(New Eastern Europe) Dealing with Russian involvement and implementing reforms – that is the main advice the members of the European Parliament gave to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in its resolution on January 21st 2016. With a special focus on the war in eastern Ukraine, the deputies urged these three countries to move toward democratic transformations and efficient government work.
The resolution analysed the progress made by these countries after signing the Association Agreement and served as recommendations for the states. The three, along with Azerbaijan, have been the founders of the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development aimed at economic and political co-operation and dealing with frozen conflicts. The organisation had been largely inactive since 2008 when the last GUAM Summit took place, the same year Russia gave military assistance to Georgia’s breakaway regions. […]
“From the very beginning, it was not clear what the purpose of GUAM was,” says Kornely Kakachia, Professor of Political Science at Tbilisi State University and a director of the Georgian Institute of Politics, a Tbilisi-based think-tank. “It’s true the organisation was formed to deal with the conflicts, but GUAM was never constitutionalised enough,” he continues. Since GUAM no longer functions properly, Kakachia does not see the point of reviving it.
Instead, he suggests forming a new group, a Black Sea Trio which would work similarly to the Visegrad Four. It does not have to be a formal organisation from the very beginning, but it should start out with high-profile meetings once or twice a year which would strengthen co-operation between the three states.
“It is essential for the countries to show that they are the exception to the norm within the Eastern Partnership and make the EU see them like it did the Baltic states,” says Kakachia. Therefore, the trio’s goal should be promoting its pro-European initiatives as well as breaking stereotypes which exist about the countries within and outside the EU. […]
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