The Visegrad countries serve as an example of successful transition from totalitarian rule to the liberal democratic order. Their societies have modernised incredibly during the past two decades which allowed them to fully integrate to the EU and NATO. Today, their fresh experience seems to be increasingly attractive for other countries that aspire to follow the same path. The Central Europeans are highly committed to assist them, but their engagements are often uncoordinated.

The present project aims to help the Visegrad countries to coordinate their assistance in Moldova, a country which decided to undergo a difficult reform process just three years ago. A great deal of achievements has been accomplished, but a long way is still left to go. A continuous political and financial support, as well as specific transformation know-how is therefore needed. Better coordination among the Visegrad countries and Moldova, at the governmental as well as non-governmental level, might significantly improve the effectiveness of the assistance provided.

The objective of the proposed project is therefore threefold: First, the project will analyse evolution and current state of the national policies of the V4 countries towards Moldova and estimate their future priorities; consequently, it will define possible areas of a coordinated approach; and finally, it will present and advocate resulting recommendations to the Visegrad and Moldovan governments.

The research will be conducted by an expert group consisting of experienced professionals from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Moldova. In addition to their desk research, the researchers will incorporate inputs from a discussion among government officials and civil society subjects in all five countries.

Target groups and groups benefiting from the project

The primary target group includes the Visegrad policy-makers and senior officials at the ministries, who will be provided with the research outputs in the form of policy recommendations. Furthermore, the project will involve their counterparts in Moldova as well as its emerging civil society expert community. Their cooperation will promote importance of an effective state-civil relationship and help to transfer good practices from the Visegrad region. Finally, an intense collaboration among the V4 experts is crucial in keeping our countries on the track of regional convergence. Therefore, the project will engage professionals from all four countries in research and advocacy activities.

Expected outputs of the project

The primary output of the project will be a study based on the international research and intensive discussions among the researchers, government officials and civil society representatives from the V4 countries and Moldova. It will provide a set of recommendations in the area of cooperation on foreign assistance towards Moldova, in order to increase effectiveness of national engagements. The document will be of around 15 pages in length and published in 500 copies. The project will also contribute to the increasingly intense debate among the V4 experts and help to establish bonds between them and their Moldovan partners, who will be fully integrated to the research and advocacy activities. Such a networking is important in building long-term partnerships with the civil society actors.

Managers

Dániel Bartha
Former Managing Director, Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy