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The Eastern Partnership – Reloaded

The strategy for Europe’s East or the so-called Eastern Partnership of the EU with the post-Soviet republics Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine has been ‘reloaded’ at the focus of European attention thanks to the Polish Presidency. Although lately it has been overshadowed by the financial crisis of Europe and the revolutions in the Arab world, the Eastern policy should not be regarded of secondary importance. For the six post-Soviet countries the policy is an opportunity to enter Europe’s common market, to liberalise their visa regimes with the EU and according to their good will to establish a real functioning democracy.

For Europe it means above all energy security, trade and integration of the East to the values of the West. The latter, according to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, should not be interpreted as a "zone of influence", as the Russians commented angrily at the beginning of the Partnership in 2008. The rhetoric of the Cold War sounds rather outdated but what truly characterises the policy of the 21st century are real facts, figures and pragmatism.

Europe has provided 600 million euros for the years 2010-2013 as part of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. 175 million euros will go for institutional reforms; about 75 million to address regional economic and social inequalities; for convergence with EU policies, stability, economic integration, energy security and democratic governance the EU has allocated 350 million euros.

The European Investment Bank finances separately the Eastern partners, including Russia (up to 500 million euros) with a total of 3.7 billion euros for 2007-2013 supporting transport, energy, telecommunications and environmental infrastructure projects. An assessment of the financing of the six former Soviet countries from an economic and political perspective and an evaluation of EU’s role as a Western alternative to the Eastern partners is yet to come. The second summit between EU leaders and the six post-Soviet countries is scheduled for September 29-30. euinside will follow closely the meeting and present different views and perspectives on the Eastern Partnership, taking into account that the Eastern region is of significant importance not only for the EU as a whole but also for Bulgaria in particular.

19 March 2015 12:24 Sanctions against Russia To Remain Until Full Implementation of Minsk Agreements

European Council chief Donald Tusk is preparing a new proposal for today's EU summit which envisages the sanctions against Russia to remain in force until the full implementation of the Minsk peace agreements, said a senior EU source. The former prime minister of Poland has been holding consulta ...

4 March 2014 11:04 A Union With Dissociative Identity Disorder

The developments in Ukraine have again demonstrated the poor state the European Union finds itself institutionally. The way the Union mediated in the negotiations between the opposition and the rulers in Ukraine a week ago again revealed the double identity of the EU, especially in terms of its ...

23 August 2012 13:38 The Results of the “Europeanisation” Test for the Six Eastern Partners of the EU

At the September 2011 Warsaw summit of EU and the countries from the Eastern partnership, Herman van Rompuy, the European Council president, stated that the EU had made considerable progress toward conclusion of new and better agreements concerning the relations with most of its partners. In May ...

25 July 2012 06:38 The EU Warned Belarus and Ukraine about Political Prisoners

The European Union is experiencing problems in terms of respect for its fundamental values and principles both inside, in the member states themselves, and on its borders. The concerns about the situation in certain countries related to the values and principles of liberty, democracy, respect fo ...

9 April 2012 12:40 Ukraine - from Disappointment to Understanding

More than 20 years after the fall of the Berlin wall Bulgaria has been a member of the EU for five years, of NATO for more but not of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). Nevertheless, if looked from above, everyone would think that this is the country that can be a ...

5 October 2014 17:31 Johannes Hahn: the Neighbourhood Policy is a Security Policy

The EU's Eastern policy looms up as one of the top priorities in the next five years. From the so far stated positions of European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker and the missions of the High Rep for the foreign policy and the Commissioner-designate for neighbourhood policy, Johan ...

5 October 2012 14:23 The Long Shadow over the Elections in Ukraine

The main issue before the elections in Ukraine on 28 October is not so much who is going to win, but whether they will be free and fair. This is shown also by the huge number of observers already situated in the country - from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), vario ...

17 August 2012 18:09 Absolute Success of Operation "Teddy Bear" in Belarus

What does motivate a man to train to become a pilot in order to risk his or her life while flying over "hostile territory" to disseminate leaflets and to return? From which EU member state must these people come from, risking their peaceful everyday lives in support of the fight for freedom of s ...

21 May 2012 13:31 The Ukrainian Jigsaw Puzzle

What is happening in Ukraine is a question that is tormenting Europe more and more. And an even more worrying question is what can Europe do. Regarding the current stalemate between the EU and Ukraine, Konstanty Gebert, head of the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said ...

21 March 2012 15:59 Mikola Baltajy: Ukraine's Integration in EU Cannot be at the Expense pf Relations with Russia

Ukraine's strategic goal to one day become a fully fledged member of the EU has not changed. Only the accents have changed - at the moment the Ukrainian government is focusing on actions not on empty words, said in an interview for euinside Ukraine's ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Mikola Baltajy i ...

 
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