Understanding the EU’s three Association Agreements and DCFTAs with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine


These three treaties are very long and complex legal documents, which no-one except directly responsible officials or PhD researchers can be expected to read. Nevertheless, they represent a new model of agreements between the EU and its close neighbours, and the attempt to translate into practice what Romano Prodi described as the objective of having a “ring of friends” around the EU, which would participate in everything “except the institutions”.

CEPS researchers joined with their counterparts in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine first to explain the political, economic and legal content of the agreements, and secondly to assess how the three partner states are progressing with their implementation. The results of this immense body of research are now published in three ‘Handbooks’, accompanied by three ‘Short Guides’, all freely downloadable at www.ceps.eu. The findings were debated at a conference hosted by CEPS on September 20th, and open to the public.

Overall, one can say that the three states are now seriously engaged in implementation, notwithstanding the tumultuous beginning in Ukraine where the reneging by President Yanukovich led to the Maidan uprising and subsequent aggression by Russia.

Yet there remain many unanswered questions that the teams of researchers from CEPS and the three states will continue to examine, under the project supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The most important among them is the bottom line question: Will the agreements succeed in consolidating the ‘European choice’ of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine?