European Integration Index for Eastern Partnership Countries – 2012

The In­ternational Renaissance Foundation in cooperation with the Open Society Institute-Brussels has published the results of the 2012 European Integration Indexfor Eastern Partnership Countries (EaP Index). The Index tracks progress of six Eastern Partnership countries towards integration with the European Union. First published in 2011, the Index appears annually and provides a nuanced and transparent comparative cross-country overview.

The results of the 2012 Index confirm the trends ob­served a year before. Moldova remains the most willing reformer in the region, followed by Georgia. Ukraine moved even further away from its one-time status as the Eastern Partnership poster child as its democracy and business climate continue to deteriorate. Armenia is gaining ground on legal approximation with the EU in some sectors. Azerbaijan lags behind Armenia and is showing increased lack of respect for democratic principles and human rights. Belarus closes the list as being furthest away when it comes to observing European values and standards.
The Index assesses three dimensions of European integration: Linkage, Approximation and Management. Linkage measures the depth and intensity of political, economic and social ties between each EaP country and the EU. Approximation assesses convergence between legislation and institutions in EaP countries and EU standards. Management looks into how countries manage and coordinate their efforts of European integration. The 2012 edition includes additional sections. The new “Deep and Sustainable Democracy” section responds to the more comprehensive approach to democracy suggested by the EU, while the “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area” details the economic integration of EaP countries and the EU.
The Index highlights where more progress is needed and as such is a useful reference both for policymakers and civil society organisations that advocate policy change. The Index has been developed by a group of over 50 civil society experts from EaP countries and the EU. The scoring is based on answers and indicators to nearly 700 questions and criteria.
New interactive website has been launched to accompany the 2012 Index edition.

July 28, 2012