Why the EU should now consolidate its front with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

Michael Emerson

Op-ed No. 24/2020

With half of the six Eastern Partnership states now in flames, either metaphorically in the case of Belarus or literally with war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the EU’s diplomacy seems to be predominantly preoccupied with what realistically it cannot do to resolve these conflicts. 

On the other hand it could and should signal now its will and preparedness to strengthen the ‘other half’ of the Eastern Partnership, namely its Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. While all these three countries have their pressing problems to manage, the main point has to be this. These three countries now inhabit a different Europe, one that is committed to modern European norms and values, and  in which they are structurally and deeply engaged with the EU in comprehensive programmes based on legally binding treaty commitments embracing all three classic strategic dimensions - economics, politics and security .   

First, their deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTAs) with the EU work towards economic modernization to help them integrate with the modern world economy as well as that of the EU. Sector by sector they are rapidly (a decade is fast work for thorough economic transformation) adopting modern and competitive economic regulatory policies, based on those tested in the EU, with no need to try and reinvent the wheel.  

Secondly, they are all engaged in the struggle to secure sound democratic governance. One may use the military language here of a ‘battle’ to improve democratic processes, to reduce and eventually eliminate corruption, and assure a correct rule of law. But let us indeed use this military language to make the fundamental point that these countries are ‘fighting’ not bloody, destructive wars nor to overthrow a wretched dictatorship, but to converge on sound democratic governance.  In fact all three states face elections in the month ahead - local in Ukraine, presidential in Moldova and parliamentary in Georgia, with risks that progressive parties will lose ground. 

Third, in today’s troubled European neighbourhood it is more significant than ever that the three associated states are perfectly at peace with each other and the EU, albeit in unresolved conflicts with Russia. They are seeking to enter the priceless inner European paradigm of Kant’s eternal peace (or, in todays’ jargon, zero mutual threat perceptions), and should be supported for this.  

For Ukraine, whose population exceeds all other five put together, there is a ‘live’, not virtual summit meeting in Brussels with the EU on Tuesday 6 October, with presidential participation by Volodymyr Zelensky, Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen.

Now therefore would be the good timing for the EU to announce its willingness to engage in an upgrading of the Association Agreements after half a decade of experience. By ‘upgrading’ one should understand something much more significant politically and in its economic substance than the mere technical ‘updating’ currently underway with respect to the evolution of EU laws (many of the EU laws referred to in the Association Agreements have been recast). Upgrading is possible, but if this is neglected by the EU, backsliding with fading commitment to implement the agreements is the serious risk.

The outlines of an upgrade are already visible in the exchanges of ideas between the EU and the three associated states over the last year, after the EU opened up a ‘structured consultation’ on the future of the Eastern Partnership. Many of the ideas are creeping incrementally into action, for example enhanced cooperation in key sectors including the digital-cyber domain and the energy-environment-climate nexus, and progressive inclusion through associate or full membership of many EU agencies and programmes. To these are now added the new public health priority to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, where the EU has promptly supplied emergency assistance, but this need to be followed by long-term capabilities (research findings, supplies of vaccines, etc.). There is also the ‘more for more’ principle advocated by the EU under which there would be more funding alongside effective commitment to identified areas of policy reform, for which anti-corruption and integrity of the rule of law are prime examples. However it remains to be clarified on the EU side whether this is just talk, or a hard proposal.

These are all fragments, albeit some of high importance. What is missing is an enhanced political framework to give synergy and meaning to the sum of the parts. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have in fact united to propose to the EU a shared framework for policy dialogue and development, undertaken at the ‘EU+3’ level. There are already so many policy issues embedded in the Association Agreements warranting common dialogue over common concerns and interests (e.g. how to join in the Green Deal, how to plan further trade liberalization especially for services, how to organise common cyber defence capabilities, etc.). 

The EU (Council and Commission) have so far ignored such EU+3 proposals, with some support only in the European Parliament. Why such reluctance? There may be two reasons. First, it has been argued that there has to be due regard for the principle of ‘inclusiveness’ of the Eastern Partnership for all six states, so as not to discourage the other three from moving closer to Europe and its values. The conflicts within Belarus and between Armenia and Azerbaijan void this argument of credibility. On the contrary it would be good for these countries and peoples to see more vividly what they are missing by way of a better place in Europe, as seen in a successful evolution of the Association Agreements. Second, there is the current framing of the old ‘Russia first’ argument, according to which a deepening of links with East European states would prejudice priority cooperation with Russia. President Macron has been trying to test the market for a certain rapprochement with Russia, and his well-meaning attempt was met in the most recent telephone call between the two leaders on 23 September by Putin’s ridiculous suggestion that Navalny may have poisoned himself. Thus a reality check for this second argument. 

