The Eastern Partnership â€“ where we are now and where we are going
Maciej Stadejek External Relations Directorate General European Commission
The Eastern Partnership A new partnership to strengthen relations between the EU and six partner countries:
Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus (fully engaged only within the multilateral track of the EaP)
Georgia the Republic of Moldova Ukraine
The goals of the Partnership
ď‚§ To provide support for democratic and marked-oriented reforms in partner countries, consolidate their statehood and bring them closer to the EU.
ď‚§ To create an ambitious partnership
between the EU and Partner countries based on political association and gradual integration in the EU economy.
EU strategic initiative that opens new chapter in relations with Eastern neighbours: Responds to the aspirations of these countries to get even
closer to the EU and consolidate their statehood; Provides both: long term vision and detailed work-plan; Upgrades substantially EU’s engagement; Offers stronger and more practical support for acceleration of democratic and market-oriented reforms, legislative approximation and further economic integration; Demonstrates in practical way EU solidarity; Promotes stability, good governance and economic development in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood
Basis of the Partnership Common interests, shared values: Commitment to the rule of law & good governance; Respect for human rights and basic freedoms
including respect for and protection of minorities;
Commitment to the principles of the market economy, sustainable development and good governance.
The level of ambition of the EU’s relationship with each of the Eastern Partners will take into account the extent to which these values are effectively shared
Structure of the Eastern Partnership
ď‚§ I Bilateral dimension ď‚§ II Multilateral dimension
What do we propose in bilateral track Significant strengthening of EU policy & engagement:
New, upgraded contractual relations: Association Agreements, closer cooperation on CFSP/ESDP issues
Improved administrative capacity:
Comprehensive Institution Building Programmes aimed at supporting the implementation of Association Agreements and enhancing core institutions of Partner countries;
Gradual integration into the EU economy: Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas;
Easier travel to the EU:
“Mobility and security pacts” to promote legal movement of people with as a long term goal full visa liberalisation;
Energy security cooperation:
Enhanced cooperation with all partner countries, Interconnection and integration of energy markets;
Economic and social development, including regional perspective: Pilot regional programmes based on EU’s cohesion policy.
What do we propose in multilateral cooperation A new forum:
to share experience and information on partner’s steps towards reforms accompanied by the EU;
to facilitate adoption of common positions and joint activities;
to discuss topics of common interest; to present and explain EU legislation and standards to the Partners.
Four thematic platforms Democracy, good governance & stability (including JLS): Electoral standards, media regulations, fight against corruption, civil service reform, judicial and police cooperation, integrated border management etc. Also covers promotion of local democracy: benefits and risks of territorial reforms, decentralisation of state functions as well as measures promoting financial autonomy of local and regional administrations.
Economic integration and convergence with EU policies Trade and market-related approximation, socio-economic development, poverty reduction, social inclusion, equal opportunities, health, environment and climate change.
Energy security Accelerated convergence of energy policies and legislation with EU, construction and rehabilitation of key energy infrastructure etc.
Contacts between people Culture, support to NGOs, strengthen civil society, increase student and academic exchanges, better integration into 7th Framework Research Programme, joint media projects.
The Civil Society Forum The main objective of the CSF is to promote civil society involvement within the EaP and strengthen Civil Society Organisations in Partner countries.
The first meeting of the Forum was held in Brussels in November 2009. More than 200 Civil Society Organizations from Partner countries and EU Member States participated.
They prepared recommendations which were presented to the EaP Foreign Ministers in December 2009.
A CSF Steering Committee has been elected and provides a basis for permanent activities.
Flagship initiatives Integrated Border Management Programme:
Alignment to EU standards, a prerequisite for progress on the mobility; Promotion and exchange of best practices on matters related to IBM (including IBM Panel); Provision of training and capacity building on IBM matters.
Stimulus for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through: - Advice on legal and administrative measures to improve the business climate (East Invest project); - Provision of advisory services to SMEs; - Support the establishment of a SME Funding Facility including a revolving loan fund for SMEs and Technical Assistance to financial intermediaries (in cooperation with EIB and EBRD).
Flagship initiatives Regional electricity markets
Advice and financial support on interconnection and harmonisation of Energy Markets, Strengthening institutional capacity for sustainable energy governance in the frame of the INOGATE; Improve energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy sources.
Increasing availability of reliable information in Partner countries, including: - a national and regional Shared Environmental Information System - strengthening the capacities to ensure access to environment information.
Prevention of, preparedness for, and response
to natural and man-made disasters Strengthening disaster management capacities and establish effective cooperation between the EU and the Partner countries and among themselves
EC financing in 2010-2013 Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus
€ 186 million € 149 million € 26 million
(Covers only 2010-11. Mid Term review for 2012-13 ongoing)
(additional funding up to € 500 million to cope with the consequences of the crisis in August 2008),
Moldova Ukraine Regional East Programme
€ 340 million € 598 million € 350 million
Additional funds are also available through inter-regional programme, Cross Border Cooperation, Neighbourhood Investment Facility and Governance Facility .
Additional financing 2010-13 almost 75% increase When comparing 2008 (€450 million) to 2013 (€785 million)
This will mean allocating a supplementary envelope of
€ 350 million in addition to the planned resources for the period 2010-2013
Moreover we refocused €250 million that was already
allocated to the ENPI Regional East Programme to initiatives relevant for the implementation of the EaP
Structure Eastern Partnership Summits once every two
years Once a year meetings of EaP Foreign Ministers
Senior officials meetings twice a year
within framework of thematic platforms
Experts meetings, workshops - as often as necessary
Involvements of other EU institutions,
civil society, international organisations, IFIs, private sector
Where are we now, after one year since the Prague Summit? Bilateral track Significant strengthening of EU policy & engagement. New contractual relations: Association Agreements (AAs).
