The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) aims to develop ‘privileged relations’ with the eastern and southern ‘neighbours’ of the enlarged EU. What exactly these privileged relations entail is still not clear, and the tailored Action Plans do little to clarify this point. Twelve years after launching the ENP, it is time to take stock of the relations between the EU and its target countries. ‘One size fits all’ is old news. Focusing on the eastern dimension of the ENP, this contribution examines Germany’s internal perception of individual EU relations with the ‘near’ neighbours of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). The central questions are as follows: How are the relations between the EU and the eastern EaP countries, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, framed by leading German press outlets and what (changing) images are communicated when it focuses on individual EU relations with the neighbours to the East? Finally, what do these frames and images mean for the EU’s outlook towards the eastern neighbours?
European Foreign Affairs Review