Main thesis:

  1. Vishegrad group is of particular interest and significance, as soon as it is vivid demonstration of the fact, how multilateral cooperation format can complement and support foreign policy of individual member state.
  2. There are similarities between GUAM and Visegrad Group – we are also four, have very close, if not coinciding set of foreign policy priorities and consider GUAM as format, reinforcing position of individual member state in the network of international relations.
  3. Our member states’ top foreign policy priority is approximation to the European Union. We are under the same policy instrument of European Union – European Neighborhood and soon will be under new one – Eastern Partnership.
  4. The main goal of GUAM is to establish space of stability and integration in the Black sea – Caspian Sea region; space of partnership, based on the European standards, criterias and practice. While implementing this main goal, we are using two main avenues of cooperation: 1) elaboration, signature and implementation of GUAM format multilateral legal instruments, and 2) generation, elaboration and implementation of GUAM projects and programs.
  5. All regional initiatives have their comparative advantages and disadvantages: one may compare BSEC and GUAM, it gives clear comparative picture;
  6. What is comparative advantage of BSEC? This is full-pledged regional cooperation organization serving as an universal platform for regional cooperation, including all regional players , with their varying agendas and ambitions – it is excellent platform for exchanging views and ideas for cooperation through well-institutionalized structure of cooperation. At the same time it faces dramatic lack of consensus reaching capacity – for obvious reasons.
  7. GUAM can capitalize on the experience of BSEC; ideas discussed, but not implemented in BSEC can be picked up and implemented in GUAM; On the other hand, implementing projects and programs of cooperation, GUAM is contributing to better understanding in BSEC, as consolidated GUAM position means that consensus should be reached not between 12, but between 9;
  8. Disadvantage of GUAM is the limited participation; it is not definitely universal platform of regional cooperation. Advantage – good capacity of reaching consensus and consequently opportunity to develop regional cooperation and regional projects more smoothly and effectively; that creates positive impact to the activities of neighboring regional initiatives.
  9. About developments since Russian-Georgian war of last year and it’s implications on regional cooperation:
    • Аfter that war we live in different world: Russian officials call it new reality and state they’ll not retreat. Sometimes new realities definitely emerge in international relations, although it makes great difference, whether one country, even such a big and powerful, is trying to impose so called “new reality” to international community, or this new reality is elaborated and sealed by whole international community, as it happened in Helsinki in 1975;
    • Consequently, current position of Russian Federation is considerably limiting the capacity of international organizations to develop activities in general and concrete projects and programs of cooperation in particular;
    • As a consequences of this war, which resulted in the occupation of Georgia’s 20% of territory, Russia violated, among others, basic documents of BSEC – to name a few, Bosphorus Declaration of 25 June 1992 and BSEC Charter, ratified also by Russian Parliament. What was the reaction of the BSEC Organization? There was no reaction, by my knowledge. Does it mean that authority and reputation of this Organization is downgraded? Does it mean that atmosphere in the Organization was deteriorated and capacity to implement common projects was reduced? What about implementation of main regional projects of BSEC, like Black Sea transport ring? The answer is clear; there are very limited perspectives for their implementation, if any. As a result, there is there limited trust to any document signed in BSEC format, because it can be violated anytime.
    • How this war affected GUAM? Position of GUAM further consolidated, based on GUAM basic documents, first and foremost “Joint Declaration of the heads of state of the ODED-GUAM on the issue of conflict settlement”. GUAM member states aligned themselves with the respective EU statements, thus consolidating their common platform of cooperation.
  10. Those who are interested in GUAM to visit our web-site – in order to find more information about our organization – both basic and operational.