Moldova: new businesses, European standards
One of the essential conditions for the greater integration of the Republic of Moldova with the EU is to develop the country based on European practices. Gradually, this is taking place, with an increasing number of Moldovans introducing new technologies, providing value added services, and creating...
Working to achieve a clean water supply for all
Feature story layout - download the PDF print version Many parts of Georgia still suffer from irregular water supply, with a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods in the towns and villages affected. Now, with EU support through a water infrastructure modernisation project,...
The ‘second life’ of Yerevan Metro
Feature story layout - download the PDF print version The Yerevan Metro was launched in 1981 and seemed destined to die a slow death: since 1991, the year of Armenia’s independence, the young state, in the throes of economic crisis, was unable to allocate the necessary funds t...
Clima East: Saving mountain pastures in Azerbaijan
Feature story layout - download the PDF print version Uncontrolled grazing is leading to soil degradation and desertification in the mountains of north-western Azerbaijan, and soon the pastures on which local farms are so dependent will have disappeared. Now, the EU-funded Clima Eas...
From the cow to the consumer: EU helping Georgia with safer food standards
Feature story layout - download the PDF print version With EU support, greater protection is being offered to Georgian consumers, with the adoption of European levels of food safety, animal health and plant protection standards. Our reporter travelled to the village of Uraveli, 220k...
Belarus: how MOST is building bridges
Feature story layout - download the PDF print version An EU-funded exchange programme is offering unique opportunities to professionals in Belarus, allowing them to share experiences with European partners. We spoke to beneficiaries of the MOST programme, who looked back on what the...
Moldova: PARE 1+1 – encouraging migrants to return home
Feature story layout - download the PDF print version Despite migration in the last two decades, which saw hundreds of thousands of Moldovans leave the country, some people decide to return home and are motivated by the idea of launching their own business. PARE 1+1 is a progr...
Spending, European style: What stands in the way of transparent Ukrainian municipal budgets?
Feature story layout - download the PDF print version Did you know you could track local government expenditure online, thanks to EU funding of budget transparency programmes? Support for greater accountability is, however, only half the task: the public needs to take an int...
European type cheeses from Armenian marzes
European-type cheeses will soon have a ‘Made in Armenia’ labels and have the chance to appear in European markets. The EU-funded ENPARD Armenia project is supporting Armenian farmers from different marzes to produce new types of cheese and find new markets. 6 high-value cheese-production...
Belarus-EU: hopes, expectations, and reality
Op-ed by Elena Daneiko What do Belarusians hope from cooperation with the EU, what is expected and are there reasons to expect more? ‘Europe as a historical homeland of Belarus’ For Valentin Akudovich, Belarusian philosopher and writer, author of a book...
There is no alternative for European prospect in Armenia
Op-ed by Davit Alaverdyan Although Armenia declared its commitment to European values as far back as in the 90s, joining the Council of Europe in 2001 and other European organizations later, Armenia has no shortage of people trying to undermine the said commitment. Some of them oppo...
Azerbaijan and the European Union: 25 years of cooperation and vision for the future
Op-ed by Elena Ostapenko In 2016, Azerbaijan and the EU are celebrating their 25th anniversary of collaboration: their first contacts date back to 1991 in the framework of the technical assistance programme to the Commonwealth of Independent States - TACIS. The foundation o...
Georgia’s bid to be a European neighbour
Op-ed by Tamar Khurtsia It is now quite widely believed that Georgia’s European integration is irreversible, and that Europe is where Georgia belongs. Yet people in Georgia still often ask each other what are the benefits of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA), signed in...
Becoming more European comes with a price
Op-ed by Denis Cenusa Over the past decade, European integration has become a permanent source either for inflaming false debates, or for spreading exaggerated expectations among the Moldovan public. With the encouragement of the visa-free regime with the EU, the number of Moldovan...
Money from Brussels - target or tool? How Ukraine should not lose EU aid
Op-ed by Sergiy Sydorenko In early 2012, a scandal flared up in Ukraine. The European Union announced the suspension of sectoral aid, which for the previous 15 years had been granted to Kyiv. Diplomats informally explained: Brussels had a reason to believe that the European grant in...
Belarus: European universities open up for Belarus students
Belarus remains the only European state, which has not joined the Bologna Process, aimed at the creation of a single European space for university education. For about 400,000 students from Belarus – unlike their peers from Europe, Russia, Ukraine and even Kazakhstan – academic mobility ...
Moldova: pesticides, a dangerous heritage
After the fall of the Soviet Union, many of the successor states discovered a dangerous heritage on their territories: warehouses storing (mostly) unusable pesticides and chemical fertilizers. According to estimates by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the reserves of outdated weather-...
Georgia: Healthy cattle means a healthy livelihood
Causing big losses to livestock farming and posing a risk to humans, cases of brucellosis are heavily affecting some areas of Georgia, a country where more than half the population is employed in the agriculture sector. A project implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and funded ...
Georgia: Protecting shepherds to fight against climate change
Among Georgia’s 35 reserves and parks, the Vashlovani Protected Area is the only territory that plays home in winter to large herds of sheep from the Tushetian Mountains. Over the centuries, these pastures have been used without any regulation, which has led to a substantial deterioration of t...
Belarus: a new opportunity for young mothers and their kids
In recent years, domestic violence has reached the point of being a real issue in Belarus, due to social problems, growing unemployment, alcohol and drug consumption and also because of the loss of family support structures. The NGO SOS – Children’s Village Belarus has set up a Centre wh...
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 ...