Richard Giragosian (Armenia)
Founding Director of the Regional Studies Center (RSC), Yerevan, Armenia, Visiting Professor and a Senior Expert at the Yerevan State University’s Centre for European Studies (CES), a contributing analyst for Oxford Analytica.
Yes! I would say, in a more realistic context, it is useful still because it is the only game in town. It is the only opportunity available for rebuilding and restoring the relationship with the European Union and with the West. At a more practical level, it is also especially relevant because of the economic pressure and the economic fallout which has hurt Armenia as a result of the sanctions against Russia.
Mariam Naskidashvili (Georgia)
Junior researcher at the Tbilisi State University and the Yerevan State University. Her ongoing project examines the influence of national identity on foreign policy formation.
Certain progress has already been achieved but countries are developing in different directions. The Association Agreement is one of the first steps towards this although it has been signed with only three countries and it is, therefore, country-specific. I think we should start moving towards country-specific approaches.
I believe that when the Eastern Partnership framework was initiated, it was meaningful. It helped to tighten the relations with the EU and to synchronise this process. In this sense, it was relevant. Georgia is now ready to move forward. I think that the Eastern Partnership is still a significant step forward in EU-Georgia relations but as we move forward, we can move towards bilateral relations.
Iryna Solonenko (Ukraine)
DAAD/OSF scholar at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder.
Ideally, the Eastern Partnership should enhance the competition among its members. They can also benefit from exchange of information, know-how, reform experience, financial instruments and meetings at different levels – summits, ministerial meetings, expert meetings, civil society forums. It is useful to have these types of platform for interaction, exchange of experience and ideas. Being a part of the Eastern Partnership also makes countries talk to each other. In this sense, it is useful to keep the countries together in a policy such as the Eastern Partnership.