British Policy toward the eastern enlargement of the European Union: historical aspects

Andriy Hrubinko

Ph.D. (History), Associate Professor, Postdoctoral Student, NASU Institute of History of Ukraine

UDС 94(420):327.061



The article describes historical features of shaping and implementation of British policy toward the Eastern enlargement of the European Union, its impact on the implementation of the Сommon Foreign and Security Policy in the Central and Eastern Europe region. The author denotes that the history of participation of the UK in implementing Eastern enlargement of the EU not been sufficiently investigated. According to the author’s vision, the policy of the enlargement of the EU is seen as an integral part of united foreign and security policy and as a factor of its implementation in countries of the nearest periphery. The 31 enlargement process is a part of the EU enlargement policy as a geopolitical phenomenon.

The United Kingdom became one of the biggest supporters of further enlargement as a permanent phenomenon in its history among countries of the Community, forming their own specific conceptual approaches and strategy. The factors of shaping active and positive positions of the British governments in connection with the enlargement of the EU toward the East have been analyzed. The author came to the conclusion that the Eastern enlargement had questionable effect for the development of the effective CFSP. The UK as one of the leading powers in the EU came to a forefront in this process. The enlargement of the EU has become an integral part of the country’s leadership strategy in the political integration. However, the confrontational European policy of the David Cameron’s government in 2010–2016 has resulted in a loss of the previous governments’ achievements in developing the cooperation and support for the countries of Eastern and Central Europe and escalated the decrease of the country’s original positions in the region.


Great Britain, Eastern enlargement, the EU, Central and Eastern Europe, Сommon Foreign and Security Policy.

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