Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Robert Blobaum.

Committee Co-Chair

Joshua Arthurs

Committee Member

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf


The present thesis will analyze Poland's current and potential role as an effective regional actor in mediating the European Union's (EU) relations with its easternmost neighbors. In order to most accurately assess this, this thesis will examine Poland's relationship with Belarus, specifically democratization efforts and forging a strong, resolute association with the European Union. Being a successful post-communist transition state and recent EU Member State, Poland has for some time seen itself to be the most-qualified country to bridge Eastern and Western Europe. Belarus in particular is a country of concern for the Polish government because it is a bordering country with a long historical relationship to Poland and contains an ethnic Polish minority. This thesis will discuss and evaluate the previous and current initiatives the European Union and Poland are taking in Belarus, their level of success, and will postulate who would be poised to be the most efficacious (external) player in the country's progress towards democratic consolidation and good governance. By using the example of Belarus this thesis will also expand the current literature on the ability of Member States (particularly newer ones) to influence policymaking in Brussels.