On the occasion of the Eastern Partnership leaders' meeting, which took place via video conference, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, and the 33 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States and six Eastern Partners — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine — discussed the response to COVID-19, the consequences of the crisis, and the long-term objectives of the Eastern Partnership.
Leaders stressed the importance of solidarity at the time of the COVID-19 crisis, including the EU's substantial support to address the impact of the outbreak in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region.
They reconfirmed their commitment and the high importance they attach to the Eastern Partnership as a foreign policy priority and highlighted different areas of cooperation such as trade, visa-free or visa facilitation agreements.
The leaders agreed on five priorities for the Eastern Partnership post-2020, covering economic growth to the green transition, digitalisation to good governance and enhanced connectivity. Work will now begin to establish new, concrete deliverables, to build on the achievements so far. Participants discussed the preparation of a physical summit to take place in Brussels in March 2021 during which they will endorse five policy priorities in a joint declaration.
“It is in the European Union's strategic interest to have a prosperous eastern neighbourhood”, said President von der Leyen at the press conference. She added: “That is what the Eastern Partnership has been working on for more than a decade, and with tangible results.”
Full statement of Ursula von der Leyen here.
“Leaders expressed the political will to continue building an area of shared democracy, prosperity and stability, anchored in our shared values, through a rules-based international order and international law,” noted Charles Michel, President of the European Council
Full statement of Charles Michel here.
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