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Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Восточное партнерство два года: успех или неудача для диверсифицированной политики соседства?

Bogdana Depo

The Eastern Partnership is a relatively new initiative of the EU towards its Eastern neighbours. Two years after it was launched is not a significant period for such a big political project. Nevertheless, the Eastern Partnership’s project idea that emerged more than ten years ago, has already some tangible accomplishments, and is looking forward to the future. In this paper, the author starts with a short introduction of the origins of the Eastern Partnership, and then proceeds with the presentation of the main accomplishments made by the Eastern Partnership in the framework of the bilateral and multilateral levels of cooperation. In the conclusive part, the author looks at the upcoming events that might influence its further development.

Origins of the Eastern Partnership

It is not a well-known fact that the idea of the policy toward the future new Eastern neighbours was presented in the 1998. The idea of the Eastern Dimension was firstly introduced by the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bronislaw Geremek, in the speech inaugurating Poland’s accession negotiations. The Minister of Foreign Affair, Bronisław Geremek, called on creation of the Eastern Dimension of the European Union. [1] The second time, this idea was reconfirmed in the paper of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs of June 2001. The third attempt to introduce the Eastern Dimension took place in February 2003 which was a year before the accession to the EU. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, re-introduced the proposal on the Eastern Dimension in a “Non-paper with Polish proposals concerning policy towards new Eastern neighbours after EU enlargement”.

This document has reaffirmed the previous proposals on the Eastern policy of the European Union. It called on the abolishment of the existing division lines through assistance and closer co-operation with the adjacent countries. The non-paper suggested that the new Eastern Dimension should have been based on the common values and interests. The scope of the policy was to cover Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Russia, but it also drew attention to the need of strengthening the EU policy towards the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia. The non-paper urged to formulate a more coherent and comprehensive framework which was expected to enable individual development of relations with each of the countries concerned, without prejudicing their final formula, namely European aspirationsThe Eastern Partnership is a relatively new initiative of the EU towards its Eastern neighbours. Two years after it was launched is not a significant period for such a big political project. Nevertheless, the Eastern Partnership’s project idea that emerged more than ten years ago, has already some tangible accomplishments, and is looking forward to the future. In this paper, the author starts with a short introduction of the origins of the Eastern Partnership, and then proceeds with the presentation of the main accomplishments made by the Eastern Partnership in the framework of the bilateral and multilateral levels of cooperation. In the conclusive part, the author looks at the upcoming events that might influence its further developmentThe Eastern Partnership is a relatively new initiative of the EU towards its Eastern neighbours. Two years after it was launched is not a significant period for such a big political project. Nevertheless, the Eastern Partnership’s project idea that emerged more than ten years ago, has already some tangible accomplishments, and is looking forward to the future. In this paper, the author starts with a short introduction of the origins of the Eastern Partnership, and then proceeds with the presentation of the main accomplishments made by the Eastern Partnership in the framework of the bilateral and multilateral levels of cooperation. In the conclusive part, the author looks at the upcoming events that might influence its further development.The Eastern Partnership is a relatively new initiative of the EU towards its Eastern neighbours. Two years after it was launched is not a significant period for such a big political project. Nevertheless, the Eastern Partnership’s project idea that emerged more than ten years ago, has already some tangible accomplishments, and is looking forward to the future. In this paper, the author starts with a short introduction of the origins of the Eastern Partnership, and then proceeds with the presentation of the main accomplishments made by the Eastern Partnership in the framework of the bilateral and multilateral levels of cooperation. In the conclusive part, the author looks at the upcoming events that might influence its further development.[2]

Nevertheless, Poland’s attempt to establish regional leadership failed due to the lack of interest of the EU Member States in expending to the East. Naturally, the voices and preferences of the country in the pre-accession process lacked the same legitimacy as those of the EU Members.[3] The Polish proposal did not find necessary support, as there was no political will and interest deriving from the EU Member States.