The conclusion therefore is that the EU has both the capacity and interest to take the initiative to propose dialogue with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine together over the content of a significant upgrade of the Association Agreements, subject to all the necessary conditions that should usefully apply. A start could be made at the 6 October summit meeting with Ukraine. The initiative would be fed into preparation for the next Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for March 2021, although as of today it is hard to see how the sanctioned regime of Lukashenko could be invited, or how the warring leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan could sit at the same table together. As of today there might be only three participants in the EaP summit. At the very least one can say that the doctrine of ‘inclusiveness’ of the Eastern Partnership is suspended. It could be given renewed meaning in the event, for example, that Lukashenko conceded to hold a truly democratic presidential election.

The practical urgency of an initiative to strengthen the European orientations of the three associated states is amply reinforced by the political contexts in the cascade of forthcoming elections in Ukraine (25 October), Georgia (31 October) and Moldova (1 November). In Ukraine the Zelensky administration has been fast falling in public approval, and the question is what alternative political forces will gain ground instead, which includes various Russia-friendly and nationalist parties. In Moldova the openly pro-Russian President Dodon looks to be in a straight fight with the pro-European Maia Sandu. In Georgia the question is whether the election can be conducted fairly, or biased of favour of the oligarch leader’s party. So the politics of this other Eastern Europe are highly fluid, and pro-European orientations need every help they can get. The EU should take the initiative now to consolidate its front with these three democratic and peaceful states.

 

Comments ()

  1. Ammy 04 august 2022, 09:17 # 0
    Thanks For sharing!
    1. dawoudsheikh 22 june 2023, 11:25 # 0
      Interesting idea, discussed really well, I would really suggest my friends to have a look at this who provides the best thesis proofreading in Dubai.
      1. Billie 31 august 2023, 07:47 # 0
        The EU countries are profoundly split on this issue. Several eastern members want to send a favorable message to Ukraine and the other two applications, with some even calling for them to be declared EU candidates as soon as feasible. However, most Western members are hesitant to move in this path, Mini Crossword preferring to continue working with the three nations under the existing Association Agreements.
        1. nogoommethalya 31 august 2023, 09:39 # 0
          I am so grateful for this news site's consistent coverage of climate change and environmental issues.
          تصليح افران بالدمام
          1. priyanka 18 september 2023, 09:38 # 0
            We have a great deal of involvement with this profession. Delhi Call Girls We have seen highs and lows, and through this uneven ride, we have coordinated ourselves to the place where we began grasping our client's necessities. We have had many kinds of clients who have various prerequisites and necessities.
            1. kunal tomar 22 september 2023, 11:03 # 0
              Get the choicest young women from different locale, circumstances with, purposes for living. Delhi call young woman goes with draw in clients in rich lodgings, lofts, or bequests Call Girls Delhi. That is because our Delhi goes with are open in incall and outcall modes. Track down a justifying female mate inside your housing through the outcall escort organization in Delhi. The dependable lady will come and convey the most happy time in bed. Get sublime Delhi escort organizations from our master young women tonight.
              1. Rishu 27 september 2023, 08:26 # 0
                Welcome to Delhi is officially the capital of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and a union territory of India by Delhi escort Service agency is a company that provides escorts girls for clients, usually for sexual services with free home delivery. This agency typically arranged a meeting between one Jas Kaur girl of its Delhi escorts and the client at the customer's house or hotel room services for (outcall) to all the five-star hotels of New Delhi, or at the escort residence (incall) with a hotel room.
                Escorts in Ajmeri Gate
                Aya Nagar Escorts Service
                Bapa Nagar Call Girls
                Call Girls in Bhajanpura
                Brahmpuri Escorts
                1. preeti roy 27 september 2023, 15:37 # 0
                  We enter into the depth of your heart to observe your needs and this is what keeps us superior to the rest others. It really spikes to be alone in this fantastic town of the nation. Delhi Call Girls Delhi escorts might be a good option to some extent for spending quality time and relish romantic dates. The best part is that these professional love-makers are available at very cheap rates.
                  1. sakshi 29 september 2023, 14:01 # 0
                    Our young College Girl Escorts are purely trained in providing this kind of pleasure and satisfaction. Lovely call girls are not too mature yet, but still, want to be one's sex slave. It would be better to appoint any of them and accompany them to your bedroom where real pleasure and love would initiate.
                    Gurgaon Escorts Service |
                    Gurgaon Call Girls |
                    Call Girls in Gurgaon |
                    Gurgaon Escorts |
                    Escorts in Gurgaon |
                    1. kunal 30 september 2023, 13:06 # 0
                      Have a taste of my lusty body and feel the real pleasure of sexual life with me. Jeny Roy is looking for those men's who are eligible to make me feel sweat when I am on bed with my clients. Delhi Escorts If you talk about my hobbies so then I like to provide some fresh lusty needs to my regular first-time clients.
                      1. Mike Rooney 03 october 2023, 08:32 # 0
                        Your blog provided us with valuable information. I am looking forward to read more blog posts from here keep it up!!!

