This article sheds light on the European Union’s (EU) efforts to facilitate the fight against corruption and promote good governance through the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Our analysis shows that the level of corruption in the Eastern Neighbourhood is strongly connected to the success of democratic and economic reforms. The ENP theoretically corresponds to the complex nature of the phenomenon by placing equal emphasis on strengthening state institutions, restructuring the economy, and pushing for democratic reforms. As the EU, however, by and large seeks cooperation with state actors and pursues a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach mostly based on ‘soft’ mechanisms such as socialisation and capacity-building, the implementation of politically sensitive reforms seems to be unlikely. Moreover, the EU potentially allows its partner governments to ‘pick and chose’ from the overall reform agenda and evade real political and economic change towards better governance.