“Working together on ‘medium caliber’ goals”a conversation with Michał Boni (Member of the European Parliament) assessing the Eastern Partnership

Mr. Boni, what is your assessment of the eight years of the Eastern Partnership (EaP)? Has this project met its key goals or has it failed?

The main goal of the EaP in 2009 was to strengthen relations and cooperation with eastern neighbors of the EU. This is basically one of the EU’s key ideas: building a neighborhood through an export of development and peace so that we don’t have to import tension and threats. And implementation of that idea, however not perfect, is going well. For example, let’s take a look at how the DCFTA has been applied and how the indicators of foreign trade in different EaP countries have changed lately in a positive way. Despite the bad political climate (caused by Russian actions) we can say: We have succeeded! (…)

This interview was conducted by Kamil Całus (Centre for Eastern Studies – OSW) on 29 August 2017 and was included in EU-STRAT Newsletter (Issue 3 / September 2017)

(click on the image above or here to download PDF with full interview)


*** *** ***


“Georgia should consistently knock on the EU’s and NATO’s doors”: an interview with Kakha Gogolashvili (Senior Fellow and Director of EU Studies at the Georgian  foundation for Strategic and International Studies and a member of EU-STRAT’s Advisory Board)

With membership perspective out of the question and the Association Agreements (AAs) and visa liberalization already under implementation, how can the European Union (EU) incentivize Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries?

Membership perspective is the most important thing. It’s not being discussed at this stage, but I think that in the future, in the medium term perspective, this question will be raised by governments of the states that have signed and implemented AAs. Societies in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are very much awaiting clear indication that they will be taken into the EU.

But what about the EU perspective on this issue?

Well, for the moment, of course the EU is in a relative crisis. There are so many other problems currently in the EU that raising the issue of future enlargement at this moment would be politically damaging for any government in the EU. That is why they are naturally not inclined to enter in such debates. But that does not mean that EU elites have not kept this issue for the future in some way. I mean political and intellectual elites in the member states.  (…)

This interview was conducted by Tadeusz Iwański and Kamil Całus (Centre for Eastern Studies – OSW) during EU-STRAT’s midterm conference entitled “The EU and Eastern Partnership Countries: An Inside-Out Analysis and Strategic Assessment” which took place in Vilnius from October 5 to October 6, 2017. It was included in EU-STRAT Newsletter (Issue 4 / January 2018)

(click on the image above or here to download PDF with full interview)


*** *** ***


All interviews on this website were conducted as a part of the
EU-STRAT research project.