Expert of Democracy House Yevgeniy Yaroshenko participated in the KAS School of Excellence 2018 “EaP: Challenges, Chances and Perspectives” which took place on November 8-11 in Chisinau, Moldova. Organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Moldova, the forum included experts, politicians, civic activists and journalists from the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine).
In his speech, Yevgeniy Yaroshenko pointed out that security component is a weakness of the Eastern Partnership. He stressed that the EU mostly relies on soft power to strengthen security of the EaP countries while Russia uses hard power to undermine security of its neighbours.
Yaroshenko said that the EaP countries currently face perennial and latent security challenges. According to the expert, perennial security challenges include conflicts (all 6 conflicts on the territories of 5 countries are managed by Russia), corruption (only Georgia can boast of fight against corruption), and economic problems (many countries face troubles in the ease of doing business). Latent security challenges cover public mistrust in state authorities which pose a risk to pro-European elites, domestic problems in the EU which distracts Brussell’s attention from the EaP countries, and depopulation which may lead to a decreasing number of workforce and pro-European voters in the EaP countries.
Concluding, Yevgeniy Yaroshenko mentioned three steps which the EU may take to revitalize the EaP. First, the EU may provide provide training and advisory support to security and defense agencies of the EaP countries. Second, Brussels may launch public discussions between the Member States and EaP countries at a level of experts, public officials and civic activists regarding European experience in peaceful settlement. Third, the EU may nominate special representatives on Donbas, Crimea, Transnistria and other regions to strengthen security cooperation with the EaP countries.