Friday, May 22, Riga – In Riga, President Dalia Grybauskaitė together with other EU leaders and representatives of the Eastern Partnership countries outlined further guidelines for the EU’s Eastern Partnership policy. The participants underlined that this policy was based on common interests and obligations to strengthen democracy, reaffirm the rule of law principle, promote human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the norms and principles of international law.
“The Eastern Partnership programme contributes to promoting the well-being in our Eastern neighborhood. The EU will continue supporting its Eastern partners in their efforts to implement major reforms, strengthen their economy and institutions, and fight corruption. More democratic, more European and more advanced Eastern partners will become more resistant to external pressures and more attractive to investors. Stable and European-mined Eastern partners are in the interest of the whole of Europe,” the President said.
The participants of the summit discussed the current geopolitical situation in Europe and the threats to European security. EU leaders voiced their support to the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Eastern partners. The Eastern Partnership programme aims to create a common space of democracy, prosperity, stability, and close cooperation. The leaders recognized the eurointegration aspirations of Eastern partners, assessed their progress and discussed further objectives.
At the Riga summit, the heads of state or government underscored the importance of stepping up Eastern partners’ resilience under pressures they face – through strengthening their institutions, increasing judicial independence, fighting corruption, and implementing the public administration reform.
The leaders agreed that the quickest possible and smooth implementation of free trade agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine would now top the Eastern Partnership agenda. It was noted that the EU-Ukraine free trade agreement would come into force from January 2016. The EU market with 500 million consumers is opening for Ukraine and other Eastern partners. Trade with the EU will strengthen their economy, improve competitiveness, open more opportunities for business and attract more investments. Digital economy is another sphere where the EU and its Eastern partners will continue to develop their cooperation.
In Riga, the leaders also expressed hope that Ukraine and Georgia would carry through the necessary reforms soon and their people would get visa-free access to the EU. Visa facilitation for Armenian and Belarusian citizens is also envisaged.
The participants of the summit emphasized that energy security was a shared interest of the whole of EU and its Eastern partners. Azerbaijan plays a special role in this sphere. It is essential to create well-functioning markets which could offer stable, transparent and investor friendly conditions.
It is also important to continue collaboration in the sphere of transport: develop transport links with enhanced security and efficiency, improve logistics and attract more investments to the transport sector. The leaders are committed to develop cooperation in the fields of education, culture, and innovations.
Last updated 2015.05.22 13:56Back