The Eastern Partnership and Ukraine: looking back, thinking ahead
19 February 2020, 14:00


On February, 19 the New Europe Center hold the public discussion, at which Leo Litra, NEC Senior Research Fellow and Kateryna Zarembo, NEC Associated expert presented the Ukrainian part of the EU ISS research The Eastern Partnership a decade on: looking back, thinking ahead.

The paper looks back on the evolution of the Eastern Partnership programme, unveils shifting attitudes towards the EaP, provides analyses of both the successes and failures experienced in the six partner states, as well as suggests ways in which the EaP could be adapted to fend off regional challenges and take advantage of rising opportunities in the coming decade.


Based on the paper, NEC analysts and invited experts provided an assessment of the EaP implementation and opportunities. The speakers of the event paid attention to such points:


“One European expert noticed, that if you compile first letters of Eastern partnership countries, you will have Russian word “bumaga” (paper). This is symbolic, as there are many proposals to reform EaP written on paper, but little opportunity to implement them. May ideas written come to life.”

Alyona Getmanchuk, Director, New Europe Center


“We should differentiate the EaP countries. We are in one basket, but we need to have parallel tracks: for countries that are more ambitious and that ones, which are not.”

“The EaP lacks security dimension, but for Ukraine security is a first concern. EU could offer to the EaP countries to participate in some of its security projects, like PESCO.”

“EU has process-driven approach, not the result-driven approach.”

Leo Litra, Senior Research Fellow, New Europe Center


“The Eastern Partnership, on the one hand, lacks security dimension, but on the other hand, this dimension exists by virtue of the fact that a number of the EaP countries are struggling against Russia’s influence, to say the least.”

Kateryna Zarembo, Associated expert, New Europe Center


“Transition is not a linear story in EaP states, we don’t see reforms as a string of success, it’s about ups and downs. Transformations in the EaP states is rather a marathon, not a sprint.”

“EU delegation has the biggest presence in Ukraine, after the US. EUAM is also the second in scope in Ukraine after Western Balkans.”

“Bigger presence creates bigger expectations. But according to the EU polls, Ukrainians often want not more money, but they want the EU to encourage the government to make reforms.”

Stanislav Secrieru, Senior Analyst at the European Union Institute for Security Studies


“Ukraine has always underestimated multilateral cooperation. There should be more focus put on that. Most EaP countries can be more proactive in cooperation with the EU.”

“In this marathon you not always see the goal, but you have to keep up.”

Hans-Jürgen Heimsoeth, Special Representative for the Eastern Partnership at the German Foreign Office


“Make one step back and look at the reforms in Ukraine: it’s all about resilience. In the EUAM we also try to strengthen Ukrainian resilience in terms of external and internal threats. Our focus is still very much on the reform of the security sector.

“Ukraine is the biggest country of the Eastern Partnership. Kyiv is like a bubble, but in the regions the reality can rather differ from Kyiv. Thus, for EUAM it is also important to be in the regions. We expect the regional offices of EUAM to be fully operational in summer.”

“40% of Ukrainians know about the EUAM.”

Fredrik Wesslau, Deputy Head of European Union Assistance Mission to Ukraine


“The Eastern partnership strategy should remain ambitious and respond to the needs, expectations and interests of EaP countries. We see the inclusiveness of the EaP in its readiness to offer to all of the six countries a chance of maximum engagement and it will be up to the country to decide how deep to get engaged.”

Maryna Mykhailenko, Director of the European Union and NATO Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.


Please find the pictures from the public discussion here.

Watch video from the event here:

???? Як модернізувати Східне партнерство? Дискутуємо на Східне партнерство і Україна: оцінка минулого, погляд у майбутнє!Дослідження "Десята річниця Східного партнерства: оцінка минулого, погляд у майбутнє" можна знайти тут:

Gepostet von Центр "Нова Європа" / New Europe Center am Dienstag, 18. Februar 2020


The event was organized within the Think Tanks Development Initiative for Ukraine, implemented by the International Renaissance Foundation in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE) and with financial support from the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine

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