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Tenth Anniversary of Eastern Partnership Marked in Brussels

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On May 13, the Foreign Ministers and representatives of Member States of the European Union and their counterparts from the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries met in Brussels at a ministerial meeting dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the EaP initiative.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, who chaired the roundtable meeting, released a statement following the ministerial, saying the EU and EaP officials reflected on the progress and the future of their “continued strategic and ambitious partnership.”

The Eastern Partnership was launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative to promote political association and economic integration between the European Union, its Member States and its six Eastern neighbors: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

“Over the years, the Eastern Partnership has proved to be an efficient, resilient, tailored and dynamic framework. It has served to develop, to adapt to new challenges, including those to stability and resilience, and ultimately to strengthen our mutually beneficial relationship,” Mogherini stated.

“This Partnership benefits us all; 10 years on from its creation, it has proven to be a success for our citizens. This positive experience enables us to continue to work jointly and in a spirit of close cooperation to ensure our societies can fully reap all the benefits, from increased prosperity to democracy, stability and security that come from such a Partnership,” she also noted.

Mogherini pointed out that there are challenges lying ahead for EaP, stressing reform implementation and delivery of the agreed commitments “must remain the main focus in the years to come.”

“We need to continue the structured reflection and engage in an inclusive and broad consultation process on our future cooperation agenda… Let us demonstrate our shared determination to develop the EaP agenda beyond 2020, ensuring that we will remain stronger together,” she added.

In her doorstep remarks ahead of the meeting, Mogherini said despite “difficulties and problems that we still face in the region, our partnership has managed to bring forward our common work on trade, economic development, human rights, the role of civil society, visa liberalization and on many other fields.”

Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani attended the ministerial meeting on behalf of Georgia. In his press statement after the roundtable, Zalkaliani said “Georgia has been recognized as the frontrunner by all our partners, and of course, we want the results accomplished by Georgia on its EU integration path to be adequately recognized and assessed by our European partners.”

On May 14, the European Commission will host a high level conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership initiative with the participation of Federica Mogherini and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze will also attend the conference.

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

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