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EU road transport quotas are limiting trade expansion with Ukraine

Vitaliy Kravchuk

Over the last years, Ukraine has intensified its trade links with the EU driven by both the positive stimulus provided by the Association Agreement and a negative stimulus, namely the need to replace lost trade links with Russia. Between 2013 and 2018,…

EU-Georgia DCFTA: Results after 5 years and perspectives

Lali Gogoberidze

 The Agreement between the EU and Georgia for the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) started to be applied (provisionally) five year ago in September 2014. This has represented a real opportunity for Georgia for to…

Unblocking reforms in Moldova: constraints and hazards

Denis Cenusa

The urgency of promised reforms pressurizes the new Moldovan government to deliver or to face criticism from all sides. Three months have passed since the Socialists and ACUM bloc took the power on June 15 (Government…

Georgia has a new prime minister again: What does this mean?

Ghia Nodia

After just a year and two months serving as Georgia’s prime minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze resigned. He explained his decision by saying that he had accomplished everything he planned to do, whatever that was. He was replaced by Giorgi Gakharia, the former…

The strategic potential of Ukraine’s Zelenskyy

Michael Emerson, Artem Remizov

Ukraine has wasted many years in episodes of deeply flawed government under its post-Soviet regimes, where the default condition was one of corrupt oligarchy. The results have been disastrous. In 1990, Ukraine’s income level was on a par with that…

Russia’s pragmatic game in a friendlier Moldova

Denis Cenusa

The democratic space in Moldova is slowly recovering. However, it is uncertain if the ruling coalition, run by the Socialists and the ACUM bloc, is capable to preserve geopolitical neutrality and instill resilience in the institutions against the oligarchic…

New Russian bans on imports from Ukraine

Veronika Movchan, Michael Emerson

Ukraine’s dependence on the market for exports to Russia has been declining drastically since 2011 (Figure 1). Until then Ukraine’s exports to Russia, the EU and the rest of the world had been following similar paths. Since then exports to Russia got…

Unlocking European Assistance for Moldova: with or without conditionality?

Denis Cenusa

Political changes in Moldova send extremely positive echoes abroad. The change of the law on prosecutors' office, the corrections to the electoral code to return to the proportional system, and the impetus to the investigation of "the theft of the…

Z-winner takes it all: What will the future Parliament of Ukraine look like?

Artem Remizov

While the vote-counting in Ukraine continues, it is already clear that the president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has secured the power over legislative and, consequently, executive branches of the government. His political force, the Servant of the People…

Zelenskyy’s lustration mistake

Michael Emerson, Artem Remizov

The term lustration (люстрація in Ukrainian) has its origin in Roman purification rituals. It came into use in contemporary politics in 1989-91 with the end of Communism in Europe, with several central and east European states banning former Communist…

Geographical indications in Ukraine: prospects for exports and local development

Yevhen Anhel

Soon Ukraine might finally expand the list of products protected by the geographical indications (GIs). The AA/DCFTA includes more than three thousand GIs from the EU, [1] with only two Ukrainian GIs, wines Soniachna Dolyna and…

Abkhazia and the danger of "ossetianization"

Thomas de Waal

When Georgian-Russian relations suffer a downturn — as they have over the crisis of the last two weeks - the people who live in Abkhazia and South Ossetia suffer the consequences. The Georgians of Abkhazia’s Gali region, who live a precarious life…

"Anti-oligarch spring" or temporary illusion in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine?

Denis Cenusa

The eastern neighborhood of the EU is now undergoing major democratic transformations, the irreversibility of which will require verification over time. In Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, anti-oligarchic rhetoric is the dominant element of political…

Georgia: An Unexpected Expected Crisis

Ghia Nodia

In the evening of June 19th, I with two other experts took part in a talk-show on a Georgian TV channel. We all agreed that for the moment, the Georgian Dream (GD) party led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, a secretive plutocrat, looked all but impregnable…

Surrender of the oligarchic regime, re-launching of European integration in Moldova and Russia’s agenda

Denis Cenusa

Even if the oligarchic regime in Moldova successfully monopolized political power during almost four years, it managed to oppose the remodeling of the political landscape by the coalition between ACUM and the Party of Socialists (PSRM) for only a week…

Moldova’s political crisis: Overcoming the geopolitical puzzle and the "captured state"

Denis Cenusa

After almost three months from the validation of the results of the parliamentary elections (9…

Three dimensions of risk to visa liberalization in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine

Denis Cenusa

The visa-free regime extended to Moldova in 2014 and to Ukraine and Georgia in 2017 has marked an important milestone in their relationships with the European Union. As a result, traveling to Europe has been eased and turned into an indispensable normality…

Perception vs. Reality? The EU and AA countries shared gender gaps

Loes Debuysere

Gender gaps in the participation of Moldovan, Georgian and Ukrainian citizens in the political, social and economic realm are in most cases not substantially different than those in EU countries. Due at least in part to a Soviet legacy that prioritized…

Prospective FTA between Georgia and India: Another result of DCFTA?

