Archive for October, 2009

EU-Armenia: high-level, but low-profile

An Armenian acquaintance recently noted that Armenia is apparently the only Eastern Partnership (EaP) country that is really satisfied with the policy – all the other partners want either more, or less from the EU. Of course this highlights Armenia’s limited (or realistic) ambitions vis-a-vis the EU. But also the fact that Armenia, instead of constantly complaining that the EU is not doing enough (like Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia often do), pragmatically tries to benefit from what is on offer from the EU.

At the beginning of this year Armenia became the first country of the Eastern neighbourhood where the EU deployed a mission of eight advisers across a whole set of state institutions. Because the project was considered a success the EU is about to send an additional six persons. Read the rest of this entry »

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EU’s failure in Georgia

In light of the Tagliavini report, it is perhaps worth discussing in greater details EU’s performance in Georgia’s conflicts as well. We all know that both Georgia and Russia (with South Ossetia) are responsible for escalating the game around the conflicts zones and ruthlessly rushing into a downward spiral of militarisation of the conflicts zones, particularly after Kosovo’s declaration of independence and Georgia’s perceived moves towards NATO in the first half of 2008. But EU failures are also worth discussing. The report only refers to them en passant:”over the years there was a gradual increase in European involvement in Georgia, which may be called forthcoming in terms of economic aid, politically friendly on the bilateral side, cooperative but cautious on contentious political issues and … mostly distanced [from] sensitive security issues. A good case in point was the European reluctance to take over the Border Monitoring Mission on the Caucasus range facing Russia, after Russia had vetoed the hitherto OSCE engagement in 2004.”

Behind this carefully calibrated phrase lies the story of EU’s failure to engage in conflict-resolution. Read the rest of this entry »

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