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HARNESSING THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP: A WAY OUT FROM THE EAST EUROPEAN DEADLOCK?

HARNESSING THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP: A WAYOUT FROM THE EAST EUROPEAN DEADLOCK?
 
George Vlad NICULESCU
On 7 May 2009, the EU summit with its Eastern European Partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) in Prague launched the Eastern Partnership with a view to developing a specific Eastern European dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). It aimed at creating conditions for accelerating political association and further economic integration of the six former Soviet countries. Concluding new Association Agreements, establishing Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas, developing Comprehensive Institution-Building programs, supporting the mobility of citizens and visa liberalization were deemed as key elements to meeting those ends. The Eastern Partnership has also aimed at further promoting stability and multilateral confidence building, in particular by seeking peaceful settlements to "frozen" conflicts, and by helping partner countries developing closer ties among themselves.