Instead, the EU has introduced new policies to its neighbours: the 2003 Wider Europe, the 2004 European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and the 2007 Black Sea Synergy. The ENP, equally addressing the countries from the Eastern and Southern neighbourhood, was not warmly welcomed by the countries, having aspirations for the EU membership, i.e. Ukraine and Moldova. The 2007 Black Sea Synergy was the first EU attempt for the regional differentiation in the East of the EU, but it was lacking institutional backup and as a result it has showed low effectiveness.

Therefore, the Eastern Partnership is based on gradual evolution of the EU policies to its European neighbours to the East. The Eastern Partnership has seen a new set of countries if comparing to the previously mentioned Eastern Dimension proposals. The Southern Caucasus countries were added to the ENP as a result of the manifested democratic changes seen during the successful ‘colour revolution’ in Georgia in 2003 and unsuccessful attempt in Azerbaijan. The Russian Federation has self-excluded from the ENP not accepting reference as an EU neighbour. Belarus, which de jure was under the ENP and de facto had limited cooperation with the EU, was also added to the Eastern Partnership with hope that this framework would open new prospects for cooperation. So, eventually, the Eastern Partnership was proposed to six countries of the Eastern neighbourhood.

The Eastern Partnership: a start with a low motivation

The elaboration of the proposal on the Eastern Partnership (EaP) took only one year as the process was accelerated in summer 2008 by the Russian-Georgian War. The five day war in August 2008 has brought attention to Georgia and to the region in all, which has four ‘frozen conflicts’ in total and the military presence of the Russian Federation in all the countries of the Eastern neighbourhood.[4] The elaboration of the EaP was closely monitored by the Russian Federation, restrained by its friends within the EU, opposed by the EU Member States promoting Union for the Mediterranean and promoted mainly by the new Member States from the Central and Eastern Europe and Sweden. Due to the divergent vision of the Member States on the Eastern Partnership, the final version of the document launching the EaP was agreed with the smallest common denominator making the EaP weaker and less ambitious than expected.

The Eastern Partnership was launched during the Prague Summit in May 2009. It became obvious that the EaP would not enjoy neither a political nor financial support which was so needed for the viability of the policy. The lack of political support was manifested during the inauguration summit launching the Eastern Partnership as the most influential figures of the EU Member States were missing. At the same time, there was little funding for the ambitious EaP. The initiative benefited from 600 mln Euros which is a quarter of a total funding that was allocated for the East partners for 2010-2013. It is worth to mention that 600 mln Euros was EU assistance that Turkey received also for year 2009.

The Eastern Partnership was also ambiguously perceived within the EaP countries. Regardless of the common past of the countries of the neighbourhood, in 2009 the six ex-Soviet Union countries were (and still are today) a group of states weakly interlinked and having low motivation in establishing the common economic and political space of cooperation in the region. Even though, the Eastern Partnership, which was a long-awaited act of differentiation of the European neighbours from the countries of Northern Africa, the expectations of the EaP partner countries were not fulfilled. The countries had different level of EU ambitions and aspirations. Ukraine and Georgia were delighted with the Eastern Partnership proposal, but both of them were expecting to see the EU membership perspective in the final document establishing the Eastern Partnership. Armenia had strong ties with Russia, therefore, for this country the Eastern Partnership could be considered too ambitious. At the same time, the Chairman of the Parliament of Moldova stated that his country was ‘more advanced’ in its European integration if comparing to Armenia or Azerbaijan, therefore, ‘it should not wait for the others’.[5] Azerbaijan, according to the representative of the President Aliev, Fuad Akhundov, considered the Easter Partnership as an ‘impetus to Azerbaijan’s way for the full cooperation with the EU and filling in [Azerbaijan’s] EU policy with a new content’.[6] Participation of Belarus in the Partnership was controversial from the beginning as it was the first time when this country was involved in the EU project directly. Therefore, the EU diplomats, who were willing to give Minsk every chance to cooperate, tried to avoid any public criticism of the President Lukashenka's regime expecting him eventually to involve.[7]

So, the Eastern Partnership is launched with little political and financial support from the EU, divergent motivation of the EaP partner countries in the initiative and, finally, with all the partners keeping an eye on the reaction of the Russia Federation.

