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The Annual Eastern Partnership Ministerial was held on 13 May with EU Foreign Ministers and their counterparts from the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), to discuss the implementation of the "20 deliverables for 2020" agenda.
On 14 May, a High-level Conference was hosted by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and brought together Heads of State or Government and Foreign Ministers of the partner countries and of the EU Member States, civil society representatives, business leaders, young people and journalists from across the 34 countries. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, and the Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, also participated.
The Conference celebrated the achievements of the last ten years in the EU's relationships with its six Eastern partners and started discussions on the future of the Partnership, to continue delivering concrete results for citizens.
“The Eastern Partnership is fundamentally a future-oriented partnership for the citizens and with the citizens; firmly focussed on what is important for them. Together we are working towards stronger economies, stronger governance, stronger connectivity and stronger societies”, said President Juncker. “We have put in place ambitious Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and citizens of these countries also benefit from visa free travel for short stays in the EU. 125,000 loans have been provided to businesses in the Eastern Partnership, of which half are in local currency, and we have contributed to the creation of over 30,000 jobs in the region. And our trade has increased with each of the six Eastern Partnership countries, which together are the EU's 10th trading partner. I would like us to continue to focus on the content of what we believe we should do together so that our Partnership can keep its promises.”
Commissioner Hahn said: “We are celebrating a decade of strong commitment of EU Member States and its six partners to strengthen cooperation, bring real change to people's lives and strengthen reform processes. The Eastern Partnership enables all six partners to address issues of common interest with the EU. For that purpose, we have set out the “20 deliverables for 2020” vision focussed on stronger economy, governance, connectivity and society. The Eastern Partnership will be marked this year by key achievements and a clear vision for the future; continuing to focus on tangible benefits for citizens will remain a key priority in the years to come.”
“In these ten years, we have shown what a partnership with the European Union is all about: positive change in the lives of our people, particularly the young ones”, said HR/VP, Federica Mogherini. “We made it easier to travel to the EU, increased trading opportunities for businesses, and increased mobility for academics and students. Our friendship today is much more mature than it used to be. We are much more focused on what truly matters to our citizens. Their priorities will continue to be the focus of our friendship.”
Eastern Partnership 10th Anniversary festivities also included a Jazz concert in BOZAR, Creating together - Celebrating 10 years of Eastern Partnership through image and music, live-streamed in the Eastern Partnership countries. The full concert is available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXtahd2xzMc
Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-2489_en.htm