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From Riga to Brussels: Georgia’s hopes for Eastern Partnership

Eastern Partnership / POLICY BRIEF
Ana Andguladze

Date: 20/11/2017

The Eastern Partnership’s fifth summit will take place this Friday in Brussels, bringing together the six EaP states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and EU institutions and member states. As one of the biggest success stories of the Eastern Partnership, and with EU membership still being its main foreign policy goal, Georgia wants the summit to deliver an ambitious declaration that sets out long-term objectives and reaffirms the EU’s strong commitment to the region. However, given the EU’s current inward-looking nature and the lack of appetite for further enlargement, such a long-term vision seems unlikely to materialise at the summit. Therefore Georgia will need to adopt a pragmatic approach, focusing on deepening EU integration in all possible areas, while at the same time addressing its own democratic shortcomings. 

Ideas that could enhance EU-Georgia relations and make the EaP more effective include:

  • Creating a new economic area between Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, allowing for full participation in the EU’s internal market without membership of the customs union.
  • Working closely together with NATO to further enhance the resilience of the EaP states, supporting security sector reform and opening the way for further Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) activities.
  • Defeating Russian propaganda by increasing the human and financial support to the East StratCom Task Force to ensure its functioning, and allocate more resources to support local independent media content.
  • Providing more creative economic support for the implementation of the Association Agreement (AA), including additional funds to support energy independence and/or offering gradual access to the Single European Payments Area (SEPA).

Read the full paper here

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