EU Officials, Foreign Ministers on EaP Ministerial

High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security, Josep Borrell and Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, as well as several Foreign Ministers of the bloc’s member states have assessed the November 15 Eastern Partnership ministerial.

The meeting brought together EU foreign ministers and their counterparts from Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Armenia, one month ahead of the 2021 EaP Summit.

High Representative Borrell said in a press briefing afterward the “result of the discussion was the strong commitment to the region and our will to cooperate in addressing common challenges with these countries.”

He also tweeted that “we reconfirmed strategic importance of the Eastern Partnership, solidarity and unity, crucial in the current complex regional situation.”  

Commissioner Várhelyi pledged after the November 15 ministerial that the EU will continue to assist its partners in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and in economic recovery. He noted that the implementation of the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the EaP will be crucial in this context.

Swedish Foreign Minister, Ann Linde said on November 15 that she raised at the ministerial the importance of democracy and human rights, and “the challenges of hybrid threats we all face.”

“Partners’ reform progress and EU’s support to reforms, especially in the areas of the rule of law and good governance as well as fighting corruption should be prioritized,” said Latvian FM Edgars Rinkēvičs on November 15, adding that “Our cooperation should focus on building partners’ resilience, including in the security sector, to counter the increasing hybrid and cyber threats, and disinformation.”

He also highlighted that the EU should offer Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova a perspective for gradual integration into its single market and reinvigorate a dialogue in the field of security and defense with the countries. FM Rinkēvičs stressed that a common understanding of future objectives of the EaP policy should be achieved at the upcoming summit and reflected in its declaration, as reported by the Latvian Foreign Ministry.

Bogdan Aurescu, Romanian FM, noted also on November 15 that he pleaded for more support for Eastern Partners in advancing reforms, consolidating resilience and the security dimension, including in solving protracted conflicts in the region.

The Foreign Ministry of Poland tweeted on the same day that top diplomats “confirmed the importance of cooperation within the format and emphasized the role of security dimension in the future policy of the Eastern Partnership.”

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