On February 25, 2021, the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum held a discussion “Crisis as a possibility? A glance into the future of Eastern Partnership”.
The goal was to discuss the development of the EU policy towards Eastern Partnership countries.
Main issues for discussion:
– EU plans on the new deliverables of Eastern Partnership
– aspirations of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia for closer cooperation with the EU as countries that signed the association agreements
– suggestions of the civil society for new EaP deliverables for 2025
The event was attended by representatives of the EU Delegation, embassies, international organizations, government, civil society, experts, media.
During the event was presented the monitoring report of the EaP CSF Ukrainian National Platform “Ukraine’s progress in implementation of twenty deliverables of Eastern Partnership till 2020”.
In 2020, experts of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (Українська платформа Форуму громадянського суспільства Східного Партнерства) analyzed the implementation of 20 expected deliverables of the Eastern Partnership for the period from September 16, 2019, to September 1, 2020.
Iryna Kosse presented the results of the Ukrainian National Platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum study of Ukraine’s implementation of 20 deliverables. Most of the deliverables (15 out of 20) are in the state of progress. The best results were achieved in the spheres of security, European EaP School, research and innovations, gaps in access to finance and financial infrastructure.
Andrius Kubilius said that the regions of Western Balkans and EaP are very similar. Thus he criticized the EU approach to EaP in determining these 20 deliverables. Countries that fight with post-Communist or post-dictatorship influence do not need two approaches. Mr Kubilius thinks that the possibility of integration or partial integration to the EU could become a very strong instrument which would help the EaP countries to move forward. Events in Russia and Belarus show the demand of people for wider human rights and the necessity of the EU to return the geopolitical pressure in its foreign policy while the moment is still there.
Pavlina Rehor positively assessed the Ukraine’s progress in implementing the EaP deliverables and how Ukraine prepared for the EaP summit. She noted that the European Commission is preparing a joint document which will be published in spring where the question of sustainability goes as a silver lining. The document will state a new set of measurable and concrete goals including special spheres for investments, in particular, for the economy sustainability in the post-COVID time.
Vira Rihackova Pachta shared her impressions from the monitoring report on the implementation of 20 EaP deliverables by 6 countries done by the Forum. She thinks that the set of deliverables itself is a good starting point but in some cases the goals are very technical and not ambitious enough, they do not suit all the EaP countries and do not depict the movement of the whole region. It is ow difficult to plan the EaP policy since the summit was moved to the fall of 2021. Besides, the new geopolitical issues add uncertainty to how the next summit will be designed.
Michael Emerson announced the publication of his work on the rating of implementation of 26 chapters of the Association Agreements with the trio: Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. He thinks that this work better depicts the status of implementation of the country’s obligations (“bad”, “in progress”, or “good”) than the EaP deliverables monitoring report. Also Mr Emerson criticized the EaP deliverables and “usability” since they do not touch the question of elective democracy and do not clash with some features of nondemocratic EaP countries.
Nataliya Andrusevych told that the European Green Deal influences not only new strategies, plans and legislation in different sectors but also changes the way of thinking and implementation of different policies including the EaP. Greening the EaP policy is already noticeable since in the future agenda of EaP is included a separate deliverable “Together towards environmental and climate resilience”.
Andrii Chubyk told that the EU should discuss the question of security above all and this should be depicted in the future strategic documents. He also thinks that the EaP countries are ready to the low-carbon future but require a separate approach.
Program “Crisis as a possibility? A glance into the future of Eastern Partnership”, 25.02.2021
Monitoring report of the EaP CSF Ukrainian National Platform “Ukraine’s progress in implementation of twenty deliverables of Eastern Partnership till 2020”, 2021
The video of the discussion is here https://youtu.be/MbqySpBTUIw?t=160
The event was organized by the project “Support of EaP CSF UNP Activities” financed by the European Union which is implemented by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting.