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Opening remarks by Commissioner Füle at the plenary session of the Foreign Affairs Council on Eastern Partnership
Opening remarks by Commissioner Füle at the plenary session of the Foreign Affairs Council on Eastern Partnership

22/07/2014

Brussels, ( 22 July) - Commissioner Füle participated today in the plenary session of the Foreign Affairs Council on Eastern Partnership and this is what he said in the beginning:  'Events in Ukraine since Vilnius have tested our determination and commitment. I believe they have demonstrated the following four elements:

 
Azerbaijan: EU concerned by further arrests of human rights activists
Azerbaijan: EU concerned by further arrests of human rights activists

22/07/2014

Brussels (6 August) - Statement by the Spokespersons of the EU High Representative/Vice President and Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy on the arrest of Rasul Jafarov in Azerbaijan:

 
Association Agreement: investment by today's Georgians in tomorrow
Association Agreement: investment by today's Georgians in tomorrow

18/07/2014

Kutaisi, (18 July) - Commissioner Štefan Füle participated today in the Parliamentary hearing on the ratification of the European Union-Georgia Association Agreement. This is what he said in the opening:

 
Statement concerning the recent two judgements of the Turkish Constitutional Court
Statement concerning the recent two judgements of the Turkish Constitutional Court

18/07/2014

Brussels, (18 July) - 'We take note of the recent two rulings of the Constitutional Court: one finding that the investigation in the Hrant Dink case has violated the principle of effective investigation, and the second confirming that the hate speech on the ground of sexual orientation is an offence.

 
New EU support for trade, private sector development and justice reform in Georgia
New EU support for trade, private sector development and justice reform in Georgia

17/07/2014

(Brussels, 17 July) - Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, will visit Georgia tomorrow to participate in the ratification of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) by the Georgian Parliament.

 
Eastern Partnership reached important historic milestone
Eastern Partnership reached important historic milestone

17/07/2014

Vilnius, (17 July) - Commissioner Štefan Füle participated today in the Session “Eastern Partnership – neighbourhood enough enlargement” of the annual meeting of Lithuanian Ambassadors. This is what he said:

 
Rebuilding together
Rebuilding together

16/07/2014

Brussels, (16 July) - Commissioner Štefan Füle opened today the "Rebuilding together" donors' conference to mobilise further support to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the aftermath of the recent floods. This is what he said in the opening:

 
Situation in Ukraine
Situation in Ukraine

15/07/2014

Strasbourg, (15 July) – Commissioner Štefan Füle participated in the debate on Ukraine today in the European Parliament and he opened the debate with the following remarks:

 
Statement on the peace process in Turkey
Statement on the peace process in Turkey

11/07/2014

Brussels, (11 July 2014) "The EU welcomes the adoption by the Turkish Parliament of a bill aiming to reinvigorate the peace process and looks forward to its swift implementation. This is an important step forward towards peace, stability and prosperity for all citizens of Turkey. The EU fully supports these efforts towards a sustainable peace and stands ready to help."

 
International donors' conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia after the floods
International donors' conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia after the floods

11/07/2014

Brussels, 11 July 2014 - Under the motto "Rebuilding together", the European Commission will host a donors' conference in Brussels on 16 July to mobilise further support to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the aftermath of the recent floods. The aim of the conference will be to collect pledges from donors for the countries' recovery.  The conference will also contribute to stepping up co-operation over floods and natural disasters in the region, as well as operational coordination.  The conference will be co-organised with France and Slovenia.

 
Enhanced cooperation within the Stabilisation and Association Process
Enhanced cooperation within the Stabilisation and Association Process

10/07/2014

Brussels, 10 July 2014 - Non-Paper - Purpose, principles and composition/participation. This informal initiative is a forum of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.  It aims at supporting them on their individual paths towards the EU as well as providing a political framework for coordination in accession-related areas which include a regional dimension. The European Commissioner for Enlargement and the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) take part as observers. Representatives of other regional initiatives and organisations can be invited to attend meetings, depending on the issues discussed.

 
Joint conclusions high level meeting on Ukraine: Coordinating and implementing the international support, Brussels, 8 July 2014
Joint conclusions high level meeting on Ukraine: Coordinating and implementing the international support, Brussels, 8 July 2014

08/07/2014

A. On 8 July 2014, the European Union (EU), Member States, Ukraine, other donor countries – United States, Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland –, international organisations – CoE, OSCE, UNDP, OECD – and International Financial Institutions –EBRD, EIB, IMF (observer), WBG, AFD, KfW – and civil society; held a coordination meeting on the international support to Ukraine. The meeting was opened by the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle (read speech here), and Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman.

 
Commissioner Füle spoke to Worlds Apart program of Russia Today
Commissioner Füle spoke to Worlds Apart program of Russia Today

04/07/2014

Watch the original uncut and unedited recording (technical quality of questions is very low due to the phone connection, the pause between 26:58 and 28:40 was caused by the interruption in the phone connection)

 
EU-Belarus: Meeting with Ales Bialiatski in Strasbourg
EU-Belarus: Meeting with Ales Bialiatski in Strasbourg

02/07/2014

Strasbourg (2 July) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with prominent Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski in Strasbourg on Wednesday. Mr Bialiatski who is President of the Viasna Human Rights Centre of Belarus was released from prison 20 months ahead of schedule on 21 June after 1052 days of arbitrary detention in harsh conditions, including serving periods of solitary confinement.

 
Joint statement by the Spokespersons on the peace process in Turkey
Joint statement by the Spokespersons on the peace process in Turkey

01/07/2014

The spokespersons of EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission and of the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, issued the following statement today:

 
Trade preferences for Western Balkans by 5 more years
Trade preferences for Western Balkans by 5 more years

26/06/2014

Brussel (26 June) - The European Commission has today adopted a proposal for a Regulation extending autonomous trade preferences for countries and territories participating in or linked to the EU's Stabilisation and Association process. The autonomous trade measures provide for asymmetrical trade liberalization giving the participants preferential access to the EU market. Today´s proposal means extending the tariff liberalization introduced in 2009 for five more years.  Extending the preferences until 2020 should give the beneficiaries of the exceptional trade measures and the EU sufficient time to align, where appropriate, preferences granted in 2009 with those provided for under the Stabilisation and Association Agreements.

 
EU-Montenegro: More results needed on the ground
EU-Montenegro: More results needed on the ground

24/06/2014

Luxembourg, (24 June) – The representatives of the European Union and Montenegro met in Luxembourg in two formats to advance the accession negotiations at the Accession conference and to review progress in the overall bilateral relations in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Council. Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle represented the European Commission at both meetings and this is how he summarised them at the press conference:

 
EU candidate status for Albania
EU candidate status for Albania

24/06/2014

Brussels (24 June 2014) – At the General Affairs Council meeting today in Luxembourg, Ministers from the EU Member States have agreed – based on the recommendation by the European Commission (see report) to grant EU candidate status to Albania, subject to endorsement by EU heads of states at the forthcoming European Council on Friday in Brussels.

 
EU to mobilise additional support to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina's post-disaster recovery
EU to mobilise additional support to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina's post-disaster recovery

23/06/2014

The European Commission will host a Donors' Conference in Brussels on 16 July to continue its help with the aftermath of the devastating floods in the Western Balkans and mobilise further support to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to deal with the consequences of this natural disaster. The conference will be co-organised with France and Slovenia.

 
EU-Turkey: Accession talks move forward only in parallel with progress in reforms
EU-Turkey: Accession talks move forward only in parallel with progress in reforms

23/06/2014

Luxembourg (23 June) – The state of accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey and the road ahead to re-create and sustain a credible momentum of this process have been on the program of the EU-Turkey Association Council in Luxembourg on Monday. The European Commission was represented by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle who said the following to the media after the meeting:

 
EU-Turkey: Roadmap for future work on reforms
EU-Turkey: Roadmap for future work on reforms

17/06/2014

Ankara (17 June) - "Strong commitment of Turkey to further reforms is indispensable to move the EU accession process forward," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said in Ankara at the start of the meeting of the working group on the Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental rights). Commissioner is in Turkey to discuss recent developments in the country, in the EU-Turkey relations and the future of the accession process. He met with President of the Republic Abullah Gül, President of the Constitutional Court Haşim Kiliç and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu. Together with Minister for the EU Integration Mevlut Çavuşoğlu and Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ he opened a meeting of the working group on Chapter 23 where he said the following:

 
EU releases €250 million of grants to support Ukraine
EU releases €250 million of grants to support Ukraine

13/06/2014

The European Commission has made the first disbursement of €250 million to Ukraine to support institutions and reforms in the country. This payment is part of the "State Building Contract" programme signed on 13 May after the joint meeting between the European Commission and the Ukrainian government in Brussels.

 
Cyprus: Appreciation and support for Chambers of Commerce
Cyprus: Appreciation and support for Chambers of Commerce

05/06/2014

Brussels, (5 June) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met in Brussels the presidents of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Phidias Pilides and Fikri Toros. The meeting took place in the presence of a representative from Eurochambres.

 
Meeting with Zoran Zaev, President of SDSM party in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Meeting with Zoran Zaev, President of SDSM party in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

05/06/2014

Brussels, (5 June) - Commissioner Štefan Füle met today with Zoran Zaev, President of SDSM, the main opposition party in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In the aftermath of the recent elections, they discussed the repeated OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in relation to biased media coverage and the lack of separation between state and party activities. In this context, the Commissioner stressed that the new government has a clear responsibility to address these shortcomings, and those repeatedly highlighted in the Commission's progress reports, as a matter of urgency.

 
EU-Albania: Solid argument for candidate status
EU-Albania: Solid argument for candidate status

04/06/2014

Tirana (4 June) - "I can without any reservation, beyond any doubt, confirm the recommendation of the European Commission to grant Albania candidate status," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said after the third round of the High Level Dialogue on Key Priorities in Tirana where he presented the Report on progress of the country on judicial reform, fight against organised crime and corruption. The Report was prepared following the request from the EU Members States in December and will serve as a basis for them to decide on granting Albania candidate status at the European Council later this month.

 
EU-Western Balkans: in Vienna about next steps in enlargement
EU-Western Balkans: in Vienna about next steps in enlargement

03/06/2014

Vienna (3 June) - Building a common future in Europe is a journey that has not come to an end, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said in Vienna on Tuesday. In a speech delivered at the Western Balkans Conference Vienna 2014 he spoke about the enlargement of the EU in the context of the Western Balkans and next steps to be undertaken in this successful project fostering peace and stability. The conference was organised by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the First World War Commemoration and is also attended by the Ministers from the Western Balkan countries.

 
EU-Serbia: Encouragement and support for EU reforms
EU-Albania: Third round of High Level Dialogue on Wednesday in Tirana

03/06/2014

Brussels (3 June) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Tirana on Wednesday for the third round of the High Level Dialogue on the Key Priorities for the Albania. This Dialogue was launched last year to confirm EU's commitment to help Albania in the process of its EU integration, enhancing its chances for success. Previous round took place in March in Tirana.

 
EU gives €65 million to help Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the aftermath of floods
EU gives €65 million to help Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the aftermath of floods

27/05/2014

Brussels (27 May) - In response to severe floods which hit Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, the EU continues to provide help and assistance to deal with the consequences of this natural disaster. In addition to immediate humanitarian aid provided so far, the European Commission has allocated an extra €65 million to tackle the aftermath of the floods.

 
L’Union européenne s’engage pour le renforcement de la démocratie au Maroc
L’Union européenne s’engage pour le renforcement de la démocratie au Maroc

19/05/2014

Rabat (19 Mai) - Dans le cadre de son initiative SPRING 2013 (Support for Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth), l’Union européenne a adopté un financement de 3 millions d’euros en faveur du Maroc visant à soutenir les capacités d'action de la Chambre des représentants du Parlement marocain. La décision a été annoncée aux partenaires marocaines par le Commissaire Štefan Füle à Rabat aujourd'hui.

 
Visite au Maroc pour discuter des défis du partenariat UE-Maroc, des réformes et de l’appui de l’UE
Visite au Maroc pour discuter des défis du partenariat UE-Maroc, des réformes et de l’appui de l’UE

19/05/2014

Rabat (19 Mai) - Le processus de réforme au Maroc et les différents volets de la relation bilatérale UE-Maroc figureront à l’ordre du jour de la visite au Maroc du Commissaire chargé de la Politique Européenne de Voisinage et de l’Elargissement, M. Štefan Füle, ces 19 et 20 mai.

 
EU-Ukraine: In Kyiv about Crimean Tatars and implementation of reforms
EU-Ukraine: In Kyiv about Crimean Tatars and implementation of reforms

16/05/2014

Kyiv (16 May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Kyiv on Friday to start the work on practical implementation of the conclusions from the joint meeting between the European Commission and the Ukrainian government which took place in Brussels on Tuesday.

 
EU-Algeria: Stronger relations and cooperation on human rights
EU-Algeria: Stronger relations and cooperation on human rights

13/05/2014

Brussels (13 May) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle represented the European Commission at the meeting of the EU-Algeria Association Council in Brussels on Tuesday. After the session he said the following to the media: "Algeria and the EU share the objective of a deepening and strengthening their relations. We expressed today our common commitment to developing our bilateral relations.

 
EU-Albania: Road to granting candidate status in June
EU-Albania: Road to granting candidate status in June

12/05/2014

Brussels (12 May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle represented the European Commission at the meeting of the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Council in Brussels on Monday. After the session he said to the media: "We had a very good and forward looking meeting. We have welcomed Albania's continued commitment to EU-related reforms and have taken note of the actions taken by the government in a number of areas, with particular attention to developments related to the rule of law, including the reform of the judiciary and the fight against organised crime and corruption. It is up to Albania to continue building on the progress made and consolidate and intensify the reform momentum, delivering solid and convincing results on the priority areas that have been identified as getting the candidate status.

 
In Thessaloniki about EU perspective for Western Balkans
In Thessaloniki about EU perspective for Western Balkans

08/05/2014

Thessaloniki (8 May) – "Future of Western Balkans is within the European Union," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood said in Thessaloniki on Thursday. He was attending the EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Conference organised by the Greek EU Presidency with the aim to determine ways of further promoting the European agenda of the region. The conference offered an opportunity to review the accession process in the light of the 10th anniversary of the 2004 enlargement and look ahead at the perspective of the Western Balkans countries to join the EU.

 
EU-Kosovo: Good progress but still long way to go with reforms
EU-Kosovo: Good progress but still long way to go with reforms

06/05/2014

Pristina (6 May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle was visiting Kosovo today to review its progress on EU reforms and discuss tasks and challenges ahead.

 
EU-Serbia: Encouragement and support for EU reforms
EU-Serbia: Encouragement and support for EU reforms

05/05/2014

Belgrade (5 April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Serbia on Monday to meet the newly formed government and discuss the continuation of the EU reforms and accession negotiations. He started the visit by meeting President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić and this is what he said afterwards to the media:

 
10th anniversary of 2004 enlargement
10th anniversary of 2004 enlargement

30/04/2014

Brussels, ( 30 April ) – Ten years ago, on 1 May 2004, the EU enlarged from 15 to 25 Member States (and with two subsequent enlargements to 28). It brought stability and reunited Europe after years of artificial division during the cold war; it made the EU the world's biggest single market and increased trade between Member States, thus contributing to economic growth and strengthening further Europe's weight in global affairs.

 
Eastern European partners deserve a different future
Eastern European partners deserve a different future

29/04/2014

Budapest (29 April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, participated in the 5th  Annual Visegrad Group (V4) meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs on Eastern Partnership countries in Budapest. This is what he said following the meeting:

 
EU-Ukraine: Commissioner Füle met with Minister Deshchytsia in Prague
EU-Ukraine: Commissioner Füle met with Minister Deshchytsia in Prague

25/04/2014

Prague (25 April) – The situation in the East of Ukraine and steps to implement EU’s support to Ukraine were the main topics during the meeting between Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neihbourhood Policy Stefan Füle and acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Andrii Deshchytsia in Prague on Friday.

 
EU-Georgia: Signature of Association Agreement top priority
EU-Georgia: Signature of Association Agreement top priority

25/04/2014

Prague (25 April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili in Prague on Friday.

 
Time to show stronger, more resolute and determined Eastern Partnership
Time to show stronger, more resolute and determined Eastern Partnership

25/04/2014

Prague (25 April) – Events in and around Ukraine pose the most serious crisis in Europe since the Second World War and now is the time to show even stronger, more determined commitment to the Eastern Partnership, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule said in Prague on Friday. He spoke at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the International Expert Conference which takes place as part of the events organized by the Czech republic on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. Commissioner Fule represents the European Commission and takes part also in the High Level Meeting of the presidents and representatoves of the EaP countries and EU Member States.

 
EaP: relevance and necessity clearer than ever
EaP: relevance and necessity clearer than ever

24/04/2014

Prague (24 April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participates at the High Level Meeting on the 5th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership in Prague. On behalf of the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso he delivered the following message to the Presidents and senior representatives from the partners countries and member states of the EU:

 
EU-Moldova: Challenges ahead of signing the Association Agreement
EU-Moldova: Challenges ahead of signing the Association Agreement

24/04/2014

Prague (24 April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with President  of the Republic of Moldova Nicolae Timofti in Prague today. They discussed the situation in the country, including the many regional challenges it is faced with, and agreed that the political stability was more than ever Moldova's invaluable asset; it offers an opportunity to focus on the necessary reforms and on concrete deliverables for the citizens.

 
Russia challenging European principles, most serious crisis since World War II
Russia challenging European principles, most serious crisis since World War II

16/04/2014

Strasbourg (16 April) – Russia is seriously challenging European principles of sovereignty and rule of law and Russian propaganda is more aggressive than at the time of the Cold War, Commissioner Štefan Füle said during the Plenary debate of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday. The discussion focused on Russian pressure on Eastern Partnership countries and in particular on destabilisation of eastern Ukraine.

 
EU-Tunisia: More steps to deepen cooperation and support
EU-Tunisia: More steps to deepen cooperation and support

14/04/2014

Remarks by Commissioner Štefan Füle to the press following  the Foreign Affairs - EU-Tunisia Association Council: 'I would like to add my voice to congratulate Tunisia for the inclusive political process that led to the adoption of the Constitution. We fully support the on-going transition and the efforts of the authorities, civil society, trade unions and businesses to continue the reforms and improve peoples' lives.

 
EU-Turkey: Need to re-engage in reforms in line with EU standards
EU-Turkey: Need to re-engage in reforms in line with EU standards

10/04/2014

Brussels (10 April 2014) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Brussels today to discuss how to intensify the dialogue on key elements of EU-Turkey relations. 

 
Cyprus: No alternative to reunification
Cyprus: No alternative to reunification

08/04/2014

Nicosia (8 April) - "There is no alternative to fair, comprehensive settlement and reunification of Cyprus" Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said in Nicosia where he met leaders and political representatives of both communities to discuss the newest round of settlement talks. He also met representatives of business community and negotiators from both sides of the divided island.

 
EU-Egypt: reviewing on-going cooperation and priorities for the future
EU-Egypt: reviewing on-going cooperation and priorities for the future

03/04/2014

Commissioner Štefan Füle met with Mr Nabil Fahmi, Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The meeting was an occasion to review the state of on-going cooperation between the European Commission and Egypt, and discuss priorities for the future in the context of the transition process in Egypt.

 
Strengthening and empowering Ukraine through decentralisation
Strengthening and empowering Ukraine through decentralisation

03/04/2014

Brussels, 2 April 2014 - 'President Valcárcel, Deputy Prime Minister Groysman, Mayor Abuladze, Honourable Committee Members, This is not the first time that I have come to this forum. The Committee of the Regions has always been very supportive of the Eastern Partnership, in particular through creating the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP).  I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural session of CORLEAP in Poznan in September 2011. I am pleased that in the meantime, it has become a regular forum for cooperation and exchanges between regional and local authorities from the European Union and Partner countries.

 
Albania has the capacity to tackle its European integration challenges
Albania has the capacity to tackle its European integration challenges

02/04/2014

Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, met with Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister, in Brussels today.

 
Preparing Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova for association with EU
Preparing Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova for association with EU

01/04/2014

Brussels, (1 April) - In the context of growing regional pressures on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and delivering on its pledge to coordinate international assistance to Ukraine, the European Commission agreed with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in the presence of EU Commissioner  Štefan Füle on 1 April in Brussels to spearhead enhanced assistance measures to the three countries.

 
New cooperation agreement between the Commission and Council of Europe on human rights, democracy and rule of law
New cooperation agreement between the Commission and Council of Europe on human rights, democracy and rule of law

01/04/2014

Brussels, (1 April 2014) - The European Commission and the 47-nation Council of Europe (CoE) have today signed a “Statement of Intent” putting in place a new framework for cooperation in the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Regions for the period 2014-2020. The agreement will enable the two organisations to work together in a more strategic and result-focused manner to help promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Regions based on the Council of Europe’s binding international conventions, monitoring bodies and assistance programmes.

 
Neighbourhood at the crossroads – taking stock of a year of challenges
Neighbourhood at the crossroads – taking stock of a year of challenges

27/03/2014

Brussels (27March) - The 2014 European Neighbourhood Policy Package was adopted today, assessing the implementation of the ENP in 2013 in the 16 partners in our neighbourhood - Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.

 
EU-Ukraine: practical support for urgently needed reforms
EU-Ukraine: practical support for urgently needed reforms

26/03/2014

Kyiv (26 March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Ukraine on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is what he said to the media following the meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk: 'I am very happy to be in Kyiv in the company of Commissioner Lewandowski but also a number of the high-ranking European Commission officials to set a more forward looking agenda and also to help you to create some good and positive stories. We need positive stories in our lives and I think the one we have worked on today is indeed a good story for all Ukrainians and all citizens of the European Union.

 
EU-Ukraine: Unprecedented visit to follow-up on Association Agreement signature
EU-Ukraine: Unprecedented visit to follow-up on Association Agreement signature

24/03/2014

Brussels (24 March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Ukraine on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will head a sizeable delegation, including also Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget Janusz Lewandowski and high-level representatives of various Directorates General of the Commission.

 
Ukraine: Decentralisation and support for regions important part of EU help
Ukraine: Decentralisation and support for regions important part of EU help

24/03/2014

Brussels (24 March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Governor of the Donetsk region Serhiy Taruta in Brussel today. They exchanged views on the current situation in the country and discussed challenges in the Donetsk region and the rest of the East of Ukraine. Governor Taruta, who was appointed to his office at the beginning of March, explained the economic, social and security situation in the region and outlined his priorities in tackling the existing problems by introducing reforms, increase transparency, strengthen the rule of law and developing more cooperation with Ukraine´s EU neighbours.

 
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle on the blocking of Twitter in Turkey
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle on the blocking of Twitter in Turkey

21/03/2014

Brussels (21 March), Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy issued this statement: "The ban on the social platform Twitter.com in Turkey raises grave concerns and casts doubt on Turkey's stated commitment to European values and standards. Freedom of expression, a fundamental right in any democratic society, includes the right to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority.  Citizens must be free to communicate and choose freely the means to do it. This obviously includes access to the internet.  Open debate promotes transparency and accountability and ultimately reinforces democracy; such debate needs to be strengthened everywhere, including in Turkey."

 
EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: work programme for 2014
EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: work programme for 2014

20/03/2014

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki, of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in Brussels today.

 
Statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the sentencing of Ilgar Mammadov and Tofiq Yaqublu on charges of staging riots in Ismayili, Azerbaijan
Statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the sentencing of Ilgar Mammadov and Tofiq Yaqublu on charges of staging riots in Ismayili, Azerbaijan

20/03/2014

Brussels, (20 March 2014) The spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, issued the following statement today:

 
EU-Serbia: Election result proof of support for EU orientation
EU-Serbia: Election result proof of support for EU orientation

17/03/2014

Brussels (17 March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has made the following remarks on the recent elections in Serbia and their results: “I would like to congratulate Serbia for holding this Sunday early general elections which according to the international electoral observers offered voters a genuine choice and were conducted on a sound legal basis. Election day procedures were conducted in an organised and transparent manner and fundamental freedoms were respected throughout the campaign.

 
Tunisie: Les solutions doivent venir de l'intérieur, l'UE prête à aider
Tunisie: Les solutions doivent venir de l'intérieur, l'UE prête à aider

14/03/2014

Tunis (13 Mars) – Le Commissaire pour l'Élargissement et la Politique Européenne de Voisinage Štefan Füle a visiter la Tunisie jeudi et vendredi.  C'était sa cinquième visite a Tunis depuis la révolution de janvier 2011. A cette occasion, il a rencontré le Président de la République, le Chef du Gouvernement, le Président de l'Assemblée Nationale Constituante, plusieurs ministres ainsi que des représentants du Parlement, et la société civile. L'objectif c'était de discuter avec le nouveau gouvernement comment l'UE peut continuer à aider la Tunisie à transformer les attentes légitimes de son peuple en résultats concrets et réassurer les partenaires tunisiens sur le soutien européen pour les réformes à entreprendre face aux défis actuels de la sécurité et de l'emploi. À la fin de sa visite il a déclaré à la presse:

 
Visite du Commissaire Füle à Tunis: réassurances du soutien européen
Visite du Commissaire Füle à Tunis: réassurances du soutien européen

12/03/2014

Bruxelles (12 Mars) – Le Commissaire pour l'Élargissement et la Politique Européenne de Voisinage Štefan Füle va visiter la Tunisie jeudi et vendredi.  Cela sera sa cinquième visite a Tunis depuis la révolution de janvier 2011. A cette occasion, il va rencontrer le Président de la République, le Chef du Gouvernement, le Président de l'Assemblée Nationale Constituante, plusieurs ministres ainsi que des représentants du Parlement, et la société civile. L'objectif de la visite du Commissaire Füle   est de discuter avec le nouveau gouvernement comment l'UE peut continuer à aider la Tunisie à transformer les attentes légitimes de son peuple en résultats concrets et réassurer les partenaires tunisiens sur le soutien européen pour les réformes à entreprendre face aux défis actuels de la sécurité et de l'emploi.

 
“What does an enlarged EU mean to you?” The EU engages young people through a writing competition on EU enlargement
“What does an enlarged EU mean to you?” The EU engages young people through a writing competition on EU enlargement

10/03/2014

The European Commission has launched a writing competition entitled “What does an enlarged EU mean to you?” targeting young people from the EU as well as from countries in the enlargement process. The winners will receive a two-day visit to Brussels and an e-reader.

 
EU-Albania: At High Level Dialogue about progress and commitment to EU integration
EU-Albania: At High Level Dialogue about progress and commitment to EU integration

06/03/2014

Tirana (6 March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Albania on Thursday for another round of the High Level Dialogue on the Key Priorities. This is what he said to the media following the meeting:

 
EU-Georgia: Clear mesaage of support for reforms and Association Agreement
EU-Georgia: Clear mesaage of support for reforms and Association Agreement

04/03/2014

Tbilisi (4 March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle is in Tbilisi to stress EU's support for Georgia's reform efforts and its sovereign choice to sign the Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, with the EU.

 
EU-Georgia: Commissioner Füle to visit Tbilisi next week
EU-Georgia: Commissioner Füle to visit Tbilisi next week

28/02/2014

Brussels (28 February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Georgia next Monday and Tuesday. He will meet the President, Prime Minister and several members of government, speaker of the parliament, representative of the opposition and civil society. During his meetings he will discuss important aspects of the EU-Georgia relations, notably the Association Agreemeent, incl DCFTA, and opportunities this brings for Georgia and its people as well as for developing even closer ties with the EU. 

 
EU-Albania: Commissioner Füle visits Tirana on 6 March for High Level Dialogue
EU-Albania: Commissioner Füle visits Tirana on 6 March for High Level Dialogue

27/02/2014

Brussels (27 February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Albania next Thursday for another round of the High Level Dialogue on the Key Priorities. The European Commission and the Commissioner personally remain highly committed to continue the work with Albania on its EU path, including the High Level Dialogue, which was successfully launched last year to help Albania in the European integration process.

 
Stable and united Ukraine – responsibility of all
Stable and united Ukraine – responsibility of all

26/02/2014

Strasbourg (26 February) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle discussed the evolving situation in Ukraine and EU´s response with the Members of European Parliament during its plenary session on Wednesday in Strasbourg. Here is what he said:

 
Investments in Western Balkans – a new approach
Investments in Western Balkans – a new approach

24/02/2014

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development London, UK, 24 February 2014 Prime Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,I am very pleased to be here with you at the EBRD today and I congratulate the EBRD on taking this initiative to bring us all together to focus on investment opportunities in the Western Balkans region.

 
EU-Ukraine: Future of the country is at stake, weapons must stay silent
EU-Ukraine: Future of the country is at stake, weapons must stay silent

18/02/2014

Brussels (18 February) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated in the opening of the photo exhibition “The Euromaidan concert: Frozen hope" dedicated to the peaceful protests in Ukraine. The exhibition was inaugurated in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday. The event took place against the background of violent clashes between the protesters and police in Kyiv.

 
Bosnia-Herzegovina - EU: Deep disappointment on Sejdić-Finci implementation
Bosnia-Herzegovina - EU: Deep disappointment on Sejdić-Finci implementation

18/02/2014

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday and Tuesday to continue the efforts to help the political leaders in the country to find compromises needed to move Bosnia and Herzegovina forward on its European path. After completing another round of lengthy talks he addressed the media to inform them about the results. This is what Commissioner Füle said:

 
EU-Ukraine: Only a Ukrainian plan can work
EU-Ukraine: Only a Ukrainian plan can work

13/02/2014

Kyiv (13 February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle continued EU's political efforts in helping Ukraine to find solution to the political crisis. He held talks with partners in Kyiv on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. After that he made the following statement to the media ( watch also video on the link below)

 
Ukraine: how to find way out of the current crisis
Ukraine: how to find way out of the current crisis

05/02/2014

President, Honourable Members, Let me start by thanking the Parliament for organising today's important debate. It shows that the thoughts of all of us here are with the people of Ukraine in these difficult times. And not only our thoughts: we are working hard and are taking concrete actions to de-escalate the situation and to support the Ukrainian citizen's enjoyment of their freedoms of speech, peaceful assembly, and the freedom of media.

 
EU-Georgia: Prime Minister Gharibashivili in Brussels
EU-Georgia: Prime Minister Gharibashivili in Brussels

03/02/2014

Brussels (3 February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili in Brussels today. It was the Prime Minister's first official visit to Brussels since taking office last November and first  meeting with Commissioner Füle.

