Highlights from the EaP Index presentation event in Berlin

On March 26, 2015, presentation of the Index 2014 results took place in Berlin. It was a part of the meeting of the Russia/Eastern Partnership Discussion Group chaired by Manuel Sarrazin, MP, Spokesman for European Policy, Green Party, German Bundestag and hosted by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). The title of the event was 'Reality Check before the Riga Summit: The Future of the EU’s Eastern Partnership'. 

During the event Iryna Solonenko, a representative of the EaP Index core team presented the key results of EaP Index 2014, while Boris Navasardian, President of the Yerevan Press Club, Tamara Pataraia, Project Coordinator of the Caucasus Institute for Peace Democracy and Development, Georgia, and Dmytro Shulga, Director of the European Program of the International Renaissance Foundation, Ukraine spoke about the reform process in their respective countries and the role of the EU in this process. 

 

Drawing on observations and insights from the EaP countries, the discussion attempted to come up with recommendations for the EU in the context of its attempt to revise its EaP policy before the Riga Summit in May 2015. The participants of the meeting mostly agreed that the EU should keep the same level of ambition for all six countries, even if only three countries for the time being agreed to implement the Association Agreements. Keeping the same level of ambition means that the EU offers a sense of direction, which is based on European values and standards, for the societies of the EaP countries. Even if the elites in these countries are not ready to adopt the relevant norms, the societies in these countries do not have to be deprived of such a prospect. Another issue, which was in the focus of the discussion concerned the policy of differentiation among the EaP countries. How and based on which criteria should the EU differentiate? How this differentiation should be reflected in the policy instruments towards these countries. These are open questions that need to be followed up. Apparently, differentiation should be based on the in-depth understanding of different processes and actors in each of the six countries, which requires strengthened expertise on the part of the EU.

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