Donald Tusk reflects on 10 years of Eastern Partnership at opening of conference in Batumi

Photo: European Union
Photo: European Union

On 11–12 July, the Georgian city of Batumi is hosting an international conference entitled “Georgia’s European Way”.

Bringing together high-level officials and representatives from academia, the non-governmental sector and business sectors of the EU and its six Eastern partner countries, the conference is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership.

In his opening speech, President of the European Council Donald Tusk reminded that 2019 also “marks the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet domination in Central and Eastern Europe that started inter alia with the demonstrations in Tbilisi in April 1989, […] and culminated with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November”.

“It is a highly symbolic time to discuss how far we have travelled together over this past decade – and how to take our common journey forward,” Tusk added.

“When looking at the Eastern Partnership's first ten years, it is evident that thanks to it and through it, our relations have become deeper, more structured and more predictable,” he underlined. “We have concluded Association Agreements with Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with Armenia, a new framework agreement close to completion with Azerbaijan, and a more transparent engagement with Belarus.”

Tusk said these developments have opened up a wide range of new opportunities, listing numerous economic, political and intercultural benefits of such cooperation.

“The Eastern Partnership was created, and has always been, an initiative of peace, not aimed against anyone, with an objective to establish ever-more prosperous societies, with good governance, a strong rule of law and efficient justice,” he added.

“You have astonished Europe and the whole world,” Tusk said in conclusion. “I call on you with an earnest appeal: don’t let yourselves become divided. Only when united, will you endure. Like the whole of Europe.”

Find out more:

Text of the speech

Batumi conference page

Eastern Partnership