Posted on 01.03.2013 in Azerbaijan, EU and the Eastern Partnership, News

EU expects promotion on associative agreement with Azerbaijan

The EU commissioner for European good neighborhood policy Stephan Fule expects achievements in the negotiations on the associative agreement with Azerbaijan at the Eastern Partnership summit in Lithuania last autumn.

“We hope to sign an associative agreement with Ukraine in Vilnius in November and also complete talks with Georgia, Moldova and Armenia and make a step forward in our talks with Azerbaijan”, the EU news service quotes Fule as saying at the meeting in Brussels.

The high-level meeting on discussion of the prospects of the Eastern partnership program was held before. It was attended by representatives of the EU and big international and European financial institutions.

The participants discussed the EU interaction with the Eastern partnership countries in anticipation of the summit in Vilnius, touched upon such important spheres, as energy, transport, as well as issues of regulation and business environment. Meanwhile, the reforms in Ukraine were a focus of discussions.

The association agreement, just like the talks on visa regime and readmission, are part of the EU Eastern Partnership program. The association agreement envisages economic preferences for Azerbaijan as a EU partner-country.

The negotiations are held in four main directions: policy, economy, human rights and democracy, as well as trade. In May of the last year the head of the EU delegation in Baku Roland Kobia announced that most part of the negotiation points has been coordinated.

In particular, the parties managed to agree on the sphere of education and youth policy, culture, transport, protection of consumers, tourism, science and technologies, economic dialogue, taxes and statistics, state finance management and environment.

The delay in the negotiation process is related to the fact that Azerbaijan is not the WTO member. It is one of the main requirements for the further progress of the trade and economic cooperation with EU, including creation of the comprehensive free trade area.