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17 October, 2013 14:33   ▪  

Ukraine is ranked #3 in the European Partnership countries' progress rate

Polish quarterly journal of Central and Eastern European Affairs The New Eastern Europe conducted a survey with ten experts from across Europe about the progress of the Eastern Partnership countries on their way to EU.

The experts graded the Eastern Partnership programme by completing a scorecard with a series of categories (which you can see below in the table) for each of the six EaP countries (Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia).

Not surprisingly, Belarus scored the lowest, while Georgia has scored the highest.  Ukraine was rated #3; while Georgia and Moldova are the only two countries that scored above the average. Armenia scored higher than Azerbaijan.

“Looking at the regional average; the development of civil society is graded the highest among the categories with a score of 3 (fair) while progress in regards to human rights is the lowest scoring category. More precisely, the average score for Belarus and Azerbaijan in regards to human rights is around 1.5 (between very poor and poor) and 3.1 for Georgia, which received the highest score,” NEE survey says.

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Overall, the experts believe that progress in the EaP countries is not overwhelmingly positive, which is reflected in the 2.6 average grade for the whole region. Beyond this, the scorecard also illustrates the diversity of the countries of the Eastern Partnership.

Assessing the situation in Ukraine, 60 per cent of experts believed that if Ukraine does not meet the European Union’s criteria before the Vilnius summit on November 28th and 29th 2013, the EU should not sign the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

Summing up, one expert emphasised the importance of the EaP as “a litmus test for the EU and its seriousness as a global political actor. The EaP countries’ experience of negotiating and implementing the DCFTA agreements can be a crucially important future model of EU’s cooperation with the southern neighbours (such as countries of North Africa and Middle East).” Another expert concluded that: “The matrix of engagement developed by the EU for the EaP region is excellent; however what is still missing is how to connect with partners on the ground to ensure legitimacy and implementation.”

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