EaP 2 years later: what is the progress?

The Eastern Partnership consists of two dimensions bilateral and multilateral. If the bilateral dimension has only upgraded the level of cooperation which was based on the ENP instruments, the instruments available within the multilateral dimension were new for the region. The Eastern Partnership was enriched with the new instruments aiming ‘to accelerate political association and further economic integration between the EU and partner countries’.[8]

Bilateral Dimension

The two main instruments of the Eastern Partnership on the bilateral level of cooperation are the Association Agenda and Association Agreement. The Association Agenda, an instrument meant to replace the Action Plan, was signed with all the EaP countries (except Belarus). The Association Agenda ‘will prepare for and facilitate the entry into force of the Association Agreement’.[9] This document is based on the joint ownership, responsibility and monitoring of the results, but is non-legally-binding. Contrary to its predecessor, it includes principles of political association and economic integration.

Association Agreement (further as the AA) is a document which will define the political and economic integration for the upcoming years is currently negotiated with each of the EaP countries (with traditional exception, Belarus). One of the important elements that is expected to be within the AA is the Association Council at the level of ministers, committee that level of senior diplomats including subcommittees consisting of experts from the EU and the partner country.[10] The added value of this body, contrary to the ones existing in the PCA framework, is that its decisions are of legally-binding nature for both parties. So, here one may see the principles of the joint-ownership principle in practice.

The AA will be accompanied with the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements for all countries, with the exception of Azerbaijan and Belarus. The DCFTA is a core element of the Association Agreement where the positive effects of trade and investment liberalisation will be strengthened by the regulatory approximation leading to the convergence with the EU laws and standards.[11]The pre-condition of start the negotiation is the DCFTA is to be the WTO member. Therefore, as Azerbaijan is still considering whether or not to proceed with the WTO membership, the DCFTA will not be a part of its Association Agreement. Georgia and Armenia are to start negotiations upon the fulfilment of the pre-conditions for the DCFTA negotiations. Moldova started its negotiations in May 2011. Ukraine is more advanced in the negotiations, yet97% of the negotiation issues are preliminary closed.[12] In May, after having controversial discussions on joining the Customs Union with Belarus, Russian Federation and Kazakhstan, Ukraine has reaffirmed its motivation to sign the DCFTA agreement by the end of the 2011.[13][14] Eventually, when all the countries of the EaP sign the DCFTAs, it is expected that a network of the FTAs can grow into a Neighbourhood Economic Community in the long term.[15]

Comprehensive Institution Building Programme

Comprehensive Institution Building Programme (CIB) is a component of the European Union's Eastern Partnership initiative aiming to facilitate the implementation of the DCFTA and the Association Agreements by strengthening the key governmental bodies. This is one of the instruments borrowed from the pre-accession process. With a budget of 175 million euros until 2013, CIB is one of the key priorities of the EaP.

The first step in launching CIB were finalizing the Framework Documents and Memorandum of Understanding on CIB between the Commission and the five countries. They were already signed between the Commission and the EaP partner countries, except Belarus. The next step for the partner country was to define the priorities for CIB. For example, Ukraine has chosen three priority areas, namely migration, governmental aid and food safety. And the third step before the CIB implementation is the development of the Institutional Reform Plans, which the countries have already started preparing. Most of the countries have already hosted trainings or seminars as a part of CIB in 2010. More events were previewed for 2011.

Enhanced mobility: Motivation for the Partner Countries

The visa free regime is one of the biggest priorities for the EaP partner countries. It was one of the strongest incentives for the EaP countries stimulating them to complying with the extensive EU requirements. New accomplishment in this area was the Action Plan for the Visa Liberalization. The new Action Plan was granted to Ukraine during the annual Ukraine-EU Summit in November 2010, and almost two months later it was granted to Moldova. These documents are the first steps towards the long-term perspective of visa-free travel.[16]The documents set the pre-conditions that are to be met by the countries in order to obtain the free-visa regime. The benchmarks set by the EU are too high for the weak democracies, therefore, it will be difficult to achieve them in the upcoming years.

