Dezember 01, 2013

Top 3 #Hashtags and the Eastern Partnership

Eastern Partnership summit,  Foto: Paweł Supernak
#Hashtags dominates the social media universe. The Eastern Partnership topic has been dominated by #Hashtags long before the 3rd Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius (Lithuania) started and is dominated after the summit. Three #Hashtags highlight the issue: 1. #EasternPartnership; 2. #VilniusSummit and 3. #євромайдан #евромайдан #Euromaidan.

November 24, 2013

4 Top "Twitter Diplomats" Disappointed by Ukraine's Decision, But "Open Door" Policy

Foto @fabiolahrnndz/Twitter
Many European diplomats expressed their disappointment that Ukraine put the European integration on hold which could be seen as far from achieving the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

November 17, 2013

Pokerspiel um die Östliche Partnerschaft - Endspurt für Vilnius

Foto: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
Nur noch wenige Tage verbleiben bis in der litauischen Hauptstadt Vilnius das dritte Gipfel der Östlichen Partnerschaft stattfindet. Die Erwartungen an die Europäische Union sind groß. Die Schlagzeilen in der Union und in den Partnerländern überschlagen sich mit Vermutungen, Drohungen und sogar Satire über die zukünftigen Beziehungen zwischen der Europäischen Union und den Partnerstaaten an der östlichen Grenze. Moldau, Georgien und die Ukraine gelten als die Favoriten für ein Assoziierungsabkommen mit der EU. Armenien hat bereits ein ähnliches Abkommen mit Russland unterschrieben. Aserbaidschan ist nicht wirklich daran interessiert. Und Belarus denkt nicht daran, denn Lukaschenkos Land gehört schon der Eurasischen Union, angeführt von Russland in der Person von Vladimir Putin.

Februar 22, 2013

The Eastern Partnership and Its 14 "Buddies"

EaP Countries and supporters among the EU; EU21Global
Everyone needs friends. At times of important decisions - this applies even more. The eastern neighbours of the European Union have experienced that there are comparable difficulties on the way of European integration. However, there are some supporters among the EU member states. Various meetings at the national and regional level were hold for the purpose of demonstration of additional support for the Eastern partnership countries. The three Baltic countries Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Poland, Sweden and Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland and Sweden, as well as Bulgaria and Romania and even Great Britain increasingly showed their support to further develop the Eastern Partnership and manage the European integration of the Eastern neighbours of the European Union. Additionally they send a clear signal to the EaP countries that there were indeed serious obstacles in the path of reforms in order to get closer to the European Union.

Februar 08, 2013

Ukraine: "It's Now or Never" to decide on EU

EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton communicated the willingness of Brussels to hold EU-Ukraine summit in early 2013. The European Commission announced on 20 December 2012 that an EU-Ukraine summit would be held on 25 February 2013. The timetable is set. Prior to the upcoming summit the warnings are clear and there some preconditions to be resolved before signing any document: former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko cases, choice between EU or Moscow's Customs Union. So it is up to Ukraine to do its best and perform with the guidelines of the European Union. The main message is: Reform yourself or forget about us!

Januar 29, 2013

Moldova - A "Last Minute Saviour" for the Eastern Partnership?

José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC visits Moldova,
Foto: Photographic service of the Council of the EU © European Communities
WHO needs whom - Moldova the Eastern partnership or the Eastern partnership Moldova? In the last few weeks and months there have been repeated rumors that the Eastern partnership countries are going to further diversify their cooperation options. There are two perfect examples - Ukraine and Armenia. The European Union is becoming more aware that the developments in the Eastern neighbourhood can represent a risk and it is called to stimulate its relations with some "A-plus students" if it didn't want to jeopardize the credibility of its Eastern policy. Who is eligible to become a showcase? Moldova?! However, it should be handled with caution.

Januar 23, 2013

David Cameron and "His European Union"

A. Merkel, D. Cameron, F. Hollande; Foto: TMNews (
During the European Council in December 2012 all the European leaders stood side by side. In January 2013 the future of the European Union is being used to drive a wedge between the "Big Three": Great Britain, France and Germany. While Angela Merkel and François Hollande celebrate their "Golden Wedding", David Cameron pledges EU exit. What a European Leadership? Stefan Lehne states: "Several factors differentiate these three countries from most other member states. First, the Big Three states can still rely on their own weight to influence developments and are less dependent on multilateral institutions. Second, they can forum-shop; the EU is just one of several relevant institutional frameworks in which they can operate. And third, the Big Three are involved in shaping policies across a much wider range than other states."

Januar 21, 2013

Armenia Reloaded: 2013 Elections and Shuttle Diplomacy

EU-Armenia, Foto: Photographic service of the Council of the EU © European Communities
Elections in the Post-Soviet space are increasingly an European task and responsibility but mostly are leaving everything the way it is. Just take a look on Ukraine. Armenia is also preparing to hold elections in 2013. The European Union is getting ready for surprises but is more prepared after the Ukraine's election in 2012. Perhaps... There are more "sticks" than "carrots" for EU support of EU-Armenian relations. But Russia is offering more "security carrots" than "democracy sticks". But everything depends on Armenia.

Januar 17, 2013

The Fall of the Eastern Partnership? Or even Ukraine?

Eastern Partnership countries, Graphik: Hristofor Hridsoskulov
Six different neighbouring countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - one concrete idea for enhancing relationships with those countries - Eastern Partnership.  A lot of time has gone by since the Eastern Partnership has been launched. And what happened? The European Union has taken some slow steps in its primal dierection. The idea is not bad: association agreements including deep and comprehensive free trade agreements with those countries willing and able to enter into a deeper engagement and gradual integration in the EU economy; gradual visa liberalisation, accompanied by measures to tackle illegal immigration; promoting democracy and good governance, strengthening energy security; promoting sector reform and environment protection, encouraging people to people contacts, supporting economic and social development and offering additional funding for projects to reduce socio-economic imbalances and increasing stability. That is all well and good, of course, but the European Union can hardly put any of this to the test at a time when the six countries are undergoing a very difficult and sometimes really strange orientation process.