(Video) What could be the deliverables of the Eastern Partnership beyond 2020?
The Eastern Partnership, officially launched in 2009, achieved several successful outcomes. The EU has signed Association Agreements, started to implement Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas and agreed on visa-free travel regimes with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. European Union also helped these countries to modernize their economies, diversify trade flows, improve their energy security, strengthen civil society and political pluralism throughout the region. However, the political, geopolitical and security situation in the EaP region remains fragile and volatile. This is further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social impact.
This is one of the main conclusions of the video made on the basis of the Non-Paper “Post-2020 Eastern Partnership Deliverables for the three EU Associated countries – Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine”, presented at the end of October to EU institutions EU member states and the three associated EaP countries.
Considering the lessons learned from the previous decade, the IPRE in partnership with over 30 researchers and think-tank experts from the EU, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine prepared a Non-Paper on key EaP deliverables for the next 5 to 10 years, referring to the following six priority areas:
- Security: A Stronger, more Geopolitical Europe.
- Environmental and climate resilience: Green Deal for Eastern Partners.
- Accountable institutions, judicial reform and the rule of law.
- Resilient, fair and inclusive societies: A people-centric EaP.
- Resilient, sustainable and integrated economies.
- Resilient digital transformation.
Moreover, considering the upcoming 2021 EaP Summit, the UE, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine should:
- Reconfirm their clear acknowledgement of the European aspirations, pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, which sets out that any European state may apply to become a member of the EU provided that it adheres to the EU standards of democracy and rule of law.
- Adopt a comprehensive Plan for gradual integration of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine into the EU’s Single Market, based on the four freedoms.
- Strengthen the institutions of democracy, the rule of law and the fight against corruption throughout the EaP area, in line with societies aspirations.
- Deepen cooperation in absolutely key areas for the future of the Eastern Partnership states such as security and the environment
- Agree on a flexible, tailored and comprehensive Investment and Economic Recovery Plan to help to overcome COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to sustainable development.
“While implementation of necessary reforms requires a consistent and strong political will from the pro-reform elites, the EU’s role in supporting those reforms is indispensable by offering incentives of trade liberalisation, providing assessments of the draft legislation and supporting creation of functional institutions. Further application of a smarter, more tailored and target conditionality to speed-up reforms is key”, considers Iulian Groza, IPRE Executive Director.
This video was prepared as part of the project „Policy Bridges with the EU: Securing Europeanisation process of the Republic of Moldova”, implemented by IPRE, with the support of the Soros Foundation Moldova.