Azerbaijan: moving forward with housing reform
Since Azerbaijan gained independence, up to 95% of the multi-family housing stock has been privatized. But in people's opinion the privatization involves only the flats, and not the multi-apartment buildings. Due to lack of funding, the most buildings are now in very poor condition, still offi...
Armenia: Customs - cutting down waiting times to a third
Armenia and Georgia share a land border of 225km: three crossing points – Bargatashen, Gogavan and Bavra – connect the two countries. The traffic grows every year, but the checkpoint facilities remain the same. With the support of a € 61 million project mostly financed by the ...
Moldova: Water is life - let’s improve it
Water quality has an immediate impact on people’s lives. Thanks to the European Union and the European financial institutions, over €60 million have been provided to Chisinau to support the modernisation of its water and wastewater infrastructures, which are seriously outdated. This is ex...
A regional Internet hub along the historic Silk Way
The Azeri government is paying plenty of attention to the IT sphere, hoping that the rapid development of the sector can transform Azerbaijan into a bridge between Europe and the countries of Central Asia and the Middle East. The launch of a Data Centre in Azerbaijan, as well as the laying of ...
Cooperatives, the new way to agriculture
While nearly half of the population in Georgia derives most of its income from agriculture, the sector actually contributes less than 10% to GDP. This is mainly due to the low efficiency of production, caused mainly by the scarcity of owned lands and the limited exposure to modern farming methods. W...
Giving troubled teenagers a second chance
Research conducted in 2006 showed around 600 to 700 adolescents in Azerbaijan were being taken to court each year for committing crimes. Many of them were convicted of minor offences and served their sentence in a closed ‘colony’ for juvenile offenders. Funded by the EU and support...
With high water comes high responsibility
When disaster strikes, it is usually too late to prepare for it and the only thing left to do is deal with the consequences. Disasters are best dealt with when citizens, rescue services and volunteers can cooperate with each other, because the behaviour and participation of individuals are key to em...
Helping vulnerable families grow healthy
Growing more healthy crops sounds simple enough, but for several displaced families in Armenia’s Ararat province with no agricultural knowledge or experience, this hardly seemed like an attainable goal. However, thanks to the EU funded Rural Income Generation project, since 2011 a number of re...
We have a big fire here, we need help
There has been a major accident at a chemical plant in Belarus, and forest fires are raging through the region. Neither Belarus nor Ukraine can cope with the disaster alone, rescuers are badly needed to face the emergency: so Belarus is now asking for help... Fortunately the event is not real, it is...
Moldovan honey conquering the EU market
Honey is one of the few Moldovan products that is steadily increasing its share of the European market. The country produces around 4-5,000 tons of honey annually. Experts are convinced that within a short period Moldova can at least double its honey production and exports. An EU Neighborhood ...
‘Silk Wind’ train: next stop, the future
It’s a high-speed container block train, which will allow cargo transportation from China to Southern Europe via the shortest possible route. It’s the ‘Silk Wind’ train, and once all the infrastructural projects that surround it are completed, it will be possible to go from w...
Azerbaijan - Wasting less to gain more
What does it mean for a company to invest in advisory services? The Baku-based Sama furniture plant has transformed its business and established a sound management system with clear duties and job descriptions, ad hoc departments, transport and delivery planning and much more. Thanks to the Bu...
Ukraine - Fairy tales to heal family wounds
They came from orphanages, foster families and deprived backgrounds. Twenty eight teenagers from four different countries gathered in the coastal village of Koblevo, Ukraine, for a ten-day workshop aimed at helping them overcome their uneasiness, teaching them the social skills they need to live and...
Directors across borders
Even though art is considered to stand above time and politics, history proves that it needs to adapt to major social change. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the cinema industry in all Eastern Partnership countries - including Armenia - was left with Soviet traditions and without Soviet fund...
A pearl of world heritage is back on the map
The ancient Greek city of Chersonese, which overlooks modern Sevastopol in Crimea, is back on the world’s heritage maps. For two thousand years the colony founded by Dorian Greeks was the major political, economic and cultural centre of the northern Black Sea region. It survived across the cen...
