12 mars 2015 4 12 /03 /mars /2015 13:50
The first five years of the Eastern Partnership have witnessed the most challenging period of relations between the EU and its eastern neighbours since the fall of communism in 1991. The year 2014 was a pivotal one, marked by the signing of Association Agreements with the European Union by three partners countries – Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia – but also by Russian military intervention in Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea. The continued aggression of a revanchist and intransigent Russia has altered the political and social landscape, and the original concept of the Eastern Partnership, however well-intentioned and suitable for a previous era, is not adequate to meet the challenges of 2015 and beyond. Therefore, there is a need for the EU to rethink its policy towards the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia, and build new approaches to suit the new reality. More than ever, 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. Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia should be perceived as more than partners, and the ‘more for more’ approach should be strengthened. Such an approach would send a clear political signal to all parties involved, and make for a better use of limited resources.