 
EC-Bosnia and Herzegovina conclusions on energy related matters - Ministerial Meeting
EC-Bosnia and Herzegovina conclusions on energy related matters - Ministerial Meeting

28/01/2014

Brussels (28 January) – Deputy Director General for Energy of the European Commission, Mr Fabrizio Barbaso, on the one hand, and the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Boris Tučić, and the two Prime Ministers, of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Nermin Niksić, and of Republika Srpska, Ms Željka Cvijanović, on the other, discussed energy related matters of relevance for the EU integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 
Statement of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle after his visit to Kiev
Statement of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle after his visit to Kiev

25/01/2014

Kiev (25 January) – “I visited Ukraine on behalf of President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and High Representative/ Vice-President Catherine Ashton on Friday and Saturday. 

 
EU-Moldova: relations developing at full speed
EU-Moldova: relations developing at full speed

23/01/2014

Brussels, ( 23 January ) - During his visit to Moldova Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met together with Commissioner Dacian Cioloş the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Iurie Leancă. This is what he said to the media following the meeting:

 
EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: about EU agenda for 2014
EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: about EU agenda for 2014

22/01/2014

Brussels, (22 January) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met today with Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki, of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

 
EU-Turkey: need to maintain progress in our relations
EU-Turkey: need to maintain progress in our relations

22/01/2014

Brussels (22 January) - European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Brussels today to continue the discussion they started at their first meeting in Strasbourg last week.

 
EU-Ukraine: Commissioner Štefan Füle visits Kyiv
EU-Ukraine: Commissioner Štefan Füle visits Kyiv

21/01/2014

Commissioner Štefan Füle will visit Ukraine on Friday (and Saturday) to discuss the recent developments in the country. During his visit in Kyiv he will meet representatives of the authorities and opposition, as well as representatives of the civil society.

 
EU-Serbia: Important milestone in accession process
EU-Serbia: Important milestone in accession process

21/01/2014

Brussels, ( 21 January ) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated today in Brussels in the first EU-Serbia Accession Conference. This is what he said after the meeting to the media:

 
EU-Turkey: First meeting with Minister M.Çavuşoğlu
EU-Turkey: First meeting with Minister M.Çavuşoğlu

15/01/2014

Strasbourg (15 January) - The European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and the Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met in Strasbourg for an open and constructive first meeting.

 
Turkey: Statement of Commissioner Füle on recent developments in judiciary
Turkey: Statement of Commissioner Füle on recent developments in judiciary

27/12/2013

Brussels, (27th December) - As European Commissioner for Enlargement, whose duty it is to monitor and report on progress in candidate countries towards meeting the accession criteria, I have followed developments in Turkey since 17 December with growing concern.

 
Additional €30 million to boost aid for victims of Syria crisis
Additional €30 million to boost aid for victims of Syria crisis

23/12/2013

Brussels, (23 December) - Just as winter weather has hit Syria and the region, the European Commission has mobilised an additional €30 million aimed at providing urgently needed assistance to the conflict-affected population inside Syria, as well as to Syrian refugees and host communities in neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon. This follows just few days after the European Commission signed major contracts with United Nations agencies totalling €147 million to deliver vitally needed aid to people affected by the Syrian crisis.

 
EU-Montenegro: Important milestone in accession negotiations
EU-Montenegro: Important milestone in accession negotiations

18/12/2013

Brussels, (18 December) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated today in the EU-Montenegro Inter-Governmental Conference. This is what he said after the meeting: 'Today's Inter-Governmental Conference is a milestone in the accession negotiations with Montenegro: we have opened 5 chapters, namely: chapter 5– Public procurement, 6–Company law, 20–Enterprise and industrial policy 23–Judiciary and fundamental rights and 24–Justice, freedom and security.

 
EU Enlargement: Way forward after GAC
EU Enlargement: Way forward after GAC

17/12/2013

Brussels, (17 December) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated today in the  General Affairs Council. This is what he said after the meeting:

 
EU-Morocco: 2013 remarkable year for relations
EU-Morocco: 2013 remarkable year for relations

17/12/2013

Brussels, (16 December) - Today Commissioner Štefan Füle participated in the EU-Morocco Association Council. After the meeting he said: 'Bonjour et bienvenue, chers amis. Si je regarde les derniers douze mois, je peux dire avec plaisir que deux mille treize était une année remarquable pour nos relations avec le Maroc. Il y a beaucoup d'exemples de réussites. Et si nous travaillons ensemble, nous pouvons encore faire beaucoup.

 
EU-Ukraine: Association Agreement is an offer to the country and its people
EU-Ukraine: Association Agreement is an offer to the country and its people

12/12/2013

Brussels (12 December) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Ukrainian deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov in Brussels today to discuss ways towards the signature and implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

 
Eastern Partnership: Time to become more strategic
Eastern Partnership: Time to become more strategic

10/12/2013

Strasbourg, (10 December) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy  Štefan Füle discussed the situation in Ukraine and the results of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership summit in the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday. In his statement and exchanges with the members of European parliament he stressed the continuing support of the EU to the modernisation of Ukraine and the readiness to sign the Association Agreement. He also explained the way forward for the Eastern Partnership after the Vilnius summit and underlined the principles and values on which this policy is based. Read the speech here:

 
EU-Azerbaijan: Willingness to enhance cooperation on all levels
EU-Azerbaijan: Willingness to enhance cooperation on all levels

09/12/2013

Brussels, (9 December) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated in the Cooperation Council between Azerbaijan and the European Union in Brussels today. This is what he said at the press conference afterwards: "May I start with the same sentence I used last year? Because it fits well this year: "We are glad to see Azerbaijan and the European Union moving closer to each other. Our cooperation is bearing fruit" - just look at the results of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius and the signature of the Visa Facilitation Agreement. 

 
EU-Armenia: New context but same resolve to take partnership forward
EU-Armenia: New context but same resolve to take partnership forward

09/12/2013

Brussels (9 December) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated at the 14th Cooperation Council between Armenia and the European Union in Brussels today. This is what he said at the press conference afterwards:

 
EU-Albania: With I.Meta on cross-party cooperation in parliament
EU-Albania: With I.Meta on cross-party cooperation in parliament

05/12/2013

Brussels, (5 December 2013) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met Albanian Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta in Brussels today. The meeting provided an opportunity to review Albania's progress on EU-related reforms.

 
EU-Turkey: ready to sign readmission agreement
EU-Turkey: ready to sign readmission agreement

04/12/2013

Brussels, (4th December) - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met today with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey Ahmet Davutoğlu in Brussels to discuss the latest developments in EU-Turkey relations. They agreed that following the opening of a new negotiating chapter last month, both sides should seize the new momentum to allow further progress in the accession negotiations.

 
EU-Serbia: inclusivity important in accession process
EU-Serbia: inclusivity important in accession process

03/12/2013

Brussels, (3 December) - Following his meeting with Dragan Djilas, leader of the Democratic Party from Serbian Commissioner Štefan Füle said:  "Today I met the leader of the Democratic Party from Serbia, Dragan Djilas. Mr Djilas shared with me his assessment of the current state of play in Serbia's reforms and politics. We discussed the European integration process of Serbia, in the light of the decision of the June European Council to open accession negotiations with Serbia and with a view to the forthcoming decisive meetings of the Council in December.

 
EU-BiH:Sejdić-Finci positive progress
EU-BiH:Sejdić-Finci positive progress

03/12/2013

Prague (3 December) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle chaired another round of political consultations aimed at finding the solutions for the open issues on Bosnia and Herzegovina´s way to the European Union in Prague. After the meeting, which ended in the early hours of  Tuesday he said:

 
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on last night's events in Ukraine
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on last night's events in Ukraine

02/12/2013

Brussels, (30th November) - 'The European Union strongly condemns the excessive use of force last night by the police in Kyiv to disperse peaceful protesters, who over the last days in a strong and unprecedented manner have expressed their support for Ukraine's political association and economic integration with the EU. This support had been welcomed yesterday by the participants of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit. The unjustified use of force goes against the principles to which all participants of the Vilnius Summit, including the President of Ukraine, yesterday reaffirmed their adherence.

 
Eastern Partnership Summit, Vilnius 28-29 November
Eastern Partnership Summit, Vilnius 28-29 November

28/11/2013

Vilnius (28th November) - Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy participates in the Eastern Partnership Summit taking place in Vilnius on 28-29 November. Vilnius is the third Eastern Partnership Summit. It brings together heads of state or government from the 28 EU member states with those of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

 
EU-Jordan: €45m to support civil society, media, justice and security sectors
EU-Jordan: €45m to support civil society, media, justice and security sectors

25/11/2013

Brussels (25 November 2013) - The European Commission will provide €45m to Jordan to support civil society and media as well as assisting the government in efforts to reform the justice  and security sectors. The three new financing agreements were signed today in Brussels by the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Fule, and Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Ibrahim Saif. 

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier

25/11/2013

Brussels (25 November 2013) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier in Brussels today. They discussed possibilities to further enhance cooperation between the two institutions, as well as recent developments in areas of mutual interest. 

 
EU-Albania: strong commitment to reforms and EU integration
EU-Albania: strong commitment to reforms and EU integration

22/11/2013

Brussels (22nd November) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Albanian Ministers of European Integration, Ms Klajda Gjosha, Justice, Mr Nasip Naco and Interior, Mr Sajmir Tahiri, in Brussels today.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle after his visit to Kiev
Statement by Commissioner Füle after his visit to Kiev

20/11/2013

Kiev (20th November) ‘I have come to Kyiv on 18-20 November 2013 on behalf of European Commission’s President Barroso to discuss with President Yanukovych preparations of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius next week, including the signature of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. I also briefed the President on behalf of EU High Representative and Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton about the determination of the European Union to proceed with the signature of the Association Agreement, provided there is determined action and tangible progress in response to the benchmarks as set at the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of December 2012 and discussed at the FAC on 18 November 2013.

 
EU-Georgia: About initialling of Association Agreement and steps after Vilnius
EU-Georgia: About initialling of Association Agreement and steps after Vilnius

14/11/2013

Brussels (14th November) – Preparations for the initialling of the Association Agreement with Georgia and reforms necessary to implement it were the main topics of the discussion between Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Minister of Foreign Affairs Maja Panjikidze in Brussels on Thursday. They agreed that after the initialling of the Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius at the end of this month, the focus will shift to the importance of Georgia remaining on track for the signature of this agreement next year and continue with reforms needed for its implementation.

 
EU-Kosovo: With Minister Hoxhaj about SAA and normalisation with Serbia
EU-Kosovo: With Minister Hoxhaj about SAA and normalisation with Serbia

13/11/2013

Brussel (13 November) - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle met with Kosovo's Minister for Foreign Affairs Enver Hoxhaj in Brussels today. They discussed developments in Kosovo and in the region following the recent first round of local elections in Kosovo.

 
EU-Albania: After the 1st session of High Level Dialogue
EU-Albania: After the 1st session of High Level Dialogue

12/11/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Tirana to launch a High Level Dialogue on the Key Priorities with Albania, which is to provide valuable support for key reforms. The High Level Dialogue will serve as a tool to structure EU-Albania co-operation and to help the country maintain focus and consensus on EU integration enhancing its chances for success.

 
EU-Albania: preparing to launch High Level Dialogue
EU-Albania: preparing to launch High Level Dialogue

11/11/2013

Today Commissioner started his visit in Tirana by meeting President Bujar Nishani, Speaker of the Parliament Ilir Meta and Prime Minister Edi Rama. This is what he said after the meeting with the Prime Minister:

 
EU-Turkey: Discussing accession process and reforms
EU-Turkey: Discussing accession process and reforms

08/11/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Turkey on 7-8 November and this is how he summarised the visit at the press conference:

 
EU-Turkey: In Istanbul on women's rights and gender equality
EU-Turkey: In Istanbul on women's rights and gender equality

07/11/2013

Istanbul (7th November) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle started his visit in Turkey with meeting the Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Şahin on Thursday in Istanbul. They discussed the reform efforts to improve women's rights and gender equality. They also took part and spoke at the conference "Progress in women's human rights" where the Commissioner said:

 
Visit to Istanbul and Ankara
Visit to Istanbul and Ankara

06/11/2013

Brussels (6th November) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Turkey on 7-8 November. In Istanbul Commissioner will deliver a speech at the Opening session of the Women's conference and will meet members of selected think-tanks and Taksim Solidarity representatives on Thursday.

 
Intensifying financial cooperation for infrastructure solutions in the Western Balkans
Intensifying financial cooperation for infrastructure solutions in the Western Balkans

05/11/2013

(Brussels 5 November) – European and International Financial Institutions have agreed to intensify their cooperation on key infrastructure investment in the Western Balkan countries and to jointly develop innovative financial instruments which pool public and private funds.

 
EU-Turkey: Putting accession talks back on track, new chapter opened
EU-Turkey: Putting accession talks back on track, new chapter opened

05/11/2013

(Brussels 5 November) – The European Union and Turkey started today accession talks on a new chapter. At the Ministerial Accession Conference in Brussels Chapter 22 (Regional policy & coordination of structural instruments) was opened. This chapter covers one of the core EU policies, supporting job creation, competitiveness, innovation, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development.

 
Another round of consultations to move BiH closer to EU
Another round of consultations to move BiH closer to EU

31/10/2013

Budapest (31 October) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle chaired another round of political consultations aimed at finding the solutions for the open issues on Bosnia and Herzegovina´s way to the European Union. After the meeting he issued this statement: "I met today in Budapest the five political parties' leaders from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We continued our consultations related to the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci ruling, in particular the election of the two members of the Presidency from the Federation.

 
Appreciating the cooperation between Visegrad Four and Western Balkans
Appreciating the cooperation between Visegrad Four and Western Balkans

31/10/2013

Budapest (31 October) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle took part in the meeting of the Foreign Ministers from the countries of the Visegrad Four and Western Balkans in Budapest on Wednesday and Thursday. This is what he said at the final press conference: “There is no enlargement fatigue in this group and to be sincere I have failed to see the enlargement fatigue it in the rest of the EU member states. Now, I would make four points on what we discussed.

 
Additional EU funding in support of the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia
Additional EU funding in support of the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia

31/10/2013

Brussels (31 October) - The European Commission will allocate additional funding under the EU's Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) to support the implementation of the 'First agreement of principles' governing the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The special IPA programme will help address the needs of Serb majority municipalities throughout Kosovo, with a specific emphasis on the northern municipalities. Funding will focus on municipal infrastructure, public administration, rural and regional development, employment and environmental protection.

 
Moldova: with leaders of coalition parties on strengthening the EU agenda
Moldova: with leaders of coalition parties on strengthening the EU agenda

29/10/2013

Commissioner Štefan Füle met leaders of coalition parties of Republic of Moldova in Brussels today and made the following statement:

 
ENP – Engaging with civil society on the transformation in the neighbourhood
ENP – Engaging with civil society on the transformation in the neighbourhood

29/10/2013

Brussels (29 October 2013) - Commissioner Füle met with Civil Society Organisations in the framework of the annual consultation process with stakeholders in view of the preparation of the next European Neighbourhood Policy country progress reports.

 
Joint Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the results of Georgia’s presidential election
Joint Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the results of Georgia’s presidential election

28/10/2013

Brussels (28th October) - Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, have made the following statement:

 
EU starts the Stabilisation and Association Agreement negotiations with Kosovo
EU starts the Stabilisation and Association Agreement negotiations with Kosovo

28/10/2013

Brussels (28th October) - Today the negotiations of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Kosovo will start in Pristina. The SAA will represent the first comprehensive contractual relationship between Kosovo and the EU and an important milestone in Kosovo's European integration process.

 
Syria crisis: EU delivers on its pledges and mobilises another €85 million for Syria and Jordan
Syria crisis: EU delivers on its pledges and mobilises another €85 million for Syria and Jordan

28/10/2013

The European Commission has allocated another part of the recent package of €400m to deal with the consequences of the Syrian crisis. This newest allocation is aimed at providing assistance to the population inside Syria, Syrian refugees and host communities living in Jordan, as well as Syrian students in Europe. In total, it amounts to €85 million.

 
EU- former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Meeting with N. Gruevski
EU- former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Meeting with N. Gruevski

25/10/2013

Brussels (25 October) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski accompanied by Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki in Brussels today.

 
EU-Moldova: with I. Leancă about Vilnius Summit and beyond
EU-Moldova: with I. Leancă about Vilnius Summit and beyond

23/10/2013

Strasbourg (23rd October) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with Prime Minister of Moldova Iurie Leancă in Strasbourg today.

 
Genel İşler Konseyi’nin 22. Faslın müzakerelere açılması kararı sonrasında Komisyon Üyesi Füle tarafından yapılan açıklama
Genel İşler Konseyi’nin 22. Faslın müzakerelere açılması kararı sonrasında Komisyon Üyesi Füle tarafından yapılan açıklama

22/10/2013

Türkiye ile 22. Faslın müzakerelere açılması yönündeki ortak AB tutumununun Üye Devletler tarafından teyit edilmesini ve Türkiye ile bakanlar düzeyindeki bir sonraki Katılım Konferansının 5 Kasım’da Brüksel’de gerçekleştirilmesi konusundaki uzlaşıyı memnuniyetle karşılıyorum.

 
EU-Turkey: Commissioner Füle following GAC decision on chapter 22
EU-Turkey: Commissioner Füle following GAC decision on chapter 22

22/10/2013

I welcome Member States' confirmation of the EU common position for the opening of chapter 22 (Regional Policy) with Turkey and agreement to hold the next Accession Conference with Turkey at Ministerial level on 5 November in Brussels.

 
Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Georgia and Moldova join Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership
Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Georgia and Moldova join Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership

21/10/2013

Armenia, Georgia and Moldova have joined the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) in a move to significantly boost their support for energy efficiency and the reduction of harmful emissions. During a pledging conference held on Monday 21 October at the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg, the international donor community raised an additional €60 million to enable expansion of the activities of the E5P Fund.

 
EU enlargement: priorities for 2014
EU enlargement: priorities for 2014

16/10/2013

In a set of annual reports adopted today, the European Commission recommends granting EU candidate status to Albania and, for the fifth time in a row, the opening of accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Commission also assesses the progress towards EU accession made elsewhere in the Western Balkans and in Turkey over the past year. Given the Icelandic government's decision to put accession negotiations on hold, a simplified report on Iceland takes stock of the current state of its alignment with the EU.

 
Enlargement: New Strategy and Progress Reports on Wednesday
Enlargement: New Strategy and Progress Reports on Wednesday

15/10/2013

Brussels (15 October) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will present the new Enlargement Strategy and annual progress report of the countries in the accession process in Brussels on Wednesday. 

 
EU-Ukraine: Dispelling the Myths About the Association Agreement
EU-Ukraine: Dispelling the Myths About the Association Agreement

11/10/2013

Kiev (11th October) - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle spoke today in Kiev at the opening of the International Conference "The Way Ahead for the Eastern Partnership":

 
Ukraine: At the National Roundtable on European Integration
Ukraine: At the National Roundtable on European Integration

11/10/2013

Kyiv (11 October) - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle took part in the National Roundtable in the Ukrainian parliament Verkhovna Rada. This forum brings together representatives of the government, opposition and civil society to discuss issues related to the European integration of Ukraine.

 
EU-BiH: After the 3rd round of High Level Dialogue on Accession Process
EU-BiH: After the 3rd round of High Level Dialogue on Accession Process

10/10/2013

Brussels (10th October) – The representatives of the European Commission, and institutional and political leaders from Bosnia and Herzegovina, resumed the third meeting of the High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process in Brussels today, chaired by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle. 

 
EU-Moldova: working towards initialing an Association Agreement that benefits the citizens
EU-Moldova: working towards initialing an Association Agreement that benefits the citizens

04/10/2013

Chișinău (4th October) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle spoke at the 5th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum about the upcoming Vilnius Summit in November and the role of the civil society in promoting the values shared by the EU and its Eastern partners: 'The civil society is at the heart of the Eastern Partnership and we respect and support its work and involvement in steering the process of implementing our common values for the benefit of the citizens in this part of Europe'.

 
Moldova: With Prime Minister I. Leancă about Association Agreement and remaining challenges
Moldova: With Prime Minister I. Leancă about Association Agreement and remaining challenges

03/10/2013

Chișinau (3rd October) -  Following his meeting with Prime Minister Leancă today in Chișinau Commissioner Fule made the following remarks to the press: "Moldova's efforts to implement the European values make it an important partner for the EU and Eastern Partnership front-runner.

 
Azerbaijan: EU concerned by developments in the pre-election period
Azerbaijan: EU concerned by developments in the pre-election period

03/10/2013

Brussels (3 October) - Statement by the Spokespersons of High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on worrying cases of pressure on opposition, civil society and media in Azerbaijan:"The High Representative and the Commissioner are concerned about some recent developments in Azerbaijan that have an impact both on the pre-election period and the general human rights and political freedoms situation in the country.

 
EU-Turkey: Meeting with E. Bagis
EU-Turkey: Meeting with E. Bagis

02/10/2013

Brussels (2 October) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis in Brussels today. They discussed the state of play in the EU accession negotiations and the upcoming Progress Report.

 
Š.Füle in Moldova: Bilateral meetings and discussions with EaP Civil Society
Š.Füle in Moldova: Bilateral meetings and discussions with EaP Civil Society

02/10/2013

Brussels, (2nd October) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European  Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will take part in the fifth meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Chisinau on 3-4 October. It will be the first time this Forum takes place in a partner country. The Commissioner will address the meeting of over 250 representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) from countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and the European Union.

 
BiH: Agreement on how to come to solution on pressing issues
BiH: Agreement on how to come to solution on pressing issues

01/10/2013

Brussels (1st October) – The representatives of the European Commission, and institutional and political leaders from Bosnia and Herzegovina held the third meeting of the High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process in Brussels today.

 
EU-Bosnia and Herzegovina: 3rd round of High Level Dialogue on Accession Process
EU-Bosnia and Herzegovina: 3rd round of High Level Dialogue on Accession Process

30/09/2013

Brussels, (30th September) - The representatives of the European Commission and political leaders from Bosnia and Herzegovina will meet for the third round of the High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process in Brussels tomorrow, Tuesday 1st October. The meeting will be chaired by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and all political leaders from BiH were invited, as well as representatives of Council of Europe and Venice Commission.

 
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle on banning the Pride Parade in Serbia
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle on banning the Pride Parade in Serbia

27/09/2013

I regret the decision of the Serbian authorities not to allow the Pride Parade march to be held in Belgrade on 28 September 2013, for the third year in a row, on security grounds. It is a missed opportunity to show respect for fundamental rights. The march would have been the closing event of a successful full week dedicated to LGBTI population rights. I have been closely monitoring the situation over the past days, in close contact with the EU Delegation in Belgrade and with members of the European Parliament as well as representatives from EU member states.

 
EU-Maghreb: First ministerial dialogue on closer regional cooperation
EU-Maghreb: First ministerial dialogue on closer regional cooperation

27/09/2013

New York (27 September) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met today in New York, in the margins of the UN General Assembly, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the five Maghreb countries, members of the Arab Maghreb Union, to discuss developments in the region and ways to strengthen mutual cooperation. It was the first informal political dialogue between countries of the Arab Maghreb Union and the EU and the participants agreed to continue with it in the future and discussed the possibility to hold next ministerial dialogue in Maghreb.

 
Eastern Partnership: HR/VP Ashton and Commissioner Füle with Foreign Ministers on preparations for Vilnius
Eastern Partnership: HR/VP Ashton and Commissioner Füle with Foreign Ministers on preparations for Vilnius

26/09/2013

High Representative/Vice President (HR/VP) Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle together with the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius met with the Foreign Ministers of the six countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in New York today to discuss the state of play before the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius.

 
UN: EU reaffirms support and solidarity with Lebanon in light of Syria crisis
UN: EU reaffirms support and solidarity with Lebanon in light of Syria crisis

25/09/2013

New York (25th September) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle spoke on behalf of the European Union at the inaugural meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. The high profile event was launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and attended by representatives of a number of countries, among them US State Secretary John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

 
Syria: EU biggest donor, leads international aid response, reaching 7 million people in need
Syria: EU biggest donor, leads international aid response, reaching 7 million people in need

25/09/2013

Responding to the unprecedented humanitarian needs in and around Syria, the EU has so far mobilised almost € 1.8 billion in relief and recovery aid from both the Commission and Member States, making it the largest international contribution accounting for a significant proportion of the overall global funding.

 
Additional €34 million contribution to Syria’s children, as EU becomes largest donor to UNICEF
Additional €34 million contribution to Syria’s children, as EU becomes largest donor to UNICEF

25/09/2013

New York (24 September) – UNICEF and the European Union signed a new cooperation agreement today that provides an additional €34.2 million ($45 million) to protect children affected by the Syria crisis and promote access to learning in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

 
New EU money to help Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon
New EU money to help Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon

24/09/2013

New York (24 September 2013) - The European Union has announced an additional contribution of EUR 8 million (6 million euro for emergency education and 2 million euro for shelter assistance) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which will help the Agency provide emergency education and shelter assistance to Palestine refugee children from Syria in Lebanon. The agreements were signed by UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in New York today at the margins of the UN General Assembly.

 
UN: EU´s support for education of Syrian refugees in Lebanon
UN: EU´s support for education of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

23/09/2013

New York (23 September) – "The majority of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are out of school and the European Union is determined to help to give them a chance for education and a better future," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said in New York on Monday. He took part at a special session on the education situation of Syrian children in Lebanon organised by UNICEF in the margins of UN General Assembly.

 
Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Elmar Brok and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle after the meeting with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich on the 20th September 2013 in Yalta
Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Elmar Brok and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle after the meeting with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich on the 20th September 2013 in Yalta

20/09/2013

"When we met President Yanukovich one year ago we stressed that there should be no room for a pause in the EU-Ukraine relations and no room for compromise on values. We spoke on the steps necessary to move ahead to a new level of our relations through the Association Agreement.

 
EU - Ukraine: In Yalta about progress towards signing the Association Agreement
EU - Ukraine: In Yalta about progress towards signing the Association Agreement

20/09/2013

Yalta (20 September) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle spoke at the 10th Yalta Annual meeting organised by the Yalta European Strategy (YES) forum about the progress Ukraine did on the way to the possible signature of the Association Agreement in Vilnius this November.

 
Crimea: Region of pivotal importance for EU engagement in the East
Crimea: Region of pivotal importance for EU engagement in the East

19/09/2013

Simferopol (19th September) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on Thursday to underline the special attention that the European Union is paying to the sustainable development of Crimea and its people. In Simferopol he met with the Chair of the Council of Ministers Anatoliy Mogylov and attended the meeting that provided opportunity for a comprehensive discussion about the situation of the Crimean Tatars.

 
EU-Serbia: On the preparations for next steps in the accession negotiations
EU-Serbia: On the preparations for next steps in the accession negotiations

17/09/2013

Brussels, (17th September) – Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Branko Ružić, new Serbian Minister in charge of European integration and Tanja Miščević, Chief Negotiator for Serbia’s accession negotiations

 
EU-Georgia: Meeting with the Minister of Justice
EU-Georgia: Meeting with the Minister of Justice

17/09/2013

Brussels (17th September)  - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Georgian Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani in Brussels today. Commissioner Füle underlined EU´s view of Georgia as a key partner of the European Union and welcomed the commitment of Tbilisi to continue to deepen Georgia’s engagement with the EU. He also noted EU’s continuing commitment to political association and economic integration with Georgia as reflected in the joint ambition to have the Association Agreement, including DCFTA, initialled at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November.

 
EU-Albania: With the new Prime Minister on the way forward in accession process
EU-Albania: With the new Prime Minister on the way forward in accession process

17/09/2013

Brussels, (17 September) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the new Prime Minister of Albania  Edi Rama in Brussels today.

 
EaP: Transparent policy for the benefit of Eastern Neighbours and also their partners
EaP: Transparent policy for the benefit of Eastern Neighbours and also their partners

13/09/2013

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.

 
Commissioners Füle and Vassiliou set for talks with Eastern Partnership Ministers in Yerevan
Commissioners Füle and Vassiliou set for talks with Eastern Partnership Ministers in Yerevan

12/09/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle,  Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou and Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid will represent the European Union at the third Informal Eastern Partnership Dialogue in Yerevan, Armenia, on 13 September. The meeting brings together Ministers and senior officials from the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).

 
On Russia's attitude towards countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood
On Russia's attitude towards countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood

11/09/2013

Strasbourg (11th September) - ‘The Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius promises to mark a momentous step forward in our political association and economic integration with several of our eastern European neighbours.  Clearly - and wrongly - this is seen in some quarters as a threat.  As a result, we have seen enormous pressure being brought to bear upon some of our partners.

 
Lebanon: Further support of €58 million to deal with Syria crisis
Lebanon: Further support of €58 million to deal with Syria crisis

10/09/2013

Brussels (10th September) - The European Commission has adopted new funding today for a total of €58 million in support of Lebanon. The objective of this newly adopted assistance is to alleviate the impact of the high influx of refugees from Syria. It will address medium and longer-term needs of refugees from Syria and Lebanese host communities alike; in particular through supporting childhood and education services and through enhancing basic infrastructure and economic recovery in the country.

 
EU-Armenia: About decision to join the Customs Union
EU-Armenia: About decision to join the Customs Union

06/09/2013

Brussels (6th September) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle had discussions with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Brussels on Thursday about recent developments that have a clear impact on the EU-Armenia association agenda. As stated by the Minister in his press release they discussed Armenia´s decision to join the Customs Union. The Minister stressed Armenia’s wish to continue developing a deep and wide partnership with the EU which would at the same time not contradict Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union.

 
Armenia: EU position on the latest developments
Armenia: EU position on the latest developments

05/09/2013

Brussels (4th September) - In July this year, after three and a half years, we finalised the negotiations of the Association Agreement (including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area) with Armenia. This agreement would allow Armenia with the EU´s support, to drive forward a programme of comprehensive modernisation and reform based upon shared values, political association and economic integration.

 
EU-Lebanon: new support to improve security and social cohesion
EU-Lebanon: new support to improve security and social cohesion

04/09/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the Ambassador of Lebanon to the EU Rami Mortada to discuss recent developments in the country and EU´s support for Lebanon.

 
Ukraine: With P.Poroshenko about Association Agreement and reforms
Ukraine: With P.Poroshenko about Association Agreement and reforms

30/08/2013

Brussels (30th August) – To conclude a series of this week´s meetings on Ukraine, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle held talks with deputy chairman of the European Integration Committee of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) Petro Poroshenko in Brussels on Friday.

