Today, EU leaders will meet with their six Eastern partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine to discuss how to strengthen cooperation.
Civil Georgia has contacted the Foreign Ministries of Eastern Partnership countries in the run-up to the Summit, asking them to provide brief remarks on their expectations from the Summit.
Four addressees responded to the query, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Armenia enjoys close ties with the European Union and intends to expand the comprehensive cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. The European Union provides valuable assistance for the ongoing reforms in our country, supports the development of Armenia.
Some of the projects supported by the EU have regional importance, like the modernization of the Armenia-Georgia border checkpoints and the construction of the high voltage transmission lines.
We actively cooperate in the fields of education, innovation, science and culture.
This year negotiations between Armenia and the European Union on "Creative Europe" program and the Common Aviation Area Agreement have been concluded.
As you know, within a relatively short timeframe Armenia and the European Union negotiated and already initialized the new Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. Our main expectation from the Brussels Summit is to sign the Agreement, which encompasses the whole specter of our relations and defines the framework for active political dialogue, cooperation in many areas, dynamic trade and economic relations, expanded sectoral cooperation. The signing of the Agreement can become one of the main achievements of the upcoming EU Eastern Partnership Summit.
Furthermore, as Commissioner Hahn stated during his recent visit to Armenia, “this ground-breaking new agreement will help demonstrate that it is possible for Armenia to be part of the Eurasian Integration Process, while also establishing an enhanced comprehensive cooperation with the European Union and this is the idea behind it and should serve as an example to others.”
We would also like to emphasize that once it is signed, Armenia as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union that encompasses 180 million strong market can further contribute as a bridge in utilizing the available opportunities, providing its services and investment tools and as a platform for trade activities between EAEU and EU member states.
We expect upcoming Brussels Summit Declaration to capture united and coherent approach to the settlement of conflicts, as well as reflecting on negative impacts of existing conflicts for full-scale implementation of EaP objectives.
It is an absolute necessity that the key principles enshrined in the Global Strategy for the EU Foreign and Security Policy, particularly those pertaining to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the inviolability of borders of states are equally respected by all participating states. Misinterpretation and selective application of these principles in the context of the conflict resolution undermines rules-based European order.
Azerbaijan is also interested in building its relations with EU based on mutually agreed priorities. Priority-driven cooperation tailored to the economic potential and specific goals of each country would be more efficient in realization of the principles of differentiation, flexibility, focus and greater ownership. Since official launch of the negotiations back in February we have engaged in a productive and constructive dialogue on completion of Strategic Partnership Agreement between EU and Azerbaijan. This Agreement will provide framework for comprehensive development of relations with EU.
We do also expect that the Brussels Summit will give further boost to energy, transport and people-to-people contacts cooperation between EU and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a key enabler of the 45-50 bln. US dollar Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) – largest infrastructure and energy project in Europe with the aim of bringing alternative gas to the European markets. SGC with potential of meeting up to 20% of EU’s gas demand in the future is unique project of energy diversification, as we will observe diversification of routes and sources.
Trans-Caspian International Transit Route, connecting China with Europe, broader participation, including Central Asian states should be considered. This will also be in line with EU’s connectivity agenda aiming to expand trans-European networks further to the East.
Traditionally, Eastern Partnership Summits are direction-setters events. The 2017 Summit will not be an exception. We are working towards identifying the targets to be reached in a mid-term perspective, until 2020, to the benefit of our citizens such as reducing roaming tariffs, increased support for reforms and, thus, contributing to the implementation of the Association Agreement signed with the European Union. Differentiation will continue to be the foundation for further developing Eastern Partnership initiative, in particular for the countries implementing Association Agreements with the EU.
It is the right direction to follow for the rapprochement with the EU in line with the European integration aspirations of the Republic of Moldova. We should be bolder and more ambitious in enabling the Eastern Partnership initiative with tools to support Eastern partners committed to achieve their European perspective.
The Summit results will testify for an enhanced political dialogue and the unity of all its participants, EU Member States and Eastern Partners, concerning its further development, making it stronger in meeting common objectives, capitalizing on new opportunities and responding to common challenges.
Ukraine expects that Brussels Eastern Partnership Summit will become another milestone within the Eastern Partnership initiative. The Eastern Partnership Summit traditionally outlines the road map for the next two years and naturally, that partner-countries intend to fix its own wishes in the final document of each Summit. But this Brussels Summit will be unique at least for the three countries of the EaP – for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
Let us remind in this regard that since the last Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit, held in Riga in 2015 significant progress has been made by EaP countries, primarily by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and now our countries benefit from free trade zones and visa-free regimes with the EU. Now we expect that the new strategically important benchmarks for future cooperation between the EU and EaP will be elaborated. We also expect that the Eastern partners who made substantial progress on EU-related reform could be allowed to join in the future to the Customs, Energy or Digital unions as well as to the Schengen area. Ukrainian side on the EU-Ukraine Summit conducted in Kyiv in July 2017 presented all those proposals.
Ukraine also supports “EaP 20 Deliverables for 2020” as a good base for improving sectoral cooperation in years ahead.
We welcome recommendations to the EU Council, the Commission and the EEAS that were approved on 15 November, 2017 by the majority of the European Parliament in the run-up to the Summit. We think that the idea to set up “EaP+” model of relations within the Eastern Partnership for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova is a good base for the further development of EaP.
We see perspective in setting up of a Trust Fund for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, which could focus on private and public investments in social and economic infrastructure.
We do believe that all elements mentioned above will be included into the Summit Declaration, which should send important political messages regarding continuation of strategic cooperation between the EU and EaP to the external players who work hard on weakening partners’ connections to the EU.
For information on Georgia’s expectations, please refer to the links below.