At the same time, Ukraine (since 2007), Moldova (since 2010)and Georgia (since 2011) enjoy the visa facilitation agreement that goes in a package with the readmission agreement. The negotiations on the same type of documents will be launched with Armenia and Azerbaijan later this year. Previously it was also planned to launch the negotiations with Belarus later in 2011, but due to the last events, most probably it will be postponed.

There is also a Mobility Partnership with Georgia, Moldova and recently with Armenia. This document ‘is conceived as a long term framework based on political dialogue and cooperation’.[17] The Mobility Partnerships offer assistance in the areas of combating illegal migration, promoting legal migration and strengthening the positive contribution of migration to development. Agreement consists of a political declaration and an annex of proposed projects. Not all the EU Member States are participants of the Partnership Mobility.

Even though a few documents were signed with the EaP partner countries aimed at visa facilitation the reality is different. The visa facilitation is far from being able to foster greater people-to-people contact and as a result it is not an effective incentive for the reform process.[18]


The cooperation aiming at strengthening energy security is another priority of the bilateral cooperation. According to the Joint Declaration, the EaP ‘aims to strengthen energy security through cooperation with regard to long-term stable and secure energy supply and transit, including throughimplementing a better regulation, energy efficiency and more use of renewable energy sources’.[19][20] Ukraine and Moldova have acceded to the Energy Community. Georgia is also planning to become a full member as for now it is enjoying the observer status. Ukraine will obtain financial support for the modernization of its Gas Transit System in the framework of the Neighbourhood Investment Facility. EU pays special attention to Azerbaijan which gets support of the realization of the Southern Energy Corridor. The other countries have expert meetings and discussions on the energy issues, but no other significant accomplishments.

To conclude on the bilateral track, one should note that while for some of the EaP countries, the mentioned instruments are new and very progressive, particularly when speaking of Armenia and even Moldova, for Ukraine the bilateral dimension of cooperation did not bring much new, with the exception of the CIB. The mentioned instruments were promised to Ukraine before the Eastern Partnership was launched. Therefore, if speaking of Ukraine, the same progress would be made with or without the Eastern Partnership. For other countries – the bilateral level of cooperation has brought many new instruments and one can say that the progress of the bilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership is evident.

Multilateral Dimension

Multilateral track is a novelty for the Eastern Partnership countries. The region has seen a few initiatives of regional cooperation, which had limited successes (i.e. GUAM, Black Sea Forum, Community of Democratic Choice and others). There are few reasons for introduction of the multilateral dimension.Firstly, it was aimed to become a platform of regional cooperation and exchange of experience between the EaP countries. Secondly, it is expected to become an instrument for ‘gradual Europeanization of the Eastern neighbours – with the ‘centre of gravity in Brussels’.[21] And thirdly, the previously discussed DCFTA may become a free trade area in the Eastern neighbourhood, following the example of the CEFTA.

The Multilateral track has a few accomplishments to be proud of. The two years can be in general characterized by the multiple meetings and conferences, establishment of the new institutions, and since recently - high engagement of other region actors into the successful implementation of the Eastern Partnership.

Four Thematic Platforms and the Flagship Initiatives

The multilateral level of cooperation was introduced through the four thematic platforms, namely 1) democracy, good governance and stability; 2) economic integration and convergence with the EU sectoral policies, 3) energy security, and 4) contact between people. These four platforms are the main areas of cooperation. It was expected that the platforms would serve as a space for open and free discussions between the high level civil servants. The meetings were planned to be held twice a year on a specific topic. The platforms report to the annual meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the progress achieved.

As for today, from the report of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs we can see that a few meetings, seminars and trainings were held related to the platforms.[22] The civil servants have also presented some projects proposals and discussed the priority areas for each country and the region in general. At the same time, there is lack of information in form of reports that could give us an understanding of the effectiveness of these discussions or if the project proposals were taken into consideration.