                        Yellowstone TV Show Merchandise
                        1. Andrew Mark 03 october 2023, 10:22 # 0
                          This is the one of the most important information for me. And I am feeling glad reading your article. The article is really excellent?
                          Freddie Mercury Concert Yellow Jacket
                          1. kaabir01 04 october 2023, 09:51 # 0
                            While Delhi call girl service is paid a fee for this booking and dispatch service from our hotel to deliver at the customer hotel room that is must negotiate any additional fees according to their customers or arrangements Delhi Escorts directly with the call girl for any other extra services that are not provided by our agency.
                            1. Suman 05 october 2023, 11:16 # 0
                              It is a world-class call girl service in India that provides you physical facilities. Its feel is awesome it will fulfill your bodily desires very well, turning all the tiredness of your face into a smile. Bhopal Call Girls Service You will start living a happy personality, the best life of your life. From pleasant moments you will bring real pleasure.
                              1. preeti 17 october 2023, 14:10 # 0
                                Don’t Worry Guys We are here For You Don’t take any tension We reputed Agency that Provides High Class To Cheap Services providers.There are so many agencies that provide services in the Market, but we are working in the industry from 2012 to Till Now if we talk about us. We served Our Goa Call Girls to about 10000+ satisfied Customers.
                                1. kunal 26 october 2023, 10:54 # 0
                                  All of our escort models are mature and know everything about sexual pleasure for which you’re waiting for a long time. Independent Call Girls in Delhi have that much charm on their face to attract anyone towards their sizzling Sexy Escorts Girls. Just make your mind to get some desirable service from Professional Delhi Escort and feel the real pleasure of life.
                                  1. Rental Sport 15 november 2023, 13:08 # 0
                                    Unleash your athleticism with Rental Sport – your go-to destination for superior sports gear. Our sports apparel stores offer a curated selection, blending comfort and performance. Experience the thrill of top-quality rentals that elevate your sporting experience to new heights.
                                    1. urvashi pandey 20 november 2023, 10:12 # 0
                                      So what you do not have a partner or so what if you are fed up of your partner as life always stores the next chance for you. In case you are sick of your love life or want some change in it then going for salacious Delhi Escorts Service would be a great switch on for you.
                                      1. urvashi pandey 20 november 2023, 12:01 # 0
                                        In our opinion, every organization must have this quality because it determines the brand value among the ocean of customers. We are concerned about our Delhi Call Girls and do our best to delight every single customer. For us, their status doesn't matter instead we focus on their needs and try to please their need in all the possible manners.
                                        1. rakhi sharma 20 november 2023, 12:44 # 0
                                          Get half off on every one of the administrations by our atractive Escort female. Booked from to get exceptionally interesting and colorful call young ladies. Our Call Girls in Goa administration in at 5k to 50k alongside Free Room. Attractive, curvy, blonde, dark and earthy colored young ladies offering believed escort administration to all significant regions in.
                                          1. rakhi sharma 20 november 2023, 14:20 # 0
                                            perhaps of the most famous city in India. It is otherwise called the monetary capital of India. There, you will go over different vacation spots in. From sea shores to present day design, Call Girls in Goa brings everything to the table to voyagers. You will be amazed to be aware of the surprising history of. Whether you need to have a fair financial plan outing or you need to have an extravagant excursion, it is conceivable when you are in.
                                            1. rakhi sharma 27 november 2023, 08:45 # 0
                                              These ladies offer clients an unforgettable experience in the city that is perfect for any occasion. Whether it is a night out on the town, a romantic dinner date, a corporate event or even a wedding, Escorts in Goa are available to meet all of your needs. You can be sure to feel pampered and relaxed when their services are hired.
                                              1. Nidhi Pradhan 06 december 2023, 08:15 # 0
                                                Greetings, boys Nidhi Pradhan is my name. I work as a girl who provides my clients with endless pleasure and am a college student. I offer Allahabad Call Girls with luxury facilities at no additional cost, and my service charge is modest.
