Recently one could hear quite many statements that European Union Eastern partnership (EP) Programme is ineffective and has no future. Yet Ukraine‘s approach toward the Association Agreement demonstrated that the EP initiative has proved successful.
On November 29, Azerbaijan and the European Union signed a visa-facilitation agreement in Vilnius, Lithuania, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership summit. The agreement was signed by the foreign minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, by Linas Linkevicius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania in his capacity (July 1–December 31, 2013) as President of the Council of the European Union, and by Stefan Fule, the EU’s commissioner with responsibility for enlargement and the European Neighborhood Policy (Contact.az, November 29). The agreement will help Azerbaijani citizens to obtain an EU visa more easily and more cheaply.
EU diplomats admitted that "time for reflection" was needed after Ukraine declined the opportunity to join the bloc at a two-day 'Eastern Partnership' summit in Vilnius that ended today (29 November), highlighting the EU’s weakness against an ever-more assertive Russia.
The aggressive attitude of Russia towards neighbour countries seeking closer EU integration indicates a new reality which the EU’s Eastern partnership must be ready to face, writes Alex Petriashvili.
Moldova expects to become the frontrunner of the EU's Eastern partner states vying for visa liberalisation with the 28-country bloc, if it signs its mooted association agreement at a 28-29 November summit in Vilnius, Moldova’s Foreign and European Integration Minister Natalia Gherman told EurActiv Slovakia in an exclusive interview.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the Prime Minister of Moldova, Iurie Leancă. The meeting focused on preparations for the upcoming Vilnius Summit to be held in November, as well as Moldova's progress in implementing reforms. An EU association agreement is expected to be initialed with Moldova at the summit.
The current intensification of Russian diplomacy in the South Caucasus is a reflection of the preparation for the Vilnius summit where Eastern Partnership countries will shape the contours of their future relations with the EU, executive director of the North-South Centre for Political Science Alexei Vlasov told Trend today.
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit that will take place in November in Vilnius, Lithuania, is already generating buzz. Set to be a major milestone in the EU’s relations with the Eastern Partnership states, the summit is expected to reach a crescendo with the signing of an Association Agreement with Ukraine. The announcement of the end of talks on or even the initialing of similar agreements with Moldova and Georgia may be additional high notes.