chapter  4
38 Pages

EU Aid to the New Independent States: Shaping the Post-Soviet Space?

Following the implosion of the USSR a series of New Independent States (NIS) faced enormous challenges relating to security, politics and economics. Developments in the new Post-Soviet space would affect Europe’s welfare and security in a variety of ways. The condition of Russia and the new European states was a particular concern, although the trans-Caucasian region and Central Asia also rose in importance. While this was an area too vast to be fully integrated into the EU, these considerations ensured European involvement in the effort to promote a political and economic transition. This was unchartered territory as a simultaneous transition from a totalitarian polity and a centrally planned economy to liberal capitalist democracy had never been attempted before (Balcerowitz 1995, 150; Kaminski 1996, 3-4). In a sense it seemed like the international community was presented with a tabula rasa to develop liberal institutions from scratch. In reality this was not the case and the transitions took different trajectories from those originally envisaged.