On May 20-21, 2015, European leaders will gather for the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga, Latvia, to discuss the future of Europe’s East. Given the extreme challenges faced by the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) since the last summit, in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2013, and the cooling of EU relations with several of the Eastern Partners, the upcoming meeting will surely pose tough questions for the future of the entire eastern framework.

At the same time, the Riga summit also presents an historic opportunity to put back on track a process that held significant promise at its inception but which has been slow to respond to crises and a low priority on the agenda for EU member states. In A Transatlantic Approach to Europe’s East: Relaunching the Eastern Partnership, Burwell examines the need for a closer and more integrated relationship between the European Union and the key countries of the EaP. Burwell argues that the Riga summit offers a key chance for Europe to both confront the challenges to its East, and to launch a new Transatlantic Partnership for Wider Europe in close cooperation with the United States. Failure to relaunch the EaP framework, by identifying the factors that make these countries vulnerable and designing strategies to overcome these specific weaknesses, will have dire consequences for the prosperity and security of the entire region.

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