A chance of a future in your own country
In Moldova, less than 40% of the people are employed in their own country: a shortage of jobs and low salaries force Moldovans to look for work elsewhere. An EU-supported project provides information and gives qualified Moldovan migrants and students the opportunity to return home and to reintegrate...
Photo Youth – the art of crossing borders
Taking pictures to overcome the borders of their disability: hundreds of disadvantaged children have joined the PhotoYouth project, a cross-border initiative implemented between Russia and Latvia. This EU-funded initiative has brought together 250 young photographers and 50 teachers from 22 correcti...
Interview with Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni – EU and Council of Europe combine strengths to help eastern neighbours consolidate reforms
The European Union has already for some time been supporting political and democratic transformation in its eastern neighbourhood through the unique expertise of the Council of Europe (CoE). The latest example is the Eastern Partnership Facility, an instrument that helps partner countries to bring t...
Cutting down on energy costs? Yes, you can
The old wooden windows were replaced, a new steam boiler was installed, and even the light bulbs were changed. New, modern equipment was also purchased. At lonel, the largest clothes producer in Moldova, the innovations did not only result in a direct reduction of energy consumption. They also incre...
The road to the European market
The economic development of the European Union’s neighbours is of interest both to those countries and to the EU itself. But business environments and practices in the EU and in its neighboring countries to the east are not the same. An EU-funded project is facilitating investments and ec...
A cultural route from Castle to Castle
For centuries, European rulers have lined their borders with fortresses and castles. Over the years, their usage has changed, and people now tend to visit them, not looking for shelter from the enemy, but as tourists eager to learn about their history. In 2011, Finland and Russia agreed t...
How to improve your business…
Having someone point out exactly what you are doing wrong and what they think you can be doing better, is never easy to take. Business advisory services are all about building a relationship with a company based on trust and mutual understanding, to the point that an otherwise complete stranger, the...
Citizens want their public spaces back
In post-Soviet countries urban spaces are being radically transformed. Everything related to the socialist past has been renamed, ranging from streets to monuments. And every urban space has been filled with commercial activities. The centre of Yerevan today is the epitome of this free market &lsquo...
Let's meet Europe on the bus
“Can you name three European Union countries?” Even a quiz is proposed to visitors hopping on board the yellow-starred blue bus touring Georgia. The Mobile Information Centre is a new initiative of the EU Delegation: a bus touring all regions trying to bring to ordinary citizens a very c...
Adapting steel to conquer the Arctic
Steel is mostly used at temperatures above -20ºС. But what about icebreakers and cargo boats sailing in Arctic regions? And how can you build oil drilling rigs and gas and oil pipelines at temperatures as low as -60°? Russian and European scientists are joining forces to develop new ice-re...
Renewable energy Promoting Renewable Energies in Moldova
The Republic of Moldova is one of the few countries in the region which almost entirely depends on imported fuels. The dependency on external energy sources leads to high energy prices and large debts to foreign suppliers. Moldova has great potential to produce energy from its own renewable sources,...
Waste: from dumping to recycling
The first step was to produce an inventory of all the refuse dumps in southern Moldova. The next step was to close down the most hazardous ones and modernise those that could continue to be used. At the same time an extensive awareness campaign was launched… As a result, in the last two years...
Mayors pushing for more energy efficiency
Ukraine is effectively the leader of the Covenant of Mayors movement outside the European Union, with Ukrainian mayors increasingly committed to local sustainable energy. As many as twenty five Ukrainian cities have already become signatories of the Covenant of Mayors, the EU initiative bringing to...
EuropeAid feature: Rural wholesale markets in Ukraine - directly from the farmer to the consumer
Agriculture is the main source of income for the majority of Ukraine’s rural population. Producers usually sell their goods at poorly organised and often unlicensed wholesale markets, most of which are seasonal. Moreover, producers tend to use outdated technologies for storing and transporting...
EuropeAid feature: Peace and capacity building - EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine
Effective border management should facilitate, not hinder, trade and contacts across borders. The EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) was launched in 2005, after a joint request made by Presidents of Moldova and Ukraine. It was a response to smuggling and other illicit cross-...