As to the six Flagship Initiatives, the EU has introduced them to give concrete substance and more visibility to the Partnership.[23] The six areas covered by the flagship initiatives are: Integrated Border Management Programme; Small and Medium-size Enterprise (SME) Flagship Initiative; Regional energy markets and energy efficiency; Diversification of energy supply; Prevention of, preparedness for, and response to natural and man-made disasters; Flagship initiative to promote good environmental governance. There are some of the EU projects financed under these flagship initiatives, but most of them have started before the EaP was launched.

It is worth to mention that the years 2009-2010 were partially blocked by the lack of the technical information on how to apply for the EU funding. [24] It can be to a degree linked to the fact that the multilateral level of cooperation was under the supervision of the EEAS. As this institution was recently established and was still in the process of the institutional structuring, some technical elements were left out.

Establishment of the new institutions in the EaP framework

One of the first accomplishments was the establishment of the Civil Society Forum (CSF) where different NGOs from all the EaP countries (including the Belarus state-affiliated organizations like trade unions) are actively participating. The Forum was held twice, first in Brussels in 2009 and the again in Berlin in 2010. The CSF has become a good channel of communication of the civil society organizations and the European Commission. This communication is supported by the Steering Committee which was (re)-elected at the Forums.

It is expected that eventually the governments will also join this dialogue. At this stage, according to the Commission it is planned to gather information from the civil society and potentially to communicate it as the concerns or suggestions to their governments. The most innovative ideas proposed during two Forums were presented at the annual meeting of the Foreign Ministers Meeting of the EaP. What is equally important is that the Civil Society Forum has become a full partner within the EaP institutional framework during these two years.

The active civil society organizations in the EaP countries have established the National Platforms with an aim to have better dialogue with their national governments. However, with the most of the national governments the communication is still limited. What the national platforms try to establish now is the inter-state European platform. Due to the recent violence against participants of themanifestations in Minsk in December 2010, Azerbaijan in April 2011 and in Georgia in May 2011 – there is a need of a parallel communication between various EU structure and the civil society in the countries.[25]

The second institution, Euronest Parliamentary Assembly (known as the Euronest) was launched on the 3rd of May 2011. It was launched as the Members of the European Parliament were trying to find the way to involve Belarus, however, it was not successful. The first meeting of the Euroest was chaired by the President of the European Parliament, Buzek, and the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, has warmly welcomed its participants. The attention of the EU high officials to the first meeting of the Euronest is worth to mention. Even though, there are no significant results yet, the expectations from the newly established institutions are already high. One of the expectations is connected to the fact that the Members of the European Parliament, which are in the Euronest, can be a driving force in promoting stronger integration. Mr. Kristan Vigenin, Co-President of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and Chairman of the EP Delegation to the Euronest PA, has brought attention to the fact that it is essential that the Communication on the Eastern neighbourhood makes a reference to articles 8 and 49 of the Treaty on European Union which are about the criteria for the EU Membership.[26]

The next minor accomplishment, whichis in process is that the EU’s Committee of Regions, is working on setting up a Standing Conference of Regional and local authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CoRLeap).The CoRLeap is expected to be a tool for the local and regional authorities to have a voice within the Eastern Partnership Policy Initiative. According to István Sértő-Radics, the CoR wants to offer regional and local authorities in Ukraine and in EaP countries the experience of the decentralisation process in the European Union, and support their efforts in democratic institutions and administrative capacity-building.[27]

Cooperation on the Eastern Partnership goes beyond the EU political institutions

The EaP Joint Declaration has also encouraged the EIB, EBRD and other International Financial Institutions to step up their efforts to assist all partner countries with the reform and modernisation process and to identify suitable investment projects. Already in December 2010, the European Investment Bank has launched the Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund (EPTATF). The Trust Fund will offer a multi-purpose, multi-sectoral funding facility for technical assistance. The Trust Fund will elaborate pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, institutional and legal appraisals, environmental and social impact assessments, project management and borrower support throughout the project implementation process, as well as financing upstream studies and horizontal institutional activities.[28] The EIB has set up the Eastern Partners Facility (EPF) at its own risk for an amount of EUR 1.5 billion, with a EUR 500 million ceiling for projects in Russia.

