A year ago, the chances of new NATO admissions at the September 2014 summit in Cardiff, Wales, appeared rather small. The Alliance was focused on the future challenges after the end of its ISAF mission in Afghanistan, cyber threats, and on the growing “capabilities gap” between the US and Europe.
The Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili would like to see NATO granting Tbilisi a Membership Action Plan in 2014. NATO leaders will meet to discuss the issue during the upcoming summit held in the UK in autumn 2014. What the prospects of upgrading this relationship are and whether it would be beneficial to both sides: Senior Fellow at CEPI Marian Majer, explains.
At the 2012 Chicago summit, NATO leaders reiterated their commitment to the 'open-door policy' and promised to keep the progress of each of the aspiring nations under active review. What are the chances that the 2014 NATO summit will deal with the enlargement agenda: Central European Policy Institute’s expert Milan Nič explains.
The pool of analysts in the Central European Policy institute is growing stronger with the arrival of Balázs Jarábik, an international development executive, who is joining as a senior fellow specializing in the Eastern Partnership.
When the only tool you have is a hammer, then it is tempting to look for nails. Following the success of the European Union’s eastward expansion in 2004, it was tempting to apply the same approach to other candidate countries. The assumptions were that the public and the elites in each case supported membership, but would need a bit of help in overcoming entrenched interests and pockets of backwardness. Tough but friendly conditionality from the European Union would help apply pressure in the right places.
More than twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, a closer look at opinion polls in four Eastern European states show two common trends: convergence on the level of values but divergence on the level of governance. While there is a growing tendency to embrace the rule of law, democratic institutions and even human rights among citizens, there is an absence of democratic institutions that could reflect the gradual shift in value preferences.
The West has had a convenient partner in Georgia's Mikhail Saakashvili. His strength as a leader as well as his failures of judgement neatly matched the limited ambitions of many European countries for this former Soviet republic. Saakashvili – who has served as president since 2004 and for most of that time controlled the rest of the government and enjoyed huge majorities in the parliament – has been a zealous reformer. He has turned a state where corruption was rampant and electricity rare into a good place to invest.