On 14 May, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker hosted a high-level conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership.
The conference brought together Heads of State or Government of the Eastern partner countries, foreign ministers of the EU Member States, civil society representatives, business leaders, young people and journalists from across the 34 countries. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, also participated in the event.
“The Eastern Partnership is fundamentally a future-oriented partnership for the citizens and with the citizens; firmly focussed on what is important for them. Together we are working towards stronger economies, stronger governance, stronger connectivity and stronger societies”, said President Juncker. “We have put in place ambitious Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and citizens of these countries also benefit from visa free travel for short stays in the EU. 125,000 loans have been provided to businesses in the Eastern Partnership, of which half are in local currency, and we have contributed to the creation of over 30,000 jobs in the region. And our trade has increased with each of the six Eastern Partnership countries, which together are the EU’s 10th trading partner. I would like us to continue to focus on the content of what we believe we should do together so that our Partnership can keep its promises.”
The conference’s participants discussed the developments of the partnership during this first decade and exchanged views on its future.
Ten years ago, in May 2009, the Heads of State or Government and representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine gathered with high-level EU officials in Prague to strengthen mutual ties of friendship and cooperation and to launch a strategic and ambitious partnership, as a specific dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy to be developed alongside bilateral cooperation.
This joint endeavour, in an effort to build a more prosperous, resilient, stable and democratic region, was based on shared values, mutual interests and commitments, bringing the Eastern partner countries closer to the EU and developing stronger ties among the partner countries themselves, for the benefit of all.
Find out more: