Civil Society of the Eastern Partnership in Dialogue: Mutual Perceptions of the Eastern Partnership Countries, Russia and the EU

Project content and goals

After the end of the Cold War Europe was expecting a period of peace within its own borders and in its neighbourhood. Several conflicts and wars inter alia in the South Caucasus however made it soon clear that this had been a misbelief. While these conflicts and wars could still be found to be a regional problem the war between Georgia and Russia led to a different conception in the now enlarged European Union. Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity finally means a return of war to Europe which cannot any longer be ignored. Relations between Ukraine, Russia and the EU have underwent a dramatic development that influence all the relations between countries of the Eastern Partnership, the EU and Russia.

The understanding of mutual perceptions is the basis for communication and cooperation. This holds true both for individuals, civil society organisations as well as for states. Internal and external perceptions rarely conform. This gap between internal and external perceptions and related prejudices and reservations strongly influence the activities of individuals, organisations and states.
In order to avoid a further worsening of current developments and to achieve a better understanding of each other in future in the long run consolidated bi- or multilateral cooperations between the various parties are necessary. In order to achieve an approximation of parties all parties involved have to learn to understand each other better.

Knowing about the gaps between internal and external perceptions of each other is of special relevance in this context. The general goal of the project is to improve the dialogue and deepen the cooperation between countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), Russia and the EU by a common analysis of mutual perceptions.

This is done by analysing media images of each other in the involved countries by young researchers. A special methodology in which the participants is applied in which the researchers are trained in a one-week-workshop in Darmstadt.
The expected outcome of the project is a series of events (inter alia scientific conference and roundtables), a scientific publication and easily accessible policy-briefs.

Project team and experts

Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt, Opens window for sending emailemail
Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany
Project leader, expert for EU

Dr. Sigita Urdze, Opens window for sending emailemail
Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany
Project leader, expert for EU

Prof. Natalia Chaban, Opens window for sending emailemail
University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Chief consultant

Prof. Anatoliy Chaban
Cherkasy National University, Ukraine
Associated partner

The project's experts

Expert for Moldova:

Prof. Dr. Diana Bencheci
The State University of Moldova, Moldova

Expert for Ukraine:

Dr. Tamila Kravchenko
Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University, Cherkasy, Ukraine

Expert for Belarus:

Tatsiana Shaban
University of Victoria, Canada

Expert for Russia:

Asalkon Shukurova
Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany

Expert for Georgia:

Tamar Tolordava
Ilia State University, Georgia

Expert for Armenia:

Ruzanna Sarukhanyan Vachagan
Yerevan State University, Armenia


Vergleichende Analyse politi-
scher Systeme und Integra-
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Technische Universität Darmstadt

Landwehrstraße 48a-50a
D-64293 Darmstadt

Dolivostraße 15
D-64293 Darmstadt

Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt
Tel: +49 (0)6151/16-57353
Raum: S4|23 205

Franziska Krauß (in Mutterschutz)
Tel: +49 (0)6151/16-57354
Raum: S4|23 206


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