The experience of reforming from previous regimes to the European model, the transition experience, is an often-cited experience that EU13 countries can contribute to EU development cooperation policy. Nevertheless, there are significant challenges involved in identifying issues that can be directly used in very different contexts.
TRIALOG has supported various efforts to idenitfy and make accessible the transition experiences of EU13 countries over the past years. Within the CONCORD working group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN), the theme of transition was a thread that ran through a large body of the work, and CSO representatives were supported in their efforts to engage in this topic over the years.
During the European Commission work to establish the European Transition Compendium (ETC) in 2009 and 2010, TRIALOG supported the engagement of the EU12 national platforms of development CSOs in the consultations that took place in the capitals thorugh sharing information and distributing a brief toolkit. The EC consultant also took part in an EPAN meeting, where the process and objectives of the exercise were discussed.
The Arab Spring of 2011 brought new attention to the topic of transition, and a communication was published by the European Commission (EC) and European External Action Service (EEAS) in 2012, which summarises what the EU currently offers to countries in transition, through its development cooperation, enlargement, neighbourhood and common security and defense policies before making recommendations as to what could be improved.
How to engage
The CONCORD working group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN) continues to work on the theme of transition.
Background paper on EU Support for Sustainable Change in Transiotion Countries, prepared on behalf of the Lithuanian EU Presidency by Jean Bossuyt (European Centre for Development Policy Management, ECDPM), 2013 here.
Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on Sustainable changes in transition societies, October 2013: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.rex-opinions.29476
European Commission and European External Action Service Joint Communication on EU Support for Sustainable Change in Transition Societies, October 2012: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/development-policies/documents/communication_transition_en.pdf
Joint Staff Working Document accompanying the communication on EU Support for Sustainable Changes in Transition Societies, October 2012: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/development-policies/documents/travail_service_conjoint_part1_v7_en.pdf
TRIALOG Central Training report, May 2011: http://www.trialog.or.at/images/doku/report_trialog_centraltraining2011.pdf
Non-paper (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia) “Harnessing the transition experience in EU’s external relations – from policy to implementation”, February 2011: http://www.mzv.cz/public/b8/eb/d6/591175_508622_non_paper_on_the_transition_experience.pdf
European Transition Compendium: www.eutransition.eu