 
EU and EBU ready to cooperate on strengthening public media in European Neighbourhood
EU and EBU ready to cooperate on strengthening public media in European Neighbourhood

30/08/2013

The European Commission and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) agreed to extend their cooperation in strengthening public media in the countries of the European Neighbourhood.

 
Ukraine: With opposition leaders on European reforms
Ukraine: With opposition leaders on European reforms

29/08/2013

Brussels (29 August) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with three leaders from the Ukrainian parliamentary opposition: Vitaliy Klichko (UDAR), Oleh Tiahnybok (Svoboda) and Arseniy Yatsenyuk (Batkivshyna) to take stock of the EU reform related agenda and of the outstanding issues which Ukraine needs to address with a view to enabling the signing of the Association Agreement/DCFTA with the EU. This is what he said at the press conference after the meeting:

 
EU-Azerbaijan: Commitment to widen cooperation and support modernisation
EU-Azerbaijan: Commitment to widen cooperation and support modernisation

29/08/2013

Brussels (28th August) -  Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, met with Minister for Economic Development of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev in Brussels today to discuss ways to widen the EU-Azerbaijan cooperation.

 
L’UE annonce un nouvel appui en faveur du développement économique et de la résorption des inégalités sociales au Maroc
L’UE annonce un nouvel appui en faveur du développement économique et de la résorption des inégalités sociales au Maroc

29/08/2013

La Commission européenne a annoncé la première partie de son programme d'action 2013 en faveur du Maroc. Ce programme, d'un montant total de €110 millions, traduit l’engagement de l’Union européenne (UE) en faveur du développement économique et social au Maroc.

 
EU-Ukraine: Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with Andriy Klyuyev about the road to signing the Association Agreement
EU-Ukraine: Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with Andriy Klyuyev about the road to signing the Association Agreement

28/08/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met today with Andriy Klyuyev, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, appointed by the President of Ukraine to ensure coordination of activities of the central executive authorities in the field of European integration of Ukraine and interaction with EU institutions. This is what Commissioner Fule said to the media after the meeting:

 
EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Statement on the Committee of Inquiry
EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Statement on the Committee of Inquiry

26/08/2013

Brussels (26th August) -  Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle made today this statement on the results of the work of the Committee of Inquiry in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:

 
The European Commission regrets the continuous stalemate in the negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina on the bilateral trade regime after the accession of Croatia to the EU.
The European Commission regrets the continuous stalemate in the negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina on the bilateral trade regime after the accession of Croatia to the EU.

01/08/2013

In the current negotiations on the adaptation of the EU-Bosnia and Herzegovina Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and its Interim Agreement in light of Croatia's accession to the EU, Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to refuse the methodology of the EU. This methodology consists of a purely technical adaptation of the bilateral trade of the EU with Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to take into account the traditional trade of the country with Croatia under the CEFTA.

 
Statement on the adoption of constitutional amendments in Montenegro
Statement on the adoption of constitutional amendments in Montenegro

01/08/2013

The European Commission welcomes that the parliament of Montenegro adopted a set of constitutional amendments aimed at enhancing the independence of the judiciary. We commend the constructive efforts of different political forces to reach this result. The adoption of these amendments is a strong signal that Montenegro is able to achieve a large political consensus on key rule of law related reforms, which have been highlighted by the EU as priority in the accession process.

 
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: needs to deliver fully on 1st of March agreement
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: needs to deliver fully on 1st of March agreement

23/07/2013

Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the Stabilisation and Association Council with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: 'Today's meeting was a useful opportunity to jointly review progress in the accession process. We discussed this in the context of the Stabilisation and Association (SA) Agreement and the priority areas of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD). 

 
Serbia entering new phase of relations with the European Union
Serbia entering new phase of relations with the European Union

16/07/2013

Commissioner Füle will be in Belgrade on 17 and 18 July to meet with the Serbian leadership and to welcome the country entering a decisive new phase in its relations with the European Union, after the European Council of 28 June decided to open accession negotiations with Serbia.

 
In Pristina about negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement
In Pristina about negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement

16/07/2013

Commissioner Füle will be in Pristina on 18 July to meet with Kosovo leaders and to congratulate them after the Council of 28 June gave the green light for opening of negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

 
10th Batumi Conference: 'Georgia's European way'
10th Batumi Conference: 'Georgia's European way'

11/07/2013

Batumi (11th July) Commissioner Š. Füle is in Batumi today and tomorrow for the 10th Batumi Conference: 'Georgia's European way. EU's Eastern European Partners - Towards the Vilnius Summit'. Today's visit started with the meeting with  Prime Minister Ivanishvili that provided  the opportunity to discuss the busy agenda of the bilateral links, the Eastern Partnership dimension, and the progress in the negotiations for an EU-Georgia Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area: 'We both hope to be able to finalise and initialize these at the Vilnius Summit. This agreement brings out a closer political association and economic integration with the European Union, with many concrete benefits for Georgia’s citizens right across the country.' said Commissioner Füle.

 
Srebrenica
Srebrenica

11/07/2013

We all share the grief and everlasting pain of the ones who survived the Srebrenica massacre. Crying for their loved ones, sorrowful at not meeting again the ones they knew, the monstrosity of a crime committed against people based only on their belonging to an ethnic group –  even the 18 years which have passed cannot sooth the pain.

 
EU-Armenia: making the best use of the Easter Partnership
EU-Armenia: making the best use of the Easter Partnership

10/07/2013

Yerevan (10th July) -  During his visit in Armenia Commissioner Štefan Füle addressed students, media, think tanks, civil society: 'I believe we are at a significant moment in European Union-Armenia relations. We are developing a partnership which is both wider and deeper than it has been up to now. We are very close to finalising our Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. I am confident that this will bring concrete benefits and new opportunities to all citizens.'

 
Statement by the spokesperson of Commissioner Štefan Füle on the latest developments in Turkey
Statement by the spokesperson of Commissioner Štefan Füle on the latest developments in Turkey

09/07/2013

Brussels (9 July) - 'The EC is concerned at reports of the detention of members of Taksim Solidarity - and other members of the public wishing to exercise their right to free assembly - in Istanbul yesterday. It is not clear on what grounds the detentions have been made. We are closely following measures taken by the authorities in follow up to recent protests, and underline the importance of respect for fundamental freedoms.'

 
Remarks to the press by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi
Remarks to the press by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi

09/07/2013

I am glad to be in Tbilisi and have the opportunity to meet with President Saakashvili. I will be coming back to your beautiful country in just in a couple of days to participate in this year's Batumi conference and I will meet with the Prime Minister and the government in Batumi then.

 
In Georgia and Armenia: time to deepen our cooperation and commit to shared values
In Georgia and Armenia: time to deepen our cooperation and commit to shared values

09/07/2013

Brussels (9th July) - Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy visits Georgia and Armenia on 9-12 July to discuss EU's relations and cooperation with the two countries and take stock of the progress made in the final phase of the negotiations for Association Agreements including DCFTAs in view of their initialing at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November.

 
Moldova: Role of Opposition in explaining Association Agreement
Moldova: Role of Opposition in explaining Association Agreement

03/07/2013

(Strasbourg 2 July) Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with chairman of the Liberal Party of the Republic of Moldova Mihai Ghimpu in Strasbourg today. They exchanged views on the developments in Moldova in the aftermath of the recent political crisis and the importance to take the lessons learnt. Commissioner Füle stressed that redressing the credibility and impartiality of the state institutions in Moldova was an absolute priority, as in any country their politicisation is a threat to political stability and is a root cause of corruption.

 
Moldova: With President Timofti about drawing lessons from political crisis
Moldova: With President Timofti about drawing lessons from political crisis

02/07/2013

Strasbourg (2nd July) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with President of Moldova Nicolae Timofti in Strasbourg today.  They exchanged views on the latest developments in the country and the ambitions in the joint agenda related to the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius later this year.

 
EU 28: Croatia has joined the European Union
EU 28: Croatia has joined the European Union

01/07/2013

Zagreb/Brussels (1st July) – The European Union became its 28th Member State after Croatia joined on Monday.  This latest enlargement is yet another proof of the transformative power of the accession process when countries willing to join the EU undergo wide-ranging transformation and reforms in order to comply with European standards. It also reaffirms that the perspective of European integration remains open to all aspirant countries which show the necessary will to implement political and economic reforms and prove their respect for European values such as the rule of law, democratic principles and human rights.

 
Albania: Commissioner congratulates the winner of the elections
Albania: Commissioner congratulates the winner of the elections

26/06/2013

Brussel (26th June) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said the following on the result of the parliamentary elections in Albania: I wish to congratulate the winning coalition in Sunday's parliamentary elections. I welcome the inclusion of European integration at the top of the coalition parties' programmes. I trust that the incoming government will vigorously pursue the country's reform agenda in an inclusive manner in order to give the European integration process renewed momentum.

 
Montenegro: Accession negotiations in full swing, need to overcome current challenges
Montenegro: Accession negotiations in full swing, need to overcome current challenges

26/06/2013

Brussel (27th June) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated in the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council in Brussels today. The meeting was chaired by the Irish EU Presidency and Montenegro was represented by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukšić. This is what Commissioner Fule said afterwards to the press:

 
Speak-Up!2: Loud wake-up call for improving media freedom in Western Balkans and Turkey
Speak-Up!2: Loud wake-up call for improving media freedom in Western Balkans and Turkey

20/06/2013

Brussels (20 June) - Commissioner Štefan Füle spoke today at the Speak-Up! 2 Conference on Freedom of Expression and Media in the Western Balkans and Turkey the largest event of this kind organised in the context of the enlargement process, will bring together around 450 participants from the region and EU Member States – journalists, media analysts and politicians.

 
Croatia - Bosnia and Herzegovina: Agreements on border management signed
Croatia - Bosnia and Herzegovina: Agreements on border management signed

19/06/2013

Brussels (19 June) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Commissioner for Health and Consumers Tonio Borg welcomed the signature of three important bilateral agreements between the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels today. The signature took place in the framework of the third Trilateral Ministerial meeting on border management issues in the light of the forthcoming accession of Croatia into the EU.

 
Moldova: First visit of the new Speaker of Parliament to Brussels
Moldova: First visit of the new Speaker of Parliament to Brussels

18/06/2013

Brussels (18th June) –Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the new Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament Igor Corman in Brussels on Tuesday. After the meeting he said:

 
Montenegro: need to deal with accumulating domestic challenges
Montenegro: need to deal with accumulating domestic challenges

18/06/2013

Brussels (18 June 2013) - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanović in Brussels today. The main focus of their discussions was the political situation in the country and progress in accession negotiations. Commissioner Füle noted that challenges have been accumulating lately on Montenegro´s political agenda and that the country had started dealing with them. In relation to the accession negotiations, including the screening process, he stated that they were progressing well, but reiterated the importance of maintaining the momentum on the implementation of the necessary reforms.

 
Parliamentary elections in Albania on 23 June 2013
Parliamentary elections in Albania on 23 June 2013

17/06/2013

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made today the following statement:

 
Speak Up!2 conference on media freedom in the Western Balkans and Turkey
Speak Up!2 conference on media freedom in the Western Balkans and Turkey

14/06/2013

To assess the challenges faced by the media in the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey, the European Commission is organising a second SpeakUp! conference on 20 June in Brussels. Speak Up!2, the largest event of this kind organised in the context of the enlargement process, will bring together around 450 participants from the region and EU Member States – journalists, media analysts and politicians. They will discuss freedom of expression in individual countries and possibilities to improve and enhance it. They will also assess progress achieved since the first Speak Up! conference in 2011.

 
EU-Moldova: Strong expectations from new coalition
EU-Moldova: Strong expectations from new coalition

14/06/2013

Brussels (14th June 2013) - Commissioner Štefan Füle met with the new Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova today:''This was my first meeting with Iurie Leanca in his new capacity as Moldovan Prime Minister I have wished him good luck. He has a challenging task. I appreciate that Prime Minister´s first trip abroad led to Brussels. This shows the importance Moldova attaches to the EU and also the strength of our relations.

 
Iceland: first meeting with the new Foreign Minister
Iceland: first meeting with the new Foreign Minister

13/06/2013

Brussels (13th June) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the new Foreign Minister of Iceland Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the future cooperation between the EU and Iceland after the new government changed its approach to the accession negotiations. After the meeting Commissioner Füle said to the media: "I appreciate that Minister´s the first trip abroad led to Brussels. This shows the strength of the relations that Iceland and the European Union have built so far.

 
Crucial moment in EU-Turkey relations
Crucial moment in EU-Turkey relations

12/06/2013

Strasbourg (12 June) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle spoke about the recent events in Turkey during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg today. In his remarks to the Members of the European Parliament he said the following: "I was in Istanbul last week to address a conference on the future of European Union-Turkey relations. The evening preceding the conference, I walked around Taksim Square and Gezi Park. I spoke to the - mostly young - people gathered there.

 
Istanbul: About vision of a common future for EU and Turkey and need to respect democratic freedoms
Istanbul: About vision of a common future for EU and Turkey and need to respect democratic freedoms

08/06/2013

Istanbul (8 June) – "Energising the EU accession process and strengthening democracy by respecting rights and freedoms are two sides of the same coin", Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, said in Istanbul where he met with Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Minister for EU Affairs, the Minister of Justice, the Ombudsman and representatives of civil society and think-tanks. He also visited Taksim square in Istanbul and exchanged views with the activists from the Taksim Solidarity Platform.

 
EU-Turkey bound together
EU-Turkey bound together

07/06/2013

Istanbul (7th June 2013) - Speech by Commissioner Štefan Füle at the Conference "Rethinking Global Challenges: Constructing a Common Future for Turkey and the EU"  in Istanbul, Turkey. "The duty of all of us, European Union Members as much as those countries that wish to become one, is to aspire to the highest possible democratic standards and practices. These include the freedom to express one's opinion, the freedom to assemble peacefully and freedom of media to report on what is happening as it is happening.

 
Joint statement by the spokespersons of High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on amendments to the Criminal Code in Azerbaijan
Joint statement by the spokespersons of High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on amendments to the Criminal Code in Azerbaijan

06/06/2013

The Spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made today the following statement:

 
In Istanbul about challenges and vision for Turkey' s EU accession
In Istanbul about challenges and vision for Turkey' s EU accession

05/06/2013

Brussels (5th June) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Istanbul on Thursday and Friday to discuss the accession process of Turkey.

 
Azerbaijan: with parliament speaker on shared ambitions for a successful Vilnius Summit
Azerbaijan: with parliament speaker on shared ambitions for a successful Vilnius Summit

05/06/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met Oktay Sabir Asadov, Chairman of the Milli Majlis, the parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Brussels today.

 
Joint Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the Egyptian NGO trial verdicts
Joint Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the Egyptian NGO trial verdicts

05/06/2013

''We wish to express our concern at the recent Court ruling in Egypt sentencing the 43 employees of foreign NGOs referred to trial in December 2011 to between one and five years in jail. This verdict conveys a negative signal regarding the work of civil society. We will continue to follow closely the judicial process in this case.

 
In Jordan tackling impact of Syrian crisis
In Jordan tackling impact of Syrian crisis

04/06/2013

Amman (4th June) - "Our solidarity with Jordan, and Syrian refugees here is not only in statements but also in deeds," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said after visiting Zaatari refugee camp in the north of Jordan close to Syrian border. This biggest refugee camp in Jordan is housing over 120 000 people and poses a significant challenge for Jordanian authorities and international organisations providing basic services for refugees.

 
EU appreciates role of Jordan in Syrian crisis and increases help
EU appreciates role of Jordan in Syrian crisis and increases help

03/06/2013

Amman (3rd June) – „The European Union fully understands the difficult situation in Jordan in the context of the crisis in Syria and we are ready to increase our help and support to cope with it,“ Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said to the Jordanian partners during the first day of his visit to Amman. He met with the King of Jordan Abdullah II, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ibrahim Saif. In the meetings with them Commissioner Füle acknowledged the constructive role Jordan is playing since the start of the Syrian crisis, appreciated the generosity of the Jordanian government and host communities in providing hospitality to the growing number of the refugees and expressed EU´s concerns about the general developments. “We are very concerned by the worsening of the crisis, by its impact on Jordan and by the risk of spill-over effects on the entire region,“ he stressed.

 
Moldova: EU welcomes the new coaliton government, expects reforms and consolidation of democracy
Moldova: EU welcomes the new coaliton government, expects reforms and consolidation of democracy

31/05/2013

Brussels (31st May) - Commenting on the election of Iurie Leancă to the post of Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova on 30 May, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, and Commissioner for Enlargement and the Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, made today the following joint statement: "We warmly welcome the endorsement yesterday of the Iurie Leancă government and of its programme by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. This puts an end to a protracted political crisis that has endangered the stability of Moldova's state institutions. We invite the authorities and the citizens of the Republic of Moldova to consider the need for constitutional reform to strengthen systemic checks and balances, and to prevent the emergence of similar crises in the future.

 
Visiting Jordan to discuss bilateral cooperation and Syrian crisis
Visiting Jordan to discuss bilateral cooperation and Syrian crisis

31/05/2013

Brussels (31st May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighburhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Jordan on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the bilateral relations between the EU and the Hashemite Kingdom. He will be focusing on the latest developments in the region, impact of the Syrian crisis on Jordan and in the framework of bilateral cooperation on the progress in political and economic reforms.

 
Georgia: With Minister of Interior about reforms and strengthening rule of law
Georgia: With Minister of Interior about reforms and strengthening rule of law

30/05/2013

Brussels (30th May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with the Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili in Brussels today.

 
Montenegro: Role of opposition in tackling current challenges
Montenegro: Role of opposition in tackling current challenges

30/05/2013

Brussels (30th May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with the Chairman of  the "Positive Montenegro" party, Darko PAJOVIĆ,  in Brussels today. Their meeting focused on recent developments in the country, current challenges for the political system and institutions and the role of the opposition in tackling them. They also discussed the process of accession negotiations, particularly in the area of the rule of law. Commissioner Füle stressed the importance of maintaining momentum in the implementation of the necessary reforms. "Progress in the accession negotiations now requires swift adoption of constitutional amendments, strengthening the independence and accountability of the judiciary as recommended by the Venice Commission. Parliament has a key responsibility in these and related reforms which will also contribute to the necessary strengthening of public trust in the country´s institutions," Commissioner Füle said.

 
With Commissioner General of UNRWA about Palestinian refugees and Syrian crisis
With Commissioner General of UNRWA about Palestinian refugees and Syrian crisis

29/05/2013

Brussels (29th May) - The situation of the Palestinian refugees in the context of the Syrian crisis was the main topic discussed by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle with the Commissioner-General of UNRWA Filippo Grandi during their meeting in Brussels today.

 
Montenegro: With Deputy Prime Minister Marković about reforms and challenges
Montenegro: With Deputy Prime Minister Marković about reforms and challenges

28/05/2013

Brussels (28th May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of Montenegro Duško Marković in Brussels today to discuss the mounting challenges on the domestic political scene and the ways how to deal with them.

 
EU-Turkey: Strengthening momentum for restarting negotiations
EU-Turkey: Strengthening momentum for restarting negotiations

27/05/2013

Brussels (27th May) - Commissioner for  Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated at the EU-Turkey Association Council in Brussels today. The meeting focused on how to strengthen momentum in the relations with the aim to open new chapters in the accession negotiations with Turkey.

 
EU perspective for W.Balkans clear, determination needed to make it reality
EU perspective for W.Balkans clear, determination needed to make it reality

24/05/2013

Dublin (24th May) – The progress of the candidate and aspirant countries from the Western Balkans as well as the current challenges in the enlargement process were the main topics Commissioner Štefan Füle was talking about in Dublin on Friday. He attended the conference ogranised by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU dedicated to the ten years since the EU-Western Balkans summit in Thessaloniki.

 
Statement by the Spokespersons of High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the arrests of former Prime Minister of Georgia
Statement by the Spokespersons of High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the arrests of former Prime Minister of Georgia

22/05/2013

Brussels (22 May 2013) - The Spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, issued the following statement today: "High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle take careful note of the arrests and detention yesterday of the former Prime Minister of Georgia, current Secretary-General of the United National Movement, Vano Merabishvili, and the former Georgian Health Minister, current governor of Kakheti, Zurab Chiaberashvili. The European Union will closely follow the legal proceedings against them, which it expects to be fair, transparent and independent, in full accordance with international standards. The High Representative and the Commissioner underline their expectation that the Georgian authorities will pursue justice in these cases, as in all other cases, impartially and free from political motivation." 

 
In Moldova celebrating Europe Day
In Moldova celebrating Europe Day

17/05/2013

Brussels (17 May 2013) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Chisinau on 18-19 May to participate in the Europe Day celebrations  in the "European Village".

 
Turkey: European Commission ready to support the new Ombudsman
Turkey: European Commission ready to support the new Ombudsman

16/05/2013

Brussels (16th May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the new Turkish Ombudsman Nihat Ömeroğlu. Commissioner Füle expressed the support of the European Commission for the institution of Ombudsman and for the efforts of Mr Ömeroğlu in this very important position. "We believe that an independent and active Ombudsman is crucial for strengthening confidence of Turkish citizens in the functioning of the administration and the rule of law in the country. I appreciate that Mr Ömeroğlu sees his work in the context of Turkey´s efforts to become the member of the European Union," Commissioner Füle said after their first meeting in Brussels.

 
With K.Kiliçdaroğlu on developments in Turkey-EU relations
With K.Kiliçdaroğlu on developments in Turkey-EU relations

15/05/2013

Brussels (15th May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle met with president of the Turkish opposition Republican People's Party Kemal Kiliçdaroğlu in Brussels today. They discussed the recent political developments in Turkey and the EU accession process.

 
European Commission completes steps for signature of Association Agreement with Ukraine.
European Commission completes steps for signature of Association Agreement with Ukraine.

15/05/2013

(Brussels 15th May) - Without prejudice to a future political decision on possible signature, the Commission adopted today the proposals for Council Decisions on the signing and provisional application as well as the conclusion of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which will be transmitted to the Council for further processing. The Commission accompanied the two proposals with a political statement. With today's decision, the EU is taking a necessary preparatory step in order to be technically ready for the possible signing of the Association Agreement (including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area - DCFTA) at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in six months from now. The EU has underlined that it will only sign if Ukraine creates the necessary political circumstances.

 
Increased education opportunities between Tunisia and EU
Increased education opportunities between Tunisia and EU

14/05/2013

Brussels, (14 May 2013) - The European Union (EU) has agreed on additional funding to further develop the modernisation of higher education as well as the international cooperation capacity of higher education institutions in Tunisia under the Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programmes. This will be achieved by providing more scholarships to Tunisian students, researchers and academic staff to study and to perform research in the EU as well as through the setting up of cooperation projects between European and Tunisian universities. Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, said on this occasion: "With today's decision, the EU is highlighting the importance of people-to-people exchanges and intercultural dialogues. In addition to the efforts already made to provide EU support for economic recovery and growth, to create new jobs and to reduce regional discrepancies in Tunisia, the EU is now also enhancing its support for quality education for Tunisian young people. The knowledge and skills they will acquire through this programme will help them to be active members of their transforming society."

 
Europe Day: Clear enlargement perspective only for those committed to EU values
Europe Day: Clear enlargement perspective only for those committed to EU values

08/05/2013

Brussels (8th May) - On the occasion of the Europe Day, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle addressed the citizens of the countries of the Western Balkans and their European ambitions. He stressed that there is a clear perspective of European integration to all the countries in the region but it requires true determination and efforts to work on introducing European standards and values.

 
Commissioner Š.Füle to visit Azerbaijan
Commissioner Š.Füle to visit Azerbaijan

02/05/2013

Brussels (2st May) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Azerbaijan on Thursday and Friday to discuss the state of bilateral relations and ambitions for Azerbaijan's participation in Eastern Partnership ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November.

 
EU-Ukraine: Assessing progress and outstanding issues with S. Arbuzov
EU-Ukraine: Assessing progress and outstanding issues with S. Arbuzov

30/04/2013

Brussels (30th April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met in Brussels with Sergiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine responsible for overseeing activities in the areas of Economic Development, Trade, Social Policy, Finance, Revenues and Taxes, Agriculture and Food.

 
In Serbia appreciating courageous decisions about EU future
In Serbia appreciating courageous decisions about EU future

26/04/2013

Belgrade (26th April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Belgrade to appreciate the recent positive developments on Serbia's path towards the European Union and the steps taken by the Serbian partners in this regard. He met with Prime Minister Ivica Dačić,  Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Suzana Grubješić and representatives of the Ministry of Justice. Later on Friday Commissioner Füle will hold talks with President Tomislav Nikolić and will meet also representatives of the opposition. In Belgrade he also opened the conference on strenghtening the rule of law, judiciary and fight against corruption, which was organised jointly with the Council of Europe with the aim to help Serbia advancing the necessary changes and reforms in these areas.

 
Meeting with Kosovo Minister for European Integration, Vlora Çitaku
Meeting with Kosovo Minister for European Integration, Vlora Çitaku

24/04/2013

"We just had a very good meeting with Vlora Citaku the European Integration Minister and Mimoza Kusari-Lila Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade at this crucial time for EU-Kosovo relations. I would like to, once again, welcome last Friday's historic agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. It will be decisive for the European perspective of both countries in the foreseeable future. We are looking forward to swift steps towards implementation and are ready to help in any way we can. It is particularly important that the agreement was negotiated and agreed by the countries themselves as it is their agreement, not one 'imposed' by the EU.

 
Meeting with Foreign Minister of Georgia, Maia Panjikidze
Meeting with Foreign Minister of Georgia, Maia Panjikidze

24/04/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle today met Dr Maia Panjikidze, the Foreign Minister of Georgia. They discussed latest developments in Georgia, including the adoption by the Georgian Parliament of a foreign policy resolution, continuing efforts to reform the judiciary and to assure its independence, and moves by the government to reinforce the independence of local government. 

 
Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Igor Lukšić
Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Igor Lukšić

24/04/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met in Brussels today with Igor LUKŠIĆ, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Montenegro.

 
Meeting with Andriy Klyuyev, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council
Meeting with Andriy Klyuyev, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council

24/04/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met today with Andriy Klyuyev, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, appointed by the President of Ukraine to ensure coordination of activities of the central executive authorities in the field of European integration of Ukraine and interaction with EU institutions.

 
Meeting with Arseniy Yatsenyuk leader of the “United Opposition” in Ukraine
Meeting with Arseniy Yatsenyuk leader of the “United Opposition” in Ukraine

23/04/2013

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood, Policy Štefan Füle, met today with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the leader of the “United Opposition” in Ukraine and Head of the "Batkivshchyna" Parliamentary Faction. Their discussion focused on the political situation in Ukraine and the prospects for signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit in November in light of the conclusions of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council. Commissioner Füle expressed his satisfaction concerning recent developments in the Ukrainian Parliament: "After weeks of stalemate, I am pleased that Verkhovna Rada has got back to work. Ukraine needs a Parliament where the majority and the opposition engage constructively with each other and assume responsibility on the reforms needed for the country and its citizens in fulfilling their European choice. There have been several such positive examples recently but they need to continue and expand."

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the 5th meeting of the EU-Albania Association and Stabilisation Council
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the 5th meeting of the EU-Albania Association and Stabilisation Council

23/04/2013

"Today's 5th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council was very good, very frank and forward looking. We acknowledged that the December 2012 Council conclusions provide the way for the country to progress on its EU integration path. Further progress however will depend on the capacity of the Albanian political parties to maintain a stable, sustainable and constructive political dialogue and to deliver solid reform results.

 
Commission proposes an agreement to allow Kosovo* to participate in EU programmes
Commission proposes an agreement to allow Kosovo* to participate in EU programmes

22/04/2013

Today the European Commission adopted a proposal that would allow Kosovo to participate in EU programmes. If the Council agrees, and once the agreement is signed by both sides, Kosovo would be able to participate in 22 EU programmes. The specific terms and conditions for the participation of Kosovo in each particular programme will be determined by a Memorandum of Understanding to be agreed by the European Commission and Kosovo.

 
Serbia and Kosovo*: historic agreement paves the way for decisive progress in their EU perspectives
Serbia and Kosovo*: historic agreement paves the way for decisive progress in their EU perspectives

22/04/2013

Brussels (22 April 2013) - ‘Serbia and Kosovo have proved they can both focus on the future rather than staying entangled in the past. Our recommendations today are therefore clear: both Serbia and Kosovo deserve to move on decisively in their EU perspectives. This is good news for the people in Serbia and Kosovo, and in the whole region’ added EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.

 
Meeting with Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian
Meeting with Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian

19/04/2013

Brussels, (19th April 2013) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle met today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, who visited Brussels for the signature ceremony of the Readmission Agreement. Commissioner Füle congratulated the Foreign Minister on this occasion and underlined that successful implementation was key to moving towards further enhancement of mobility.

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle's reaction to the results of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue
Commissioner Štefan Füle's reaction to the results of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue

19/04/2013

Brussels, (19th April 2013) This is an historic day for Serbia-Kosovo* relations, for the entire Western Balkans region and for the European Union.I want to congratulate both Prime Ministers and their teams. This ground breaking agreement would not have been possible without their courage and commitment during difficult negotiations. I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to Cathy Ashton and congratulate her for the tireless personal investment and perseverance in helping the agreement come about.

 
Press points by Commissioner Štefan Füle on the Spring Reports on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo*
Press points by Commissioner Štefan Füle on the Spring Reports on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo*

16/04/2013

Following the December General Affairs Council, the presentation of four documents was foreseen for today: a Commission report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, two joint reports of the High Representative and the Commission on Serbia and Kosovo, as well as a proposal from the Commission to the Council on authorising the opening of negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo.

 
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Reforms continue despite political tensions
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Reforms continue despite political tensions

16/04/2013

Brussels (16th April) - The European Commission issued today a report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's progress in implementing EU-related reforms and on steps taken on good neighbourly relations and on the 'name issue', as requested by the Council last December. The Commission commends continued reform efforts despite recent political tensions, and highlights the pressing challenge of keeping the momentum for political dialogue so that the effects of the political crisis can be fully overcome. Overall, the implementation of EU-related reforms in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has continued, with progress on almost all the targets and indicators. Relations with neighbours remained good, and steps have been taken in bilateral relations with Bulgaria and Greece.  Formal talks on the 'name issue' also took on new momentum during the reporting period.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on the adoption by the Turkish parliament of the legislation on anti-terror
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on the adoption by the Turkish parliament of the legislation on anti-terror

12/04/2013

Brussels (12th April) - ‘The adoption by the parliament of the long-awaited legislation on anti-terror, which will align the Turkish law with European standards is overall a very positive development. I expect it will address a number of issues on fundamental rights that were a source of concern over the past years in Turkey.

 
Statement by Commissioner  Štefan Füle after consultations with political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle after consultations with political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina

11/04/2013

Sarajevo (11th April) - The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Štefan Füle, today met with the leaders of the main political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to discuss the implementation of the judgement of the European Court for Human Rights in the 'Sejdić-Finci' case. After today's meetings, Commissioner Füle noted with regret that the political parties have failed to make any meaningful progress for more than three years to implement the 'Sejdić-Finci' judgement. The Commissioner noted that the EU-led facilitation process has not led to tangible results due to the inability of the political leaders to turn declared commitment into concrete action. The Commissioner expressed regret that it was therefore necessary to cancel the third round of the High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process.

 
Statement on political consultations on implementation of the Sejdić-Finci judgement
Statement on political consultations on implementation of the Sejdić-Finci judgement

11/04/2013

Sarajevo (11th April) Commissioner Štefan Füle said today on arrival at the Delegation of the European Union/EU Special Representative Office:I am here to underline to Bosnia and Herzegovina's institutional and political leaders how urgent it is to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Sejdić and Finci. I am glad to be joined by expert colleagues from the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission – which underlines Bosnia and Herzegovina's obligations to the Council of Europe.

 
EU-Turkey: With Ministers Bağış and Çelik  about Social Policy and employment
EU-Turkey: With Ministers Bağış and Çelik about Social Policy and employment

10/04/2013

Brussels (10th April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, together with Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor, met with Turkish Minister of EU Affairs Egemen Bağış and Minister of Labour and Social Security Faruk Çelik in Brussels today. The meeting took place in the framework of the Positive agenda and is part of the overall efforts to put the accession negotiations with Turkey back on track. They discussed the progress in the accession process and also the support Turkey is providing to Syrian refugees.

 
Meeting with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier
Meeting with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier

10/04/2013

Brussels (10th April) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier in Brussels today. They discussed possibilities to further enhance cooperation between the two organisations, as well as recent developments in areas of mutual interest. Commissioner Füle underlined his appreciation for the excellent cooperation between the OSCE, the Commission and EEAS at all levels, including in the field. He appreciated that the EC can count on the OSCE as a reliable partner to further the shared objectives in areas such as democracy, the rule of law, media freedom, civil society, human rights and rights of persons belonging to minorities - essential areas, which are at the core of the EU Enlargement process. In this context, the active presence of the OSCE in the Western Balkans is seen also as  contribution to help these countries move forward on their respective paths towards further European integration.

 
Š. Füle In Skopje for the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD)
Š. Füle In Skopje for the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD)

09/04/2013

On 9 April, Commissioner Štefan Füle visited Skopje for a meeting of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD), established in March 2012 between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the European Commission, which continues to provide valuable support for key reforms.He also met with Prime Minister Gruevski, Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi who is responsible for European integration, Commissioner also spoke to the National Council for European Integration and held a meeting with the leader of the SDSM opposition party Branko Crvenkovski.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mahmoud Mammad-Guliyev
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mahmoud Mammad-Guliyev

08/04/2013

Brussels, 8 April 2013 -  Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with  Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev in Brussels today. He recalled the EU´s commitment to strengthen the relations with Azerbaijan as well as the need for frank and continuous exchange of views. Commissioner stressed that domestic developments in Azerbaijan do have an impact on EU-Azerbaijani relations – this can be positive or negative but needs to be accepted. He appreciated that the climate in bilateral relations improved but added that concerns remain about a number of issues on the domestic political scene in Azerbaijan, especially freedoms of assembly, expression, media, as reflected in the recent European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) progress report.

 
Commissioner Füle and Secretary General Jagland regret the lack of progress in implementing the Sejdić-Finci judgement
Commissioner Füle and Secretary General Jagland regret the lack of progress in implementing the Sejdić-Finci judgement

08/04/2013

Brussels, 8April 2013 - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Mr Štefan Füle and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr Thorbjørn Jagland deeply regret the lack of progress in reaching an agreement on the implementation of the European Court for Human Rights judgment in the Sejdić-Finci case in Bosnia and Herzegovina.In a joint letter of 4 February, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ms Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle expressed their expectation that a political agreement on the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci ruling could be reached by the end of March 2013, in line with the conclusions of the Second Meeting of the EU - Bosnia and Herzegovina High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Őssur Skarphéðinsson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Őssur Skarphéðinsson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland

08/04/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the Icelandic Minister of Foreign Affairs Ossur Skarphéðinsson in Brussels on Monday to discuss the advanced state of play in EU-Iceland relations. They reviewed the good progress achieved so far in the EU accession negotiations where 27 chapters have been already opened, of which 11 have been provisionally closed, and appreciated the constructive dialogue in the process. In addition, they welcomed that negotiations on food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary issues are advanced, and that the chapter is about to be opened. The Commissioner expressed full understanding for Iceland's sensitivities with regard to the import of live animals, bearing in mind Iceland's geographic, veterinary and phytosanitary specificities.

 
Joint statement by Commissioners Štefan Füle and Cecilia Malmström on the adoption by the Turkish Parliament of the law on foreigners and international protection
Joint statement by Commissioners Štefan Füle and Cecilia Malmström on the adoption by the Turkish Parliament of the law on foreigners and international protection

05/04/2013

The Commission welcomes the adoption yesterday by the Turkish Parliament of the law on foreigners and international protection. This law is a clear sign of Turkey’s efforts to establish a sound legal and institutional framework for migration and asylum. This law and the institutions that it provides for indicate Turkey’s clear commitment to build an effective migration management system in line with EU and international standards. In this context the Commission also welcomes the advanced steps taken by Turkey in the field of respect of human rights.

 
Joint Statement by EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the review by Ukraine’s Higher Specialized Court for Civil and Criminal Cases in the case of Yuriy Lutsenko
Joint Statement by EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the review by Ukraine’s Higher Specialized Court for Civil and Criminal Cases in the case of Yuriy Lutsenko

04/04/2013

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made today the following statement: “We have noted with regret yesterday’s decision by Ukraine’s Higher Specialized Court for Civil and Criminal Cases to uphold the verdict against Mr Yuriy Lutsenko of four years' imprisonment.

 
Press Statement of Commissioner Füle's meeting with the leader of Montenegrin Socialist People´s Party, Mr. Srdjan Milic
Press Statement of Commissioner Füle's meeting with the leader of Montenegrin Socialist People´s Party, Mr. Srdjan Milic

27/03/2013

Brussels, 27 March 2013 - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met today in Brussels with the leader of the Montenegrin opposition party Socialist People´s Party, Mr. Srdjan Milic. The main focus of their meeting was the recent publications of audio recordings suggesting irregularities in the run-up to the parliamentary elections as well as alleged intentions to influence unduly the voters' list. Commissioner Füle stressed the importance for the responsible authorities to fully investigate all allegations. "I hope that the parliamentary hearing, which has now been agreed, will raise awareness for the need of a broad political consensus in this respect" he said.

 
Meeting with Mr Konstantin Kublashvili, the Chairman of the Georgian Supreme Court
Meeting with Mr Konstantin Kublashvili, the Chairman of the Georgian Supreme Court

27/03/2013

Brussels, (27 March 2013) Commissioner Stefan Füle met today Mr Konstantin Kublashvili, the Chairman of the Georgian Supreme Court. They discussed the pace of judicial reform in Georgia, and the EU-Georgia cooperation.Commissioner Füle welcomed the constructive steps being taken to implement judicial reforms and stressed the importance which the EU attaches to the depoliticisation of the judiciary in Georgia.  The EU calls on all branches of the Georgian government to maintain the momentum towards assuring the independence of the judiciary.

 
EU invests €272.75 million to promote regional cooperation in the Western Balkans
EU invests €272.75 million to promote regional cooperation in the Western Balkans

27/03/2013

Brussels, 27 March 2013 - The European Commission has finalised a series of measures to promote regional cooperation between Western Balkan countries totalling €272.75 million for the period 2012-2013. "These funds are good news as regional cooperation is a central element of the EU's efforts to bring forward the reform process of the countries in the Western Balkans and help the region achieve economic prosperity and political stability", said European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.

 
Croatia: Last Monitoring Report concludes country ready to join the EU
Croatia: Last Monitoring Report concludes country ready to join the EU

26/03/2013

The European Commission adopted today its last Monitoring Report on Croatia's preparations for joining the EU. The Commission assesses that Croatia has completed the ten priority actions identified in the previous report in October, and has shown the will and ability to fulfil all outstanding commitments in good time before accession. The Commission concludes that Croatia will be ready to join the European Union on 1 July 2013.  "This report is positive news. Croatia has worked hard and kept the pace of reforms. It made great strides not only since the end of the accession negotiations, but also since the previous Monitoring report. The results it has achieved are directly benefiting its citizens. The country is now ready to take its place in the EU as planned and we are all looking forward to completion of the ratification of the Accession Treaty and welcoming Croatia in the EU on the 1 July", Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said upon presenting the report to the Croatian government in Zagreb.

 
Albania: Time to deliver, time to get candidate status
Albania: Time to deliver, time to get candidate status

25/03/2013

Tirana (25th March) – European integration process should stay on top of Albania´s domestic agenda despite the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the country, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said on Monday in Tirana. He was speaking at the „Just BE“ conference about the advantages and challenges of Albania´s EU accession. "I see this conference as an attempt to build a strong basis and even more active engagement after the elections because the time has come for Albania to deliver on a number of the requirements. The time has come for this country to become a candidate country. The time has come for the citizens of this country to benefit from opening of accession negotiations and to be part of the enlargement mainstream in the Western Balkans" Commissioner Füle stressed.

 
Joint Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on Abdullah Öcalan's call on the PKK to lay down arms and withdraw beyond Turkey's borders
Joint Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on Abdullah Öcalan's call on the PKK to lay down arms and withdraw beyond Turkey's borders

21/03/2013

Brussels, (21 March) Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle made today the following statement: "We welcome today's call on the PKK to lay down arms and withdraw beyond Turkey's borders and the positive reactions to that call. This is a further important step forward in the on-going process aimed at ending a conflict which has claimed far too many victims. We look forward to concrete follow-up and implementation.The EU has repeatedly encouraged all parties to work unremittingly to bring peace and prosperity for all citizens of Turkey.  The EU gives its full support to this process. It stands ready to help, including through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance."

 
European Neighbourhood Policy in 2012: Continuing engagement for a stronger cooperation with neighbours despite turbulent political and economic conditions
European Neighbourhood Policy in 2012: Continuing engagement for a stronger cooperation with neighbours despite turbulent political and economic conditions

20/03/2013

Brussels (20th March) – The cooperation of the EU with its partner countries is stronger and is delivering positive results, indicate the country and regional reports on the progress of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2012 published today. EU Commissioner Štefan Füle declared: "I attach great importance to the partnership with civil society in the ENP. The role of civil society remains central to the democratisation processes. We have significantly enhanced our engagement with civil society of partner countries to maximise public support for reforms. Therefore, it is regrettable that in some partner countries, civil society organisations continue to face serious constraints such as obstacles to freedom of movements, lawsuits against NGOs leaders, cumbersome administrative procedures, acceptance of financial support subject to authorisation, etc." Click on the news item title for the press release, Commissioner Füle ’s remarks at the European parliament and documents.

 
Kosovo: EU support for Dialogue and progress in reforms
Kosovo: EU support for Dialogue and progress in reforms

19/03/2013

Pristina (19th March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Pristina on Tuesday to express support for Kosovo's efforts in the dialogue with Serbia and appreciate the progress in EU reforms.

 
EU-Serbia: Appreciating continuing progress, key priority remains
EU-Serbia: Appreciating continuing progress, key priority remains

19/03/2013

Belgrade (18th March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle visited Belgrade on Monday to assess the latest progress on the EU reforms ahead of the publication of the Spring report next month. He met with President Tomislav Nikolić, Prime Minister Ivica Dačić, first Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and leader of the main opposition party Dragan Djilas.

 
EU-Tunisia: message of continued support
EU-Tunisia: message of continued support

15/03/2013

Tunis (15th March) – “The European Union continues to stand at the side of the citizens of Tunisia in the important, difficult but also rewarding process of transformation” Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, said at the end of his visit to Tunis. He was the first high level EU representative coming to Tunis after the appointment of the new government of Prime Minister Ali Laradayeh.

 
Tunisia: New EU aid to support democratic transition
Tunisia: New EU aid to support democratic transition

15/03/2013

Tunis (15th March) – The European Union continues to support the reform process in Tunisia with new projects announced in Tunis today. Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle who visits Tunisia as the first EU representative after the swearing-in of the new government, signed two contracts to finance actions on preventing gender violence and improving the performance of the justice sector in the area of juvenile delinquency.

 
Commissioner Füle visits Tunisia to stress continuing support for transition
Commissioner Füle visits Tunisia to stress continuing support for transition

12/03/2013

Brussels (12th March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, will visit Tunisia on 14th and 15th March to reiterate continuing support of the European Union for the democratic transition in the country. He will stress that the EU trusts that Tunisian stakeholders will be able to overcome the current crisis and progress towards the approval of the Constitution and the organisation of elections.

 
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Outstanding issues on the EU agenda
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Outstanding issues on the EU agenda

07/03/2013

Brussels (7 March) – The key priorities for the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the EU integration process were discussed at a meeting of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle with the Speaker of the Republika Srpska (RS) National Assembly Igor Radojićić in Brussels today.

 
Slovenia-Croatia: Commissioner welcomes deal on Ljubljanska banka
Slovenia-Croatia: Commissioner welcomes deal on Ljubljanska banka

07/03/2013

Brussels (7th March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle welcomed the news from Ljubljana and Zagreb that a mutually acceptable solution to the Ljubljanska banka issue has been found.

 
Meeting religious leaders from Ukraine
Meeting religious leaders from Ukraine

06/03/2013

Brussels (6th March) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met a delegation of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations in Brussels on Wednesday. This provided an opportunity to discuss the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the interfaith dialogue and the situation of the Ukrainian society. "I am very happy about this meeting, it was very enriching for me," Commissioner Füle said after talking to 20 representatives of different faiths. "I take with me their wise words about the realities in Ukraine and about how their believers perceive the European Union," he added. There was also a discussion  about the prospects of EU-Ukraine relations in light of the recent EU-Ukraine Summit. "The European Union acknowledges the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomes its European choice. Our engagement with Ukraine remains firm and cannot be but based on respect for common values. I could only agree with the partners when they said they were the biggest force within the civil society committed to the European future of Ukraine," Commissioner Füle stressed.

 
Enlargement in perspective
Enlargement in perspective

06/03/2013

Brussels, (6th March) Commissioner Štefan Füle participated today at the conference: ''Enlargement in perspective: how do candidate and potential candidate countries perceive accession in the light of the current crisis?'' in the European Parliament where he stressed that: "Enlargement is not at the root of Europe's current difficulties. It is rather part of the solution with the primary goal of strengthening the European Union. Enlargement is promoting economic and financial stability and supporting increased trade and business opportunities in the aspiring countries, between them and between them and us. Through our inter-connected economies, this translates into a shared interest in more growth and jobs."

 
Š.Füle: EU is making difference for refugees in Lebanon
Š.Füle: EU is making difference for refugees in Lebanon

06/03/2013

Beirut (6th March) – "Only after meeting  people directly affected by the bloodshed in Syria you realise the enormous scope of the human suffering and the extent of the refugee crisis" Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said after talking to Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in the UNHCR registration centre and UNRWA headquarters in Beirut. The European Union is the biggest donor for both organisations and its activities in Lebanon, which is hosting the highest number of people fleeing the violence in the neighbouring Syria.

 
EU-Lebanon: New phase of intense cooperation
EU-Lebanon: New phase of intense cooperation

05/03/2013

Brussels (5th March) - “Relations between Lebanon and the European Union are entering a new phase with an impressive intensity of bilateral contacts and cooperation,” Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said during his talks with the President, Prime Minister and members of the Lebanese government in Beirut on Monday and Tuesday. “The EU considers Lebanon an important partner. Our relations are strong and our cooperation is developing positively" he added, noting that this cooperation is now guided by the New Action plan defining areas that the reform efforts of the Lebanese government and EU´s assistance focus on. "With the new Action Plan the EU is ready to accompany Lebanon in tackling its main challenges resulting from the need to continue with political, economic and social reforms. The EU supports holding the elections according to the constitutional requirements and in line with international standards. We also stand ready to further assist Lebanon in dealing with the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis and security issues" Commissioner Füle stressed. He highlighted that the Action Plan is based on priorities identified by the Lebanese government and drafted in a way that represents the most transparent, forward-looking and coherent document on the modernisation of Lebanon based on the shared principles and values, making the government more accountable to citizens.

 
Statement on political developments in Ukraine
Statement on political developments in Ukraine

05/03/2013

The Spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made today the following statement:

 
Lebanon: European Commission provides €30m more to deal with refugee crisis
Lebanon: European Commission provides €30m more to deal with refugee crisis

05/03/2013

Beirut (5th March) - The European Commission will provide an additional €30 million to Lebanon to alleviate the impact of the high influx of refugees from Syria, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle announced during his visit to Beirut. “Lebanon receives the highest number of people fleeing the horrible bloodshed in Syria and we know that it puts this country under enormous strain. The hospitality and generosity displayed by the Lebanese towards their neighbours is admirable and commendable. The EU remains committed to assisting the Lebanese Government in its response to the refugee crisis ,” Commissioner Füle said after informing President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati about the new financial allocation. At the same time he welcomed Lebanon's comprehensive response plan to deal with the refugee crisis and conveyed the EU´s appreciation of the fact that Lebanon keeps its borders open to people fleeing the violence in the neighbouring country.

 
Statement of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle on Albania
Statement of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle on Albania

02/03/2013

Brussels (2nd March) – "I have taken note of the decision of the ruling majority to hold a referendum on the approval of the two draft laws and the parliamentary rules of procedure required for granting Albania the candidate status.

 
Š. Füle visiting Lebanon on 4-5 March
Š. Füle visiting Lebanon on 4-5 March

01/03/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Lebanon on 4th and 5th March. During his stay in Beirut he will meet President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati as well as representatives of the civil society. The main focus of the discussions will be the further strengthening of the relations between the European Union and Lebanon, already marked by an unprecedented intensity of cooperation over the past year. The Commissioner will express the EU's continued support for and encouragement of reforms in Lebanon in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Specific objectives of EU-Lebanon cooperation are set out in a new ENP Action Plan that the sides successfully negotiated in 2012.

 
Joint statement of Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, Rapporteur of the European Parliament on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Richard Howitt, and former President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, on their mission to Skopje
Joint statement of Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, Rapporteur of the European Parliament on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Richard Howitt, and former President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, on their mission to Skopje

01/03/2013

Today, we visited the former Yugoslav Republic Macedonia on a joint mission to meet key political partners and to address ways on how to overcome the current political crisis.We have met President Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, leader of the SDSM party Branko Crvenkovski, and the leader of the DUI party Ali Ahmeti.

 
Montenegro: Need to investigate any allegations about election irregularities
Montenegro: Need to investigate any allegations about election irregularities

28/02/2013

Brussels (28th February) – Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with leader of the Montenegrin opposition party Movement for Changes Nebojsa Medojevic in Brussels Today.

 
EU hosts meeting on cooperation with Ukraine and Eastern Partnership
EU hosts meeting on cooperation with Ukraine and Eastern Partnership

28/02/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, said: "Today's meeting with International Financial Institutions was a good opportunity to discuss the reform process as well as to improve coordination and shape upcoming decisions together. The European Union is committed to proceed with signing the Association Agreement as soon as Ukraine demonstrates determined action and tangible progress in the areas of justice, elections and Association Agenda reforms.  We hope to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November where we also hope to conclude the negotiations on the Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Armenia and advance in our negotiations with Azerbaijan."

 
Joint statement by the Heads of Mission of the European Union, the OSCE, and the United States in Skopje
Joint statement by the Heads of Mission of the European Union, the OSCE, and the United States in Skopje

26/02/2013

Skopje (26th February) - The Heads of Mission of the European Union, the OSCE, and the United States in Skopje today issued the following statement: This country is currently at a critical juncture. The aspirations of its citizens for a better future, as well as the country's political stability are jeopardized by the current crisis. There must be a move away from public ultimatums, fixed positions and short term tactics towards direct dialogue and compromise in the best interest of the citizens and the country. We urge in this respect all political leaders to take responsibility and without further delay find a definitive solution to the current political crisis.

 
EU-Albania: Elections will be crucial test of democracy
EU-Albania: Elections will be crucial test of democracy

26/02/2013

Brussels (25th February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met Chairman of the Socialist Movement for Integration Ilir META in Brussels today to exchange views on the follow-up to the Council Conclusions from December and on the latest developments of the political situation in Albania. The Commissioner said that Albania has no time to spare in its EU-related agenda: "The current campaign period is no excuse for slowing work on EU-oriented reforms, and government and opposition alike need to assume their responsibility in bringing Albania closer to the EU."

 
EU-Belarus: Discussing ways to strengthen European Dialogue on Modernisation
EU-Belarus: Discussing ways to strengthen European Dialogue on Modernisation

20/02/2013

On 20 February in Brussels, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with eight representatives of Belarusian civil society, the coordinators of the European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarusian society. The priorities for modernisation in Belarus and how these could be achieved were the main topics of the meeting as well as the conditions for the work of NGOs  more generally. The Commissioner took careful note of the proposals which inter alia cover issues of judicial, social and economic reforms. Commissioner Füle stressed the importance of support to civil society in Belarus as a matter of priority for the EU. "The Dialogue on Modernisation is a very good example showing that civil society is ready to make an important contribution to the country's modernisation. I hope that Belarusian authorities will notice this readiness and will consider their own input into this Dialogue. I consider it as an important tool for the preparation of necessary reforms and modernisation plans of the country." 

 
€50 million of Macro-Financial Assistance for Bosnia and Herzegovina, more concrete reforms expected
€50 million of Macro-Financial Assistance for Bosnia and Herzegovina, more concrete reforms expected

19/02/2013

Brussels (19th February) – "This substantial support by the EU is an important political sign of trust from the EU Member States that Bosnia and Herzegovina is serious about its European Integration process. We are now expecting BiH politicians in return to fulfil their commitments in order to move forward in the accession process: We need to see functioning institutions at all levels, faster structural reforms and improvements in policy coordination. This means focusing on the public sector – reducing the size of government and expenditures – and making the business and investments environment better. This would lead to a more competitive economy, higher trade volumes and help reverse the trend of slowing economic recovery. This in turn should improve living conditions for all citizens of BiH", Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said.

 
New EU initiative to fight organised crime and human trafficking at EU borders
New EU initiative to fight organised crime and human trafficking at EU borders

18/02/2013

Brussels (18th February) – A new €1.5 million project that will boost the fight against organised crime and human trafficking in Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova and Turkey has been launched by the European Union. Launching the project, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle stated: "We are determined to do all we can to work across borders and nations to bring an end to this evil activity of trafficking people wherever it takes place. By strengthening laws, sharing information and increasing levels of awareness of the problem across the region, we hope to lay the foundations for further action in this area and send a clear message to traffickers that this barbaric and deplorable form of exploitation cannot continue."

 
Good progress on Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina border issues
Good progress on Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina border issues

15/02/2013

Brussels (15th February) – Commissioner Štefan Füle chaired today the second Trilateral Ministerial between the European Commission, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the last outstanding border management issues in light of the accession of Croatia to the EU. Following the meeting attended by Ms Vesna Pusić, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia and  Mr Zlatko Lagumdžija, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Commissioner Fule said: ''I was glad to host this trilateral meeting on the last outstanding border management issues. I appreciate the constructive spirit we had. Let me briefly summarise what we discussed today

 
Statement by Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy on the political situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Statement by Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy on the political situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

15/02/2013

Brussels (15th February) – In the context of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD) with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, I had originally intended to visit Skopje next week to assess progress in EU-related reforms. This fourth round of the HLAD would also have formed part of the preparation of the European Commission's upcoming Report, requested by the December 2012 General Affairs Council. However, in light of the current political impasse, I do not consider that my visit to discuss these issues would be appropriate at this particular time. Both in public statements and through visits by senior officials and my own – offering to facilitate the process of finding a solution - the European Union and its partners have expressed their concerns regarding the events of 24 December and their handling.

 
EU-Turkey: With Minister Şahin about progress on women's rights
EU-Turkey: With Minister Şahin about progress on women's rights

14/02/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policies, Fatma Şahin in Brussels today.Commissioner Füle underlined the importance the Commission and the EU in general attach to the promotion of women's rights and gender equality both in the Member States and in partner countries, in particular in the EU candidate and aspirant countries. He appreciated the initiatives Minister Şahın has taken during her term of office, notably through the adoption in March last year of the Law on the Protection of Family and Prevention of Violence.

 
At Informal EaP Dialogue in Georgia: advancing European values
At Informal EaP Dialogue in Georgia: advancing European values

13/02/2013

Tbilisi (13th February) – "The countries of our Eastern Neighbourhood have a unique opportunity to combine the value based relationship of the Eastern Partnership with strategic projects," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said at the meetings of the Informal Eastern Partnership Dialogue sectoral ministerial meeting on transport in Tbilisi today.He told the Ministers of Transport from the six partner countries: "I hope that through transport-transit we could significantly strengthen the cooperation with our partners from the Easter Partnership countries.’’

 
Commissioner Š.Füle at the Informal Eastern Partnership dialogue in Tbilisi
Commissioner Š.Füle at the Informal Eastern Partnership dialogue in Tbilisi

12/02/2013

Tbilisi (12th February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid took part in the second Foreign Ministers meeting of the Informal Eastern Partnership (EaP) dialogues in Tbilisi on Tuesday. Speaking at the press conference after the meeting Commissioner Füle said the following:"First I would like to thank Georgia for hosting the second meeting of this Informal Eastern Partnership dialogue. It has become a useful tool in advancing the objectives of the Eastern Partnership. It is not by accident that we have met here today. Georgia is an example of consistency and determination in the implementation of the agreed reforms.

 
EU and Georgia signed financing agreement to support reform process
EU and Georgia signed financing agreement to support reform process

12/02/2013

Tbilisi (12th February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Georgian Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexandre Petriashvili signed the Financing Agreement totalling €20 million in Tbilisi today to support the reform process in Georgia. The main focus of this financial help is on comprehensive institution building. The funding will support key Georgian institutions to undertake the necessary reforms in three main areas: trade, oversight and public accountability, and co-ordination of EU-Georgia agreements."The programme launched today focuses on important elements of political association and economic integration, which are: shared values such as democracy and respect for human rights; development of stronger and modern institutions; and opening of new trade opportunities," Commissioner Füle said after the signing.

 
Bringing more European Union to Ukraine
Bringing more European Union to Ukraine

07/02/2013

Kiev (7th February) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, is in Kiev today and tomorrow to discuss the challenges and opportunities for relations between the European Union and Ukraine to move forward. He started the visit meeting Prime Minster Mykola Azarov and then discussed with the members of the Ukrainian Cabinet how to achieve tangible results and progress needed for signing the Association Agreement and bringing Ukraine closer to the EU. Commissioner Füle is also meeting representatives of the opposition and will address members of the Parliament later on Thursday. After that he will speak to the students and representatives of civil society at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy. On Friday he will meet with the President Viktor Yanukovich.

 
Dialogue for a peaceful solution of the Kurdish issue in Turkey
Dialogue for a peaceful solution of the Kurdish issue in Turkey

06/02/2013

(Strasbourg, 5 February 2013) ''A successful outcome would not only put an end to a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives over the past three decades. It would solve many outstanding problems in Turkey, and play a crucial role in fostering political and constitutional reforms; it would be a strong incentive for the adoption of the fourth judicial reform package, actually addressing the key problems related to freedom of expression and other fundamental rights and it would facilitate the redrafting of the constitution, with respect to the right of citizenship.'' said Commissioner Štefan Füle at the plenary debate in the European Parliament.

 
Albania:  EU consensus needs to be translated into actions
Albania: EU consensus needs to be translated into actions

04/02/2013

Tirana (4th February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Albania today to discuss the follow-up to the Council Conclusions from last December. During his stay in Tirana he held meetings with President Bujar Nishani, Prime Minister Sali Berisha and with the chairman of the Socialist Party Edi Rama. The Commissioner had open and frank exchanges with the Albanian politicians about their priorities vis-à-vis the country’s aspirations to EU integration and he stressed to his partners that candidate status for Albania is within reach. It is up to Albanian politicians to make this a reality. Commissioner Füle reiterated that the Commission is determined to further strengthen Albania’s integration process towards the European Union. "Albania's entire process of EU-related reforms needs to be sustainable, inclusive and consensus-driven – for the benefit of all Albanian citizens," Commissioner Füle stated after his meetings.

 
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Serbia: Protocol on Cooperation in Prosecution of Perpetrators of War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide signed
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Serbia: Protocol on Cooperation in Prosecution of Perpetrators of War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide signed

01/02/2013

Yesterday, Thursday 31 January, the Director General for Enlargement, Mr Stefano Sannino hosted the talks of the heads of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office of Serbia, who sealed a protocol on exchange of information and evidence in war crimes cases.

 
Ukraine: First meeting with the new Foreign Minister
Ukraine: First meeting with the new Foreign Minister

30/01/2013

Brussels (30th January) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara in Brussels late Wednesday. It was their first official meeting since the appointment of Mr Kozhara as the new Foreign Minister and provided an opportunity to discuss recent developments in Ukraine and to look at how to advance EU-Ukraine relations in line with the latest Council Conclusions on Ukraine from December 2012 that defined the way forward in the bilateral relations. "The European Union acknowledges the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomes its European choice. Our engagement with Ukraine remains firm and is based on respect for common values", Commissioner Füle said.

 
Western Balkans on the road towards the European Union
Western Balkans on the road towards the European Union

29/01/2013

Brussels (29th January – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle spoke about the accession process of the Western Balkans countries in the European parliament in Brussels today.  He was addressing participants at the opening of the the 3rd conference on the Western Balkans organized by the Group of the European People's Party (EPP).

 
Meeting with Hryhoriy Nemyria, Chairman of the Committee on European Integration in Ukraine's Parliament
Meeting with Hryhoriy Nemyria, Chairman of the Committee on European Integration in Ukraine's Parliament

28/01/2013

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met the Chairman of the Committee on European  Integration in Ukraine's Parliament  Hryhoriy Nemyria, in Brussels on Monday. He congratulated Mr Nemyria on his election as chairman of this parliamentary committee which is important for the relations with the EU. "I am glad that this Committee will benefit from the experience in European Affairs of Mr Nemyria and of its other members," Commissioner Füle said. He then underlined that he takes the work of the Committee very seriously because of its legitimacy and its contribution to the strengthening of EU-Ukraine cooperation.

 
EU Conference on renewed financial assistance to countries wishing to join
EU Conference on renewed financial assistance to countries wishing to join

25/01/2013

Brussels, 25 January - The European Commission is today hosting a conference in Brussels to discuss preparations for the new Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance for the period 2014-2020 (IPA II). The conference will focus on how to provide efficient and constructive support to the Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland on their path towards EU membership. The key issues to be addressed during the conference include the priorities for future assistance and details on the new simplified rules, how to improve ownership by the beneficiary countries, and how best to coordinate with stakeholders. The conference also aims to establish a roadmap for planning and programming under the new instrument. "When we designed the new Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, we put a lot of emphasis on increasing its efficiency, by making it more simple to implement, with less red tape and more choices to find the most appropriate form of support" said Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle. "Now we need to sit together and find out how these principles can best be put in practice."

 
EU and CoE: Working together to help transformation and advance values
EU and CoE: Working together to help transformation and advance values

24/01/2013

Strasbourg, 24 January – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle spoke about the cooperation between the European Union and the Council of Europe (CoE) in advancing shared values and helping partner countries with the transformation in Strasbourg today. After bilateral meetings with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE  Jean-Claude Mignon and Secretary General of the CoE Thorbjørn Jagland he delivered a speech to the Assembly where he addressed the challenges and opportunities for this cooperation in the countries of the enlargement region and in European Neighbourhood. Commissioner Fule also outlined the priorities of the Commission in these two areas for 2013 and directed a strong call on authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the Sejdic-Finci ruling.

 
Commissioner Š.Füle visited the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Commissioner Š.Füle visited the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

23/01/2013

Skopje, 23 January -  Following the General Affairs Council of December 2012, Commissioner for Enlargement and European neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Skopje today and met with President Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia Branko Crvenkovski. In the meetings he reviewed preparations for the Spring Report. The Commissioner had useful discussions with his interlocutors. Commissioner Füle will return to Skopje in due course in the context of the High Level Accession Dialogue.

 
Statement following the discussion with Algerian Foreign Minister Murad Medelci
Statement following the discussion with Algerian Foreign Minister Murad Medelci

22/01/2013

''Today, I have spoken to Mourad Medelci Foreign Minister of Algeria to express my sympathy to the families of the Algerian victims of the terrorist attack at in Amenas. This follows on the statements made by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Cathy Ashton on 17 and 20 January.During my conversation with Minister Medelci, I have expressed my support for the Algerian authorities and their commitment to fight terrorism and to free the hostages held by the terrorist group.I have reaffirmed my commitment to deepen cooperation with Algeria on issues of common concern, notably the security in the Sahel/Sahara region."

 
Informal Council of Ministers for European Affairs with the Irish Presidency
Informal Council of Ministers for European Affairs with the Irish Presidency

21/01/2013

Dublin, 21 January - In our discussions over the last two days, we have been focusing on how to strengthen democratic legitimacy and accountability as the European Union moves forward with far reaching changes in the field of economic and monetary union.[...] We also have had good informal exchanges with our partners from candidate and aspirant countries on a wide range of issues.[...] It is crucial that the momentum of enlargement is maintained and that the reforms necessary for progress on the EU path in the enlargement countries are pursued with vigour and commitment.[...] See Commissioner Füle’s speech by clicking on 'more'.

 
Meeting with Habib Ben Yahia, Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union
Meeting with Habib Ben Yahia, Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union

18/01/2013

I am glad that President Barroso and I could welcome Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union Habib Ben Yahia here in Brussels - only few weeks after the Commission adopted the Joint Communication on Supporting Closer Cooperation and Regional Integration in the Maghreb. Just to remind you, this Communication is part of the EU’s wider response to developments in the Southern Mediterranean and reflects our willingness and determination for a deeper engagement there. The Maghreb is a region rich in potential. But it remains one of the least integrated regions in the world. I hope that the Communication will allow the EU to take a more proactive stance in support of the integration of the Maghreb.

 
Croatia: With V.Pusic about the next Monitoring Report
Croatia: With V.Pusic about the next Monitoring Report

14/01/2013

Brussels, 14th January - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood  Policy Štefan Füle met with the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia Vesna Pusić in Brussels today. Their meeting took place within the framework of regular contacts between the Commission and Croatia to discuss the last steps in preparations for EU accession and in view of the publication of the Commission's Monitoring Report in March 2013. Commissioner Füle and Minister Pusić focused in particular on the state of play regarding the ten priority areas identified by the Commission in its October Comprehensive Monitoring Report. These priority issues refer to the areas of judiciary and fundamental rights, and justice, freedom and security and competition policy.

 
€65 million to support reforms in Kosovo*
€65 million to support reforms in Kosovo*

10/01/2013

Brussels, 10 January - "These new funds reflect our commitment to assist Kosovo on its path towards the European Union. More effective public administration and judiciary, better integration of minorities and education, as well as economic development are key priorities in this regard. Our funding will support the necessary reforms, bringing tangible benefits to citizens," said Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle after the European Commission has allocated €65 million to support Kosovo's efforts to implement its EU-reform agenda.

 
European Endowment for Democracy
European Endowment for Democracy

09/01/2013

Brussels, 9 January - 'I see the Endowment for Democracy as a strengthened effort, supporting democratisation and peaceful forces that work for democratic changes to happen, supporting the actors of change in our neighbourhood, the emerging players that face obstacles in accessing European Union funding. With this new initiative we are sending a clear message of solidarity to the peoples of the Neighbourhood, assuring them that their democratic aspirations and their fight for human rights will be heard and supported by the European Union. The European Union can also bring its experience and know how to help them address the challenges of transition from authoritarianism to democracy.' said Commissioner Füle on the occasion of the second meeting of the Board of Governors of the European  Endowment for Democracy in Brussels.

 
Press statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with  Hovik Abrahamyan, President of the Armenian National Assembly
Press statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Hovik Abrahamyan, President of the Armenian National Assembly

09/01/2013

Brussels, 9 January - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Mr. Hovik Abrahamyan, President of the Armenian National Assembly in Brussels today.The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss how to accelerate the reform and modernisation of Armenia for the benefit of the country and its citizens and how the EU can support those changes. Commissioner Füle commended the recent developments in EU-Armenia relations, notably the good progress on the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement and the signature of last December's Visa Facilitation Agreement.

 
EU-Jordan Association council: about reforms and also Syria
EU-Jordan Association council: about reforms and also Syria

19/12/2012

Brussels, 19 December – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated in the Association Council with Jordan in Brussels today. After the plenary session he made this remarks to the press:  "The  European Union is fully behind Jordan's political, economic and social reforms and these are not words only. We can back it up with concrete measures.

 
The EU´s support for Integration of the Maghreb countries
The EU´s support for Integration of the Maghreb countries

19/12/2012

Brussels, 19 December – In further response to the transformation of the countries of the Southern Mediterranean, the High Representative and the European Commission issued today a Joint Communication setting out proposals to support the five countries of the Maghreb in their efforts towards closer cooperation and deeper regional integration. Although rich in development potential and joined by common cultural and linguistic ties, the Maghreb is one of the least integrated regions in the world. Studies have repeatedly shown that the removal of barriers in the region could have significant economic benefits as well as help in common efforts to combat instability and address a number of regional challenges including by promoting socio-economic development, combating climate change, protecting the environment and developing clean, sustainable energy.

 
EU-Georgia: New government but continuity in relations
EU-Georgia: New government but continuity in relations

18/12/2012

Brussels (18th December) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle attended the EU-Georgia Cooperation Council in Brussels today and made the following remarks to the press: "Let me welcome our Georgian friends to Brussels today.  Our meeting comes only three weeks after High Representative Ashton visited Georgia, and only a month ago Prime Minister Ivanishvili and President Saakashvili were in Brussels.  A few weeks before that, I was myself in Georgia.  So this meeting should be seen as part of a pattern of intensified EU-Georgia relations. We take this relationship very seriously, it is important to us.

 
Montenegro: EU negotiations entering into real substance
Montenegro: EU negotiations entering into real substance

18/12/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle participated in the Intergovernmental Conference and the Stabilisation and Association Council with Montenegro. After the session he said this to the press: "This is the first Stabilisation and Association Council with Montenegro since we started the accession negotiations in June. I am particularly pleased that it coincides with the Inter-Governmental Conference which was able to open and provisionally close the first chapter in the accession negotiations with Montenegro, Chapter 25 “Science and Research”.

 
EU- Iceland: Moving the accession process forward
EU- Iceland: Moving the accession process forward

18/12/2012

Brussels, 18 December – At the 8th intergovernmental conference on accession of Iceland held in Brussels today, six more negotiation chapters were opened and the competition chapter was provisionally closed. The chapters opened cover the areas of free movement of goods, taxation, regional policy and external relations. In the statement to the press Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle underlined that the negotiations with Iceland are moving steadily forward and added: "It was a week ago, on 11 December, that the General Affairs Council in its conclusions on the enlargement strategy stated that 'Iceland's accession is a matter of mutual benefit' and underlined the commitment of all the Member States to move the negotiating process forward. The Council also concluded that the areas of mutual interest between the EU and Iceland are growing, including in the fields of renewable energy and climate change, and in view of the strategic importance of the EU's Arctic policy.

 
EU-Armenia: "More for more" bringing results
EU-Armenia: "More for more" bringing results

17/12/2012

Brussels, 17 December - Commissioner Štefan Füle participated at the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council in Brussels today. The meeting provided opportunity to review the bilateral relations and developments over the last year and define challenges and ambitions for the forthcoming period. Commissioner Füle said the following at the press conference after the Cooperation Council: "I said already in September in Yerevan that we managed to move our agenda to a higher level. And this Council only confirms that Armenia and the EU get closer to each other in concrete ways: There are already some specific achievements – a short while ago we have signed the Visa Facilitation Agreement and protocol concerning Armenia's participation in EU programmes. For people this is a visible and tangible result of our close partnership.

 
EU-Azerbaijan: Interest to develop cooperation based on values
EU-Azerbaijan: Interest to develop cooperation based on values

17/12/2012

Brussels, 17 December - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated at the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council in Brussels today. This meeting provided the opportunity for frank and open discussion. It took place at the end of a very intensive year for bilateral relations. Commissioner Fule said the following at the press conference after the Cooperation Council: "We are glad to see Azerbaijan and the European Union moving closer to each other. Our cooperation is bearing fruit. In the energy sphere - which is an area of strategic partnership - significant steps have been taken on the Southern Energy Corridor.

 
EU confirms enlargement as its key policy
EU confirms enlargement as its key policy

12/12/2012

Brussels, 11 December – "The European Union has clearly confirmed the will to maintain the momentum of enlargement as one of its key policies," Commissioner Štefan Füle said on Tuesday in Brussels after the General Affairs Council adopted conclusions on enlargement. The Foreign and European  Affairs Ministers of the Member States endorsed the main themes of the Commission´s Enlargement strategy adopted last October and expressed themselves on the way forward for the countries in the accession process.

 
Human rights and civil society in South Neighbourhood key pillar of EU policy
Human rights and civil society in South Neighbourhood key pillar of EU policy

10/12/2012

Brussels, 7 November – "Our commitment to improve the human rights situation and to support the civil society remains strong and proves to be even more important in the light of the current developments in the Southern Neighbourhood," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said to the representatives of the  Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) today. They met in Brussels to share views on the state of human rights almost two years after the start of the Arab Spring. The implementation of the revised EU Neighbourhood Policy and new EU Human Rights Strategy in the region were also discussed.

 
EU-Armenia: Role of the opposition in moving relations forward
EU-Armenia: Role of the opposition in moving relations forward

06/12/2012

Brussels, 6 December 2012 - Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with representatives of Prosperous Armenia, the biggest opposition party in the National Assembly of Armenia, in Brussels today. Reforms related to the European agenda and the implementation of OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in the context of the forthcoming presidential elections were discussed at the meeting. The Commissioner appealed for a critical, but constructive engagement of the opposition with the authorities in the process. On the issue of the on-going negotiations for the Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, he called on his interlocutors to build multi-partisan consensus around reforms which are needed for effective future implementation of the Agreement.

 
EU – Algeria: more interaction – better relations
EU – Algeria: more interaction – better relations

06/12/2012

Brussels, 6 December 2012 - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Poilicy Štefan Füle, participated today in the EU - Algeria Association Council. Following the meeting he said: "As the Minister has just said, we had a very good debate, touching on many issues. And I would recall what I stated already in March in Algiers: the more intense the interactions we have among ourselves, the better our relations will be – and today´s session just confirmed that. Our relations are now strong enough to enable us to embrace the whole spectrum of issuesbetween us, and to speak in confidence.As the Minister said, we have appreciated the ongoing reform process and repeated the readiness of the EU to support it through a tailor-made approach to Algeria's own needs.

 
Turkey: Š.Fule with Justice Minister on efforts to move reforms forward
Turkey: Š.Fule with Justice Minister on efforts to move reforms forward

06/12/2012

Brussels, 6 December 2012 - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin in Brussels today. The meeting comes six months after they jointly put in place the Positive Agenda working group on the chapter on judiciary and fundamental rights and Commissioner Füle thanked Minister Ergin for his continuous efforts to bring forward important reforms in these areas. "These efforts have already resulted in key reforms such as the 3rd judicial reform package, the law on the ombudsman institution, and the submission of legislation guaranteeing the use of mother tongue in courts," he said and added: "We remain engaged and strongly support your work, Minister, since it is the results exactly on these fronts which can move Turkey forward."

 
Civil Society Forum one of the most dynamic elements of the Eastern Partnership
Civil Society Forum one of the most dynamic elements of the Eastern Partnership

29/11/2012

Stockholm, 29 November 2012 - European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle took part in the fourth assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Stockholm on Thursday. He addressed the meeting of over 200 representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) from Eastern European countries and the European Union. Representatives of civil society from six partner countries and their counterparts from the European Union discussed further the contribution of the Forum to the implementation of the Eastern Partnership. The participants exchanged views on the further steps to be undertaken, in particular in the areas of freedom of media and combating corruption. They also discussed the role of civil society in ensuring free and fair elections in Eastern European countries.

 
Encouraging High Level Dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Encouraging High Level Dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina

27/11/2012

Sarajevo, 27 November 2012 - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, participated today in the 2nd meeting of the High-level Dialogue on the Accession Process (HLDAP) with Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in Sarajevo. After the session attended by the leaders of the main political parties of BiH he made the following statement: ''Thank you for the very important and constructive meeting we had today. Our second meeting of the High Level Dialogue for the Accession Process is a clear signal of the EU's continuous commitment to your country and its people. Many political, economic and social reforms will be needed in the next years in the framework of European integration.

 
Š. Füle in Zagreb: We want Croatia to be a success story
Š. Füle in Zagreb: We want Croatia to be a success story

26/11/2012

Zagreb, 26 November 2012 - Press statement by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy Štefan Füle at the end of his visit to Croatia where he had meetings with Croatian President, Ivo Josipović, Prime Minister, Zoran Milanović, Deputy Prime Minister, Neven Mimica and President of the Parliament, Mr Josip Leko. ''It is good to be in Croatia and to see how the country is changing on its way to becoming the next member of the European Union. I had very good talks today with the President, Speaker of the Sabor, Prime Minister, and Deputy Prime Ministers. We discussed our last Comprehensive Monitoring report on completing the preparations for membership and the actions that Croatia must take in order to meet all the outstanding commitments and to be fully prepared in time for accession. Only few months remain to deliver results; this is the final lap.

 
EU-Azerbaijan: Potential to develop ties based on values
EU-Azerbaijan: Potential to develop ties based on values

23/11/2012

Brussels, 23 November 2012 - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mammad-Quliyev to discuss openly and frankly a range of bilateral and regional issues. They agreed that both sides wish to continue to strengthen their bilateral relations. Commissioner Füle stressed that the EU needs an Azerbaijan furthering its democratic development fully in line with the European Neighbourhood Policy based on common values and interests. "We have seen an intensification of our relations: we are making progress in the negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission. Our strategic partnership on energy is developing and we welcome the recent ratification of the two agreements on the construction and operation of the Transanatolian Pipeline, essential for the realization of the Southern Corridor," Commissioner Füle said.

 
Visit to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina next week
Visit to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina next week

23/11/2012

Brussels, 23 November 2012 - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Croatia on Monday. He will meet the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister  of Foreign and European Affairs, and the Deputy Prime Minister for Home, Foreign and European Affairs to discuss the completion of Croatia's preparations for the EU entry. He will also speak at the Western Balkans Civil Society Forum. The visit takes place few weeks after the European Commission published the Comprehensive Monitoring Report on Croatia where it assessed the work done in its preparations for EU-membership and identified areas where increased efforts are required in the coming months. From Croatia Commissioner Füle will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The purpose of his visit there is the second round of the High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process (HLDAP). It will focus on the implementation of the Road Map agreed at the first meeting of HLDAP on 27 June in Brussels and on the necessary follow-up.

 
Serbia: good work in improving the judiciary
Serbia: good work in improving the judiciary

23/11/2012

Brussels, 23 November 2012 - Commissioner Štefan Füle met in Brussels today Serbian Minister of Justice and Public Administration, Nikola Selaković, to discuss Serbia's Justice and Public Administration progress towards EU integration. "As a candidate country, Serbia is expected to align its Justice and Public Administration with the EU acquis and to fight efficiently against corruption. I am encouraged to see what has been achieved under the leadership of the Serbian Minister of Justice and Public Administration since our last meeting in October. This progress provides a good basis for updating Member States before the December European Council.", underlined Commissioner Füle. The European Commission is eager to advise and support Serbia in these efforts which is why Commissioner Füle attaches great importance to a confident and close cooperation with the Minister of Justice and Public Administration.

 
The European Parliament adopted the KOPPA Report on Enlargement
The European Parliament adopted the KOPPA Report on Enlargement

22/11/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle was discussing the enlargement with the members of European Parliament during the debate on the report by MEP Maria-Eleni Koppa ‘’Enlargement - policies, criteria and the EU's strategic interests’’. Commissioner Fule welcomed the report's acknowledgements that enlargement is an important EU policy and appreciated its balance assessment on the principles of conditionality as well as maintaining momentum of enlargement. In the concluding remarks he passionately outlined the reasons why enlargement still matters.

 
Renewed EU support to economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community
Renewed EU support to economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community

22/11/2012

Today the European Commission approved new financial assistance for the Turkish Cypriot community. The €27.2 million programme will focus on promoting the economic integration of the island, with the overall objective to help prepare for its reunification. "This new funding reflects the firm commitment of the European Union to the economic integration of the Turkish Cypriot community; through dialogue and mutual enrichment between the two communities we are continuing the support for the future reunification of the island", commented Commissioner Štefan Füle. The funds will support a wide range of sectors, including eradication of animal diseases, protection of the environment, road safety, cultural heritage and civil society. Students, teachers and NGOs will be among the main beneficiaries of the programme.

 
EU-Turkey: Discussion with Minister Bağis about perspectives in the accession process
EU-Turkey: Discussion with Minister Bağis about perspectives in the accession process

20/11/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle met with Turkish EU Minister Bağis in Strasbourg today to look at how the accession process of Turkey could be moved forward. At their first meeting after the publication of the Commission's Enlargement Strategy and Progress Report on Turkey, Commissioner Füle emphasised the importance of EU-Turkey relations as highlighted in these documents as well as in the statement by the Reform Monitoring Group in Turkey of 11 November 2012. He also called for a new momentum in the accession negotiations. "Both sides made it clear that they understand what is at stake: we need to work even harder now to create momentum, allowing us to reach our common goal" Commissioner Füle said.

 
Privileged Partnership: moving EU - Tunisia cooperation to a higher level
Privileged Partnership: moving EU - Tunisia cooperation to a higher level

19/11/2012

Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the  EU-Tunisia Association Council: "I have already said several times to our Tunisian friends that we want to see your transformation succeed. The European Union's offer remains substantial. We are keen to continue helping you to achieve the goals of the revolution: to strengthen democracy and to help the economy. When I was in Tunis last July I outlined four concrete point of our assistance: Privileged Partnership and a New Action Plan, negotiations of trade agreements, a new agreement in the aviation area to boost tourism and proposing a mobility partnership. Today we are delivering on the first one. We are serious with our promises.

 
Joint statement by HRVP Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Commission Oli Rehn and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the decision to allow Kosovo* to join EBRD
Joint statement by HRVP Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Commission Oli Rehn and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the decision to allow Kosovo* to join EBRD

16/11/2012

On Friday the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development decided to allow Kosovo to become a member of EBRD, without prejudice to the positions of EBRD members on the status of Kosovo. Catherine Ashton, High Representative/Vice-President; Olli Rehn, Vice-President for Economic and Monetary Affairs, and Stefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, welcomed the decision: "We welcome this decision by the Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This will allow Kosovo to benefit from greater financing and will contribute to promoting Kosovo's socio-economic development. This is another step that will help Kosovo tackle the challenges on its European path. We will work closely with the EBRD to ensure maximum impact of our respective support for the benefit of the people of Kosovo."

 
Statement of Commissioner Š.Füle on the decriminalisation of defamation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Statement of Commissioner Š.Füle on the decriminalisation of defamation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

15/11/2012

"I welcome the removal of insult and defamation from the Criminal Code and the adoption of a Law on Civil Liability for Insult and Defamation. The decriminalisation of defamation is a significant step in the context of freedom of expression and the media, which is a cornerstone of any democracy. This was a key target under the High Level Accession Dialogue between the European Commission and the Government. The delivery of this ambitious reform demonstrates the good level of cooperation that has been established. I particularly welcome the fact that these legislative changes have resulted from consultation between the government and the Association of Journalists, as well as expert advice sought from the Council of Europe. The Commission will monitor closely the implementation of the new provisions by the national courts. We encourage the national authorities to continue their dialogue with the journalists within the Working Group on Media, in order to address other issues relating to freedom of expression and the media."

 
EU-Egypt: True partnership for people and transformation
EU-Egypt: True partnership for people and transformation

15/11/2012

Remarks at the end of the EU-Egypt Task Force meeting in Cairo: ''The European Union remains committed to strengthening relations with the new Egypt under the framework of the new Neighbourhood policy that we redefined in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Our support and assistance need to be targeted and based on the priorities defined by our Egyptian partners. We are keen to support the transformation and modernisation of Egypt and match it with the necessary funds. Let me outline our financial assistance for Egypt: We have the National Indicative Program for Egypt amounting to €449 million for years 2011-2013. For this year we still have €130 million in grants. For the next year there is €157 million allocated.

 
New EU financing agreements to support transformation in Egypt
New EU financing agreements to support transformation in Egypt

14/11/2012

The EU has promised further support for the transformation in Egypt at the first meeting of the EU- Egypt Taskforce in Cairo on Wednesday. Part of the overall package are 3 financing agreements signed between the EU and Egypt. 1.The financing agreement for the Cairo Metro is to support the construction of the Third line of the underground system. This will help to boost economic growth by increasing the mobility and access of the socially disadvantaged population to education, jobs and services as well as reducing urban congestion, road accidents and pollution in the city. It is expected to positively affect 1,3 million people.

 
Egypt: Success of transformation depends also on active civil society
Egypt: Success of transformation depends also on active civil society

13/11/2012

‘Let me start by addressing three fundamental questions: Why does civil society matter?; Where does it matter?; What needs to be done so that it can perform its role for the benefit of society? I think the role of the Civil Society lies in generating ideas, being a bridge between society and the authorities, having an important role in monitoring and delivering on the reform process.

 
Egypt: New EU support for job creation and vocational training for young people
Egypt: New EU support for job creation and vocational training for young people

13/11/2012

"Our new support is responding directly to the crucial demands expressed by young people in Egypt during the Arab Spring last year and we are committed to helping to provide Egyptian citizens with new job opportunities, which is one of the top priorities of the new Egyptian leadership" said Commissioner Štefan Füle. The total value of both programmes is €120 million, where €70 million is marked for programme to create jobs and €50 million for vocational training.

 
Meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili
Meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili

12/11/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met Prime Minister Ivanishvili today in Brussels. Mr Ivanishvili made his first overseas visit as Prime Minister. The Commissioner welcomed Prime Minister Ivanishvili’s reaffirmation of Georgia’s path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. He underlined the strong desire of the European Union to move quickly ahead, in close co-operation with both the new Government and the Presidency of Georgia, on the broad programme of negotiations and reforms which will lead to Georgia’s political association and economic integration with the European Union. In this context, he called on the Prime Minister and the President to continue to interact effectively during their period of cohabitation, building on the cooperation they already achieved and bearing in mind their respective constitutional roles.

 
Joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections in Ukraine (28 October 2012)
Joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections in Ukraine (28 October 2012)

12/11/2012

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, issued today the following statement: "After our initial statement following 28 October election day in Ukraine, we have followed closely the vote count, tabulation and the announcement of the consolidated results. We express our concern about the conduct of the post electoral process, which was marred by irregularities, delays in the vote count and lack of transparency in the electoral commissions. This comes in addition to the lack of response to the shortcomings and problems identified already earlier by the OSCE-ODIHR interim reports. Taken together, this represents deterioration in several areas compared to standards previously achieved.

 
EU to invest €81 million to support key reforms in Albania
EU to invest €81 million to support key reforms in Albania

12/11/2012

"For several years now, Albanian citizens have shown strong support for their country's accession to the EU. They know their daily lives will improve while their country moves forward on the path towards the EU. Further progress will depend on Albania's capacity to strengthen this common national objective and deliver on reforms. The EU is committed to assist Albania achieve this goal and I am confident that this year's programme will visibly encourage a sustained pace of reforms in the country", stated Commissioner Füle today after the EU announced it will invest €81 million to support key reforms in Albania. The funds will be used to address key priorities such as the reform of the judiciary, fight against organised crime, and the reform of the public administration system. They will also help improve Albania's transport infrastructure, modernise water and sanitation systems, and set up a range of services for social inclusiveness.

 
Support for the unsupported: The European Endowment for Democracy
Support for the unsupported: The European Endowment for Democracy

12/11/2012

Today, the European Commission allocated € 6 million to ensure the swift launch of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The allocation will finance the establishment and initial functioning of the Endowment, which was conceived in the framework of the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy. Its aim is to help political parties, non-registered NGOs, trade unions and other social partners in a coherent, concerted effort to promote deep and sustainable democracy as well as respect for human rights and the rule of law. Commissioner Štefan Füle noted on this occasion: "The European Union is recognised in our neighbourhood as an important supporter for all those fighting for Democracy, Human Rights, and the establishment of a pluralistic society. The EED will be an important new actor and I hope that the contribution decided today, together with those of the Member States, will lead to the establishment of an effective, efficient organisation, and a swift start of its operational activities".

 
Germany:  Discussing enlargement with Minister Westerwelle
Germany: Discussing enlargement with Minister Westerwelle

09/11/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Berlin today to discuss the enlargement process of the European Union and to exchange views in the light of the December European Council. "The key priority for us is to maintain the credibility of the accession process and to strengthen it by making sure that the aspirant countries deliver on the necessary criteria and commitments" Commissioner Füle said. He explained the Commission´s assessment of the progress of the countries of the Western Balkans in the accession process including the recommendations the Commission made in its Enlargement Strategy last month. Commissioner Füle stressed his determination to continue the close cooperation and discussions with the Member States on maintaining the momentum of the enlargement process as one of the most successful EU policies and the main driver of reforms in the countries in the accession process.

 
Commissioner Füle on accession process with German parliament
Commissioner Füle on accession process with German parliament

09/11/2012

"I am confident about the readiness and capacity of the Croatian government to deliver on the outstanding issues so that Croatia is ready to enter the EU on the 1st of July next year,  as foreseen in the Accession Treaty," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said to the a group of members of Bundestag in Berlin today. Commissioner Füle visited the German parliament to exchange views with parliamentarians dealing with enlargement from all political sides. He was discussing the preparedness of Croatia for EU entry as well as the progress achieved in the accession process by other countries of the Western Balkans. "I am glad to see discussions about enlargement in the member states and their parliaments because this allows them to take the necessary decisions on how to proceed in the accession process with individual partner countries, so that at the end of this process we have new members who strengthen the EU and don't weaken it," he told the members of Bundestag.

 
€63 million to bring Kosovo* closer to Europe
€63 million to bring Kosovo* closer to Europe

09/11/2012

"Reforms to increase the efficiency of the judicial system, improve public administration and promote a more dynamic and resilient private sector are the key priorities of our assistance in Kosovo. This not only helps Kosovo move closer to the EU, but it also aims to bring about real change in Kosovo society for the benefit of all its citizens", stated Commissioner Štefan Füle on 9 November as the European Commission announced that it has allocated €63 million to support Kosovo's efforts to implement its EU-reform agenda. The funding earmarked is included in the 2012 annual programme for Kosovo under the EU's Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), and will be topped up with an additional €20 million of co-financing by Kosovo authorities and other donors.

 
Meeting with Rolf Wenzel, Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank
Meeting with Rolf Wenzel, Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank

08/11/2012

"I expressed my support for the work of the Bank and its role in mitigating the impact of the financial crisis in its countries of operation. The Governor and I agreed that structural cooperation between the EU, the CEB and other financial institutions is important and should be fostered", said Commissioner Füle. "I also stressed the Commission's intention to put more emphasis on financial support towards socio-economic development in the countries benefiting from pre-accession assistance (IPA) as well as those participating in the European Neighbourhood Policy. We both agreed that the Bank's experience in social sector projects would be of great benefit", he concluded.

 
Strengthening the cooperation on the rule of law
Strengthening the cooperation on the rule of law

08/11/2012

A further strengthening of cooperation between the European Commission and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) was discussed by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and the President of PACE, Jean-Claude Mignon, at their meeting in Brussels on Thursday. Commissioner Füle expressed his appreciation for the very good and efficient cooperation particularly with regard to the implementation of political criteria, democratic principles, rule of law and human rights in the countries of the enlargement area and in the neighbourhood, as well as in helping these countries to deliver on the aspirations of their people. "We are interested in strengthening our cooperation with the Council of Europe and with the Parliamentary Assembly on these issues. Our interaction especially with the Council of Europe's Venice Commission on this, is going to be even more important in the very near future," Commissioner Füle said.

 
New European Commission civil protection initiative in Euro-Mediterranean region
New European Commission civil protection initiative in Euro-Mediterranean region

08/11/2012

The European Commission announced today the launching of a new civil protection programme in the Mediterranean region, building on the achievements of the successful Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters (PPRD). The new programme will start in the spring of 2013 and will run until 2016. It was announced at a high-level conference in Brussels which marked the completion of the current PPRD programme.

 
Press statement following the meeting of Commissioner Füle with Marina Adamovich and Natalia Pinchuk
Press statement following the meeting of Commissioner Füle with Marina Adamovich and Natalia Pinchuk

07/11/2012

The conditions of imprisonment of political prisoners in Belarus and the European efforts to achieve their release and rehabilitation were the main topics of the meeting in Brussels on Wednesday between Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle with the wives of two of the political prisoners, Marina Adamovich and Natalia Pinchuk. Commissioner Füle underlined that the issue of the political prisoners is at the top of the EU agenda. "I fully understand the personal suffering of your husbands and your families," he said. "I call once more on the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and rehabilitate all political prisoners. I also urge the authorities to refrain from exercising pressure on and subjecting political prisoners to inhumane conditions." Commissioner Füle stressed that any positive change in the EU's relations with the Belarusian authorities depends on this issue.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with President of the Vojvodina Assembly István Pásztor
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with President of the Vojvodina Assembly István Pásztor

07/11/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle and the President of the Vojvodina Assembly, István Pásztor met in Brussels on 7 November 2012 to discuss Serbia's European Integration and arising challenges, particularly at local and provincial level. Commissioner Füle and President Pásztor discussed the challenges for local and provincial authorities such as Vojvodina. Commissioner Füle highlighted that  the Commission had welcomed the adoption of the Vojvodina Statute as a way forward towards the implementation of the Serbian 2006 Constitution and it is expected from the Serbian authorities, at both state and provincial level, to continue working in line with the Constitutional and legal provisions and in a cooperative manner. "We are keen to see Vojvodina continuing to remain a positive reference when it comes to decentralisation and local self-government matters as well as minorities' issues. The Commission will continue to further closely monitor developments on these aspects", Commissioner Füle stated.

 
EU-Turkey: With Minister Davutoğlu about new momentum in mutual relations
EU-Turkey: With Minister Davutoğlu about new momentum in mutual relations

07/11/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Brussels today to discuss the state of relations between Turkey and the European Union. It was their first meeting after the adoption of the Progress Report on Turkey and the Commission's Enlargement Strategy Paper. "We have focused on the follow-up to the Progress Report and discussed ways how to regain momentum in Turkey's accession process," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting and emphasized the crucial importance of the EU-Turkey relations: "On the one hand, the EU remains the main anchor for Turkey's economic and political modernisation. On the other, Turkey remains a key partner for the EU, considering the country's dynamic economy, its strategic location and its important regional role for the EU's foreign policy and energy security. Clearly, both sides will benefit from further development of these links," he said.

 
Bulgaria: Key role in advancing enlargement in the region
Bulgaria: Key role in advancing enlargement in the region

31/10/2012

Sofia (31st October) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Bulgaria on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in the area of enlargement and the way forward for the countries in the accession process in the context of the recent Progress reports. At the press conference after the meeting with Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov in Sofia, Commissioner Füle said: "I had a very frank and constructive discussion with the Foreign Minister and earlier I had good meetings with the President, Prime Minister, and members of the Parliament.The European Union is still facing consequences of the economic and financial crisis, and in response is addressing its problems and is deepening its integration.

 
Ukraine: Joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections
Ukraine: Joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections

31/10/2012

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made the following statement today: "We followed closely the pre-electoral period and Sunday’s voting process in Ukraine. The turnout shows the Ukrainian citizens’ attachment to a democratic and pluralistic society. Vote counting is not yet fully completed.

 
EU enlargement on screen wins Silver in Cannes
EU enlargement on screen wins Silver in Cannes

26/10/2012

A video promoting enlargement of the European Union has won Silver at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards in the category of informational films. The Cannes Awards celebrate the best corporate films, on-line media and TV documentaries. Under the slogan 'So similar, so different, so European' the clip shows just how surprising and fascinating Southeast Europe can be. The region has undergone considerable changes in recent years. Stimulated by the perspective of EU membership, the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey have been transforming their societies, implementing a series of thorough reforms and introducing European standards. Croatia, the best example of the transformative power of EU enlargement in the region, is set to become the 28th Member State on 1 July 2013.

 
New initiatives to boost private investment in the Neighbourhood region announced
New initiatives to boost private investment in the Neighbourhood region announced

25/10/2012

Two new initiatives to boost private investment in the Neighbourhood region were presented today at the Strategic Board meeting of the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) in Brussels: "the Investment Security in the Mediterranean Region (ISMED) Support Programme" and "the ISMED Risk and Cost Sharing Toolkit of the NIF"."I welcome the ISMED Support Programme as a concrete example of our good cooperation with the OECD and I am very glad that today we are launching a new toolkit under the Neighbourhood Investment Facility to support private investments in the entire Neighbourhood region. These innovative tools are designed to help our partner countries to attract much needed investments from the private sector for large infrastructure projects more effectively. This should  have a positive impact on growth, jobs and the daily life of people in the region", stated Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle on the occasion. The two new initiatives could leverage resources from European Public Finance Institutions and private investors of at least €2 billion for different infrastructure projects in the Neighbourhood region.

 
Moldova’s European perspective
Moldova’s European perspective

23/10/2012

EU-Moldova Forum, Berlin:  "Moldova has changed, and continues to change quickly. At the same time, the European Union-Moldova relationship is deeply transforming Moldovan society, and for good. As Moldova comes closer every day to the European Union, I have a dream of a Republic of Moldova, prosperous, loyal to our values, consolidated, modernised, and re-integrated into the European family. But it is more than a dream. It is a real prospect, solidly grounded in hard work and in pro-active diplomacy, which makes the European Union-Moldova relationship a solid, reliable, efficient and beneficial partnership. I want to praise Moldova, its government and its citizens, for their remarkable commitment to our joint initiatives – be they in the area of trade, visas, or political dialogue and coordination." See Commissioner Füle’s speech by clicking on 'more'.

 
Commission welcomes green light for negotiations with Kosovo* on EU programmes
Commission welcomes green light for negotiations with Kosovo* on EU programmes

22/10/2012

The European Commission welcomes the Council's decision authorising the Commission to start negotiations with Kosovo for a framework agreement enabling Kosovo to participate in EU programmes. Once the agreement has been negotiated and signed, Kosovo will have the possibility to participate in all EU programmes that are open to all other countries in the Western Balkans. "This is a welcomed move which brings Kosovo a step closer to benefiting from EU programmes, like all other Western Balkans countries. We will now start negotiations with Pristina on the draft framework agreement in consultation with the Council," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said.

 
EU-Georgia: Appreciation of the historic transfer of power
EU-Georgia: Appreciation of the historic transfer of power

18/10/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourghood Policy Štefan Füle visited Georgia on Thursday to discuss ways forward in EU´s cooperation with the country after the recent parliamentary elections. He has met with the designate Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and number of the designate Ministers of the incoming government. Later tonight he will also meet President Mikhail Saakashvili and representatives of the civil societz. Speaking at the press conference Commisioner Füle outlined the content of his talks in Tbilisi: "We came to Georgia with Helga Schmid, the deputy secretary general of the EEAS, on behalf of the High Representative Catherine Ashton. I am glad to be in Georgia so soon after the elections and just a few days after the Foreign Ministers of the EU discussed the peaceful transfer of power based on the decision of the voters in a democratic ballot and after the Ministers repeated our readiness to support Georgia in getting closer to the EU.

 
EC and UN Women launch new partnership on women’s empowerment
EC and UN Women launch new partnership on women’s empowerment

17/10/2012

The European Commission and UN Women today launched Spring Forward for Women, a new joint regional programme for the South Mediterranean Region. The programme aims to support national and regional stakeholders to empower women economically and politically in the context of the progress that has followed the Arab Spring. The new programme was signed by European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director Policy and Programmes, John Hendra. "Women in Tunisia and Libya were at the forefront of their revolutions. Arab women, like all women around the World, have a crucial role in shaping the evolution of their societies and hence the future of their countries. We need to ensure that women's voices remain at the heart of the transformation process, so that Southern Mediterranean countries continue to strengthen the inclusive nature of the transition and respond to the calls of Arab women for Dignity. I hope that Spring Forward will be a significant boost in this endeavour." said Commissioner Füle at the event.

 
Montenegro: After successful elections full focus on negotiations
Montenegro: After successful elections full focus on negotiations

16/10/2012

"I would like to congratulate the winning coalition from Sunday's parliamentary elections. I also wish to congratulate Montenegro and its citizens on the peaceful conduct of the elections which were held in a peaceful and pluralistic environment and in a professional and transparent manner; although in line with the assessment of OSCE-ODIHR, further confidence-building is needed. These elections took place just four months after the opening of accession negotiations with Montenegro, which marked a new chapter in our relations. The country's leadership has now received a strong mandate to pursue the goal of EU membership with equal commitment. I am now looking forward to the early resumption of work in the parliament and the prompt constitution of a new government. With this popular mandate, the Montenegrin government now has a full term to pursue the work on the country's EU agenda.

 
Explaining Feasibility study in Kosovo
Explaining Feasibility study in Kosovo

12/10/2012

''I hope I am not going to reveal any secret referring to our previous discussion when I said that not only I feel more and more comfortable being not only a spokesperson for the enlargement policy but also for Kosovo's achievements in this area.I am very pleased to be back in Pristina, I was here the last time on the 10th of September only couple of weeks ago. And yet this is another important and positive moment for Kosovo", stated Commissioner Štefan Füle on 12 October at the press conference following his meeting with Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of Republic of Kosovo in Pristina.

 
Joint statement by High Representative/ Vice-President Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the upcoming elections in Ukraine
Joint statement by High Representative/ Vice-President Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the upcoming elections in Ukraine

12/10/2012

“The parliamentary elections to be held on 28 October will be a litmus test of Ukraine’s democratic credentials. We therefore welcome the authorities’ stated commitment to work closely with the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission and to ensure that the elections will be conducted in line with international standards. The electoral law adopted in November 2011 must be fully respected and applied in a way that maintains confidence in the fairness of the electoral process. All parties and candidates must benefit from a level playing field and from a conducive election environment", stated Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy on 12 October.

 
Presenting the 2012 Enlargement Package
Presenting the 2012 Enlargement Package

10/10/2012

Today the European Commission recommends for a fourth time to open accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It recommends granting EU candidate status to Albania subject to completion of key reform steps, and proposes negotiating a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Kosovo*once it has made progress in fulfilling a number of short term priorities. The Commission also confirmed that Croatia is on track in its membership preparations. In a set of annual reports, the Commission also assesses the progress towards EU accession made elsewhere in the Western Balkans, Turkey, and Iceland over the past year. For more info see all available documents by clicking on the news.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle on Belgrade 2012 Pride Parade ban
Statement by Commissioner Füle on Belgrade 2012 Pride Parade ban

04/10/2012

I have taken note with regret of the Serbian authorities' decision to ban the Belgrade 2012 Pride Parade, for the second year in a row, on security grounds.  I have been closely following this issue over the past days, in close contact with the EU Delegation in Belgrade and with members of the European Parliament as well as with the HR/VP Ashton. The European Commission is strongly attached to the values enshrined in the EU Treaties and Fundamental Rights Charter, especially when it comes to respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of assembly and freedom of expression and non-discrimination on the basis of gender, racial or ethnic origins, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability and age.

 
Supporting societies in democratic transition
Supporting societies in democratic transition

03/10/2012

Today, the European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President Catherine Ashton have made proposals on improving the EU's support to countries undergoing major political, social and economic reforms – so-called transition countries. Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy Stefan Füle commented: "This new Communication offers a comprehensive overview of tools we are placing at the disposal of our partners. Though it is for our partner countries to lead and drive their own transition process, the EU can draw on its tools and experience with transition both inside and beyond its frontiers, to accompany them on this challenging journey towards deep democracy and a sustainable and inclusive growth model"

 
Tunisia: more EU support for judiciary and health care
Tunisia: more EU support for judiciary and health care

02/10/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated today at the lunch offered by President José Manuel Barroso to Prime Minister of Tunisia Mr Hamadi Jebali. On this occasion, the Commissioner discussed the political situation in Tunisia, and the development of the democratic transition. Commissioner Füle stressed the need for Tunisia to consolidate human rights and fundamental freedoms, noting in particular the need to strengthen guarantees on freedoms of expression and association, and the rights of women. During the meeting the state of bilateral relations was reviewed, in particular the final steps of the negotiations on the EU Tunisia action plan for a privileged partnership. It was agreed that both sides would do their utmost to reach an agreement on this action plan in time for the next EU Tunisia Association council which is scheduled to take place on 19 November.

 
New financing agreements for reforms in Armenia
New financing agreements for reforms in Armenia

27/09/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and Prime Minister of Armenia, Tigran Sargsyan, signed two new financing agreements between the European Union and Armenia in Yerevan on Thursday. Totalling €43 million, the two agreements focus on institution building and will support the negotiations and implementation of the future EU-Armenia bilateral agreements: the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area and Visa Facilitation/Readmission Agreement.  "I believe we are preparing the ground for an Armenia which is a state with more citizen-friendly institutions, an attractive investment destination and better conditions for those businesses which want to take advantage of new market opportunities,” Commissioner Füle said after signing the documents.

 
In Armenia about reforms and EU support
In Armenia about reforms and EU support

26/09/2012

Yerevan (27th September) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Armenia where he met with political representatives of the country as well as with the civil society. In all meetings he reaffirmed that Armenia is an important partner for the EU, appreciated its efforts to further strengthen the relationship with the European Union and its active engagement within the Eastern Partnership. Commissioner Füle also encouraged further reform efforts in the country. In his meeting with Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan Commissioner Füle stressed the need for Armenia to pursue the path of reforms with the active support of the EU based on the so called “more for more” principle, meaning more support for more reforms and more progress. Click on the newsitem title to see the Commissioner's speech.

 
Croatia: On the road to efficient and well-functioning judiciary
Croatia: On the road to efficient and well-functioning judiciary

25/09/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met the Croatia's Minister of Justice Orsat Miljenić in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the country´s final preparations for EU membership in the field of judiciary and fundamental rights. Commissioner Füle welcomed the determination of the Minister to pursue the reform of the judiciary and to maintain the focus on the commitments taken during the accession negotiations. He stressed that a well-functioning judiciary is crucial for Croatia's capacity to apply the EU acquis and to uphold the rights of its citizens. The Minister presented his plans for increasing the efficiency of the Croatian judiciary and they also discussed the issues of the independence of judges and fight against corruption.

 
Birthday wishes for imprisoned Belarusian human rights activist A.Bialiatski
Birthday wishes for imprisoned Belarusian human rights activist A.Bialiatski

25/09/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has sent a message to one of Belarusian political prisoners, the human rights activist Ales Bialiatski who is celebrating his 50th birthday today. "I am sorry to convey my birthday wishes to you to a place where you definitely do not belong," Commissioner Füle wrote. "I am sending you the message of our continuing support for your cause. You have become a visible and powerful symbol of all the failures of the regime when it comes to respect of European values and human rights. There is nothing to justify the treatment you are facing. On every occasion we repeat our demand to the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and rehabilitate you," reads the birthday message to Mr Bialiatski who has been in prison since August 2011 and sentenced last November to four and half years in a penal colony for his human rights activities. On the occasion of Mr Bialiatski's birthday Commissioner Füle recalled the fact that the normalisation of the EU´s relations with the Belarusian regime cannot take place unless all political prisoners are released and rehabilitated.

 
Meeting with Neven Mimica, Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia
Meeting with Neven Mimica, Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia

25/09/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met the Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia Neven Mimica today in Brussels to discuss the country's final preparations for EU membership. They expressed their common commitment to a successful and well-prepared accession on 1 July 2013. Commissioner Füle was encouraged by the fact that overall Croatia is on track in its preparations for membership. Discussions focussed on the upcoming comprehensive monitoring report that will be adopted by the Commission on 10 October and in particular on issues identified in the chapters on competition policy, judiciary and fundamental rights as well as justice, freedom and security. The Commissioner emphasised the importance of the translation and revision of the acquis in time for accession.

 
Statement by the High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections in Belarus
Statement by the High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections in Belarus

24/09/2012

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made the following statement: "Yesterday’s parliamentary elections represent yet another missed opportunity to conduct elections in line with international standards in Belarus...

 
EU-Ukraine: Taking stock of the state of play and necessary reforms
EU-Ukraine: Taking stock of the state of play and necessary reforms

24/09/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Valeriy Khoroshkovsky in Brussels today. The meeting provided an opportunity to review the state of EU-Ukraine relations, focusing on issues that currently stand in the way of taking full advantage of the bilateral relationship and moving forward on the basis of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

 
Commissioner Füle and Minister Selaković about challenges of the judicial reform
Commissioner Füle and Minister Selaković about challenges of the judicial reform

24/09/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and newly appointed Serbian Minister of Justice and Public Administration, Nikola Selaković, met in Brussels today to discuss Serbia's progress towards EU integration in the Justice and Public Administration sectors."As a candidate country, Serbia is expected to align its Justice and Public Administration sectors with the EU acquis. I am encouraged to see this objective at the heart of the action of the new Serbian Minister of Justice and Public Administration", said Commissioner Füle. The European Commission is ready to advise and support Serbia in these efforts which is why Commissioner Füle attaches such great importance to a confident and close cooperation with the Serbian Minister of Justice and Public Administration.

 
Meeting with Marian Lupu, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova
Meeting with Marian Lupu, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova

24/09/2012

"We discussed the progress achieved by our close partner country in its structural reforms, and the importance of their further consolidation. I underlined the importance that the EU attaches to the reform of the judiciary and law enforcement systems, and the importance of strengthening the fight against corruption and improving the business and investment climate. I praised the Moldovan Parliament for the adoption of the law on equal opportunities in May, which was crucial to allowing further steps in the EU-Moldova dialogue on visa liberalisation. I  reassured Mr Lupu that the EU shares the same vision of the reform priorities which are critical to ensuring the long-term prosperity and stability of the Republic of Moldova and the European Union will continue to support his country in its challenging reform efforts.

 
Trilateral meeting between the European Commission, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Trilateral meeting between the European Commission, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

19/09/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle chaired a trilateral meeting of the European Commission with delegations of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina led by Foreign Ministers Vesna Pusič and Zlatko Lagumdžija to discuss the issues related to the forthcoming accession of Croatia to the EU and its impact on Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the Commission's side the meeting was also attended by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, Johannes Hahn, Sim Kallas and John Dalli.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Edi Rama, Chairman of the Socialist Party of Albania
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Edi Rama, Chairman of the Socialist Party of Albania

19/09/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met the Chairman of the Socialist Party of Albania Edi Rama today in Brussels to discuss the latest developments in Albania's EU integration process. Commissioner Füle commended the real efforts made by both government and opposition to strengthen the cooperation in the context of institutional reforms, which have made possible a number of positive developments in the last months.

 
Albania: Real progress after delivery on key priorities
Albania: Real progress after delivery on key priorities

18/09/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood  Policy Štefan Füle met with the President of Albania, Bujar Nishani, in Brussels today to discuss the latest developments in Albania´s integration process.  Commissioner Füle congratulated President Nishani on his appointment recalling the key role of the President in promoting cross-party dialogue and the continuation of the reform process in the country based on inclusivity. He stated that Albania has a real perspective for progress on its European path, provided the country delivers a critical mass of concrete results in addressing the 12 key priorities from the Commission´s Opinion.

 
In Skopje for the third round of the High Level Accession Dialogue
In Skopje for the third round of the High Level Accession Dialogue

17/09/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle participated in the third round of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD) in Skopje by attending the session of the National Council for European İntegration where he exchanged views with its members on the accession process and reforms undertaken in the framework of the HLAD. He also met the Speaker of the Parliament Mr Trajko Veljanoski before starting the working session of the Dialogue with the Prime Minister  Gruevski and Members of the Government in which they discuss the results and the achievements from previous rounds of the Dialogue and stress that the reform momentum will need to be maintained in order to ensure full implementation of the roadmap, including regular reviews and the necessary adaptations as appropriate.

 
Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Elmar Brok and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle after the meeting with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukoivch on the 14th September 2012 in Yalta.
Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Elmar Brok and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle after the meeting with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukoivch on the 14th September 2012 in Yalta.

14/09/2012

"When we met President Yanukovich one year ago we were focusing on the EU-Ukraine relations and obstacles which stood in the way to take full advantage of the great potential of our relationship. At the meeting today we have stressed the following: There should be no room for a pause in the EU-Ukraine relations and no room for compromise on values. The issue of selective justice needs to be addressed in order to move ahead to a new level of our relations through the Association Agreement. We regret that the consequences of the current situation will prevent two important leaders of the opposition from standing in parliamentary elections following trials which did not respect international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process. The legitimacy of the future parliament will depend on the conduct of the elections which need to be free and fair, in accordance with high international standards. In this context we stressed the importance of the freedom of the media."

 
9th Yalta Annual Meeting: "Ukraine and the World: Addressing Tomorrow’s Challenges Together"
9th Yalta Annual Meeting: "Ukraine and the World: Addressing Tomorrow’s Challenges Together"

14/09/2012

"It is the Ukrainian citizens who will be at the centre of this project building democracy, unity and prosperity in their country. I want to be clear – we want to sign and implement the Association Agreement, but we can only do it if we have a confirmation that our European values will be upheld and respected."  See the Commissioner's speech by clicking on the webnews.

 
Kosovo's European Future
Kosovo's European Future

11/09/2012

"After the end of the supervised independence there will be more, not less, European Union in Kosovo. We are committed to support your efforts and we are determined to play an even more prominent role than we did so far. […] When there is a strong consensus within society to push through the hard but necessary reforms, the European Union keeps its commitments. It also confirms that the road to enlargement facilitates reconciliation and helps to resolve the remaining challenges of the region", stated Commissioner Štefan Füle on 10 September in Pristina, Kosovo, in a speech at the dinner marking the end of the supervised independence.

 
Kosovo: Commissioner Füle in Pristina about challenges ahead
Kosovo: Commissioner Füle in Pristina about challenges ahead

10/09/2012

The Commissioner  for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, will participate at an event in Pristina tonight to mark the end of supervised independence of Kosovo. He will deliver a key note speech at the dinner stressing the support of the European Commission for Kosovo´s European future and underlining the need to continue with EU-related reforms. Commissioner Füle will speak about the engagement of the European Commission with Kosovo, where there has been considerable progress in several areas over the past few months: the Commission launched the visa dialogue with Kosovo in January, the Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law was started in Brussels in May, and the three cycles of the Stabilisation and Association Process Dialogue were completed in July.

 
Montenegro: New demanding phase in EU process
Montenegro: New demanding phase in EU process

06/09/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro Nebojša Kaluđerović in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the negotiation process for EU membership. "The opening of accession negotiations in June was a fair recognition of the impressive progress Montenegro has made in the reform process," Commissioner Füle said. "With all appreciation for the work already done, however, accession negotiations are a very demanding process and Montenegro needs to continue with the same commitment. Constitutional reform, overall strengthening of judicial independence, and the fight against corruption and organised crime are among the most important issues," he added. "Due attention also still needs to be paid to open regional and bilateral issues."

 
Meeting with Ivica Dačić, Prime Minister of Serbia
Meeting with Ivica Dačić, Prime Minister of Serbia

04/09/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle and the new Prime Minister of Serbia, Ivica Dačić met today in Brussels to discuss Serbia's European Integration. Prime Minister Dačić confirmed Serbia's ambition to open accession negotiations with the European Union as soon as possible. After the meeting, Commissioner Füle commented: "We had a fruitful discussion and I encouraged Prime Minister Dačić in his objective and re-affirmed that the European Commission is eager to continue supporting Serbia's European Integration."

 
Meeting  with Edmond Panariti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania
Meeting with Edmond Panariti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania

04/09/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Štefan Füle, met today with Mr Edmond Panariti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania. Commissioner Füle and Minister Panariti discussed the latest developments regarding Albania's EU integration process and its role in the region. Commissioner Füle commended the genuine efforts made by both government and opposition to strengthen the cooperation in the context of institutional reforms and welcomed the positive developments achieved recently.  He notably referred to the consensual adoption of the revised electoral code as an important step, which brings the November 2011 political agreement close to full implementation.

 
Meeting with Gjorge Ivanov, President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Meeting with Gjorge Ivanov, President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

04/09/2012

President Ivanov and I have discussed the recent developments in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The President has given me a full update. I welcomed the efforts of the President and of the coalition partners to resolve the open questions and to find a way forward. I underlined that the government should move on and focus on the opportunities ahead. In particular, the government needs to deliver the key reform measures which are set out in its Roadmap, in the framework of the High Level Accession Dialogue. Action to further strengthen inter-ethnic relations is needed, on the basis of the full implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Freedom of expression should be strengthened through the decriminalisation of defamation. The electoral framework should be revised, in line with international and European standards.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland on the Road Map for Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU membership application and the execution of the European Court of Human Rights’ "Sejdić and Finci" judgment
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland on the Road Map for Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU membership application and the execution of the European Court of Human Rights’ "Sejdić and Finci" judgment

03/09/2012

"The Council of Europe and the European Commission note with great disappointment that the institutional and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina missed the first timeline for implementing the Road Map and did not submit their joint proposal on the basis of political agreement to the Parliamentary Assembly for making the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("Sejdić and Finci" judgment) by 31 August, as they agreed at a meeting in Brussels on 27 June.

 
Joint statement by High Representative/ Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle, on EU-Georgia relations and the upcoming elections
Joint statement by High Representative/ Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle, on EU-Georgia relations and the upcoming elections

03/09/2012

We wish to reaffirm that Georgia is an important partner for the European Union and we are committed to further deepening our very dynamic relations. The Association Agreement negotiations, including the deep and comprehensive free trade part, as well as the recently opened visa dialogue with Georgia are characterised by good progress. We confirm our commitment to sustain the pace with a view to completing the negotiations on the Association Agreement next year. Regarding mobility, our aim is to table a Visa Liberalisation Action Plan by the end of this year. Georgia’s challenges ahead include consolidation of democracy, the spreading of the benefits of growth, and achieving a broader inclusion of marginalised groups that are key to the sustainable development of Georgian society.

 
Meeting with Suzana Grubješić, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European integration
Meeting with Suzana Grubješić, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European integration

30/08/2012

"I am delighted to welcome to Brussels today Mrs Suzana Grubješić, the new Serbian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European integration,We had a very constructive first meeting on the priorities of the new government. I am glad to see that the new Serbian administration is now fully back at work and actively pursuing its strategic European priority.  As a candidate country, Serbia is expected to continue its road to EU integration. I am encouraged to see this objective at the heart of the programme of the new Serbian government.

 
European Commission announces new support for agriculture and food safety in Georgia
European Commission announces new support for agriculture and food safety in Georgia

28/08/2012

In the framework of the Eastern partnership the European Commission has provided new funding to modernise Georgia's agriculture, as well as build up the institutions responsible for preparing its political association and economic integration with the EU. The first part of the programme will provide support to Georgia's agriculture sector, with a particular focus on small farmers’ associations. It will help prepare government institutions to respond more effectively to the needs of the rural economy. It will also support private farmers’ associations, strengthen cooperation among farmers, and increase food safety through training and technical advice.

 
European Commission allocates new funding for judicial reform and economic integration in Armenia
European Commission allocates new funding for judicial reform and economic integration in Armenia

28/08/2012

The European Commission  adopted the Annual Action Programme 2012 for Armenia in the framework of the Eastern Partnership, accelerating justice reform and preparing the ground for increased bilateral relations, political association and economic integration with the EU.  The new assistance will include: new training opportunities for key national institutions, providing expert advice and best practice,  setting up of schools for lawyers, judges and prosecutors. The overall goal is an independent, transparent and effective judiciary to serve the Armenian people, and builds on the EU's previous support to judicial reform in Armenia.

 
European Commission announces support for justice and migration in Azerbaijan
European Commission announces support for justice and migration in Azerbaijan

24/08/2012

The European Commission today announced new funding for Azerbaijan to help reform the institutions responsible for bilateral relations with the EU; in particular those in the areas of justice and migration. This support will contribute to the implementation of the actions agreed in the context of the EU Azerbaijan Action Plan, including in streamlining the visa application process, which will help to increase mobility for Azerbaijani people.

 
L'Union européenne se mobilise pour protéger l'environnement en Algérie
L'Union européenne se mobilise pour protéger l'environnement en Algérie

16/08/2012

La Commission européenne a adopté un programme ambitieux de €34 millions en faveur de l'environnement en Algérie. En se focalisant sur la protection de la zone côtière algéroise, qui abrite près de 5 millions d'habitants, le programme vise, en partenariat avec les autorités algériennes, à placer l'environnement et la lutte contre les conséquences du changement climatique (par exemple dans l'aménagement du littoral) au cœur des politiques de développement du pays.

 
L'Union européenne soutient l'accès à la santé pour 4 millions de personnes en Tunisie
L'Union européenne soutient l'accès à la santé pour 4 millions de personnes en Tunisie

06/08/2012

La Commission européenne a adopté un nouveau projet d'une valeur de 12 millions d'euros visant à réduire les inégalités d'accès à la santé dans 13 régions les plus défavorisées à l'Ouest et au Sud de la Tunisie qui représentent 40% de la population tunisienne. Ce projet bénéficiera directement à 4 millions de personnes en augmentant significativement l'accès aux soins de santé de base, la qualité des soins et les conditions d'accueil dans les centres de santé. Les actions principales du projet couvrent l'achat d'équipements pour les services ambulatoires; l'acquisition de nouveaux véhicules pour le transport médical et un renforcement des capacités du Ministère de la Santé.

 
Increased EU support for the Moroccan Government’s sectoral reforms
Increased EU support for the Moroccan Government’s sectoral reforms

30/07/2012

The Commission has adopted its 2012 action programme for Morocco. With a total budget of EUR 112 million, the programme is designed to support the Moroccan Government’s reform efforts in two areas: on the one hand, forest management and protection and, on the other, public administration and the management of government finances. In the view of Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, "these new allocations accurately reflect the priorities of the EU-Morocco partnership in the new neighbourhood policy: more effective government action in closer touch with the people of Morocco, plus Moroccan regional development, with a balanced use of the country’s natural resources".

