EU and Eastern Partnership (EaP) heads of state and government, opposition leaders of the European People’s Party (EPP), the Presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament, the Estonian EU Presidency and the responsible Commissioner held the Sixth EPP Eastern Partnership Leaders Meeting today in Brussels. Following the meeting, the EPP leaders adopted a declaration on the future of the Eastern Partnership. With this occasion, the EPP President made the following statement:
“We have gone through historic milestones, like visa-free travel and the signing of the Association Agreements, for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova since our last EaP Summit in Riga. And we will continue to strongly support our partners and their European aspirations and underline that European perspective constitutes a driving force for reforms and commitment to shared values and principles.
Moreover, EPP will continue to advocate for closer cooperation with the EaP countries in the framework of a “EaP+” model, which could eventually lead to them joining the customs union, the energy union, the Digital Single Market, collaborate in security and defence, or reduce the roaming tariffs.
Unfortunately, many achievements in Moldova and Georgia are experiencing a setback and Ukraine has to enhance its fight against corruption.
EPP believes that the rule of law, democratisation, reforms, independent justice and the fight against corruption remain key preconditions for the EU’s deeper engagement with all EaP partners in order to ensure a prosperous future for the young generation in those countries. Any EU macro financial and technical assistance must go hand in hand with strict conditionality and any financial support must serve the people and the future generations.
EPP also stays firm on its support for territorial integrity within internationally recognised borders, peaceful conflict resolution and on its unity of action among EU member states towards Russia. At the same time, EPP strongly condemns Russian aggression towards its neighbours, cyber warfare, disinformation and other types of destabilisation.
We also welcome the signing of the new EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, a milestone for its people and the country.
Finally, EPP supports a dialogue format for EU-Belarus relations with the participation of the political opposition and democratic organisations. The precondition for any further engagement with official Belarus must be democratisation of the country, free and fair elections and the release of political prisoners.”