Taking Stock of the Eastern Partnership in the Visegrad Four
Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava
Centre for Eastern Studies (Warsaw), Institute of International Relations (Prague), Central European University – Centre for EU Enlargement Studies (Budapest)
This research project aims at drafting policy recommendations on further upgrade of the Eastern Partnership, including its institutional framework, tools and resources. Recommendations will be based on the analysis of experience of both the EU and the partner countries with the implementation of Eastern Partnership since its launch in 2009 with a particular focus on the role of the Visegrad Four countries in developing the EaP.
The policy review of the ENP of 2010 and 2011 together with recent developments in the EU’s eastern and southern neighborhood pose important questions about the state and the future potential of the Eastern Partnership. The Visegrad countries have played an important role in the launch and the sustainability of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Hungarian and Polish Presidencies of the EU in 2011 as well as ongoing activities within the Visegrad format offer a timely opportunity for evaluating the achievements and shortcomings of the EaP against the backdrop of EU-wide debates on the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The research will scrutinize all segments of the EU offer to upgrade relations with partner countries as it was presented by the European Commission’s Communication on Eastern Partnership on 3 December 2008 (COM (2008) 823 final). The main reference countries of the research will be Moldova and Ukraine since both are the most advanced partner countries in terms of their capacity to engage fully with the EU within the Eastern Partnership offer and both are the object of most intensive engagement by the V4 countries in the Eastern Partnership.
The research will produce country studies on the role of the Visegrad Four in the Eastern Partnership, country studies of Ukraine and Moldova on their engagement in the EaP and a study on the EU political and institutional context of the Eastern Partnership. Specifically, it will examine ongoing talks on new Association Agreements, including the DCFTA, visa dialogue and progress in the implementation of mobility pacts, cooperation in the fields of energy security and social and economic developments, including new bilateral instruments, i.e. Comprehensive Institution-Building Program and the Association Agenda in the case of Ukraine. The research will evaluate available outcomes of multilateral cooperation within the Eastern Partnership thematic platforms, specific panels and flagship initiatives. Special attention will be paid to the work of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum as well as to analysis of a failure in establishing two additional multilateral forums, i.e. inter-parliamentary assembly and the assembly of regional and local authorities. The research will map ongoing discourse within the EU on further development of Eastern Partnership, including outcomes of the reflection period that was initiated by High Representative Ashton and Commissioner Fülle in 2010.
In a sum, the research will aim, first, to assess achievements of the Eastern Partnership, second, to address its results when it comes to its outcomes versus original expectations from both the EU and partner countries, and finally, to identify potentials for improvements of all segments of the EU offer, including policy framework, specific programs and tools applied in both bilateral and multilateral track of the EaP with a specific focus on the role of the Visegrad countries.
We plan to organize three workshops which will allow us to present and discuss the country studies and papers on the state of the EaP. The workshop in Prague will be held right before the start of the Czech V4 Presidency and the workshop in Warsaw will be organized during the Polish Presidency of the EU that is expected to host the Warsaw summit of the Eastern Partnership. The workshop in Brussels will aim to present the project’s findings to analysts and policymakers in the EU capital.
We shall also organize two conferences. The first conference will be held both in Prešov (first day of the conference) and in Przemysl (second day of the conference). The aim of this conference will be to highlight the specific proximity and role of the V4 countries in the EaP by discussing issues of tolerant society, migration in multicultural environment and opportunities offered through the Eastern Partnership for building more intensive, tolerant and multicultural ties between the Visegrad countries and Ukraine in the local context of eastern Slovakia and southeastern Poland. Through this conference we plan to engage the challenges of the EaP in a hands-on manner by involving local policymakers, journalists, academics, students and analysts and debating the EaP in a more regional setting close to the Schengen border between the EU and Ukraine. The second conference will be held in Bratislava and its aim will be to present the main findings of the research and to offer policy recommendations to the EU, V4 and partner countries on possible improvements in the EaP. The conference in Bratislava will be a high-profiled international event that should raise the visibility of the project’s findings with relevant analysts and policymakers engaged in the Eastern Partnership.
Alexander Duleba, Director of the Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava; project coordinator
Vladimír Bilčík, Head of the European Affairs Research Program, Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava
Vladimír Benč, Head of the Economic and Development Policy Program, Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava
Juraj Buzalka, Editor-In-Chief, Journal OS
Jitka Ivančíková, Executive Director of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava; project administrator
Petr Kratochvíl, Deputy Director, Institute of International Relations, Prague
Adam Eberhardt, Deputy Dircetor, Centre of Eastern Studies, Warsaw,
András Deák, Research Director, Centre for EU Enlargement Studies, CEU, Budapest
Eugen Revenco, Program Director, Foreign Policy Association of Moldova, Chisinau
Yulia Tyshchenko, Head of the Board, Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research, Kyiv
Nat Copsey, Deputy Director, Aston Centre for Europe, University of Aston
Kail-Olaf Lang, Research Fellow, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin
February – December 2011
Workshops Prague, June 2011
Budapest, September 2011
Warsaw, November 2011
Conferences Prešov and Przemysl, September 2011,
Bratislava, October 2011
Publication Bratislava, December 2011