Two European think tanks, one German the other Romanian join forces to propose ”Elements for an Eastern Partnership Plus A New Association Package for Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine”.
The paper was written by Cristian Ghinea, the director of the Romanian Center for European Policies (CRPE) and Katrin Böttger, deputy director of Berlin-based Institute for European Politics (IEP). The two authors conclude that the Eastern Partnership (EaP) reached its limits in the current form.
The Riga Summit was not a failure because no real and achievable result could address the very different positions of the six countries. Riga should be the last summit to try to accommodate all of them in the same format. An EU + 3 + 1 +1 + 1 format is much more plausible with an Eastern Partnership Plus Association Package. This EaP Plus format should focus on the implementation of the Association Agreements and open various EU wide Programmes to the three associated countries. In other words, EaP Plus, dedicated to the countries that signed Associated Agreements, should be a dedicated framework in which EU invest in reforming and changing these countries.
The governments of these three countries should take the lack of membership perspective as an “on hold” option (neither “Yes” nor “No”) and not making an obsession out of it. The following 10 years in the EU – Eastern Associated countries (EaP Plus) relation will be dominated by the implementation of the Association Agreements, comprehensive legal documents which bind both EU and the Associated countries into a reforming process which in fact prepare them for accession (similar with the pattern of the Central-Eastern Europe in early 90`s and Western Balkans later).
The full report, in English, is available here
This report is published within the framework of the Regional Cooperation Romania-Moldova-Ukraine – key for stability in the post-Crimeea Black Sea Region project supported by Black Sea Trust – GMF.
An online platform www.eueastdialogue.eu dedicated to the debates, reports, policy makers or analysts is available for think tanks and experts within the region.