 
Skopje and Brussels discussed progress of accession process
Skopje and Brussels discussed progress of accession process

24/07/2012

The European Union and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have jointly reviewed the progress of the accession process at the Association Council in Brussels on 24 July. The priority areas under the High Level Accession Dialogue were also discussed. "We see that a lot of work has been launched and that some results are starting to be achieved. It is now time to continue on the good path, and follow up on the commitments which have been made," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said after the meeting. "This is the way to achieve a positive climate later this year when the Member States will take decisions about the enlargement process," he added at the press conference with the Cyprus EU Presidency and representatives of the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

 
EU-Israel: Solidarity and determination to exploit joint relations
EU-Israel: Solidarity and determination to exploit joint relations

24/07/2012

"The European Union is committed to proceed further with bilateral cooperation with Israel," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said after the meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council on Tuesday in Brussels. "We have reviewed the main common achievements of the past year: ranging from trade relations, to agriculture, Israel’s participation in the EU internal market, transport and social affairs, besides of course our strong on-going partnership on scientific research and development," he added noting that the concrete achievements over the past year and the scale of specific proposed activities are a clear indication of how strong and vibrant the relations were despite some occasional difficulties.

 
EU steps up support to reforms in public broadcasting
EU steps up support to reforms in public broadcasting

24/07/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and President of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Jean-Paul Philippot signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing closer cooperation in assisting the reform of public broadcasters in the countries that aspire to join the EU. Welcoming the agreement Commissioner Füle said: "The EU enlargement process is about assisting the aspirant countries with their transformation and reaching European standards in all areas of life. For the challenging task of helping public broadcasters with the reform, we have an important ally with the necessary expertise and experience, the EBU, with whom we share the same goals of promoting freedom of expression and public service media."

 
Belarus: With independent journalists about European future
Belarus: With independent journalists about European future

18/07/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with journalists from Belarusian independent media in Brussels today to discuss the situation in Belarus, the EU’s policy towards the country and the European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarusian society. "The Belarusian independent media fulfil a crucial role in the state dominated media landscape in Belarus and have been one of the main victims of the authorities’ crackdown on independent opinions after the 2010 Presidential elections. The independent media deserve all of our support in these difficult times," Commissioner Füle said. "I welcome that the independent media follow closely developments in EU-Belarus relations, including with regards to the European Dialogue on Modernisation," he added. The Dialogue aims to discuss the vision of a modern Belarus with the civil society and democratic opposition as well as the necessary reforms in the country and possible EU support in this regard.

 
Lebanon: next steps towards finalising the Action Plan of cooperation with the EU
Lebanon: next steps towards finalising the Action Plan of cooperation with the EU

18/07/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Lebanon's Minister of Economy and Trade, Nicolas Nahas, in Brussels today to discuss details of the Action Plan which will guide mutual cooperation and the EU´s support for the country.The Action Plan reflects the revised European Neighbourhood Policy under which the EU provides assistance and help to its partners based on their ambitions and progress in reforms. "With Minister Nahas we agreed on the timelines for the next steps to finalise the new Action Plan as soon as possible and I appreciate the very good work done by our Lebanese partners in the framework of the Neighbourhood Policy over the last year. The speed of this is unprecedented compared to previous years," Commissioner Füle said.

 
Informal Belarus Donors' Coordination Meeting
Informal Belarus Donors' Coordination Meeting

12/07/2012

The European External Action Service and the European Commission today organised in Brussels a meeting of international donors on Belarus. The meeting brought together state actors, international organisations and representatives of civil society involved in assistance projects in Belarus. The event is part of the EU's continued effort to increase the effectiveness of aid in the current challenging circumstances in Belarus. Speaking after the meeting, Commissioner Štefan Füle said "International assistance can make a big positive difference for the Belarusian people in these difficult times. This is why the EU has taken the lead in coordinating the efforts of international donors towards Belarus. Today’s meeting allowed us to exchange views and share assessments in order to maximise our assistance."

 
Georgia's European Way – the EU and its European Neighbours
Georgia's European Way – the EU and its European Neighbours

11/07/2012

Batumi Conference - "The transformation of Georgia in recent years has set an important example which has attracted the right kind of international attention. But we need to keep our eyes on the road, and to keep going in the right direction."...

 
Tunisia: Further concrete EU support for transition
Tunisia: Further concrete EU support for transition

10/07/2012

Tunis (9th July) - "Tunisia is the best and most tangible example of how the 'more for more' principle works in support of democratic transformation in our neighbourhood," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy Štefan Füle said during his talks in Tunis, where he reiterated the EU's commitment to help Tunisia to build its democracy. "We want to see your transformation succeed," he said in the meeting with the Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali. "We stand ready to facilitate the economic and social development in your country, to accompany the process of strengthening the democracy and to support your reforms," Mr Füle added...

 
Official visit to Tunisia - 9/07/2012
Official visit to Tunisia - 9/07/2012

06/07/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Tunisia on  Monday, 9  July,  for the 3rd time since the revolution to discuss EU-Tunisia relations and further EU support to democratic transition in Tunisia. During his visit he will sign two  financing agreements  by which the EU will provide support to improve the competitiveness of the services sector  (20 million euro) and  support the role of civil society in Tunisia  (7 million euro). He will also sign financing contracts with local Civil society organisations.

 
Montenegro: Opening of negotiations big step towards EU membership
Montenegro: Opening of negotiations big step towards EU membership

29/06/2012

Brusssels (29th June) - The accession negotiations with Montenegro started in Brussels today. After the European Council has endorsed the decision of the General Affairs Council from last Tuesday, the Intergovernmental conference with Montenegro took place in Brussels under the Danish Presidency on Friday and the process was officially launched.  Here are the remarks of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle at the press conference after the Intergovernmental conference.

 
EU-Belarus: Commissioner Füle met with Aliaksandr Milinkevich
EU-Belarus: Commissioner Füle met with Aliaksandr Milinkevich

29/06/2012

Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood, met with Aliaksandr Milinkevich, leader of the Belarusian opposition Movement for Freedom, in Brussels today to discuss the current situation in Belarus, prospects for the September  parliamentary elections in Belarus, and EU-Belarus relations.

 
EU-Georgia: Meeting of Commissioner Füle with President Saakashvili
EU-Georgia: Meeting of Commissioner Füle with President Saakashvili

28/06/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili met in Brussels today to discuss EU-Georgia relations. Commissioner Füle acknowledged that Georgia has made remarkable progress in its modernization and reform efforts. New and more efficient state institutions have been built and the services to the citizens of Georgia are improving.  The EU is supporting and will continue to support these efforts within the instruments of the Eastern Partnership. "It is also clear that Georgia needs to take further steps and continue this path of modernization and to consolidate democracy. The parliamentary election in October and presidential elections in 2013 will be important test cases for Georgian democracy and we encourage all political forces to respect the electoral process and make sure that the voting is free and fair," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting.

 
EU-BiH: Start of the political dialogue on accession
EU-BiH: Start of the political dialogue on accession

27/06/2012

The European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) held the first ever meeting of the High Level Dialogue on the accession process in Brussels on Wednesday. The purpose of the Dialogue is to start a process with the country to explain the EU accession process in both political and technical terms. "You started the political dialogue on EU accession process here today," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle summarised the result of the discussion which produced joint conclusions and a Roadmap for BiH's EU membership application.

 
Meeting with Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Vlad Filat
Meeting with Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Vlad Filat

26/06/2012

"I met today with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Vlad Filat.  I commended the Moldovans for the undisputable progress achieved by them: progress towards political stabilisation, with the election of President Timofti and the return of the Communist opposition to Parliament; progress in reforms, with the adoption of much-needed laws and strategies; progress on the Transnistria issue, including the personal investment of Prime Minister Filat and the leader of Transnitria Schevtchuk. We agreed the priorities to sustain the very active dynamics of EU-Moldova relations. We acknowledged the good spirit prevailing in our Association Agreement negotiations and the progress made since in talks on our future deep and comprehensive free trade area, which will deepen Moldova's economic integration with the EU.

 
EU-Turkey: intensifying work on positive agenda
EU-Turkey: intensifying work on positive agenda

22/06/2012

Remarks at the press conference following the Association Council with Turkey: ‘’We had a very extensive and friendly exchange of views covering the whole range of EU-Turkey relations. I have underlined that political reforms remain at the core of the accession process and that the work launched on implementing the 2010 Constitutional reform package as well as the new process to reform the constitution are steps in the right direction."

 
Iceland: keeping the fast pace in negotiations
Iceland: keeping the fast pace in negotiations

22/06/2012

Remarks at the press conference following the Intergovernmental conference on Iceland's Accession to the EU: "Only one year after the first chapters have been opened, we have now an impressive balance of 18 chapters opened of which 10 have already been provisionally closed. This is a very good achievement. It is actually more than that, it is the fastest any other country has moved since 2006 when the renewed consensus on enlargement was adopted."

 
Š. Füle opens the restored Bandabulya (old market) in Nicosia
Š. Füle opens the restored Bandabulya (old market) in Nicosia

20/06/2012

Today in Nicosia Commissioner Füle opened the Bandabuliya (Old Market)  which is one of the several urban upgrading projects funded by the European Union. The opening took place after Š. Füle met with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community and discussed the need to reach comprehensive solution to the division of the island. See the opening speech at the market by clicking on the webnews.

 
Cyprus: Š. Füle on EU Presidency and settlement
Cyprus: Š. Füle on EU Presidency and settlement

20/06/2012

Stefan Füle started his 2 day visit to Cyprus with talks with President Demetris Christofias, Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and the leader of the DISY political party Nicos Anastasiades. They spoke about forthcoming presidency and the settlement of the Cyprus issue. Today Commissioner Füle  will meet representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community and will open the Bandabuliya (Old Market). Yesterday evening he met with party political leaders from both communities to whom he spoke about the need to reach comprehensive solution to the division of the island. Click on the news title to see the speech... 

 
EU-Ukraine: Not explanations but actions needed to address EU´s concerns
EU-Ukraine: Not explanations but actions needed to address EU´s concerns

14/06/2012

"The European Union has ambitious plans for its relations with Ukraine and wants traction in them, not distractions," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said in Strasbourg on Thursday. He was speaking about the EU´s expectations concerning Ukraine at the meeting of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. He stressed that both sides were currently at a critical moment in their relations. "We believe it is more important than ever to maintain a very focused and continuous dialogue with Kyiv. But I would prefer to spend my time talking about how to speed up reforms and how to support reforms, rather than fire-fighting and reacting to negative news stories which put Ukraine on the front pages but not in the way we would like to see," Mr Füle added and explained: "The European Union no longer wants explanations from Ukraine, it wants visible action, and in particular in three areas: elections, addressing the problem of selective justice and accelerating reforms."

 
EU-Serbia: Commissioner Füle met new President Nikolić
EU-Serbia: Commissioner Füle met new President Nikolić

11/06/2012

"What a special day to be here. I have come to participate at the inauguration of President Nikolić to express the trust we have in Serbia to remain and advance on the road to the European Union. I also came because we share the same dream to see Serbia in the European Union one day. I appreciate that President Nikolić will come for his first official visit abroad to Brussels on Thursday, where he will meet High Representative Catherine Ashton, Council President Herman van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. Serbia is now a candidate country and the next logical step would be the start of accession negotiations. I'd like underline that there is clarity, transparency and consistency in what is expected from Serbia so that the European Commission can recommend negotiations to start", remarked Commissioner Štefan Füle after the meeting with the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolič in Belgrade on 11th June.

 
European Commission adopts special measure to support Syrian population and refugees
European Commission adopts special measure to support Syrian population and refugees

08/06/2012

The European Commission has today adopted a special measure for Syria, under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) to enable a rapid, simple response to the most pressing needs of the Syrian population and Syrian refugees. In addition to the humanitarian assistance already provided by the Commission, the special measure will help to respond to the crisis situation in Syria itself and in areas affected by the influx of refugees in neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan. Actions carried out as part of the special measure will be wide in scope and may include the delivery of basic and specialised education and health services, support to livelihoods, capacity building (such as training of NGOs and activists), support to the media, cultural activities and civil society. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, said: "While the international community must continue to support Kofi Annan's plan and use all its influence to stop the violence and begin a transition, the European Union remains strongly committed to supporting the Syrian people in this time of suffering. We need to deliver all the support we can."

 
EU-Turkey Political Dialogue
EU-Turkey Political Dialogue

07/06/2012

"I would like to thank Foreign Minister Davutoğlu and Minister of EU Affairs Bağis for the open and good discussion we had during the last three hours. It has shown once again that we share many common objectives - the most important of them: keeping the EU-Turkey relations on a positive track, in the spirit of the positive agenda which we have launched in Ankara few weeks ago. This positive agenda being not a substitute to the accession talks but a way to put them back on track. The launch of positive agenda, as well as the meeting today, proves once again that we want to engage together and we want to solve problems together. We want to re-vitalise and re-energise our relations and we are doing it right now. We deserve dialogue. We deserve joint solution. We deserve positive agenda", remarked Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle at the press conference after the Political Dialogue at Ministerial Level in Istanbul.

 
EU-Croatia Stabilisation and Association Council
EU-Croatia Stabilisation and Association Council

06/06/2012

“Today’s Stabilisation and Association Council with Croatia is the 8th one since we started the accession process with Zagreb and it might possibly be the last one before the accession of Croatia. Since our previous meeting in April last year, Croatia made substantial progress: closed the negotiations, signed the Accession Treaty, approved it in the referendum and ratified it in the Parliament. We are almost there: having Croatia as the next new member of the European Union (when the ratification process in the Member States is completed). But: there is still work to be done and we had a good discussion today to assess the progress on Croatia's last preparations for membership", stated Commissioner Füle today following the meeting of the EU-Croatia Stabilisation and Association Council.

 
The EU and Eastern European Partners strengthen their dialogue
The EU and Eastern European Partners strengthen their dialogue

05/06/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid, took part in the first meeting of the informal Eastern Partnership dialogues in the Moldovan capital Chisinau today.   The meeting was hosted by Iurie Leanca, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova and attended by representatives of five other Eastern Partnership countries. The format of informal dialogues was suggested by the Commission and the High Representative with the aim to further advance the implementation of the Eastern Partnership.

 
Globalisation testing EU´s integration model
Globalisation testing EU´s integration model

01/06/2012

"The current difficulties in the EU should not be seen as a sign of failure of our integration project," Commissioner Štefan Füle said in the Polish city of Wroclaw today. "The enlargement of the EU and our policy towards the neighbours could be part of the solution in addressing the challenges and difficulties," he said in his speech at the Wroclaw Global Forum. Commissioner Füle was speaking about the EU and its neighbourhood policy in a changing world and what is the impact of the global changes on European integration policy. "Globalisation does not stop at Europe´s or Schengen´s borders. It has visa-free status. Globalisation is testing if our integration model is up to the task," he noted.

 
New approach on agriculture in the Neighbourhood
New approach on agriculture in the Neighbourhood

31/05/2012

Senior agriculture officials from European Neighbourhood Policy partner countries meet today and tomorrow in Brussels to discuss the modernisation of the agricultural sector in their countries at a Conference on the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture & Rural Development (ENPARD). ENPARD is a new policy initiative, part of the EU's commitment to inclusive growth and stability in its Neighbourhood, which recognises the potential importance of agriculture in terms of food security, sustainable production and rural employment. "ENPARD will not only contribute to more employment but it will also help to improve the quality of life of people in rural areas. Moreover support to agriculture and rural development is also a key element of the EU's commitment to inclusive growth in the Neighbourhood.'' said Commissioner Štefan Füle.

 
EU-Kosovo: Further step to consolidate rule of law
EU-Kosovo: Further step to consolidate rule of law

30/05/2012

The European Commission and Kosovo have launched the Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law in Brussels today. The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle stressed it was designed to help Kosovo to address the challenges in the field of the rule of law, with the focus on the judiciary, the fight against organised crime and corruption. This is what Commissioner Füle said to the media after the session: "It was a great day today for the relationship between Kosovo and the EU and it was a great day for Kosovo. We started the Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law and at the same time, in the presence of my colleague Cecilia Malmström we have discussed the state of play on the Visa Roadmap. Everything is now set up for Cecilia to present the roadmap formally to Kosovo authorities later in June. Click on the news item title for full text and conclusions.

 
EU-Kosovo: Launch of Structured Dialogue on Rule of Law
EU-Kosovo: Launch of Structured Dialogue on Rule of Law

30/05/2012

The European Commission and Kosovo will launch today the Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law in Brussels. The Dialogue is designed to help Kosovo to address the challenges in the field of the rule of law, which is a key concern for the Western Balkans as a whole. At this stage with Kosovo, the Commission will focus on the judiciary, the fight against organised crime and corruption. Today’s launch will be attended by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström for the EU and by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Hajredin Kuçi, Minister for Internal Affairs Bajram Rexhepi and Minister for European Integration Vlora Çitaku for the Kosovo side.

 
Iceland moving steady towards EU
Iceland moving steady towards EU

25/05/2012

The next steps in Iceland´s accession process were the main topic on the agenda of the two days visit of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in Iceland. His visit coincided with the vote in the Icelandic Parliament on holding a referendum about the continuation of accession negotiations: "Iceland's fate is in its own hands and Iceland decided to maintain its move towards the EU," Commissioner Füle said following the decision of the Parliament not to hold a referendum at this point in time. He pointed out that he was generally in favour of a referendum but the work of those ones involved in negotiating Iceland's accession should also be respected and a referendum should be held once there is an offer of the accession on the table. He stressed that such an offer would take into account Iceland's specificities and would respect its identity and heritage while fully respecting the principles of the EU aquis.

 
Commissioner Füle to visit Iceland
Commissioner Füle to visit Iceland

23/05/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Iceland on Thursday and Friday to discuss efforts for the forthcoming period in the accession negotiations. Less than a year since the start of substantive membership negotiations there is steady progress with 15 chapters opened, 10 already provisionally closed and next chapters being prepared to be tackled. "Negotiations with Iceland are progressing well. We expect to open further negotiating chapters at the next Intergovernmental Conference on 22 June. Achievements so far bode well for the more sensitive issues ahead, and I hope to see progress in more policy areas by the end of the year," Commissioner Füle said in Strasbourg before leaving for Reykjavik.

 
Montenegro: Ready for accession negotiations in June
Montenegro: Ready for accession negotiations in June

23/05/2012

The European Commission has today adopted the report on Montenegro's progress in the implementation of reforms necessary to start negotiations of the EU membership.  The European Commission concludes that Montenegro has made further progress in the areas of rule of law and fundamental rights, including in the fight against corruption and organised crime. Given the degree of compliance with membership criteria, the Commission reiterates its recommendation that accession negotiations with Montenegro be opened in June. “This report shows that Montenegro is on track and ready to start accession negotiations in June," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said. "Montenegro is a very good example of how EU enlargement policy can transform societies and stimulate reforms needed to achieve European standards in all areas of life. Building on the progress achieved to date, the good work needs to continue. I hope that today's report will provide further momentum for Montenegro to step up its efforts toward European integration", he added.

 
Commissioner Füle on selective justice in Ukraine
Commissioner Füle on selective justice in Ukraine

22/05/2012

"Politically-motivated justice is a systemic problem in Ukraine, and it needs a systemic solution in the form of a comprehensive judicial reform." said Commissioner Füle today in the Plenary Session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg speaking on the situation in Ukraine and the case of Yulia Tymoshenko. Click on the webnews title for the speech.

 
Positive agenda a bridge towards accession negotiations with Turkey
Positive agenda a bridge towards accession negotiations with Turkey

18/05/2012

Ankara (17th May) - The new positive agenda intended to bring fresh dynamics into the EU-Turkey relations was launched by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and the Turkish Minister for European Affairs and Chief EU negotiatior Egemen Bağış in Ankara on Thursday. The aim of this process is to keep the accession process of Turkey going and put it back on track after a period of stagnation. "The positive agenda is a bridge but not above or around the accession negotiations. It is a brigde leading towards them," Commissioner Füle stated at the opening event for the launch of the positive agenda in the Ministry for EU Affairs.

 
Positive EU-Turkey agenda launched in Ankara
Positive EU-Turkey agenda launched in Ankara

17/05/2012

The new positive agenda intended to bring fresh dynamics into the EU-Turkey relations was launched by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and the Turkish Minister for European Affairs and Chief  EU negotiatior Egemen Bağış in Ankara on Thursday. The aim of this process is to keep the accession process of Turkey alive and put it properly back on track after a period of stagnation.

 
EU-Turkey: Commissioner Š.Füle to launch positive agenda
EU-Turkey: Commissioner Š.Füle to launch positive agenda

16/05/2012

Commissioner Füle will visit Ankara on Thursday to launch the positive agenda in EU-Turkey relations. "We want to trigger a new virtuous circle in EU-Turkey relations," Mr Füle said before leaving Brussels. "The positive agenda is not to replace, but to provide new momentum to Turkey's accession process. The objective of the positive agenda is to make concrete progress in a number of areas of joint interest where such progress is both needed and feasible." Some of the priorities include bringing Turkey's legislation closer in line with the EU's; working jointly on foreign policy challenges like Syria; cooperating more intensively on energy issues; or making travel of Turkish citizens to the EU easier. The Commission's proposed the new positive agenda in its Progress Report on Turkey last October and it was endorsed by the EU Member States at the Council in December 2011. Its goal is to give new momentum to reforms in Turkey and to enhance cooperation in a number of crucial areas of common interest, in the framework of Turkey's accession negotiation process with the EU.

 
TUSKON dinner
TUSKON dinner

16/05/2012

Two days before going to Ankara to launch the positive agenda, Commissioner Štefan Füle was speaking about the new impulses in the EU-Turkey relations. He delivered a speech at the event organised by the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey TUSKON on Tuesday night in Brussels. Click on the news title for the speech.

 
Fifteenth EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council
Fifteenth EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council

16/05/2012

"[..]It has been a serious and sometimes difficult discussion. The measures we expect from Ukraine are absolutely clear, and the goal of political association and economic integration remains our common goal and that is also absolutely clear. Our work to make this a reality should restart today in earnest. The Minister has set out very clearly how we believe Ukraine can get back on the road to political association. This message was given clearly to the Ukrainian side today." Click on the news title for the full text...

 
EU bolsters its support to reformers in its Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods
EU bolsters its support to reformers in its Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods

15/05/2012

In May 2011, in the midst of dramatic changes sweeping the Southern Neighbourhood, the EU completed a major review of its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). According to a policy of “more for more”, committed reformers in the EU’s Southern and Eastern neighbourhood would be awarded greater and broader EU support. The ENP package presented today assesses the first year of implementation of the new approach. It also proposes a roadmap for giving further impetus to the implementation of the Eastern Partnership. Over the last twelve months, the EU has responded with determination to a fast - changing situation in its neighbourhood. Click on the news title for all available documents.

 
Albania: 4th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council
Albania: 4th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council

15/05/2012

"This 4th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council was very constructive and forward looking. It was very important that there was – for the first time - also a representative of the opposition at the table, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration Mr Bushati. This is a very significant expression of the commitment of both the majority and the opposition to jointly work on the EU agenda. We acknowledged that the November 2011 political agreement reached between government and opposition and the resumption of the political dialogue and cooperation has paved the way for encouraging progress on the reform agenda." Click on the webnews title for full text

 
Meeting with the Foreign Minister of Iceland Őssur Skarphéðinsson
Meeting with the Foreign Minister of Iceland Őssur Skarphéðinsson

14/05/2012

Š Füle met with the Foreign Minister of Iceland Őssur Skarphéðinsson in Brussels today to discuss the state of the accession negotiations. They focused on the latest progress in the accession process of Iceland where so far 15 chapters have been opened of which 10 are provisionally closed and the preparations are ongoing to open further chapters next month. This reflects Iceland's own merits and its advanced stage of integration with the European Union. Commissioner Füle noted that negotiations are now going to touch more challenging chapters like agriculture, fisheries, capital controls, (regional policy, food safety, customs, taxation and environment policy areas). He will discuss these and other issues with his Icelandic partners in more detail during his visit to Iceland next week.

 
Video message by Comissioner Štefan Füle
Video message by Comissioner Štefan Füle

08/05/2012

Please click on the news item to view the video message delivered by Comissioner Štefan Füle on the occassion of Europe Day (9 May).   

 
HLAD: Brussels and Skopje enter more demanding round of Dialogue
HLAD: Brussels and Skopje enter more demanding round of Dialogue

07/05/2012

The European Commission and the Government of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia held the second round of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD) in Skopje on Monday. "Together with Prime Minister Nicola Gruevski we looked at what concrete measures have been taken since our first session on 15th March and discussed the next set of issues for the coming period," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said after the meeting. "Focus should now be on implementation of the key reforms measures by the time of the next HLAD in September," he added noting that the progress in implementation would be reviewed still before summer. Click on the webnews title for the conclusions and the press points...

 
Albania: Potential to move higher up in the enlargement process
Albania: Potential to move higher up in the enlargement process

03/05/2012

"Albania has an opportunity to take an important step in its EU accession process this year. But the pace of progress depends entirely on its performance in undertaking the necessary reforms," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy Štefan Füle said in Tirana on Thursday. "It is important to finalise the implementation of the political agreement from last November and continue with the constructive political dialogue on the issues related to the European agenda," he added when commenting on the content of the discussions with the representatives of the government and opposition. During his stay in Tirana he met with President Bamir Topi, Speaker of the Assembly Jozefina Topalli, Prime Minister Sali Berisha, several ministers, leader of the opposition Socialist Party Edi Rama as well as Ombudsman Igli Totozani.

 
In Albania to discuss reforms and European agenda
In Albania to discuss reforms and European agenda

03/05/2012

While visiting Albania today to discuss reform efforts and progress in the EU agenda with his Albanian counterparts Commissioner Fule also addressed the members of Parliament on topics important for the country´s accession to the European Union.

 
Encouraging meeting with President Nicolae Timofti
Encouraging meeting with President Nicolae Timofti

27/04/2012

"I had the pleasure to meet today Nicolae Timofti and congratulate him on his recent election as President of the Republic of Moldova. It was a timely, useful and encouraging meeting. We discussed domestic matters. In this context, we agreed that respect for the rule of law was fundamental. We also agreed how important it was to make all possible efforts to restore the cohesion of Moldovan society and to keep the reform process on track. I used the meeting as an opportunity to ask the President to strengthen the inclusivity of the reform process. I raised the issue of the withdrawal of the broadcasting license of the television channel NIT and underlined the importance of a pluralistic media landscape. The outstanding issues must be solved and same norms should apply the to all media in Moldova.

 
EU-Lebanon: Increased support for reforms
EU-Lebanon: Increased support for reforms

26/04/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati in Brussels today. "We have discussed Lebanon´s reform efforts and the EU´s assistance based on the more for more principle," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting. "For the EU it is important that Lebanon advances with reforms since they bring benefits to the people in the country and also open doors for more support and assistance from the EU," he added. Shortly beforehand, the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso announced an additional € 30 million allocation to Lebanon from the SPRING (Support for Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth) instrument, which comes on top of this year's allocation to Lebanon of € 62 million.

 
EU-Ukraine: Concerns about treatment of Ms Tymoshenko
EU-Ukraine: Concerns about treatment of Ms Tymoshenko

25/04/2012

The treatment of the imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and other former politicians was the main topic of the meeting between the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle and the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Valeriy Khoroshkovsky in Brussels today. Commissioner Füle expressed his extreme concern about the recent reports on the treatment of Ms Tymoshenko, and insisted that the Ukrainian authorities immediately clarify what had happened during Ms Tymoshenko's transfer from prison to hospital on 20 April and afterwards. The Commissioner also underlined the need for Ukraine to grant access to Ms Tymoshenko for her legal advisers, family, appropriate independent persons, and the EU ambassador to Ukraine.

 
EU supports historic step in regional cooperation between Western Balkan countries on refugees and displaced persons
EU supports historic step in regional cooperation between Western Balkan countries on refugees and displaced persons

24/04/2012

"I very much welcome the renewed commitment to the Sarajevo Process by all participating states. It is a clear sign that the region wishes to leave the past behind, without forgetting it, and move on towards the future as good neighbours. I call upon the international donors to support the region in this important endeavour", said European Commissioner Füle on this occasion.

 
Croatia: Commission has adopted the Monitoring Report on accession preparations
Croatia: Commission has adopted the Monitoring Report on accession preparations

24/04/2012

The European Commission has adopted its Monitoring Report on Croatia’s accession preparations today. This is a part of the regular 6-monthly monitoring as foreseen by the Accession Treaty. The Monitoring Report assesses the progress made by Croatia in its preparations for accession to the European Union. It covers the period between the 1st September 2011 and 29th February 2012, provides an overall assessment of the level of preparedness for membership, and highlights the areas where further efforts are necessary in order for Croatia to be fully ready for membership on 1 July 2013. Croatia has reached a considerable degree of alignment with the acquis. In most areas of the acquis, preparations for membership are well advanced. Nevertheless, the Commission has identified a limited number of issues requiring further efforts.

 
 EU-Morocco:  Preparing for the Action Plan on reforms
EU-Morocco: Preparing for the Action Plan on reforms

24/04/2012

"Morocco and the EU share the objective of a deepening and strengthening their relations on the basis of the “advanced status”. Today we took note of the very good progress achieved in the discussions on a new comprehensive EU-Morocco Action Plan which will provide us with an operational roadmap for our bilateral relations in the next five years (2012-2016). The new Action Plan will be fully in line with the political, economic and social reform agenda of Morocco and with the EU’s renewed approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy. In particular regarding our Southern partners. The Action Plan contains orientations for progressive alignment to EU legal and regulatory acquis in key areas in order to establish closer economic integration with the EU with benefits for Morocco in terms of: foreign investment, market access, competitiveness and job creation. It also contains important objectives for the consolidation of the respect of human rights and democratic principles, improved governance and a more active involvement of the civil society.

 
With Leyla Zana on political reforms in Turkey
With Leyla Zana on political reforms in Turkey

19/04/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Leyla Zana, European Parliament's Sakharov Prize Laureate for Freedom of Thought and Independent Member of The Turkish National Assembly in Strasbourg on Wednesday. After their meeting he said:  "I have appreciated the opportunity to talk to Ms Zana. We had a fruitful exchange of views on the constitutional reform, human rights, freedom of expression and protection of minorities in Turkey.  I underlined that we expect the new civilian Constitution to provide a basis for further progress regarding the respect for fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey. All political parties and sections of society are called upon to contribute constructively to the on-going work on the constitution. I also stressed that we sincerely hope that the Constitution will provide a useful and sustainable framework for further work on the democratic opening, in particular addressing the Kurdish issue.

