Dionis Cenușa: If “Associated Trio” takes roots, it could be used as argument against EaP

The Russian Federation hasn’t for now come with a reaction to the initiative to create the Associated Trio of the Eastern Partnership (Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine), but it’s definite that if this initiative takes roots, attempts will be made to discredit the Eastern Partnership and the trio will be used as an argument against the Eastern Partnership. They will say that the EU abandoned the other three states (Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan) that do not form part of the associated trio. Statements coming from Moscow will move around this type of message, Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, said in IPN’s public debate “Associated Trio” of Eastern Partnership: necessity, obstacles and challenges for Moldova”.

However, a support reaction on the part of the EU is needed, he noted. “The EU sometimes does not realize how important it is to come with a reaction by which to support this associated trio. For the EU, the developments in the driving engines of the Eastern Partnership matter. It is important to encourage the pro-European narrative, including from the viewpoint of the image crisis through which the EU went the last two years. It is very good that there are states that want to join the EU and a positive reaction on the part of Brussels should probably exist,” said the expert.

According to Dionis Cenușa, this initiative is another opportunity to speak about the European integration in the Republic of Moldova and at regional level. In Chisinau, this initiative should find a broad response, including on the part of the authorities, the presidential administration. This initiative wasn’t supported by the Presidents of the three states, except for the President of Georgia. Maia Sandu or Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t promote this initiative and it is not known why, but the public image of the two Presidents would have stimulated public interest in this initiative.

The expert noted that even if there are many problems at home, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are the driving engines of the Eastern Partnership within the trio, with Ukraine being the main engine. “I’ve got the impression that this memorandum was fully supported by Kiev, while Tbilisi and Chisinau aligned themselves as it is suitable for them so. Georgia went through a two-year political crisis that ultimately ended with a political solution, but the situation is anyway difficult, while the Republic of Moldova lacks geopolitical cohesion as we have political forces with practically the same power  in electoral terms, but these have different geopolitical views. It is a rather unsuccessful combination between events happening in the three capitals and the intention of the three countries to coordinate forces to advance their European agendas.”

Dionis Cenușa considers the EU will not stay “no” to this Memorandum, but will try to minimize the impact of this initiative on the moods of the other three EaP states that do not form part of this initiative.

The expert noted the Memorandum of Kiev was launched before the Eastern Partnership Summit that will take place this autumn and will discuss the EaP’s actions for the next ten years. “The Memorandum will not be translated into Romanian. So, they prepared a document that will be used externally, not at home. The Moldovan authorities should provide the Romanian version of this document so that the domestic public could read and discuss it too,” concluded the researcher.

The public debate “Associated Trio” of Eastern Partnership: necessity, obstacles and challenges for Moldova” is the 188th installment of the project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is implemented by IPN with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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