of Poland after 1989 is seen as original and effective, an ‘Eastern Dimension’ is seen as a possibility to repeat this successful policy even on an even bigger scale (Jesień 2002: 15).
The introduction of the ‘Eastern Dimension’ remained an important policy objective for all Polish governments after 1989. Former Foreign Minister Włodimierz Cimoszewicz declared in 2003: “We are not acceding to the European Union in order to turn our back on our eastern partners. On the contrary, we want to treat the achievements of our relations with Eastern Europe as one of our major assets inside the European Union. We would like to use our membership to give new impetus to the development of the whole region. Therefore, we promulgate the concept of devising the Eastern Dimension. […] We do not confine our role to the “bridge” formula. What we want is to be good advocates of the region and of Europe’s enlargement eastwards” (Cimoszewicz 2004a: 17). A year later he reiterated that “our primary objective in the framework of the Union’s common foreign policy will consist in strengthening and invigorating the EU’s cooperation with its neighbours, in particular the Eastern ones, through the establishment of the Eastern Dimension of EU policy” (Cimoszewicz 2005: 13). Former Foreign Minister Adam Daniel Rotfeld emphasised in his annual address at the Sejm in 2005 the advantage for the EU and Poland about the further enlargement eastwards (Rotfeld 2005) and former Foreign Minister Stefan Meller reiterated in 2006 that “We will seek to ensure that the emerging Eastern Dimension of the Union’s Neighborhood Policy draws the countries involved closer to the Union” (Meller 2006). The approximation of Eastern Europe toward the EU and a solidary vision toward this region is as well a policy objective of the current Polish President Kaczyński, as he announced together with the Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus in an article in 2006 (Adamkus/Kaczyński 2006).
3.3. Eastern policy and regional cooperations
As former Foreign Minister Skubiszewski outlined in his foreign policy objectives in 1992, Poland was interested in the creation and deepening of regional cooperations. The development and participation in such groupings in Central Europe was regarded as a basic element of Polish foreign policy. Poland tried to promote and trace different foreign policy goals in this cooperations. The development and promotion of a European Eastern policy was set on the agenda of various regional groupings in which Poland was involved.
The so-called “Weimar Triangle” was established in August 1991 on the anniversary of Goethe in Weimar. The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland declared the importance for an enhanced cooperation in the new Europe which ermerged after 1989. The countries declared together that “Europe could not be divided through new frontiers between poor and rich. France and Germany support all efforts to introduce Poland and the new democracies toward the European Community. […] It corresponds to the aims of the European Community to open these new democracies the way to a membership” (PIA 1991: 734/5).
The main objective of this constellation was Poland’s accession into the EU. The situation and possibilities for the Eastern neighbours of Poland was discussed regularly during the meetings. But clear positions for a common policy toward these countries were not a result of the meetings. The partners paid lip services to the Eastern European space that “the Triangle has an important role […] to play in this region” (Halamski 1998: 149).
There existed thus theoretical considerations to include Ukraine in the cooperation, at least as an observer. But this attempt did not lead to a success because of the rejection of France and Germany (Wolczuk/Wolczuk 2002: 16). But Poland ignored the proposal of Kiev as well (Lang 2004: 36). Agnieszka Walter-Drop, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Polish Embassy in Berlin, acknowledged as well that there might have been the fear to make the Weimar Triangle ineffective in expanding it. The first and most important goal was of course Poland’s accession to the EU. In 2003 the Villa Decius in Krakow organised an international conference about “European Models of Integration and Regional Cooperation”. The aim was to answer if there is a place for Ukraine in existing models of cooperation like the Weimar Triangle (Glondys/Gierat-Bieroń 2003: 9). Frederic Plasson from the Villa Decius raised during this conference with the title “Weimar Triangle and Ukraine” the question, what the cooperation represents now, when Poland’s accession into the EU was not far away. In the philosophy of the Weimar Triangle in 1991 the states acknowledged to assist in integrating all Eastern neighbours with Europe. According to the original philosophy the cooperation should now focus on Poland’s Eastern neighbours. Plasson acknowledged the relatively poor cooperation on the level of states, but the active cooperation between regions, academic circles and NGOs. He stressed the importance for Ukraine to promote European integration. For the Weimar Triangle he saw a chance, expressed by the formula “Weimar plus one [… which] could be applied later to all new candidates who would have the wish and the motivation to accede to the European Union” (Glondys/Gierat-Bieroń 2003: 49/50).
 Die Nördliche Dimension bezieht sich auf die regionale Entwicklung in Nord-Europa und beinhaltet die Beziehungen mit Russland, insbesondere Nord-West-Russland. Die Euro-Mediterrane Partnerschaft (oder Barcelona Prozess) umfasst einen Rahmen für politische, ökonomische und gesellschaftliche Beziehungen zwischen den EU Staaten und den Ländern des Mittelmeerraumes.
 Eine Mitgliedschaft in der EU wird von allen Eliten als Ziel (verbal) angestrebt. Der Beitritt zur NATO ist umstritten. Die Ukraine befindet sich geografisch und ideologisch zwischen Russland und der EU.
 See Annex 3, Interview with Agnieszka Walter-Drop, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Polish Embassy Berlin.
 The ENP is addressed to: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine; source: http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/partners/index_en.htm; Stand: 30.10.2006.
 Other countries would be as well included in the ‘Eastern Dimension’. However, in this Master’s thesis I want to focus on Poland’s direct and most important Eastern neighbours Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
 At this time it was still EC, but I will only use the term EU in this thesis.
 He sees Lithuania as well as part of the Eastern policy, therefore he writes about four states.
 Poland’s Foreign Ministers since 1989: 09/1989-10/1993 Krzysztof Skubiszewski; 10/1993-03/1995 Andrzej Olechowski; 03/1995-12/1995 Władysław Bartoszewski; 12/1995-10/1997 Dariusz Roasati; 06/2000-10/2001 Władysław Bartoszewski; 10/2001-01/2005: Włodzimiert Cimoszewicz; 01/2005-10/2005: Adam Daniel Rotfeld; 10/2005-05/2006: Srefan Meller; since 05/2006: Anna Fotyga.
 “Europa darf nicht durch neue Grenzen zwischen Arm und Reich zerschnitten werden. Frankreich und Deutschland unterstützen alle Anstrengungen, Polen und die neuen Demokratien an die Europäische Gemeinschaft heranzuführen. [...] Es entspricht den Zielen der Europäischen Gemeinschaft, diesen neuen Demokratien den Weg zur Mitgliedschaft zu eröffnen.“ (PIA 1991: 734/5)
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- Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
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- Poland Eastern Dimension European Union