All Eastern Partners are Equally Important to the EU, Commissioner Tells EaP Foreign Ministers in Baku

Discussions during the Informal Partnership Dialogue of the Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership, on 8-9 September in Baku, have revealed “a strong sense of solidarity between the EU and the Eastern Partners and among the partners themselves”, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said following the meeting.

The Commissioner said “very friendly and open discussions” on energy security and energy cooperation had been followed by an exchange on the recent political developments and “the next steps in our efforts to intensify our ties.” All participants pledged to work together “to advance the Partnership and build a future based on predictability and accountability – important principles for this Partnership,” he added.

Füle stressed the importance of:

• Differentiation  as a key feature of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), whose role “will only increase, requiring our approach to be tailored and adapted to correspond to our partners’ needs, their ambitions and the realities on the ground.”

• Inclusiveness as another key feature of the EaP. “The EU remains firmly committed to advancing the Eastern Partnership with its six partner countries. Participation of all of them is essential, despite Armenia not being represented here this time,” Füle said.

All six partners are equally important to the EU, the Commissioner went on to say, adding “their integrity, sovereignty and independence to decide about their own future, to make their own choices is equally vital and must be respected.”

Štefan Füle also stressed the importance of the values that underpin the Partnership:

– respect for democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms;

– free and fair elections meeting international standards;

– independent judicial systems and the need to tackle corruption;

– respect for civil society and its inclusion in the dialogue with authorities, “because this is also an important condition for the sustainability of reforms, development and projects we are jointly advancing.”

Source: enpi-info.eu

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