Tamara Kovziridze

Even though the EU-Georgia DCFTA has not yet had any substantial impact on trade and Georgia’s exports to the EU, it undoubtedly changed in a positive way Georgia’s prospective attractiveness as a trade and investment hub. After the entry into force…

Can a Free Trade Agreement with China be suitable for Moldova?

Vadim Gumene

At the beginning of 2018, the Government of the Republic of Moldova started negotiations on a free trade agreement with China. According to the Moldovan authorities, this initiative will facilitate trade between the two countries, and also attract…

The Eastern Partnership at 10: The road to hell is paved with good intentions

Steven Blockmans

The EU’s Eastern Partnership programme is often underestimated for what it has accomplished but overestimated for what it can achieve. Ten years since its formal launch on 7 May 2009, the EaP has brought sizeable benefits in terms of political association,…

The Russian factor in Moldova’s energy insecurity

Denis Cenusa

A Moldova still struggles to overcome the various handicaps in its energy sector. The de-politicization of the regulatory agency, diversification of supply, and Russia’s monopolistic position, combine to maintain serious distortions in the energy sector…

Ukraine after the presidential elections

Artem Remizov

The election results. According to the results of the national exit poll that came…

Ukraine-Israel FTA: new trade opportunities

Veronika Movchan

In January 2019, Ukraine and Israel signed a free trade agreement (FTA), concluding more than five years of negotiations. Unlike the DCFTA with the EU covering a broad range of issues in trade in goods, services, capital flows and legal harmonisation,…

Ukraine before the second round of the presidential elections

Artem Remizov

The voting day passed rather calmly, and observers have not reported major electoral fraud, stating that basic standards of free elections were safeguarded. Hopefully the same will apply to the second round on April 21. The final result of…

Georgia-China FTA: Results of the First Year

Tamara Kovziridze

Please refer to the full version via the download link below since the op-ed contains graphs and tables. The free trade agreement between Georgia and China has been in force since January 2018. Although one year is a short period to make any…

Transnistria: DCFTA’s Implications for Foreign Trade

Vadim Gumene

The Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and European Union has major political, social and especially economic implications (mainly its component of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). The economic side of it resulted…

Presidential Elections in Ukraine: preserving the pro-EU course?

Artem Remizov

In less than two weeks, on March 31, the Ukrainians will head to the polling stations to cast their vote for the country's next President. However, the winner would be announced only at the beginning of May since it is highly unlikely that any of the…

Moldova: The struggles to build a post-electoral coalition

Denis Cenusa

The Constitutional Court validated the mandates of the 101 new MPs (9…

Major trends of Ukraine’s exports in 2018 and outlook for 2019

Veronika Movchan

The year 2018 was a distinct year for Ukraine’s goods exports featuring several “never-before” statistical facts. On the one hand, the value and share of exports to the European Union reached their historic maximum, backed by the stimuluses…

The State of the Donbass

Nikolaus von Twickel

The Donbass region of eastern Ukraine is among Europe’s most deadly modern battlefields on which more than 13,000 people have been killed since 2014. But it is also a propaganda war, where many shots are being fired not to kill somebody but send a…

Moldovan Elections: still between State Capture vs. Russian Influence

Denis Cenusa

Less than 1.5 million citizens voted to renew the legislative body of Moldova. This is only 49% of total number of voters or about 200.000 fewer votes compared to 2014. Neither the populist policies introduced by the government in 2018, nor the consultative…

Towards a Wider Europe

Michael Emerson

Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine would like to find ways to reinforce their European integration ambitions, currently based on their Association Agreements and DCFTAs with the EU. Given the impasse over demands by these three states for 'membership perspectives',…

Ten forecasts for 2019: Reconfiguration of European agenda in Moldova and the rule of law crisis in EU

Denis Cenusa

The year 2019 will be crucial for Moldova’s democracy and its European course and for the sustainability of the European project in general...

Year of disruptions in Moldova’s European integration: Top 3 accomplishments and failures in 2018

Denis Cenusa

The government’s actions in 2018 offered again useful lessons to the EU, which the latter is to learn to prevent new episodes of distancing by Moldova from the European integration objective...

What have we learned from Georgia’s presidential election?

Ghia Nodia

Georgian expert Ghia Nodia sums up the election's results. The recent presidential elections in Georgia were the most competitive and dramatic since 2012, when Georgian Dream (GD) ousted the United National Movement (UNM) from…