The Future of Eastern Partnership Countries.
The world’s attention has been understandably focused on battling COVID-19. The crisis has revealed, and in some cases exacerbated, a number of domestic vulnerabilities, while at the same time offering hostile foreign actors new opportunities to undermine transatlantic cohesion. Particularly affected by the far reaching implications of the global pandemic crisis are countries on Eastern Europe’s frontlines – Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. The three countries have been going through a long series of security and political transformations that risk being obfuscated by the current health crisis. Recently, they have received important financial assistance to mitigate the effects of the crisis from the EU. However, the EU is considering the future of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) framework, which seems to be losing steam and throws Western support for Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia into question.
Panelists considered: what are the implications of COVID-19 for existing challenges that these countries are facing; what are the domestic and transatlantic responses to these challenges; what is the future of regional cooperation; and what can Western partners do to increase resilience in EaP countries?