Heiko Langner gives European outlook on Caucasus
German expert for post-Soviet space Heiko Langner has given his view on integration of Georgia in Europe and the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
Langner noted that European standards Georgia was trying to adopt are not typical for all European states. "The political systems and democratic tradition of different European countries are unequal. Hungary and Berlusconi’s Italy shifted from the common European course in the past years," he says.
"Some democratic progress has indeed been registered in Georgia recently, which makes optimism justified. However everything depends on certain social practices, so no final judgement can be made before several years pass," Langner says.
The German specialist called Swiss chairmanship in the OSCE a positive moment for the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Switzerland has big experience in mediation and remains a neutral state with an unbiased approach. It can use the OSCE to stimulate the peace talks.
Concerning Armenia efforts to integrate in Europe, Langner said that Armenia could only integration in secondary fields of cooperation. He noted that Armenia had been using instruments of the European Neighbourhood Policy more actively than Georgia. In his words, Armenia has great political and economic dependence on Russia and has little room for European integration.
"The EU should continue working with Armenia for further liberalization of its economy, mainly to boost European investments. The EU can also cooperate in strengthening the borders of Armenia to prevent illegal migration," Heiko Langner says.