The Eastern Partnership (EaP) represents a a specific Eastern dimension within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It has been launched on 7 May 2009 during the EaP summit in Prague. All 27 EU Member States and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus (depending on the development of its relations with the EU), Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine participate in the EaP.
While the Eastern partners may not have identical objectives in their relationship with the EU they all seek to intensify their relations with the EU. The Eastern Partnership is the reply of the EU to the challenges and aspirations of the partner countries.
The EU is proposing to its partners: new association agreements including deep and comprehensive free trade agreements with those countries willing and able to enter into a deeper engagement, gradual integration in the EU economy and easier travel to the EU through gradual visa liberalisation, accompanied by measures to tackle illegal immigration.
The Partnership would also promote democracy and good governance; strengthen energy security; promote sector reform and environment protection; encourage people to people contacts; support economic and social development; offer additional funding for projects to reduce socio-economic imbalances and increase stability.
The EaP offers both bilateral and multilateral measures for enhanced cooperation. The partner countries will come closer to the EU depending on their individual capabilities and timeframe and together Eastern partners will cooperate more on issues related to the EU, share their experience and best practices among themselves.