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20 deliverables for 2020

Cross cutting deliverables

The EU and partner countries’ cooperation features three cross-cutting issues: engagement with civil society, women’s empowerment and gender balance, and strategic communication.

While progress has been achieved in the area of strengthening strategic communication, creating an enabling environment for civil society and independent media needs urgent attention.

  • Moderate progress:
  • On track:
  • Completed:
  • EaP citizens’ positive perception of the EU is increasing: trust in the EU is higher than ever, with 61% (up 4% since 2017) of citizens considering the EU as the most trustworthy foreign institution.
  • Creating an enabling environment for civil society
  • Supporting pluralism and independent media
  • Ensuring gender equality and non-discrimination

Continued special attention needs to be paid to Deliverable 1 (civil society support), by strengthening more actively an enabling environment for civil society in order to address the closing of civic space.

In Deliverable 2 (Gender equality and non-discrimination), results remain uneven. While Georgia ratified the Istanbul Convention, further steps towards ratification and implementation are expected across the region.

In Deliverable 3 (strategic communication and independent media) good progress has been noticed across the region, while more efforts are needed to strengthen independent media.

Stronger economy

Building the economic resilience of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine is at the heart of the EU’s contribution towards having a stable neighbourhood.

In this context, the EU and EaP partner countries are working together to develop stronger, diversified and vibrant economies across the region. Significant progress has been made to help small and medium-sized businesses (SME) grow; to attract investments; to create jobs in new sectors; and to increase trade opportunities by supporting access to new markets.

  • Moderate progress:
  • On track:
  • Completed:
  • More than 50% of the EU’s loans to SMEs are now in local currency. For example: 6,500 Georgian SMEs have received loans under the EU4Business Initiative
  • Increase in trade between all six partner countries and the EU since 2016: by 15% with Armenia, 17% with Azerbaijan, 19% with Belarus, 6% with Georgia, 20% with Moldova, and 24% with Ukraine
  • Consensus with all six partner countries on a perspective for a roaming agreement for the region by 2020.

Special attention needs to be paid to Deliverable 7 (digital markets) to ensure the commitments made are effectively implemented, in particular on coordinating national spectrum strategies among partners and with the EU.

In Deliverable 8 (trade), it is necessary to address the mixed performance of intra-regional trade and to assure the full implementation of trade agreements to maximise benefits in the medium and long term.

Stronger governance

Scaling-up efforts in the area of strengthening institutions and good governance is a top priority for the EU in the EaP countries where challenges remain.

In particular, more efforts need to be made in the rule of law, implementing key judicial reforms, and in the fight against corruption. These are the preconditions for citizens’ trust in the state, long-term stability and an investment-safe climate.

  • Moderate progress:
  • On track:
  • Completed:
  • Strengthening the rule of law
  • Implementing key judicial reforms and reinforcing public administration
  • Strengthening security cooperation, notably to tackle organised crime, support conflict resolution, and protect against new threats and cybersecurity

Special attention needs to be paid under Deliverable 9 (rule of law) to address high-level and complex corruption across the region, among others through the effective operationalisation of the anticorruption institutional framework, establishment of track records of cases, the effective use of financial investigation tools and publicly available beneficial ownership registry data.

Regarding Deliverable 10 (key judicial reforms), progress is still needed as regards merit-based recruitment, reduction of backlog of cases and enforcement of judgements in civil and administrative cases. With first steps taken, actual track records of judges’ and prosecutor’s performance still needs to be established.

In Deliverable 12 (security), substantive criminal law and criminal procedural law, provisions on cybercrime and electronic evidence are still needed to fully comply with the Budapest Convention. In addition, more emphasis should still be put on disaster risk management than only emergency responses.

Stronger connectivity

The EU’s work with partner countries to improve transport links and infrastructure, boost energy resilience and efficiency, as well as the use of renewable energy to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions has resulted in significant progress.

Continuing to invest in these areas will lead to greater sustainable economic development and concrete benefits to the lives of citizens by reducing energy dependence and consumption.

  • Moderate progress:
  • On track:
  • Completed:
  • The indicative TEN-T Investment Action Plan finalized, foreseeing approximately 5,500 kilometres of roads and railways across the region by 2020 and an additional 4,600 kilometres by 2030
  • The recent inauguration of the Azerbaijan – Georgia section of the Southern Gas Corridor strengthens common energy security
  • A high-level energy efficiency initiative between the EU and International Financial Institutions has led to improved legislation and investments to reach more people, municipalities and SMEs to help cut energy bills, and improve standards

Special attention needs to be paid to Deliverable 14 (energy security), where challenges related to interconnection projects still need to be overcome. Additional efforts are needed on the unbundling of the gas transmission system operators in those partners who are Energy Community Contracting Parties.

In Deliverable 15 (energy efficiency), further efforts are needed on regulatory aspects of energy efficiency, monitoring and implementation of the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Other transboundary environmental problems need further attention on Deliverable 16.

Stronger society

The EU and six Eastern partners’ societies are now closer than ever due to the increased number of opportunities for more contacts between people across borders.

Together, the EU and partner countries have invested in young people’s skills, entrepreneurship and employability, including by developing education policies.

  • Moderate progress:
  • On track:
  • Completed:
  • The Eastern Partnership European School was launched in Tbilisi welcoming the first 30 pupils from the six partner countries
  • Since 2014, 30,000 young people have taken part in exchanges, mobility and volunteering through Erasmus+ and over 1,000 schools from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have been involved in exchanges and professional development for teachers through the eTwinning Plus platform
  • The EU4Youth programme is actively supporting the employability and entrepreneurship of around 23,000 young people in partner countries, and 200 Young European Ambassadors are fostering cooperation with youth organisations across the EU and the partner countries
  • All partner countries have full access to Horizon 2020 funding schemes for individual researchers.

Special attention needs to be paid to Deliverable 17, by continuing to fulfil the recommendations of the Visa Suspension Mechanism Report. Effective cooperation to implement the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements should continue, in particular for Armenia and Azerbaijan, in order to consider in due course, if conditions allow, the opening of a Visa Liberalisation Dialogue, as well as to Deliverable 18, by strengthening existing efforts to address quality assurance in education and challenges for youth employment and young people not engaged in education, employment or training.

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