Negotiations on AA with Ukraine have made considerable
progress. Almost all chapters on economic and sector cooperation are provisionally closed.
With the Republic of Moldova negotiations were launched in January 2010 and are progressing swiftly.
The first round of negotiations on an AAs with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia took place in July 2010.
Improved administrative capacity - CIBs
ď‚§ The CIBs will be based on Framework Documents identifying the core institutions to be strengthened and the key issues to be tackled.
ď‚§ The preparation of these documents started and
identification missions took place in JanuaryFebruary 2010 in 5 Partner Countries (with exception of Belarus). A first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in mid-May with the Republic of Moldowa.
Gradual integration into the EU economy Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement
The AAs include inter alia the establishment of
the DCFTA. The momentum of the DCFTA negotiations with Ukraine needs to be intensified. The assessment of Moldova’s preparedness to the DCFTA negotiation has started and will be pursued by a fact finding mission. In the case of Armenia and Georgia the directives for negotiations of AAs provide for the establishment of a DCFTA . A DCFTA is a longer term objective for Azerbaijan, which is not yet a WTO member.
Easier travel to the EU - full visa liberalisation as a long term goal
ď‚§ On 17 June 2010 the EU and Georgia signed a visa facilitation agreement.
ď‚§ Visa facilitation and readmission
agreements with the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have already been signed.
Easier travel to the EU - full visa liberalisation as a long term goal
The next step in the visa dialogue process with
Ukraine will be to implement priority measures of reform. With Moldova a visa dialogue was launched in the margin of the Cooperation Council on 15 June 2010. As regards Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Commission needs to obtain negotiation directives for visa facilitation and readmission agreements before the end of the year with the view to starting negotiations soon afterwards.
Energy security cooperation ď‚§ In 2009 the EC facilitated the preparation of an agreement between Ukraine and the IFIs that would make it possible for Ukraine to get financial support to assist in modernization of the gas transit system. The government of Ukraine committed itself to implement a number of reforms as conditions for this funding to be released. Further progress is needed before these funds can be disbursed.
ď‚§ The Energy Community Treaty (ECT) in December 2009
approved the accession of Ukraine and Moldova pending adoption of the relevant legislation in accordance with EU acquis. Subsequently Moldova became a full member of the ECT in March 2010.
Economic and social development Pilot regional development programmes ď‚§ Regional development of the Partners: - pilot projects inspired by EU regional development programmes - mini programmes involving several regional administrations. The initial conceptual works have been started. The pilot programmes are to be implemented in 2012.
ď‚§ Cooperation through the Committee of the Regions,
which has been invited to establish an Eastern Europe and South Caucasus Local and Regional Assembly and participates in the work of the thematic platforms.
Multilateral track Platform 1 Democracy, good governance & stability
The platform has established a Panel on Integrated Border
Management (IBM). The Panel (28 June 2010 ) discussed the draft study for an EaP IBM Flagship Initiative project (including concrete proposals for training activities and pilot projects). The platform decided to establish a Panel on fight against corruption which first meeting will take place on 14th September 2010. Two representatives of the CSF have been invited to participate. The Flagship Initiative on Civil Protection was launched on 9 December 2009. The initiative aims to develop and reinforce the capacity for disaster prevention and response.
A Panel on judiciary reform, was agreed in April 2010.
Platform 2 Economic integration and convergence with EU policies An Environment and Climate Change Panel, focusing on convergence
towards EU environmental legislation, and action to address climate change, met first on 23 March 2010. Representatives of the CSF are participants to the Panel.
The Environmental Governance Flagship Initiative which aims to
strengthen environment governance and develop a Shared Environmental Information System was launched in March 2010.
A Trade Panel dealing with the objectives of regulatory approximation met on 29-30 March. The panel fosters the advance of DCFTA negotiations and the involvement of the business community.
The modalities of the SME Flagship Initiative have been agreed. The
signature of the contract of the first component of the initiative: EastInvest programme is expected at the end of September 2010. The next component: the SME Facility will be running soon.
A decision on setting up SME Panel was made. The first meeting of the Panel is scheduled for the second half of 2010.
Platform 3 Energy security
A workshop on electricity interconnections – an important building block for mutual support mechanisms in times of crisis – is now scheduled for 7 July 2010.
Fourteen cities from Partner countries have already joined the Covenant of Mayors (an EU initiative for cities to go beyond the 20% Greenhouse Gas Emission target).
Platform 4 Contacts between People ď‚§ See: separate presentation on Platform 4
The Civil Society Forum The first meeting of the Civil Society Forum was held in
November 2009. The Forum adopted recommendations which were presented to EaP Foreign Ministers and EaP Platforms. A CSF Steering Committee has been elected by the Forum and provides a basis for permanent activities. It elaborated a procedure for selection of the participants for the next Forum. Four working groups were established. The second meeting of the CSF which will be held on 18-19 November 2010 in Berlin. A call for expressions of interest to participate in the next Forum was announced on 28th May. A selection of participants for the second CSF’s meeting was made by the CSF Steering Committee on 26-27 July 2010. Altogether the EC received over 560 applications. 230 CSOs have been invited to participate.
Thank you ! For more information, please see Eastern Partnership webpage:
Published on Sep 30, 2010
The Eastern Partnership – where we are now and where we are going Maciej Stadejek External Relations Directorate General European Commission...