PASOS analysis for EP calls for fresh approach to Eastern Partnership
News Source: PASOS Secretariat, Czech Republic
The EU needs to focus its attention on relations with those Eastern Partner countries that are willing to cooperate more closely and who truly wish to integrate with the Union, politically, economically and socially, according to a PASOS analysis presented to members of the European Parliament (EP).
“Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia should be perceived as more than partners, and the ‘more for more’ approach should be strengthened,” according to The Eastern Partnership After Five Years: Time for Deep Rethinking, which was presented to the EP’s Committee on Foreign Affairs in Brussels March 2. “Such an approach would send a clear political signal to all parties involved, and make for a better use of limited resources.”
Grzegorz Gromadzki of the Institute of Public Affairs wrote and presented the report, which was the first analysis created for the European Parliament by a PASOS-led consortium that has been contracted to write policy papers for the Parliament. European leaders are using the study as they conduct a review of how the Eastern Partnership concept has worked and in what form it will continue.
“Russia’s hostile actions in Ukraine in 2014 have fundamentally changed the situation, not only in Eastern Europe, but in Europe as a whole, and have repercussions at the global level, because the Kremlin has violated the ground rules of international relations,” Gromadzki wrote. “The continued aggression of a revanchist and intransigent Russia has altered the political and social landscape, and the old ideas and concepts of the EU’s relations with its neighbours, however well-intentioned and suitable for a previous era, are now obsolete.”
The analysis recommends that the European Union make it clear that the EaP is divided into two groups and that it should focus on how to encourage efforts to have Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia join the union since those countries have expressed a clear desire for and taken actions in the direction of accession in the form of DMCA and AA agreements.
“In 2015, the EU should eschew a lowest common denominator policy towards all six partners,” the report states. “This does not mean that the EU should neglect relations with Azerbaijan, Belarus and Armenia, but it should abandon the illusion that it can have an impact on the short-term policies of those countries unless there is change of political orientation in the countries themselves.”
Gromadzki’s report to the committee can be seen online here. His presentation begins at the 2:27:45 mark.
The paper was produced as part of a four-year project called “Research Networks to Provide Foreign Policy Expertise.” Two PASOS members — CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research and the European Council on Foreign Relations are partners on the project. The other members of the consortium are Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.