What happens in the countries in Eastern Europe and the southern Caucasus matters to the EU. As the EU has expanded, these countries have become closer neighbours, and their security, stability and prosperity increasingly affect the EU’s. Closer cooperation between the EU and its eastern European partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – is very important for the EU's external relations.
Launched in 2009, the Eastern Partnership [832 KB] is a joint initiative between the EU, EU countries and the eastern European partner countries. It enables partner countries interested in moving towards the EU and increasing political, economic and cultural links to do so. It is underpinned by a shared commitment to international law and fundamental values - democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms - and to the market economy, sustainable development and good governance.
The EU has put forward concrete ideas for each partner country. The aim is to improve relations with individual countries.
A new generation of Association Agreements is being negotiated with some countries on an individual basis. These will replace the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements concluded with partner countries (apart from Belarus) in the late 1990s. The latest Association Agreements/DCTFAs to have been initialed were the ones for Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.