The article seeks to assess policy options of the Eastern Partnership Policy in stimulating long-term change in the partner countries. It argues that the policy has limited power to directly promote consolidation of democratic and market economy institutions or implementation of sectoral reforms. This is due to the embeddedness and mutual reinforcement of existing institutions in the partner countries. Instead, the Eastern Partnership Policy can create new dynamics of change by altering the outcomes of day-to-day interactions of a large number of individuals and organisations. In this regard, removal of barriers to travel, trade and participation in the EU programmes is an overdue (albeit too small) step in the right direction.
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