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The Eastern Partnership policy was initiated by the European Union (EU) in 2009 to develop cooperation between the EU, its Member States and six partner countries in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan take part in the Eastern Partnership. Mostly, the Eastern Partnership is explored from a (geo) political, security or economic perspective.
The study shows that the Eastern Partnership contributes significantly to sustainable development and that this aspect of the policy will be strengthened in the framework of the new EU budget 2021-2027.
Strengthening the Eastern Partnership as a development initiative requires three key steps. First, there is a need for a stronger emphasis on policy coherence, local ownership and effectiveness, based on needs assessments and local development strategies. Secondly, strengthening of the Eastern Partnership will be facilitated by a qualitatively new social dimension of policy that will involve a wider group of stakeholders. Third, much will depend on communication, including a swift and convincing response from the EU and member states to fake news and misinformation about the Eastern Partnership.