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Georgian FM Joins EaP Ministerial in Luxembourg, Reiterates EU Aspirations

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Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani participated in the annual Eastern Partnership (EaP) ministerial meeting, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Luxembourg on October 15.

The meeting brought together foreign ministers from six EaP countries and their 28 EU counterparts, to take stock of progress made under 20 deliverables for 2020, as well as exchange views for the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, which will be marked by a series of events throughout 2019.

The Georgian Foreign Minister said after the meeting that European partners have hailed Georgia as “the frontrunner” in the region considering its “tangible results,” including in implementation of the Association Agreement/DCFTA, and the visa free regime.

Minister Zalkaliani also stressed the need for the EU to have a “differentiated approach” towards individual EaP countries.

“Our final goal is [the EU] membership, and we need more efficient and bolder steps to achieve that,” the Minister said in his doorstep remarks, adding that Georgia’s EU integration roadmap was assessed as an “important factor” that would “functionally” prepare the country for eventual membership.

According to Federica Mogherini, at the ministerial meeting the EU and EaP officials reviewed “not only the different bilateral relations we have, but also the common work [we] are doing within the Eastern Partnership framework.”

“The Eastern Partnership is a key component of our foreign policy ... We are delivering not only economic benefits, such as increased trade volumes between all six partner countries and the European Union, but also strengthening democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms,” she said.

Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, who also attended the ministerial meeting, noted that EU and EaP countries will further continue “to work together for concrete results, in particular in the areas of judicial reform and ensuring an enabling environment for civil society and independent media.”

“We have a mutual reassurance about the fact that we are on a good track concerning the 20 deliverables, which we have started to really implement,” Hahn said.

On the sidelines of the ministerial, Davit Zalkaliani also met with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, Romanian State Secretary Dan Neculăescu and Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl.

Eastern Partnership was launched in 2009 to promote political association and economic integration between the EU and the six Eastern European partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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