“The European Union attaches its utmost importance to its relations with Eastern Partners. We consider the region a priority for our support and commitment,” Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stated at a joint press conference after the meeting with the FMs of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine in Brussels.
“The European Union should be proud that our partners want to move closer to the EU and even to join it. Too often within European Union, we take for granted what we have managed to create – an area of prosperity, security and an opportunity for all. Our union is not perfect, but that membership is seen as a strategic objective for many countries is a great compliment.
I’m from Spain, and I can tell that when we were out of European Union, we really want to become part of it because we understood that it was a way forward to a better, more secure future. I want to welcome the closer coordination between Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as their request to enhance cooperation with the EU.
A crucial aspect of our Eastern Partnership is building links not only between the EU and partner countries but also among them. We cooperate not only within the Eastern Partners with each of you, but we also have Association Agreements, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements. These agreements are the most comprehensive that the European Union has with any other partners. That commits us to strengthen our political association, economic integration, which we have been doing. The full implementation of these agreements is the key to use all the opportunity they offer. For example, further trade exchanges, more security cooperation and especially cooperation in a new field of disinformation, cyber and hybrid threats, on environment and connectivity.
Let me also say that coming closer to the EU will require work from both sides. There are the key areas in each of your countries that require thorough improvements. We can only approximate this legislation, deepen cooperation and advance the joint work if these reforms are fully enacted and enforced. The EU is standing each of you respectively in this effort and supports you politically and financially,” Josep Borrell declared.
According to him, the current year is important for the Eastern Partnership.
“Together with the European Commission, we are in the process of finalizing the past 2020 agenda. At our Eastern Partnership summit, which will take place in December, we will have an opportunity to set a new agenda and agree on a common vision for the future. We are looking forward to developing relations based on the principles of inclusivity and differentiation. This will require flexibility from both parties. So, I count on you, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova to play a full and constructive part in this. I look forward to the opportunity to visit you soon and share with you these concerns and objectives” he added.