On 11 July, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, marked the end of negotiations of the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities in the presence of President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.
According to the EU, the Partnership Priorities represent an important step forward in EU-Azerbaijan relations and will guide and enhance this partnership over the coming years. While also staying true to the principle of differentiation in the EU's relations with the Eastern Neighbourhood countries, the four main areas of cooperation under the Partnership Priorities reflect those identified under the Eastern Partnership framework, namely:
- Strengthening institutions and good governance;
- Economic development and market opportunities;
- Connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate action;
- Mobility and people-to-people contacts.
The Partnership Priorities will also provide the policy framework for EU-Azerbaijan financial cooperation for 2018-2020.
According to the EU press release, through these Partnership Priorities, the EU and Azerbaijan renew their commitment to an ambitious and comprehensive agenda. The agenda will reflect the values and principles of the European Neighbourhood Policy, including respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and dialogue with civil society.
Together with the ongoing negotiations for a new bilateral agreement, the conclusion of the Partnership Priorities signals a clear intention to enhance the EU-Azerbaijan relationship to bring positive results for the benefit of the people of Azerbaijan and the EU.
The Partnership Priorities will now be formally approved by the EU and Azerbaijan before being adopted.
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