EaP: Transparent policy for the benefit of Eastern Neighbours and also their partners
Yerevan (13th September) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle took part in the 3rd meeting of the informal Eastern Partnership dialogue in Yerevan. The meeting brings together Ministers and senior officials from the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine). The EU is represented also by Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou and Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid.
After the meeting with the Foreign Ministers, where they discussed the preparations for the Vilnius summit and the recent developments in the region, Commissioner Füle said to the media:
It is a pleasure to be in Yerevan for the second time this year and especially on the occasion of such a special meeting.Let me briefly make the following three points:
First: The EU remains committed to advancing the Eastern Partnership with all six partner countries. Our intentions and policies are clear, transparent, predictable and differentiate - reflecting ambitions of our partners and their commitment to values and principles that form the basis of our relations. We always acted like this and will continue to do so – in the run up to the Vilnius summit and beyond.
Second: The Vilnius summit is a game changer as it offers political association and economic integration. The Association Agreements offers instrument for political transformation and economic modernisation. We are not in the business of building walls. We are in the process that could eventually lead to a free trade zone between Lisbon and Vladivostok.
Third: The development of the Eurasian Union project must respect our partners' sovereign decisions. Any threats from Russia linked to the possible signing of agreements with the European Union are unacceptable. The European Union will support and stand by those who are subject to undue pressures. Let me also focus your attention on the statement made by our Delegation here in Yerevan on the recent violent incidents against activists and human rights defenders. The EU has expressed deep concerns and called on Armenian authorities to take decisive action to bring the perpetrators to justice.
While in Yerevan Commissioner Füle also met bilaterally with the Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, as well as representatives of the Armenian National Platform of the Civil Society. Later this afternoon he is scheduled to hold talks with the President and Prime Minister of Armenia.