The SAC’s “Georgia and Moldova Reality Check” expert meeting took place just weeks before important EU – Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius at the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The “Reality Check” fed more facts into the discussion about the Western and EU policies towards the two countries. The Reality Check series continues to prove its importance within the wider Eastern Partnership framework.
The Reality Check project is an important Eastern Partnership (EaP) arm of the Slovak Atlantic Commission Transfer of Know-How programe. It is implemented in a close cooperation with experts from the Central European Policy Institute (CEPI) as well as partners from Visegrad group countries, Georgia and Moldova.
The project helps satisfy the demand for a more effective Western policy towards the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries. Its objective is to provide a framework for a rigorous review process engaging top domestic and international analysts, practitioners, diplomats and policy-makers to gather inputs and discuss Western policy options behind closed doors.
Under the aegis of the Lithuanian EU Presidency, the first such a review, focused on Belarus, took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, in October 2012. The Moldova and Georgia Reality Check processes were kicked off in Bratislava, Slovakia at the GLOBSEC forum on April 20, 2013. The Ukraine Reality Check was held in Kyiv, Ukraine on June 18, 2013.The process includes a Review Group of experts in order to compile a deep overview of factors influencing politics on the ground, both internal and external. A particular emphasis is placed on the independent character of the Reality Check gatherings and the Review Group to ensure an evidence-based and balanced type of policy-advice. Non-papers, as a product of the meetings followed by in-depth peer review, are released in order to contribute to the policy debate. Fostering a discussion based on evidence provided, the organizers hope to enable a more understandable and realistic EU and Western Policy towards Georgia and Moldova.
First non-papers have been published in June 2013, then the second round of reality check followed with experts‘ meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania at the begining of November 2013 – just weeks before important EU – EaP Vilnius Summit. Outcomes from the second meetings are being transformed into a form of second non-papers, which will be presented on the side-lines of the Vilnius Summit at the Civil Society Conference.
The Reality Check project has an ambition to keep on providing insights and recommendations on EU and Western policies in Georgia and Moldova also beyond the Vilnius summit with intention to link up the policy review process of the EaP with the Latvian EU Presidency (1st semester 2015), which could be another landmark summit on EaP.