In the framework of cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Union, the Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Štefan Füle, have signed for 4 million of ‘Facility’ of the Eastern Partnership. This money is designated for the projects implementation in four areas: electoral standards, support to the judiciary, fight against corruption and cybercrime in six EaP countries. For now, the Council of Europe is contributing to the two policy platforms: Democracy, good governance and stability (Platform 1); Contacts between people (Platform 4).[29] One of the examples of the projects that has already started is the project called ‘Enhancing judicial reform in the Eastern Partnership countries’. It aims at providing a forum with an opportunity to discuss among the participating countries of the applicable European standards as regards the judiciary, drawing on expertise and experience, and extracting key findings for shared use.[30]

The later this year the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE will present a Resolution on the impact of the Eastern Partnership of the European Union on governance and economic development in Eastern Europe, which is currently drafted [31]. Within this document, the Parliamentary Assembly will not only present its vision of the development, but it also identifies challenges and presents on how the CoE can contribute to the overall success of the EU policy towards the East.

A week ago, the EU pledges extra €5 million to support EBRD small business programmes in the Eastern Partnership in the framework of two programmes Turn Around Management (TAM) and Business Advisory Service (BAS). This money is aimed at the providing micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with direct assistance from experienced business advisors and consultants, helping them to adapt to the demands of a market economy. [32] The EBRD plans to involve other state bodies that play important role in the successful implementation of the launched by two programmes.

Also, the EBRD co-finances significant national projects, i.e. loan of EUR 450 million that it gave to Ukraine. The project aims to improve 350 km highway from Kyiv, representing crucial European and national transport corridors largely on the extended Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).[33]

To conclude this part,one can say that on one hand much was done already, and on the other hand, the results are not tangible enough to attribute them explicitly to the Eastern Partnership. To successes, one can put the establishment of the Civil Society Forum which has already some achievements. Involvement of the European Parliament through the Euronest might bring more the dialogue between the institutions while leaving out strict bureaucracy. Council of Europe is also very ambitious to contribute and has already started with some project activities in the region. Involvement of the financial institutions, i.e. EBRD or EIB, may fill in the gap of the obvious shortage of the financial means allocated for the EaP.

EaP is launched – problems have stayed

The EaP was not successful in some areas, which enjoy the not-knowing how deal with those specific issues. A number of concerns which were previously raised by the Eastern neighbours were not addressed within the EaP framework. Firstly, it is an unfulfilled expectation for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia of the EU membership prospective. The countries still expect positive signs and commitment from the EU; meanwhile there is less and less motivation to comply with the high and costly requirements of the EU within the EaP framework. The visa liberalization could be one of the strong incentives that could boost the domestic reform process; nevertheless, even for Ukraine and Moldova which enjoy the Action Plans on Visa Liberalization, the full visa free regime is a long-term perspective.

Second blaster of the EaP are the ‘frozen conflicts’ that the EaP countries cannot solve by their own means and forces, while the EU cannot effectively involve due to the veto and/or lobby of the Russia-friendly EU Member States. It is not only the economic and political cooperation is jeopardized in the region, but the existence of the ‘frozen conflicts’ impedes the sustainable development of the EaP partner countries. The EaP framework does not directly address the ‘frozen conflicts’, while they cover 4 EaP partner countries, where Ukraine was/is partially engaged into the mediation process with Moldova and Transnistria, and where the Russian Federation is present in all of these countries with its military means. Oddly, there is neither strong political will of the EU to get involved into the conflict settlement nor motivation to develop new instruments to effectively address the problems.

