EU-STRAT partners presented ongoing research at the European Union Studies Association Conference in Miami on May 4, 2017. The panel entitled “The European Union’s Approach to its Eastern Neighbors: Introducing an Inside-out Perspective for Analysis”, featured researchers from Freie Universität Berlin and the University of St. Gallen. A paper co-authored by Esther Ademmer, Tanja A. Börzel, and Julia Langbein presented a conceptual framework and a preliminary empirical application on how to grasp varieties of social orders in Eastern Partnership countries. The second paper by Katharina Hoffmann and Dirk Lehmkuhl elaborated on a heuristic for assessing the strategies of external actors and their influence social orders, focusing especially on the case of Turkey. The paper presentations were followed by a vivid and insightful debate with the audience and Wade Jacoby – the discussant to the panel – that provided constructive and inspiring ideas on how to further shape EU-STRAT’s research.