Towards a more effective EU diplomacy: a comparative analysis of the EU soft power in Ukraine and Belarus

Research Paper by Christian Contro



A critical view on the soft power of the EU and the new challenges posed by the Belarusian crisis at its borders: an opportunity or the EU’s foreign policy swan song?

The COVID-19 outbreak may represent a catalyst for the European Union and its soft power approach in neighboring countries. Particularly, as Belarus struggles in its post-election period, the EU aims to push the Belarusian government to repeat the elections under OSCE/ODIHR’s supervision. Given the lack of military means to support any hard solution, having NATO unavailable due to the COVID-19 outbreak (as it was possible to witness after the suspension of the main NATO training exercise – Defender Europe, in May), the EU policy makers will have to face this strategic challenge by further developing soft power capacities. The paper’s objective is to compare the policy of the EU towards Ukraine before and during the revolution of 2014, seeing the situational analogies between Ukraine and Belarus in the geopolitical chessboard, and provide viable policy recommendations to tackle the ongoing situation. The paper will analyze the main EU soft power offensive means to challenge Russia in the region while the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes the current geopolitical landscape, long term objectives and strategic interests of the main players in the international arena.


About the author

Christian Contro graduated at University of Glasgow with a thesis on EU intelligence culture. Soon after a 6-months training on intelligence analysis in Regensburg, Germany, he started working for Intelligence Fusion, as analyst on security issues in Indonesia and later intern at Finabel - European Army Interoperability Center, in Brussels. Following a Traineeship in the EU Delegation in Venezuela, Christian currently works for the European Commission, Unit for Latin America and Caribbean of DG DEVCO, Brussels.

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