The European Union's mission is to generate stability. IPN debate


A more active involvement in the process of settling territorial and separatist conflicts would turn the European Union into an exporter of security and will prevent the Russian Federation from dictating the internal agendas of the states involved in the conflict. This opinion was expressed by regional security experts during public debates held by the IPN News Agency. According to the experts, the aim of the European Union is to transform the Eastern Partnership states into autonomous entities with strong economies that do not depend on external financial assistance.

According to former Transnistrian conflict negotiator Vlad Lupan, the Russian Federation will procrastinate on resolving separatist conflicts in order to maintain control over the internal affairs of these states and influence their external trajectory.

"Prolonging the conflicts offers the Kremlin a lever that allows it to dictate the domestic political agenda in the conflict-stricken countries. Everything revolves around the Transnistrian conflict and the conflict in Donbass. This shapes the domestic political agenda. If we solve the Transnistrian conflict, we can start talking about EU involvement in the field of human rights, democratisation and economic development. The idea of a more active EU involvement is a healthy one, because it could create leverage over the Russian Federation that would allow us to make certain gains", said Vlad Lupan.

At the same time, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova can demand more EU involvement in the separatist conflicts through the Association Agreements signed with the European Union, said Angela Grămadă, Experts on Security and Global Affairs Association president.

"Ukraine did not try to put pressure on the EU in vain in regard to the Nord Stream 2. It showed that the bilateral agreement, the Association and Free Trade Agreement, contains provisions that fall under the chapter of energy security, which also concern military security guarantees. The moment Ukraine becomes useless to the Russian Federation's energy projects, the Ukrainians perceive that the threat level will increase. They consider that beyond that point there will be no impediment for the Russian Federation to advance their interests in the in eastern Ukraine conflict, despite the ceasefire treaty. In this context, the EU's mission is to generate stability and to become an exporter and a guarantor of security" the expert said.

According to political scientist Dionis Cenusă, the EU's mission is to provide more security to partner states, but also to support their economic development in order to achieve financial autonomy.

"Even if sometimes success appears to happen, such as in the instance of Transnistrian business integration into EU trade, we must also take note of the negative aspects, such as the increase of the region's debt to Russia for natural gas, for which it does not pay, but which allows its businesses to be competitive on the European market. The EU's mission is to create autonomous, self-sufficient states that can ensure their own existence without foreign assistance, which is also a vulnerability", Dionis Cenusă said.

The public debate on "Settling territorial conflicts in the Eastern Partnership: In search of a tailor-made EU approach" is organized by the IPN News Agency as part of the project "Developing political culture in public debates" and is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.