Third perpetual regional problem within the region is involvement of Belarus into cooperation and its democratisation. When the EaP was launched Belarus was interested in the economic component allowing it to participate in the multilateral framework. Last year, Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine have proposed about 20 projects mostly on building the infrastructure, but due to the outcome of the elections in December 2010 followed by massive violations, the European Council did not extend the mandate of the European Investment Bank on Belarus. The EaP failed to involve it and the only institution where Belarus is involved the Civil Society Forum. Therefore, the cooperation between the EU and Belarus is frozen again where the EU with or without the EaP remains helpless.

“Inspiration is needed in politics, just as much as in poetry”[34]
Polish Presidency in the EU –the new hopes for the EaP

What is missing within the Eastern Partnership is the political will both from the EU and EaP countries. Therefore, the upcoming events are very important for the future development of the EaP. The second half of the 2011 is rich with two events equally important for the EaP, namely the Eastern Partnership Summit and the Polish Presidency in the EU. The Eastern Partnership Summit is to be held in Poland in September 2011. The second EaP Summit will unite the Heads of States and Governments of the 27 of the EU Member States and the Eastern Partnership partner countries. Taking into consideration the recent events in the Southern neighbourhood and followed ENP review, the level of political attendance will show the importance and interest of the EU leaders in the relatively stable Eastern neighbourhood. This summit is expected to give a new breath of new life into the Partnership or otherwise, it will be marginalized.

The Foreign Minister of Poland, Sikorski, is working on the concrete ideas that are to be promoted or launched during the Summit.[35] Firstly, he has confirmed that during the Summit, Poland hoped to spell out the European prospective for the EaP partner countries. As the Minister has specified, ‘there was nothing wrong in repeating the Article of the Lisbon Treaty. One should agree that this repetition might be very motivating for the EaP countries.’ Secondly, the Summit Declaration is expected to contain an annex with list of key initiatives and projects that should be further elaborated by the Commission and implemented in the framework of the current as well as the next Financial Perspective. The fact that this annex will be accepted at the meeting on the highest level might give more leverage for its implementation. Thirdly, Poland is planning to launch the first Business Forum which is expected to become a platform of communication between the business in the EaP countries, the EU, and the International Financial Institutions. Finally, during the Summit Poland intends to reaffirm and reiterate the need for the continuation of reforms and the principle of “more for more”, emphasizing on the ‘smart’ conditionality. The Summit will be an important event that will either re-motivate the partner countries to further deep political and economic integration or make them reconsider the speed of the integration.

At the same time, Polish Presidency will be important for the EU neighbourhood and the Eastern in particularly. During its six month of Presidency in the EU, Poland also plans to launch the European Endowment for Democracy and the Civil Society Facility, which aim to support the civil society and the future political parties. Both ideas were already presented to the High Representative. Poland also expects to launch the regional development fund, which is a regional model of the EU cohesion funds. Poland has also promised to gear the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization for Ukraine and Moldova.

Much was done during the two years, but even more is planned to be done. The question is whether there is enough political will to foster this process. The upcoming events will show.


