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Category: Issue 3-4 2019

We must not forget the values we fought for in 1989

Interview with Markus Meckel, a German theologian and politician. Interviewer: Kristin Aldag

November 9, 2019 - Kristin Aldag Markus Meckel

Issue 3-4/2019: Eastern Partnership turns 10

This issue is dedicated to the 10 year anniversary of the European Union's Eastern Partnership as well as the 30 years since the 1989 revolutions in Central Europe.

May 2, 2019 - New Eastern Europe

Persisting towards a Europe without dividing lines

Has the Eastern Partnership been a success story for the European Union? The question, a decade after its official launch, is certainly worth asking.

Let us start where we were more than a decade ago and which led the two of us in our then capacities as foreign ministers of our respective countries to make the first proposal for an Eastern Partnership in May 2008. At that time, the European Union had developed various neighbourhood policies in different directions. There was the overall European Neighbourhood Policy since 2004 – which led France to drive plans for an ambitious Union of the Mediterranean – and there was an ambitious approach for co-operation with Russia taking place.

May 2, 2019 - Carl Bildt Radosław Sikorski

Resetting the Eastern Partnership

Ten years after the launch of the Eastern Partnership we need to ask which parts require a major upgrade and which new tools should be used for this policy to become more effective. First and foremost, we need a deep and honest analysis of the programme’s goals and methods.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a policy of the European Union aimed at the six post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It was launched in 2009 upon the initiative of both Poland and Sweden, and supported by other EU members. Yet, the EaP has undeservedly – in my view – become a legend. Today, after a decade of its establishment, it is worth going back to the very start of this project and examine the assumptions that went with the initial stages of the EaP’s development.

May 2, 2019 - Mariusz Maszkiewicz

The Eastern Partnership. Much accomplished, more to be done

After ten years of Eastern Partnership, the balance of success seems largely positive and heartening. The benefits of the initiative have been tangible and sizable. Yet there is still a long way to go to achieve stronger governance, especially concerning the strengthening of the rule of law, implementing key judicial reforms and reinforcing public administration.

“Launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.” This is the official definition of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), a political and technical platform for dialogue that has been shaping the relationship between the EU and its Eastern bordering countries, including the Southern Caucasus. In fact, it is even more than that.

May 2, 2019 - Gabriele Bonafede

Multiplying civil society’s voice in the Eastern Partnership, a challenging task

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was established to facilitate civil society’s engagement in Eastern Partnership policy and promote dialogue among civil society organisations and the authorities. One might think that one decade is enough time to develop co-operation where officials learn to value civil society’s expertise and willingness to help. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.

When asked to look into the past ten years of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP SCF) I did not envision how difficult it would be. I found myself divided between my professional passion for the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region and the frustration that accumulated over the years of working on it. I have enormous admiration for civil society in the region whose actors, despite personal risk, tirelessly defend human rights, seek to instil democracy and the rule of law and create a safe and engaging environment. But I also cannot ignore the limitations.

May 2, 2019 - Dovilė Šukytė

The Eastern Partnership at 10 What is there to celebrate?

In essence, the Eastern Partnership has diverted from its original path. Instead of transformation, it speaks of stabilisation and differentiation. One can argue that some of the states have made progress in the last ten years; but not because of the Eastern Partnership.
There should be no doubt about the good intentions and the vaulting, inspiring ambition of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership programme (EaP). At its heart, the Swedes and the Poles found a simple premise in their extension of the European Neighbourhood Policy: to encourage, through incentives, a trajectory towards European values for the states involved (this was in the days when European values were not quite as tarnished as they are now).

May 2, 2019 - James Nixey

Eastern Partnership. Partial progress

In May 2009, the European Union launched its Eastern Partnership. It was a product of Swedish-Polish partnership, spearheaded by the two foreign ministers Carl Bildt and Radosław Sikorski. After one decade, the verdict is mixed. The EU offered a framework for co-operation, free trade agreements, visa-free travel and reform programmes, but the financial support has been quite limited, giving the reform programmes too little clout and no clear perspective of EU membership has been offered.

May 2, 2019 - Anders Åslund

Eastern Europe intrigue

The Eastern Partnership started as a rather innocuous Swedish-Polish initiative. Launched in 2009, it was seen mostly as just another scheme for Brussels to channel funds and coordinate the European Union’s activities in Europe’s east. Ten years on, everything has changed about Europe’s East and the EU itself. Now everything is political. If previously the EU could claim that the EaP was just a technical process, it is difficult to sell this argument now.

May 2, 2019 - Joanna Hosa

Eastern Partnership at 10 Rhetoric, resources and Russia

The Eastern Partnership was designed to tie the eastern neighbours to the European Union, keep Russia out and EU membership off the table. These objectives have largely been achieved – but the region has become neither more stable nor secure.

May 2, 2019 - Balazs Jarabik

The Eastern Partnership project in Ukraine and Belarus

For the past decade, both Ukraine and Belarus have been members of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership Project (EaP). Has it been a useful tool for the EU in drawing these countries closer? Have its initial and long-term aims been fulfilled? Is it a project that is worth continuing?

May 2, 2019 - David Marples

Lessons learnt from the Eastern Partnership

Ten years after the launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) two basic dilemmas inherent in the policy design remain unchanged: first, the six countries within the EaP framework (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) differ significantly in their domestic political trajectories and, by extension, in their ideas about their relationship with the European Union.

May 2, 2019 - Gwendolyn Sasse

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