China is highly visible across Europe as supplier of medical gear and coronavirus tests, occasionally welcomed by Heads of State in airport appearances. Russian-inspired conspiracy stories on Covid-19 circulate widely, together with narratives on Europe’s inability to cope and to support its neighbours. Meanwhile the EU and its Member States are providing medical supplies as well as hundreds of millions euros in grants and even more in loans to its Eastern partners. But how do Ukrainian or Georgian governments use European support? What meaning does European support have in political discourse, is it seen as effective and well-administered, and where does money actually flow?
Ahead of the upcoming EU-EaP Leaders’ videoconference and following the recent communication and Council conclusions on Eastern Partnership policy beyond 2020, our next TEPSA seminar in Covid-19 times will zoom in on concrete ways in which Ukraine and Georgia have so far used EU support. What have been success stories, and where should the EU and partner governments do better as they try to support a recovery from Covid-19 and from the associated economic shock?