About us

The enlargement of the European Union to the countries of central and eastern Europe has underlined a series of questions about the European neighbourhood, that is those European countries, which are not members of the Union. Some of these are old questions about the borders of the Union; many are new, such the impact of the 2004 and 2007 enlargements on the Union’s European neighbours. The break-up of the Soviet Union and the successful transformation of the new Member States into stable democracies with market economies has also changed the political and economic environment in eastern Europe and led some of the new states to seek much closer relations with the EU.

The answers to all these questions are vital for the definition of policy both within the Union and in the neighbouring European states.

The Wider Europe Programme is a network of scholars with an interest in the EU’s relations with its eastern neigbours. Our research interests currently are:

  • The future development of European Union policies towards its neighbours;
  • Local Politics in the Polish-Ukrainian frontier region and the impact of European Union integration;
  • Electoral politics in Ukraine;
  • The impact of European integration on the administrative systems in neighbouring states
  • Economic, legal and political transition in Eastern Europe;
  • Economic integration with the EU and its impact on trade and economic development in Eastern Europe
  • The impact of the EU’s new Member States (2004 and 2007 enlargements) policies on relations between the EU and Eastern Europe enlargement)

The Programme was established in 2004 and is co-convened by Professor Alan Mayhew, University of Sussex, Professor Christophe Hillion, University of Leiden and Dr Nathaniel Copsey, Aston University.

The research programme is accompanied by a series of conferences and seminars, which bring together the members of our network to discuss issues relating to Neighbourhood Policy. Our project research findings that have been cleared for publication by the organisations that commissioned them are available on this site as working papers. The Wider Europe network will be renewing itself and its website over the coming months in the run-up to our next conference, so please keep an eye on this website for further details. We are always looking to extend our network of contacts and collaborators; if you would be interested in working with us, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the details provided on the 'About Us' page.

For our policy publications, please follow the link on the left. If you require any further information, please contact Dr Nathaniel Copsey n.copsey@aston.ac.uk