Eastern Partnership Troubles

Mapping out risks for the Eastern Partnership

7 December 2021

A keynote speech from a closed-door foresight conference organised jointly by Visegrad Insight and the Polish MFA. Published with consent of the author. Views may not be attributed to the European Commission official position.

Mapping out the risks for the Eastern Partnership (EaP) is quite a difficult exercise for a civil servant. I will not go as far as some sceptics when it comes to foreseeing what might go wrong with the EU’s flagship eastern policy but instead point to five potential risks for the region.

In light of last week’s foresight conference on the EaP in Warsaw, I feel it is always better to meet in person. It feels as though this might be one of the last in-person meetings as the number of infections grows exponentially. But just as Covid is a reoccurring issue for the organisation of such conferences it is a constant issue within EaP countries.

Hesitancy not Lack

If you want to map out one of the biggest risks to the EaP, shared with all of us, the difficulty to get a grip on the virus is clearly one. Much of the EU had started to believe in a post-pandemic world, and had planned the direction of our recovery before the Delta variant of the virus gave us all a cold shower. The battle between vaccination and virus was already difficult before we even take into account the new Omicron variant.

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Nicholas CENDROWICZ

Deputy Head of Unit in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission

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