University of London Institute in Paris

9-11 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris

Seminar series
Challenging Europe

This Seminar is part of our Challenging Europe Seminar Series, a University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) joint seminar series, that focuses on European politics and aims to understand the current challenges facing Europe.

This panel debate will be led by Antoaneta Dimitrova, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs Leiden University, and will cover the very pertinent topic of “Supporting reform in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood: avoiding the wrong lessons from enlargement”.


18:00: Registration

18:30: Lecture by Dr Antoaneta Dimitrova

19:15: Panel Debate

20:00: End of Debate / Drinks reception until 21:00


The European Union’s neighbourhood policy and Eastern partnership focusing on the EU’s Eastern neighbours inherited the tools and approaches used in the EU’s Eastern enlargement. In 2015 the EU, in the face of the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn, was forced to admit the ENP has been ineffective.

The review of the ENP is an occasion to examine the mechanisms that supported the transformation of post communist states in the Eastern enlargement and ask ourselves whether they still work. Were domestic or external factors crucial in driving the large scale changes  and improvements in governance that took place when post communist states from Central and Eastern Europe prepared for accession? Are the EU’s current neighbours and their leaders able and willing to mobilize political and societal support as Central  and Eastern Europeans did in the late 1990s and early 2000s?

As the former Ukrainian president Yanukovich rejected the long negotiated association agreement with the EU in Vilnius in 2013, it started to become clear that rent seeking elites do not respond in the same way to the EU’s incentives.

Some years later, the EU has drawn some lessons from the indirect competition with Russia in the region, but still tends to overestimate its attractiveness to neighbours and candidates. It is still unclear whether the emphasis on even stronger conditionality and adoption of EU rules can ensure elites’  support for reforms in a country such as Ukraine. And if not, is there another way to support neighbours on the road to democracy and economic growth?

Guest Speaker


Dr Antoneata DimitrovaisDr. Antoaneta Dimitrova

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs 

Leiden University


Dr. Antonaneta Dimitrova's work has focused on the democratic and market transformations of the post communist states of Central and Eastern Europe and especially the role of the European Union in this process.

She is currently working on research investigating the evolution of the European Union’s relations with its neighbours and the interaction between EU institutions and domestic actors in third countries. As part of current research, Antoaneta Dimitrova will be engaged in research under the EU’s Horizon2020 project EU-STRAT: ‘The EU and Eastern Partnership Countries: An Inside-Out Analysis and Strategic Assessment’. EU-STRAT will address two main questions: First, why has the EU fallen short of creating peace, prosperity and stability in its Eastern neighbourhood? And secondly, what can be done to strengthen the EU’s transformative power in supporting political and economic change in the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries?

Previously, Antoaneta Dimitrova has been engaged in research collaboration under the FP7 funded project ‘Maximizing the integration Capacity of the European Union: Lessons and Prospects for Enlargement and Beyond’ (MAXCAP). MAXCAP investigated the political and economic effects of the 2004-2007 EU enlargement, the strategies the EU developed to cope with the political, social and economic challenges accompanying it, and the lessons for current and future enlargements and the neighbourhood policy. Antoaneta’s work has appeared in leading journals such as European Union Politics, the Journal of Common Market Studies, West European Politics, Journal of European Public Policy, Democratization and others.

Panellists include

Boris NajmanBoris Najman

Associate Professor and Researcher in Economics

Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC) Department of Economics


Boris Najman Is an Associate Professor and Researcher in Economics at the Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC) Department of Economics since 2002. He heads a Master in international economic studies.

His work has focused on the field of labour and development economics. Working both with quantitative and qualitative data, Boris Najman has analysed recent labour market development (including migrations), informal economy and poverty in EU, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He has also studied the politics and economics of oil in Central Asia, and co-edited an edited volume on the topic (Routledge). He is currently working on the environment and energy efficiency using enterprise surveys.

Borris Najman has a 20 years-long policy advice expertise in policy advice in development and transition economies. Between 1994 and 2015, he worked on projects funded by the EU and other international agencies (UNDP, USAID, EUROPEAID).

His policy advice record includes: Governance and macro-economic analysis within Economic Trends projects in the Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro; but also Economic Analysis of public institutions such as pension fund, health care fund, employment agency in several countries.

He advises government policies and interacts at the highest levels in five languages and has been a spokesperson numerous times in the media and at conferences.


Adam FaganProfessor Adam Fagan

Professor of European Politics and Head of School​​​​​​​

Queen Mary University of London


Adam is a co-investigator in the EU-funded MAXCAP (Maximizing the Integration Capacity of the European Union) research project. His research focuses on the Europeanization of the Western Balkans, with particular reference to judicial reform, minority rights and environmental governance in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. 

Adam is also the editor of East European Politics.

Adam’s work has been funded by the AHRC, the British Academy, and the Leverhulme Foundation.

He is Head of School, holds a chair in European Politics at QMUL, and is also Professorial Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSEE – LSE South East Europe Research).