In light of a changing security environment, the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS) started a process of closer cooperation in security and defence. EU Member States agreed to step up the European Union’s work in this area and acknowledged the need for enhanced coordination, increased investment and more cooperation in developing defence capabilities.
On 13-14 May, the European Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine will mark the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership with a number of events in Brussels. They will provide the opportunity to celebrate a partnership that has proven to be mutually beneficial and has been delivering concrete results for citizens.
Launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Within this framework, all partners have committed to demonstrate and deliver tangible benefits to the daily lives of citizens across the region.
Over the past three years, there has been progress in EU-Belarus relations. Belarus has been participating actively in the multilateral
formats of the Eastern Partnership. The bilateral relationship will be strengthened through the EU-Belarus Partnership Priorities,
which are currently being negotiated. This will set the strategic framework for cooperation in the coming years.
Ukraine is a priority partner for the European Union. The EU supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens, and is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together,
promoting deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. Since spring 2014, Ukraine has embarked on an ambitious reform programme, aiming to stabilise its economy and improve the livelihoods of its citizens. Priority reforms include the ﬁght against corruption, reform of the judiciary, constitutional and electoral reforms, improvement of the business climate and energy efﬁciency, as well as reform of public administration, including decentralisation. Since 2014, the EU and the European Financial Institutions have mobilised a package of more than €14 billion in grants and loans to support the reform process, with strong conditionality on continued progress.
The European Union’s relations with Azerbaijan are based on the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership
and Cooperation Agreement in force since 1999. In February 2017, the EU and Azerbaijan began
negotiations on a new framework agreement with Azerbaijan designed to give new impetus to
political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation.