Second workshop of the German-American Dialogue: “Supporting transformation in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood – A test case for European integration and transatlantic cooperation”

From September 26th 27th the second workshop of the German-American Dialogue on the post-Soviet space was held in Washington D.C., under the title: “Supporting transformation in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood – A test case for European integration and transatlantic cooperation”. A revised country study on the case of Moldova served as basis for the workshop. More than fifty experts and practitioners in the field from the U.S., Germany, Latvia, Romania and Moldova came together to discuss the U.S. and EU’s approaches to the post-Soviet space.

The workshop was devoted to exchanging perspectives on how transformation in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood could be better supported. There was a common agreement on the need for a coordinated EU and U.S. approach towards the region and an improved division of labour. A major risk was seen in the fact that the EU itself is currently dealing with internal frictions and needs to stay consistent in its external policy. There were divergent opinions how to achieve reform results in the respective countries, some speakers arguing for “strategic patience” others for a pro-active approach towards the political leadership. The need to support civil society in the countries and change agents in the mid-level of the bureaucracy was emphasized. In view of Russia’s more assertive role towards the ENP countries and its active involvement in domestic and local politics, the need was expressed to take this policy seriously and find a common EU-US answer to it. The debate was furthermore framed by discussions on the upcoming presidential elections in Moldova and U.S. and their expected consequences for the region.

The workshop was the second of four workshops in the framework of the German-American Dialogue on the post-Soviet space. The project is realized in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, with support of the Transatlantik-Programm of the Federal Republic of Germany funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) through means of the European Recovery Program (ERP). The next workshop in the series will be held in spring 2017 in Berlin.

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