On November 28-29, Lithuania will host the European Union’s third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. The summit is expected to provide the venue for EU leaders to initial association agreements with their Moldovan and Georgian counterparts and perhaps to sign an already completed association agreement with Ukraine’s president. The agreements provide roadmaps to bring the countries closer to Europe. Russia is clearly unhappy at the prospect and threatens to take retaliatory measures.
On November 21, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted a panel discussion on the expectations for the Vilnius summit, including the implications for EU relations with its neighbors, for the neighbors’ relations with Russia and for EU-Russian relations. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, German Foreign Office Policy Planning Head Thomas Bagger, Center for European Reform Director Charles Grant and Polish Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf shared European perspectives on these issues. Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer moderated. Following opening comments, the panelists took questions from the audience.