European Commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement Oliver Fargei presented to the members of the European Parliament Committee on foreign Affairs of the European Commission’s vision of the future of the Eastern partnership.
“The Eastern partnership is a priority for the European Commission, for the EU and its members. It is also a highly regarded six partner countries. Following consultations on the future of the Eastern partnership that took place last year, on 18 March we published a joint communication, laid out an ambitious vision for future cooperation with our partners. I had planned to present the communication immediately after its adoption, but that day in Brussels announced a lockdown. So I want to do it today,” said the Commissioner.
He noted that the EU intends to help partner countries more firmly to stand up, to accelerate sustainable development from which people get real benefits, and to join efforts in addressing common challenges, including through cooperation in a multilateral format.
“This corresponds to the global EU strategy and the strategic approach of the European Commission to sustainability in the external action. We therefore intend to strengthen the resistance of our partners for the achievement of the five broad policy goals,” said Fargei.
The first of these priorities is “Strong, sustainable and integrated growth”. What a successful economy is a factor that will allow the partner countries to ensure stability and welfare for its citizens. This direction should also help to reduce the gap between the economies of the EU and partner countries, which is beneficial to both parties.
The second direction is “Along to the responsible state institutions, the rule of law and security”. As emphasized by the Commissioner, rule of law, development of democratic institutions and resolutely fight against corruption are not only fundamental to the framework regulations for partner countries, but also a prerequisite for economic development and investment.
The third priority – “Together for sustainability in the environment and the climate.” “We will step up work with our partners to support their “green transformation”, given the global trends and realities in environmental protection and climate changes”, – said the representative of the European Commission.
The fourth goal is “Together for digital transformation”. This direction will help partners to take advantage of the opportunities that are associated with the latest technology.
The fifth direction is “Together for a sustainable, equitable and inclusive society.” This priority involves assistance to partner countries in the development of competent and responsible state authorities, aims to improve the quality of their interaction with civil society, to support independent media.
As you know, in the EU program Eastern partnership, which last year celebrated ten years since its Foundation, includes six countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. While three countries – Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova with the EU has developed an ambitious Association Agreement, including provisions on a deep and comprehensive free trade area.
The Ukrainian side has repeatedly stated that it considers Eastern partnership as a tool for their own development and further integration with the European Union, and it is useful to achieve the strategic goal of European integration – gaining full membership in the EU.