Eastern Partnership: good progress
The Eastern Partnership summit held in Warsaw on 29 and 30 September signalled a deepening in relations between the EU and its Eastern European partners, and set new goals for the coming two years.
Herman Van Rompuy and
Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland.
The summit was hosted by
the Polish Presidency of the Council.
© European Union, 2011
"We are well on the way to concluding new and upgraded contractual relations with most of our partners," said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who chaired the summit and, together with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, represented the European Union. All EU member states were also represented, most of them at the highest level, as were five of the six Eastern Partnership countries, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The summit welcomed the progress made so far, including the fact that there is more trade between the EU and its eastern partners than ever before. Negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement could be finalised before the end of 2011. If the conditions are in place, negotiations on a deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) could also start with Georgia and Moldova by the end of the year. Armenia for its part is making progress towards becoming ready for DCFTA negotiations.
The aim of the Eastern Partnership, launched in 2009, is to promote closer political association and economic integration with the EU. Another objective is to enhance mobility, including by means of visa facilitation and readmission agreements. "We confirmed the way ahead towards visa free regimes, in due course, provided the conditions are met," said President Van Rompuy.
As regards sectoral cooperation, the summit launched flagship initiatives in areas such as regional electricity markets, renewable energies and border control.
EU engagement with its partners is inclusive, involving not only governments but also parliaments, local administrations, civil society and businesses.
With regard to Belarus, EU leaders expressed their deep concern at the deteriorating human rights, democracy and rule of law situation in the country. They called for the immediate release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners and for an end to the repression. Only then can the European Union fully re-engage with Belarus.
Joint Summit Declaration (pdf)
Declaration on the situation in Belarus (pdf)
Remarks by President Van Rompuy (pdf)
Statement by President Barroso (en)
EU external action website: Eastern Partnership (en, fr)
Eastern Partnership Community website (en, ru)