                                                1. nidhipradhan 11 december 2023, 13:23 # 0
                                                  Additionally, we prioritize your satisfaction by offering a range of services to meet your needs. Whether you're searching for a simple dinner date, a night out on the town, or something more intimate, we have a call woman that is perfect for the job. Since our girls have received specialized training to provide the highest caliber of service, they will collaborate with you to ensure that you get all you desire from your encounter.
                                                  Call Girls in Aerocity | Call Girl Allahabad | Call Girl Service Ambala | Call Girls Andheri | Call Girls Service Aurangabad | Bangalore Call Girl | Bareilly Call Girl Service | Bhimtal Call Girls | Ahmedabad Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Bandra | Call Girl Baner | Call Girl Service Bhopal | Call Girls Bhubaneswar | Call Girls Service Chandigarh | Delhi Call Girl | Hinjewadi Call Girl Service | Hyderabad Call Girls | Chennai Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Jaisalmer | Call Girl Jamshedpur | Call Girl Service Jodhpur | Call Girls Juhu | Call Girls Service Karnal | Lucknow Call Girl | Manali Call Girl Service | Mohali Call Girls | Noida Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Panchkula | Call Girl Pune | Call Girl Service Raipur | Call Girls Ranchi | Call Girls Service Ranikhet | Rohini Call Girl | Roorkee Call Girl Service | Saharanpur Call Girls | Shimla Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Ranchi | Call Girl Rohini | Call Girl Service Roorkee | Call Girls Kasauli | Call Girls Service Thane | Ujjain Call Girl | Varanasi Call Girl Service | Viman nagar Call Girls | Coimbatore Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Nainital | Call Girl Colaba | Call Girl Service Connaught place | Call Girls Daman | Call Girls Service Dwarka | Erode Call Girl | Gorakhpur Call Girl Service | Nellore Call Girls | Worli Call Girls Service | Call Girls in In surat | Call Girl Kullu | Call Girl Service Mcleodganj | Call Girls Mussoorie | Call Girls Service Nagpur | Rohtak Call Girl | Dharamshala Call Girl Service | Haridwar Call Girls | Jaipur Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Vadodara | Call Girl Goa | Call Girl Service Goregaon | Call Girls Greater noida | Call Girls Service Guwahati | Gwalior Call Girl | Indore Call Girl Service | Jalandhar Call Girls | Zirakpur Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Whitefield | Call Girl Wakad | Call Girl Service Visakhapatnam | Call Girls Vile parle | Call Girls Service Vashi | Udupi Call Girl | Thiruvananthapuram Call Girl Service | Siliguri Call Girls | Shivaji nagar Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Saket | Call Girl Rudrapur | Call Girl Service Rishikesh | Call Girls Powai | Call Girls Service Patna | Paharganj Call Girl | Navi mumbai Call Girl Service | Nashik Call Girls | Nainital Call Girls Service | Call Girls in Mysore
                                                    1. Saloni Rani 11 january 2024, 09:29 # 0
                                                      Some people are in the city for noon, a few days for a night, or contradiction and Gurgaon Escorts services reach it, which can build a determination. Each Independent Call Girl in Gurugram has a widespread desire to attract you to the staff. Essentially, keep an eye on these profiles and imagine the excitement about decorating in physics or doing the wrong work because you gradually add additional blessings behind the high college girls in Gurugram regarding your arm. Have you been bored of luring at the sexy bum of these girls in bars and pubs? Call girls of Gurgaon Escorts service matches you at precisely the same location. Meet our excessively sensual girls in your club or nightclub. An outcall service can be its responsibility. Here, you can satisfy the wish to have flawless, crazy sex. Just select a secure place so that it will not create a hassle for your pleasure. It depends on whether you want an in-call or out-call service. Under an in-call service, the escort arranges everything for you. You want to arrive at the place our Call Girls pick. The full responsibility lies upon the shoulders of the Gurgaon Escorts.
                                                      1. mahmoudhassan1 20 january 2024, 08:48 # 0
                                                        تأسيس شركة في دبي يتطلب إجراءات محددة. يمكن تأسيس شركة في المناطق الحرة أو في القطاع الخاص. يجب على المستثمرين اتباع الإجراءات القانونية والإدارية المطلوبة، مثل اختيار نوع الشركة والحصول على التراخيص اللازمة. دبي تقدم بيئة تجارية مثمرة مع مرونة في القوانين وتسهيلات في الاستثمار لجذب رواد الأعمال العالميين.
                                                        تأسيس شركة في دبي

                                                        1. farhan set 14 february 2024, 17:16 # 0
                                                          The company accommodates last-minute moves with efficiency and reliability. washington warm beach