Extracts from the joint press conference by José Manuel Barroso and Benita Ferrero-Waldner on the Eastern Partnership
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Member of the EC in charge of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, held a joint press conference on 3 December 2008 on the Commission's proposal for a new Eastern Partnership.
This proposal represents a step change in the EU’s relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus (its participation in the Eastern Partnership will depend on the overall development of EU/Belarus relations), Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
This ambitious Partnership foresees a substantial upgrading of the level of political engagement, including the prospect of a new generation of Association Agreements, far-reaching integration into the EU economy, easier travel to the EU for citizens providing that security requirements are met, enhanced energy security arrangements benefiting all concerned, and increased financial assistance. The EU proposes much more intensive day to day support for partners' reform efforts through a new Comprehensive Institution Building programme, and a new multilateral dimension which will bring partners together to address common challenges. The new Partnership includes new measures to support the social and economic development of the six countries, and five flagship initiatives that will give very concrete evidence of the EU's support. SHOTLISTLINK