Understanding the EU’s Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade
Areas with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia

This three-year project, which started in April 2015, aims at clarifying the legal, political and economic implications of the three Association Agreements and DCFTAs negotiated between EU and Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The agreements are long and technical legal texts, which cannot be ‘read like a book’. While some simplified information documents are being produced by the EU, the project has two major objectives:

  1. to produce a comprehensive yet compact Handbook for each of the three country cases. The Handbooks, to be published after a first year of work in English and the languages of the three states, will explain in readily understandable and concrete terms what the legal commitments undertaken amount to, and describe also the challenges of implementation for the public and private sectors.
  2. to analyse selected ‘hot topics’, both in the first year in parallel with the Handbooks, and on a larger scale in years 2 and 3. The ‘hot topics’ will be issues related to the agreements that are of priority concern to the three states. The outputs may range in scale from short commentaries on topical questions through to in-depth studies on sectors where the agreements are particularly complex or most challenging for their implementation.

The agreements should help shape the political and economic reform agendas of the three states, alongside important contributions being made by the international financial institutions (especially the IMF, World Bank and EBRD) in their respective spheres of competence, and most fundamentally the evolving domestic political agendas of the three states. 

The project is led by:

  • Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels/team leaders: Michael Emerson and Steven Blockmans

in partnership with:

  • Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER) in Kyiv/team leaders: Igor Burakovsky and Veronika Movchan
  • Expert-Grup in Chisinau/team leader: Denis Cenusa
  • Reformatics in Tbilisi/team leader: Tamara Kovziridze

The project is conducted in close cooperation with the three governments, the EU institutions and Sida. Although the project has its three-country pillars, the contents of the agreements are very similar and often identical, which means that the work programme will be an integrated whole, with the intention of sharing the learning experiences of the three states.