Eastern Partnership countries agree on Joint Declaration at summit in Brussels
The 5th Eastern Partnership Summit held at the level of Heads of State or Government, brought together six Eastern Partnership countries (namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), the European Union institutions, represented by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, as well as the 28 European Union Member States. They were joined by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy & Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn and the Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström. The event took place on 24 November in Brussels.
The Summit participants agreed on a Joint Summit Declaration. In the framework of the Summit, a number of agreements were taken forward, including a new bilateral agreement between the European Union and Armenia; Common Aviation Area Agreement with Armenia; and the extension of the EU's Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) network to Eastern Partnership countries.
The European Union, its Member States, and the Eastern Partnership countries also endorsed twenty deliverables that set out a clear work plan for the future, to be achieved by the year 2020. These include:
- Broadened outreach and targeted support in particular to grassroots civil society organisations;
- Supporting businesses and providing loans in local currencies, in partnership with key International Financial Institutions;
- Improving the capacity of partner countries to take advantage of the trade opportunities with the EU and with each other;
- Reform commitments and specific investments in the area of energy efficiency;
- Developing better and safer transport links by 2030 with a long-term investment contributing to connecting Eastern Partnership countries with the EU and amongst themselves;
- A digital package, including concrete steps towards harmonised roaming pricing and reduced roaming tariffs among the partner countries, easier and cheaper access to internet through the roll out of national broadband strategies, and support for job creation in digital industries;
- A substantial new support package to youth and education;
- A comprehensive new communication approach on assistance for the Eastern Partnership, and a stepping-up of strategic communication.
The Summit also endorsed a revised multilateral institutional set-up for the Eastern Partnership, providing for stronger political guidance and a more results-oriented approach to the cooperation.