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The road towards the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

The bumpy road towards the November 2013 Vilnius summit – supposed to be a milestone in the four-year-old Eastern Partnership – is heading to an increasingly uncertain destination.

The road towards the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

© 2013 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Image Copyright EU2013.lt

During the forthcoming summit, Association Agreements (AA) were set to be signed with Ukraine and initiated with three other partners: Armenia, Georgia and Moldova.

However, the Ukraine’s parliament refusal (on 13 & 21 November 2013) to let former Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko leave the country in order to receive medical treatment and the Ukrainian Government decision on “suspension of the preparation process to conclude Association Agreement with the EU” (adopted on 21 November 2013) will probably jeopardise the decision to sign the AA. As for Armenia, it has declined the EU’s offer, opting instead to join the Eurasian Customs Union which Russia is forming with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Moldova and Georgia are also under strong Russian pressure not to engage with the EU AAs.

The EU is intensifying its diplomatic efforts to counter Russia’s assertiveness and find acceptable compromises between the strict conditionality requested so far (economic and political reform as a prerequisite to sign agreements with the EU) from Eastern Partnership countries and longer term consequences of a potential U-turn by Eastern Partnership countries back into Russia’s sphere of influence.

This compilation of sources provides access to updated information, both official and from the press, on the Vilnius summit. It also provides an insight into the progress accomplished by the Eastern Partnership countries, covering the positions of EU institutions and civil society in the run-up to Vilnius.

For general information on the Eastern Partnership please see the Library Navigator: Eastern Partnership

Contents: Overview, analysis, EU institutions’ point of view, country specific sources, other stakeholders

Overview

The Presidency of the Council of the EU

The third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius / Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013 (Event web-page; please see the news on EaP in Vilnius)

News agencies

Europe Media MonitorAgence Europe and Europolitics news on the EaP Summit

Analysis

Smart geostrategy for the Eastern Partnership / Richard Youngs, Kateryna Pishchikova, Carnegie Endowment, November 2013, 28 p.
The authors’ analysis reaches beyond the Vilnius summit, and puts the EaP in a more geostrategic perspective. They propose overcoming the competition between the EU and Russia that could destabilise EaP countries.

Beyond the Vilnius Summit: challenges for deeper EU integration with Eastern Europe / Laure Delcour; Kataryna Wolczuk, EPC, 31 October 2013, 4 p.
The authors draw a concise analytical picture of the geopolitical state of play before the Vilnius summit and assess the prospects for the Eastern Partnership in the longer term.

The Eastern Partnership Roadmap to the Vilnius Summit : an assessment of the roadmap implementation by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum / co-ordinated by the Regional Environmental Centre, Moldova, and PASOS – Policy Association for an Open Society, October 2013
This paper gives an overview of progress accomplished by Eastern Partnership countries on their road to closer integration with the EU.

A solidarity package for the eastern partners / Iana Dreyer; Nicu Popescu, European Union Institute for Security Studies, 24 September 2013, 2 p.
The authors propose measures that the EU could take in order to offset potential economic losses due to external pressure from Russia, incurred by Eastern Partnership countries as a result of their opting for Association Agreements with the EU.

Putin’s grand design to destroy the EU’s Eastern Partnership and replace it with a disastrous neighbourhood policy of his own / Michael Emerson; Hrant Kostanyan, CEPS, 17 September 2013, 4 p.
This article explains the reasons behind Armenia’s U-turn in its relations with the EU and analyses the threats linked to the development of the Eurasian Customs Union.

Visegrad 4 the Eastern Partnership: towards the Vilnius Summit / Alexander Duleba et al., Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, 15 September 2013, 39 p.
The authors consider the prospects for success of the Vilnius summit as well as long term options for the future of the Eastern Partnership.

Vilnius: A milestone in the Eastern Partnership? / Hrant Kostanyan, EU Observer, 30 August 2013
This article gives a concise overview of the political run-up toward the Vilnius summit and proposes to consider three scenarios for its outcome.

Heading towards Vilnius: a milestone for the Eastern Partnership / European Policy Centre, 22 July 2013
Short presentation of Moldova’s expectations ahead of the Vilnius summit.

A successful Vilnius Summit: mission possible / Olga Shumylo-Tapiola, Carnegie Europe, 4 June 2013
Basing on deep analysis of the functioning of the Eastern Partnership this author presents an overview of the challenges ahead and prospects for success of the upcoming summit.

The Upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius: What are the Expectations and Prospects for the Success? / Eastern Europe Studies Centre, 19 March 2013, 3 p.
Summary of the discussion with a guest speaker Bruce Jackson, Founding Director of the Project on Transitional Democracies. The conference was held on March 19, 2013 and organised by the Eastern Europe Studies Centre and the Lithuanian-American Association.

Video : Eastern Partnership from Vilnius to Riga and way ahead / The Riga Conference – foreign and security policy forum, 2013

Video : The Roadmap to the November EU Eastern Partnership Summit / Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2013

EU institutions’ view

Statements/Speeches (Council, Commission, EEAS)

Foreign Affairs Council assesses progress towards an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement / Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 21 October 2013

Eastern Partnership: High Representative Ashton and Commissioner Füle with Foreign Ministers on preparations for Vilnius / EEAS, New York, 26 September 2013, 2 p.

Statement on the pressure exercised by Russia on countries of the Eastern Partnership / Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, European Parliament Plenary, in Strasbourg, 11 September 2013

Statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton following the Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting / European Union, Brussels, 22 July 2013

European Parliament

European Parliament resolution of 23 October 2013 on the European Neighbourhood Policy: towards a strengthening of the partnership. Position of the European Parliament on the 2012 reports (2013/2621(RSP)) / P7_TA(2013)0446, Strasbourg, 23 October 2013 (please see point on Eastern Partnership countries)

European Parliament resolution of 12 September 2013 on the pressure exerted by Russia on Eastern Partnership countries (in the context of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius) / P7_TA(2013)0383, Strasbourg, 12 September 2013

Country specific sources

Polish-Swedish-French talks on the Eastern Partnership / Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Poland

Wilton Park: The Eastern Partnership: moving ahead: 14-15 October / A joint statement by the Foreign Ministers of Lithuania and Poland, and the UK’s Minister for Europe

Joint Statement on Eastern Partnership by the Foreign Ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Germany / Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs: Vilnius Summit to be turning point in relations with Eastern partners / Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

Other stakeholders

Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum / Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Chisinau, 4-5 October 2013

Resolution of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on supporting integration of EaP countries into European Union rather than Customs Union / Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Chisinau, 4-5 October 2013

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