Professor Tobias SCHUMACHER, Chairholder of the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair, has just published an article entitled "Going back and forth: European Union resilience-building in Moldova between 2014 and 2020" in the Journal of Contemporary European Studies.
The article, co-authored with Mihai-razvan CORMAN, Alumnus of the Simone Veil Promotion and currently affiliated with the European Law Institute at Ghent University, maps out how domestic scope conditions in Moldova have influenced and shaped the emergence of resilience in EU-Moldova relations and the implementation of EU resilience-building during the period 2014–2020. Drawing on scholarly works addressing the ‘resilience turn’ in the study of European foreign policy, this article argues that EU external action towards Moldova post-2014 is marked by (i) a narrow and minimalist conception of resilience-building in so far as it revolved almost exclusively around EU demands for anti-corruption measures and the depoliticisation of the Moldovan judiciary, (ii) the responsibilisation of local elites to pursue corresponding reforms, and (iii) the absence of a clear-cut resilience-building strategy for Moldova. It is suggested that the EU pursued a wavering course, made itself dependent on ruling elites, committed several U-turns and neglected the empowerment of local, nongovernmental actors in making Moldova more resilient and free of corruption and oligarchic interests. The article demonstrates that EU resilience building attempts in Moldova between 2014 and 2020 were a function of domestic scope conditions and the extent to which governing elites’ reform rhetoric was perceived as credible by EU stakeholders.