Dominik Istrate – Emerging Europe
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum has published its annual index looking at the six EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and their relations with the European Union.
The report is based on two indicators: firstly, convergence with the EU, that is, how each EaP state adopts EU norms and European standards and secondly, how close each state is to European standards in terms of governance, economic performance and the business climate.
In terms of convergence with the European Union, Ukraine is ranked first with Armenia in second, followed by Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.
In the second indicator, Georgia and Moldova are ranked joint first, followed by Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.
In terms of democratic norms, Ukraine and Georgia stand out while Azerbaijan and Belarus have the worst indicators. Ukraine and Moldova were reported to lag behind when it comes to business environment, while Azerbaijan tops the assessments about sustainable development standards, followed by Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova and Georgia.
“Unfortunately, we cannot say that reforms are advancing properly if we talk about all six countries. But there is a sound base for optimism and we have a track record of success,” said Anastasiya Ismailova, permanent representative of Latvia to the EU, after presenting the report.