  1. Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, ‘The Eastern Dimension of the European Union. The Polish View’, speech at the conference "The EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy" Warsaw, 20 February 2003 Available at: http://bit.ly/cmtPak
  2. Bogdana Depo, Eastern Partnership: Is It Viable?, Master Thesis 2010, College of Europe.
  3. Christopher S. Browning and Pertti Joenniemi, The European Union’s Two Dimensions: The Eastern and the Northern, Sage Publication, Oslo, 2003. P. 473.
  4. Exact number of troops as of 2008 is presented in the Nicu Popescu & Andrew Wilson, The Limits of Enlargement-Lite: European and Russian Power in the Troubled Neighbourhood, ECFR Policy Report, June 2009, p. 40
  5. X, ‘Moldova unhappy with the EU’s Eastern Partnership offer’, Radio Free Europe 25.05.2009. Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/Moldova_Unhappy_With_EUs_Eastern_Partnership_Offer/1516575.html
  6. X, ‘Presidential administration representative: Azerbaijan eyes Eastern Partnership as a new and important format, aimed at strengthening relations with the EU’, Today.az, 07.05.2009, Available at: http://www.today.az/news/politics/52099.html.
  7. Depo, op.cit., note 2, p. 27.
  8. Implementation of the Eastern Partnership: Report the meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers, December 13, 2010, p. 1
  9. EU-Ukraine Association Agenda, p. 2.
  10. European Commission, Communication of the European Neighbourhood Policy Strategy Paper, COM (2004) 373 final, 12 May 2004, p. 8.
  11. Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit, available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/er/107589.pdf,Art. 5
  12. Interview with the members of the negotiating team.
  13. Bogdana Depo, Ukraine: Again in between?, EaP Community website, 26.04.2011, Available at: http://www.easternpartnership.org/community/debate/ukraine-again-between
  14. Decree of the Parliament of Ukraine, http://zakon.rada.gov.ua/cgi-bin/laws/main.cgi?nreg=3400-17
  15. European Commission, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, Eastern Partnership, COM (2008) 823 final, Brussels, 3 December 2008.
  16. EU-Republic of Moldova Visa Dialogue, Action Plan on Visa Liberalization, p. 1
  17. Joint Declaration on a Mobility Partnership between the European Union andGeorgia, Brussels, 30 November 2009, p. 4
  18. Job Boonstra and Natalia Shapovalova, The EU’s Eastern Partnership: One year backwards, Fride Working Paper, May 2010, p. 4
  19. Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit.
  20. Ibid, P. 6
  21. Natalia Shapovalova, ‘The EU’s Eastern Partnership: still-born?’, Fride Policy Brief, #11 May 2009, p. 4-5.
  22. Implementation of the Eastern Partnership: Report to the meeting ofForeign Affairs Ministers, December 13, 2010. Available at: wwweeas.europa.eu/eastern/docs/eap_meeting_foreign_affairs_131210_en.pdf
  23. Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit, p. 8.
  24. From an interview with the Polish official, May 2010.
  25. Ulad Vialichka, The Civil Society Forum as an innovation within the EaP: the experience of the first two years, The EaP Community, 06-06-2011
  26. Euronest blog, available at: http://euronest.blogspot.com/search/label/Euronest
  27. István Sértő-Radics, The Eastern Partnership Policy Initiative and Ukraine - the point of view of the CoR rapporteur István Sértő-Radics (22.03.2011) , http://www.cor.europa.eu/pages/DetailTemplate.aspx?view=detail&id=2506dbc3-c4b1-4837-b1ee-0c5e053e8b3e
  28. Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund launched, 13 December 2010, reference number Reference: 2010-233-EN, http://www.eib.org/about/press/2010/2010-233-eastern-partnership-technical-assistance-trust-fund-launched.htm
  29. https://wcd.coe.int/wcd/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1720997&Site=COE
  30. From the CoE official website, http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/cooperation/capacitybuilding/projects/enhan_judic_ref_eastern_partn_count_en.asp
  31. Council of Europe, The impact of the Eastern Partnership of the European Union on governance and economic development in Eastern Europe, 8 February 2011, Doc 12521.
  32. EU pledges extra €5 million to support EBRD small business programmes in the Eastern Partnership,  (10-06-2011) http://www.enpi-info.eu/eastportal/news/latest/25515/EU-pledges-extra-%E2%82%AC5-million-to-support-EBRD-small-business-programmes-in-the-Eastern-Partnership
  33. EIB supports with EUR 450 million upgrade of roads in Ukraine, 27 May 2011, 2011-071-EN, http://www.eib.org/projects/press/2011/2011-071-eib-supports-with-eur-450-million-upgrade-of-roads-in-ukraine.htm?lang=en&
  34. A. Pushkin quoted by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, in Nizhny Novogorod, 10 June 2011.
  35. From the speech of Polish MFA to the expert community in Brussels, May 2011.

The article was firstly presented at the Conference 'The European Neighbourhood Policy: Aims and Impact' (Saturday 18 June 2011, University of Leicester, UK). The conference was held in the framework of Jean Monnet project ‘EU Enlargement and Democratic Consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe’.

Проект финансируется Европейским СоюзомEU