Politics and economics of the DCFTA and Eurasian spaces

The successful implementation of the EU-Association Agreements by Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine requires the introduction of much-needed reforms in these countries. Since the (provisional) application of DCFTAs, bilateral trade between three Eastern Partnership (EaP) states and the Union has increased, reinforcing the EU’s position as their main trade partner. At the same time, high levels of corruption, coupled with oligarchs’ veto-powers over the reform process, impedes democratic progress and contributes to the ineffectiveness of state, particularly in Moldova and Ukraine. Given Russia’s destabilisation policies in the region, the EU should strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation with these three countries and keep strict and clear conditionality. It should also be responsive to the partners’ needs and proposals for the improvement of the Union’s policy towards the Eastern Neighbourhood.

The conference “Politics and economics of the DCFTA and Eurasian spaces” (on October 5th) was sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and brought together representatives of CEPS and partner organisations from Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine, as well as external experts who contributed to ‘hot-topic’ papers, namely Andrey Makarychev (Tartu University); Ghia Nodia (Ilia State University); Mykhailo Minakov (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy); and Wociech Kononczuk (OSW). Among other key speakers at the conference were Petros Sourmelis (DG Trade); Tatiana Romanova (St Petersburg University); Olga Burlyuk (Ghent University); and Pierre Deusy-Fournie (EEAS). For relevant publications, please see the “3DCFTAs” project website.