 
Croatia: Discussing preparations and remaining task on the road to EU entry
Croatia: Discussing preparations and remaining task on the road to EU entry

17/04/2012

"Today I have met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia Neven Mimica and we had a very constructive meeting on his country's final preparations for the EU entry. We expressed our common commitment to a successful and well-prepared accession on 1 July 2013.I am encouraged by the fact that overall Croatia has continued to make progress in its preparations for membership since the closure of accession negotiations in June 2011. Our discussions focussed on the upcoming regular monitoring by the Commission. We discussed in particular issues identified in the chapters on competition policy, judiciary and fundamental rights as well as justice, freedom and security", stated Commissioner Füle after his meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia Neven Mimica.

 
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Progress and outstanding issues in EU agenda
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Progress and outstanding issues in EU agenda

17/04/2012

The key priorities for the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the EU integration process were discussed at the meeting of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zlatko Lagumdžija in Brussels today. "I have welcomed a number of recent positive developments including the adoption of the state aid and census laws which are crucial steps for progress on Bosnia and Herzegovina's European path. However there are still outstanding issues which require further efforts," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting.

 
Belarus: Further steps in Dialogue on Modernisation
Belarus: Further steps in Dialogue on Modernisation

16/04/2012

Dear Minister,Excellencies,Ladies and gentlemen,It is appropriate that we should gather here today in Poland, the birthplace of Solidarity. Like my own country, Poland knows a lot about the transition to democracy. Poland has also made a major contribution in shaping the European Union's policy towards its eastern neighbours. Nobody can be happy about the way in which the relationship between the European Union and Belarus has developed after the 19 December 2010 Presidential elections. The respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles has deteriorated seriously and so have our bilateral relations. These developments are unfortunate. However, the European Union’s policies are principled and we have reacted to the increasingly repressive policies in Belarus. We will continue with our tough approach, including restrictive measures, until all political prisoners are released and rehabilitated and steps taken towards human rights and democracy. Talking about steps, let me join the Foreign Minister radek Sikorski and say that the release of two political prisoners Mr Sannikaw and Mr Bandarenka was a step in the right direction. What is important now is that the rest of the political prisoners is released.

 
Addressing the  Euronest Parliamentary Assembly in Baku
Addressing the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly in Baku

03/04/2012

"The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly is an important element of the Eastern Partnership. There are high expectations regarding your contribution to the implementation of the Eastern Partnership. You represent people and you hold your governments to account. I believe that you can foster democratic values on which our partnership is founded and urge your governments to undertake painful, although necessary reforms." See the full speech by clicking on the news item.

 
In Baku to further EU-Azerbaijan cooperation
In Baku to further EU-Azerbaijan cooperation

02/04/2012

Š. Füle will visit Azerbaijan on Monday and Tuesday. He will use the increasing intensity of contacts between the representatives of the EU and Azerbaijan to advance further the bilateral cooperation within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and its eastern dimension - Eastern Partnership. During his meetings with the President Ilham Alijev, Speaker of the Parliament Ogtaz Asadov, Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov and other members of the government he will uderline the importance the EU is attaching to its relationship with Azerbaijan, but also the need for the implementation of the Eastern Partnership goals, including in the area of democracy and human rights. Commissioner Füle will meet representatives of the opposition, civil society and also human rights activists. While in Baku he will also deliver a speech at the session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly which is a body composed from representatives of the European Parliament and parliamentarians from five countries of the Eastern Partnership. Euronest was created last year to support and promote the Eastern Partnership.

 
European Union and Ukrainian Negotiators initial Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area
European Union and Ukrainian Negotiators initial Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area

30/03/2012

At the 15th EU-Ukraine Summit in December 2011, the leaders of the European Union and Ukraine announced that they had finalized negotiations on an Association Agreement aimed at establishing political association and economic integration between the European Union and Ukraine. This Agreement will replace the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement, in force since 1998, as the contractual basis of their relations. At the Summit, the leaders also instructed their Chief Negotiators to initial the Agreement as soon as possible.  Today the Chief Negotiators of the European Union and Ukraine initialled the text of the Association Agreement, which will include provisions on the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area as an integral part. In this context, Chief Trade Negotiators from both sides confirmed their agreement, reached on 22 December 2011, on the substance of the DCFTA, undertaking to complete the legal verification of the text, including technical annexes and protocols. 

 
Meeting with Minister of European Integration of Albania Ms Majlinda Bregu
Meeting with Minister of European Integration of Albania Ms Majlinda Bregu

29/03/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Štefan Füle, met today with Minister of European Integration of Albania Ms Majlinda Bregu. They discussed the latest developments in the EU integration process of Albania. Commissioner Füle welcomed the recent adoption by the Government of a revised Action Plan addressing the recommendations of the Commission Opinion for Albania. The Action Plan is a good basis for conducting key reforms addressing the priorities of the Commission Opinion. Albania must make full use of its capacities in order to move ahead with reforms as regards the political criteria, rule of law and human rights.

 
Launching European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarus
Launching European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarus

29/03/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle today launched the European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarusian society at a meeting in Brussels with representatives of Belarusian civil society and political opposition. This follows the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council last week welcoming the idea of launching such a dialogue with the Belarusian society. “I am glad to be able to launch a positive agenda on Belarus in these troubled times, together with representatives from the Belarusian opposition and civil society. I hope our joint and committed work will help clarifying our understanding on the vision of what a modern and democratic Belarus could look like and about what would be needed to take us there,” Commissioner Füle said after the launching event.

 
At the European Parliament on Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Kosovo
At the European Parliament on Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Kosovo

28/03/2012

Commissioner Füle took part in the debate of the European Parliament on Enlargement reports on Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Kosovo in Brussels on Wednesday. Please click on the title of the news item to read his remarks.

 
Meeting with Vladimir Filat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova
Meeting with Vladimir Filat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova

28/03/2012

"I met today with Vlad Filat, to take stock of our bilateral relations. We discussed our joint objectives for the forthcoming period. The meeting was very timely coming less than two weeks after the Moldovan Parliament elected a President of the Republic. I wish to use this opportunity to congratulate all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova on this important event. It paves the way for restoring the cohesion of Moldovan society. I also congratulated Vlad Filat on the positive dynamics of our relations and in particular on two important bilateral events which took place last week.

 
Launching of feasibility study in Pristina
Launching of feasibility study in Pristina

27/03/2012

S. Füle has officially launched a feasibility study for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo in Pristina today. He handed over the outline of the structure for the study to the president of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga at the first meeting of the newly established National Council on European Integration. Please click on the title of the news item to read the speech by Commissioner Füle.

 
Štefan Füle met Branko Grčić, Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds
Štefan Füle met Branko Grčić, Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds

27/03/2012

"I have had a very good meeting today with Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Branko Grčić. I congratulated Mr Grčić on his appointment. I look forward to our close cooperation in the future. Our discussions focused on the forthcoming Commission monitoring exercise as well as on Croatia's ongoing preparations for membership in the fields of regional policy and coordination of structural instruments. We discussed how Croatia's pre- and post- accession funds have the potential to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Croatian economy, create jobs, and raise living standards.

 
Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Musa Xhaferri
Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Musa Xhaferri

26/03/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle met with the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Musa Xhaferri of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They discussed, in particular, measures the government is taking with respect to the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. The High Level Accession Dialogue, held  on 15 March  in Skopje, addressed the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement as an integral  element of the rule of law and respect of fundamental rights in the country. The Deputy Prime Minister informed the Commissioner about progress in this area. Commissioner Füle reiterated  unequivocal support for the Ohrid Framework Agreement as a  living  pillar of the democratic and legal order of the country. Its full implementation, in a spirit of consensus,  remains the best way to ensure the functioning and the cohesiveness of this unique inter-ethnic democracy.

 
In Pristina to launch feasibility study
In Pristina to launch feasibility study

26/03/2012

The launch of a feasibility study  for  Kosovo is the main  topic  of the visit of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle to Pristina on Tuesday. The feasibility study  will  provide a comprehensive exploration of Kosovo's further integration into the EU's policy framework for the Western Balkans.Commissioner Füle will officially launch the feasibility study at the first meeting of  Kosovo's newly established Kosovo   National Council on European Integration. This  Council is an advisory and consultative body providing an inclusive forum for discussion on Kosovo's European agenda.

 
Š.Füle with Ukrainian Energy Minister Y.Boyko
Š.Füle with Ukrainian Energy Minister Y.Boyko

23/03/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Štefan Füle met with the Energy Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Boyko in Brussels late Thursday. They discussed recent developments in bilateral relations, including the text of the Association Agreement, which was finalised last December and will be initialled in Brussels on 30th March. Commissioner Füle recalled that the signature and the ratification of the Association Agreement will depend on political circumstances in Ukraine, notably in relation to respect for common values and the rule of law.

 
Montenegro: Keeping up the speed of accession process
Montenegro: Keeping up the speed of accession process

22/03/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the Prime Minister of Montenegro Igor Lukšić in Brussels on Thursday. Commissioner Füle stated that the decision of the European Council of December 2011, opening the door towards the start of accession negotiations, is a fair recognition of the progress Montenegro has made over the five years of its independence, and in particular since December 2010 when it was granted the EU candidate status. Commissioner Füle and Prime Minister Lukšić agreed that  the determination of the Montenegrin authorities to conduct ambitious reforms together with the active involvement of the parliamentary opposition, civil society and media remained key to success.

 
BiH: Moving in right direction but further efforts needed
BiH: Moving in right direction but further efforts needed

21/03/2012

Brussels (21st March) - The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Mr Bakir Izetbegović, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels today, where they discussed the latest developments in the EU integration process of his country: "I had open and frank discussion with the Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency Mr Izetbegović," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting.  "I welcomed a number of recent positive developments in the country, including the adoption of the state aid and census laws which are crucial steps for progress on Bosnia and Herzegovina's European integration path."

 
EU-Algeria: first ever election observation mission
EU-Algeria: first ever election observation mission

20/03/2012

"The EU-Algeria relations are by now strong and mature enough to enable us to embrace the whole spectrum of issues between us," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said after his two-days visit to Algeria on Tuesday. During his stay he signed two documents which will mark a new phase in the intensification of the bilateral cooperation: a Memorandum of Understanding on Election Observation and the EU-Algeria Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation. "I am happy that discussions during my visit have helped moving our relations forward," Commissioner Füle said after his talks with the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Interior, Minister of Finance, the President of the Economic and Social council and with the number of representatives of the civil society.

 
Algeria: remarks at the press conference
Algeria: remarks at the press conference

20/03/2012

"This is my third visit  to Algeria and it reflects  the agreement  between the Foreign Minister  and I that the more intensive interactions  we have,  the better our relations  will be . I am glad to be here for the third time on such a special day  for Algerian history (anniversary of the Evian agreements). Since my previous visit last May, Algeria engaged in some important reforms. I am fully aware that these reforms reflect the political willingness, at the highest level, to undertake necessary changes for the benefit of the Algerian  people . I also know that these reforms are not always an easy step to take. However, I remain convinced that they are crucial for Algeria and I wish to express the EU´s full support for this process.

 
Algeria: press statement at the airport (with  Minister of Foreign Affairs)
Algeria: press statement at the airport (with Minister of Foreign Affairs)

19/03/2012

Arriving in Algeria where he was received at the airport by the Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci S Füle made the following statement: "This is my third visit to Algeria and I am happy to say that there was good progress made in our relations since my previous visit last May. I would like to see this visit as opening ground for even more progress. Algeria is important partner for the EU and a key player in the region. I am glad to be here on the anniversary of a day of such significance for your history (Evian agreements). That is why we welcome the ongoing reform process and are ready to support it; because reform efforts are crucial in responding to the legitimate aspirations of the population and should bring benefits for all Algerian people. I look forward to the meetings with my Algerian counterparts ."

 
Start of the High Level Accession Dialogue with the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Start of the High Level Accession Dialogue with the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

15/03/2012

"Today we have opened a new phase in the European journey of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We have launched the High Level Accesion Dialogue. With it we are building a bridge which will lead us to the accession negotiations. We are creating a process which opens opportunity for all the stakeholders to be part of it. The main focus of this bridge are reforms because they will help to transform the country and brig closer the European perspective. With Prime minister Gruevski we mean business: if you look at the results of today's dialogue - it is not empty political declaration but a list of concrete conclusions and an annex with targets for diferent areas. In this list you will find concrete commitments to prepare a roadmap to address,in operational way, the five issues discussed today at the High Level Accession Dialogue. You will also find a reflexion of my commitment to come back to Skopje for this dialogue again in May and September. I look forward to working with the Prime Minister, the government and other important national stakeholders."stated commissioner Fule at the press conference in Skopje

 
In Skopje to launch High Level Accession Dialogue
In Skopje to launch High Level Accession Dialogue

14/03/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will travel to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Thursday for the inaugural session of High Level Accession dialogue. "Our aim is to support the reform process, to inject new dynamism into it and to boost the European perspective for the country." Commissioner Füle said before leaving Strasbourg where he attended the plenary debate of the European Parliament on the Progress report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

 
Š.Füle with V.Bevanda: BiH moving in right direction
Š.Füle with V.Bevanda: BiH moving in right direction

09/03/2012

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Mr Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels today, where they discussed the latest developments in the EU integration process of his country. "I had a very good discussion with the Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Council of Ministers, Mr Bevanda," Commissioner Füle said at a press conference after the meeting. "I congratulated Mr Bevanda upon his appointment as the Chair of the Council of Ministers at a crucial time for Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU integration. I have welcomed a number of recent positive developments in his country, including the adoption of the State aid and census laws, which are crucial steps for progress on Bosnia and Herzegovina's European integration path.

 
Š.Füle about the role of the UfM in EU´s efforts to help Arab Spring
Š.Füle about the role of the UfM in EU´s efforts to help Arab Spring

08/03/2012

Barcelona (8th March) – The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the new Secretary General of the Union for Mediterranean (UfM) Fatlallah Sijilmassi in Barcelona today to discuss the cooperation between the Secretariat of the UfM and the European Commission and to reaffirm support for strong regional cooperation in the Mediterranean. "The appointment of Fatlallah Sijilmassi as the new secretary general of the Union for the Mediterranean means that the Secretariat has a strong and experienced leader with all the skills to help transforming it into a catalyst for developing concrete projects and bringing tangible benefits to the people of the region," Commissioner Füle said at an event organised by The European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) where he delivered a speech on the EU´s response to Arab Spring and the role of the UfM in supporting the transition in the countries of the Southern Neighboruhood.

 
EU-Armenia: Joint work on Partnership for Reform
EU-Armenia: Joint work on Partnership for Reform

08/03/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan in Brussels today to discuss how to further strengthen the relations between the EU and Armenia. "I welcome the ambitious reform efforts of the Armenian government, covering the most important priorities of the EU-Armenian relations. It led to further intensification of our relations on both bilateral and multilateral tracks of the Eastern Partnership," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting noting i.a. the progress made in the negotiations of the Association Agreement, in preparations to the launch of DCFTA negotiations, the conclusion of the Mobility Partnership and launch of the negotiations of the EU-Armenia Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements.

 
Turkey: With TÜSIAD about reforms and positive agenda
Turkey: With TÜSIAD about reforms and positive agenda

07/03/2012

Today I met with Ümit BOYNER, President of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association TÜSIAD. We had very good and open discussion and confirmed yet again that we have a number of objectives in common, most importantly to move Turkey forward in its accession process. TÜSIAD as Turkey's biggest industrialists' association is a key partner for us when discussing reforms and European agenda in Turkey and we meet regularly to exchange our views on this.

 
Meeting with Ms Teuta Arifi, Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Meeting with Ms Teuta Arifi, Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

06/03/2012

"I met with Deputy Prime Minister Teuta Arifi today and we had very constructive discussions. We talked about the measures the government in Skopje plans to take in order to bring forward the key reforms in the near future. I repeated the commitment of the European Commission to continue supporting Skopje in its efforts. We will be launching the High-Level Accession Dialogue in Skopje on 15 March. It will give a new boost to our relations, and enhance our co-operation on the reform agenda, in particular in the five priority policy areas of freedom of expression, rule of law, public administration reform, electoral reform, and the economic criteria. I reiterated our expectations regarding further efforts in these five areas to move forward with democratic reforms and transformation.

 
Morocco: Moving forward to more dynamic relations
Morocco: Moving forward to more dynamic relations

06/03/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle received a delegation of the Economic and Social Council of Morocco (CES) in Brussels on 6 March. With the president of the CES Chakib Benmoussa he discussed the current economic and social situation in Morocco and the reforms launched there in the wake of the Arab Spring. "Full implementation of political, economic and social reforms is essential since this is the way to respond to the demands and aspirations of the Moroccan people," Commissioner Füle said at the meeting recalling the support that the EU is ready to provide for the reform efforts in the context of the “Advanced Status” of EU-Morocco relations. Commissioner Füle also noted that the positive vote of the European Parliament on the EU-Morocco Agricultural Agreement in February was an important step which paved the way for further dynamics in bilateral relations.

 
Meeting  in Prague: Strong support for Eastern Partnership
Meeting in Prague: Strong support for Eastern Partnership

05/03/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle took part in the informal ministerial meeting of the Visegrad Four (V4) Group and countries of the Eastern Partnership in Prague on Monday. "This meeting offered us a very good opportunity not only to look forward but also to look back and recall what we have achieved in Eastern Partnership so far," Mr Füle said at the press conference after the meeting.

 
Meeting  in Prague: Strong support for Eastern Partnership
Meeting in Prague: Strong support for Eastern Partnership

02/03/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle will participate at the ministerial meeting of the Visegrad Four (V4) Group and countries of the Eastern Partnership in Prague on Monday 5 March. The Danish EU Presidency, three Baltic states and High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton will also attend. "The Visegrad Four countries together with the Baltic states have been strong supporters in advancing the Eastern Partnership objectives," Commissioner Füle said before leaving for Prague where he will confirm the commitment of the European Commission to bring the partners from the Eastern Neighborhood closer to the EU. He will also stress the stronger role the civil society plays in the neighborhood policy of the EU.

 
Kosovo: Important step in relations with the EU
Kosovo: Important step in relations with the EU

01/03/2012

"At our meeting today we discussed conclusions of the General Affairs Council, which confirm the intention of the Commission to launch a feasibility study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement. This is an important step forward for Kosovo in its relations with the EU.  It will provide a comprehensive framework within which we will discuss with Kosovo all issues that are important for its path to a European future. The formula on regional cooperation agreed last week is a very important step towards  contractual relations with the EU", stated Commissioner Štefan Füle on 1 March after his meeting with Kosovo's Prime Minister Hasim Thaci, Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj and European Integration Minister Vlora Çitaku.

 
Meeting with Edmond Haxhinasto, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania
Meeting with Edmond Haxhinasto, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania

01/03/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle met today with Mr Edmond Haxhinasto, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania. Commissioner Füle and Minister Haxhinasto discussed the latest developments as regards the EU integration process of Albania. Commissioner Füle commended the positive steps of the last months, strengthening the cooperation of government and opposition in the context of institutional reforms. He underlined during the meeting: "A constructive political dialogue will ensure that Albania delivers concrete results on the implementation of the political agreement of last November, notably on electoral reform and on the reform of the parliamentary rules of procedure. Albania needs to continue progress in the fulfilment of the 12 key priorities of the Commission's Opinion, with particular emphasis in the creation of a credible track record in the areas of rule of law and fight against corruption."

 
EU increases its support to the Criminal Justice Reform process in Georgia
EU increases its support to the Criminal Justice Reform process in Georgia

29/02/2012

"Georgia has made significant progress in reforming its Criminal Justice System in the recent years. This new programme aims to build on what Georgia has achieved so far with our support; helping to reduce the prison population and further increase human rights. I am pleased to see that it will also cut down  the number of long prison sentences for young people who committed minor crimes, offering them instead alternatives such as community service, vocational training or education", said Commissioner Štefan Füle on 29 February on the occasion of the signature of the financing agreement for a new programme of support to criminal justice reform in Georgia in Brussels, together with Vice-Prime Minister of Georgia and State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Baramidze today.

 
Remarks by Štefan Füle Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy at the press conference after the meeting of General Affairs Council
Remarks by Štefan Füle Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy at the press conference after the meeting of General Affairs Council

29/02/2012

Today is a good day, not only for Serbia and Kosovo but for the enlargement process of the EU in general. I warmly welcome the recommendation of the General Affairs Council to grant candidate status to Serbia and I am confident that the decision will be confirmed by the Heads of states and Government at the European Council later this week. I equally welcome the Council noting positively our intention to initiate a feasibility study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo.

 
Ukraine: Relations with the EU at the cross-road
Ukraine: Relations with the EU at the cross-road

27/02/2012

Today we are discussing “the road ahead” for EU-Ukraine relations. This is an issue which many of you here have spent a great deal of time considering, and one about which I am particularly passionate.In many ways, the broad direction of this road has already been agreed by both sides. Our destination promises to include enhanced political association, people-to-people contacts and economic integration.We have even mapped out the path to these goals: the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda and Visa Liberalization Action Plan are in place. The Association Agreement including DCFTA are negotiated and ready for initialling.Yet there can be no doubt that significant challenges remain as we travel the road ahead. The coming year will be crucial, and there are a number of steps that Ukraine must take to make the journey as smooth as possible. There have been several paradoxes on this road in Ukraine in the recent past. So let´s turn 2012 into a year without paradoxes.

 
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the verdict of Yuriy Lutsenko in Ukraine
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the verdict of Yuriy Lutsenko in Ukraine

27/02/2012

We are disappointed with the verdict against Mr Lutsenko, which signals the continuation of trials in Ukraine which do not respect international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process.We recall that the EU-Ukraine Summit of 19 December stated that respect for the Rule of Law will be of crucial importance for the speed of Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU. We also note the recent resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine.We will continue to monitor closely developments related to the appeals process of Mr Lutsenko, the review of the case of Mrs Yulia Tymoshenko by the High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases, and proceedings in the case of the former Acting Minister of Defence, Valeriy Ivashchenko, as well as in other similar cases.

 
Joint statement of High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the agreements reached in the latest round of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue
Joint statement of High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the agreements reached in the latest round of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue

24/02/2012

We welcome the agreements reached today on regional cooperation and on the implementation of the integrated management for crossing points (IBM). These agreements are a major step forward. They are important not just for Serbia and Kosovo but for the stability of the region and thus for the EU. All EU Member States have given their support to the UN General Assembly resolution of September 2010 launching the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. The objective of this dialogue is to help both parties achieve progress on their path to Europe. In this context, High Representative/Vice President Ashton stated that "I want to congratulate both parties on these two substantial agreements. One puts into operational form the agreement on integrated management of crossing points. The other consolidates regional cooperation and ensures that everyone is properly represented. Both are further steps along the European path."

 
5+5 annual meeting and FOROMED Group in Rome
5+5 annual meeting and FOROMED Group in Rome

21/02/2012

"The annual meeting of the foreign ministers of the 5+5 group  provided an excellent occasion for an overview of the state of the Maghreb at a time of sweeping change following the events of the Arab Spring and  an opportunity to discuss the main issues of concern to the countries of the region." said Commissioner S Füle after the meeting in Rome on Monday. The annual meeting attended by Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia plus France, Italy Malta, Portugal and Spain was a chance for the Commissioner to underline the Commission's support for the changes in the region as described in  the revised European Neighbourhood Policy offered to regional partners (on the basis of the two Joint Communications launched in 2011), explore possibilities to reinvigorate intra-regional cooperation and integration (within the Maghreb and in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean) and establish and strengthen the contacts with the Ministers of the region. The Commissioner stressed the opportunities offered by the revised European Neighbourhood Policy to support concrete projects launched in the 5+5 context.

 
EU-Morocco: Agricultural agreement sign of credibility
EU-Morocco: Agricultural agreement sign of credibility

16/02/2012

Commissioner Štefan Füle welcomed the positive vote of the European Parliament on the Agricultural agreement with Morocco on Thursday. "This agreement is particularly important in the context of the changes in our Southern Neighbourhood since it will support increased trade and create job opportunities," Mr Füle said after the MEPs approved the EU-Morocco Agreement on the liberalization of trade in agricultural products, fish and fishery products during the plenary session in Strasbourg by 369 votes. "The approved agreement is fully in line with our new approach and sends a strong message to Morocco and to other Southern Neighbours about our determination to advance our relationship in a practical way that will have a strong positive impact on citizens both in Morocco and the EU," Commissioner Füle said recalling that the new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is based on supporting reforms in the partner countries according to the principle ´more for more´.

 
Statement on Ukraine by Commissioner Štefan Füle, and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament Elmar Brok  following their meeting in Strasbourg  on 15 February
Statement on Ukraine by Commissioner Štefan Füle, and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament Elmar Brok following their meeting in Strasbourg on 15 February

16/02/2012

"The ambitious EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, whose negotiations were recently concluded, is the outcome of several years of joint discussions and provides for a shared commitment to a close and lasting relationship that is based on common values. Its implementation will represent a decisive step for Ukraine's progress towards modernisation and prosperity as well as for the deepening of the EU-Ukraine relations. Recent political developments in Ukraine nevertheless raise serious questions on the willingness of the Ukrainian authorities to respect the commitments enshrined in the agreement, especially in the area of the rule of law and of the respect of political pluralism. We therefore call on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that the opportunities created by the Association Agreement are fully exploited and that the political conditions for a smooth signing and ratification of the Agreement are met."

 
EU-Morocco: Green light for participation in EU programmes
EU-Morocco: Green light for participation in EU programmes

14/02/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has welcomed the positive vote of the European Parliament on a Protocol which provides a legal basis for Morocco’s participation in EU programmes. "Today´s vote is important since the Protocol is a further contribution to the deepening of the relations between the EU and Morocco, in accordance with the advanced status," Commissioner Füle said in Strasbourg after a big majority of the MEPs voted for it. "This Protocol will be one more step towards closer integration with Morocco, which underpins its reform efforts," he added.

 
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the appointment of the state government in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the appointment of the state government in Bosnia and Herzegovina

10/02/2012

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President, Catherine Ashton, and the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle congratulated Bosnia and Herzegovina on the appointment of its Council of Ministers today. "We wish the new Council of Ministers every success for its endeavours. We believe and expect that it will deliver on the aspirations of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We now encourage the new Council of Ministers, as already indicated by Chairman Bevanda, to concentrate on the pressing European integration agenda and take the necessary action to ensure concrete steps forward."

 
EU-Turkey: Closer cooperation on energy brings mutual benefits
EU-Turkey: Closer cooperation on energy brings mutual benefits

09/02/2012

Istanbul (9th February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger met with Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış and Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in Istanbul today to discuss intensified EU-Turkish cooperation in the energy sector. In a constructive and positive meeting, both sides underlined the importance of opening the energy chapter, while agreeing that closer cooperation in areas such as market integration (both electricity and gas) including development of infrastructure and secure transport of gas, the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency, is mutually beneficial. Additionally, EU-Turkey energy relations can benefit from a regular dialogue on neighbouring energy markets.

 
EU-Turkey: Two Commissioners in Istanbul to discuss energy cooperation
EU-Turkey: Two Commissioners in Istanbul to discuss energy cooperation

08/02/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger will visit Turkey on Thursday to discuss intensified EU-Turkish cooperation in the energy sector. Both Commissioners will have a joint meeting with their Turkish counterparts, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış and Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in Istanbul. Energy is a topic of key interest in the EU-Turkey relations and also a topic for the development of a positive agenda between Turkey and the EU proposed by the European Commission as complementary element to the accession negotiations with Turkey

 
Munich: Š. Füle on the reforms in the Neighbourhood and enlargement
Munich: Š. Füle on the reforms in the Neighbourhood and enlargement

02/02/2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy Štefan Füle will speak about EU´s response to the Arab Spring on Friday in Munich. He will attend the Conference "Changing EU Neighbourhood: Arab Spring one year on" organised in paralell with the Munich Security Conference. In his speech Commissioner Füle will focus on the EU´s policies which have been revised in the light of the revolutions in the Arab countries and on readjustment of the EU´s help there. He will appreciate Tunisia´s progress in democratic transition and speak about the EU relations with the new governments who came to power in the wake of the people's uprisings. While in Munich Commissioner Füle will bilaterally meet the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantyn Gryshchenko, the Moldovan Foreign Minister Iuri Leanca, the new Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu and the President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga. The main topic of all his discussions will be European agenda and EU policies on enlargement and Eastern neighbourhood with the focus on the reform efforts and transformation.

 
UE - Tunisie: Déclaration conjointe ''Vers un partenariat privilégié''
UE - Tunisie: Déclaration conjointe ''Vers un partenariat privilégié''

02/02/2012

"La visite a permis d'entamer un dialogue politique de haut niveau entre les nouvelles autorités tunisiennes et les autorités de l'Union européenne en vue d'entamer une nouvelle étape des relations bilatérales qui permette, sur la base de valeurs partagées, d'envisager un soutien plus fort de l'Union européenne à la Tunisie et une intégration progressive dans le marché unique européen. La transition démocratique tunisienne a franchi une étape importante le 23 octobre 2011, avec le déroulement des premières élections libres et démocratiques organisées en Tunisie. Ces élections ont permis la mise en place de l’Assemblée Constituante, chargée de l’adoption de la Constitution, ainsi que l’élection du Président de la République et la formation du nouveau gouvernement dirigé par M. Hamadi Jebali.

 
Belarus: Commissioner Füle with the activists of Viasna
Belarus: Commissioner Füle with the activists of Viasna

25/01/2012

Brussels - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met Vice-President of the Belarusian Human Rights Centre "Viasna" Valiantin Stefanovic to discuss the situation of human rights activists in Belarus. Mr Füle reiterated his support for the courageous work of human rights defenders in Belarus who under increasingly difficult conditions are at the forefront of the defence of democratic principles and human rights. In this context, the Commissioner expressed his concerns about the ongoing politically motivated targeting of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna".

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić

24/01/2012

"Today I met Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić to discuss the current state of play in Serbia and in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. I acknowledged the commitment of the Serbian leadership to the European integration process. I emphasised the continuing expectation of the European Union that the dialogue is actively pursued, that it leads to tangible results in particular with regards to inclusive regional cooperation. We discussed the recent steps in the implementation of agreements reached to date in the dialogue and the other steps that would allow the effective implementation of all agreements. If sufficient progress is achieved in time, it would be possible for the forthcoming Council to confirm positively a decision to grant candidate status to Serbia."

 
Š.Füle in Morocco: We stand behind your reform efforts
Š.Füle in Morocco: We stand behind your reform efforts

20/01/2012

"Morocco is doing well in the reform process and the European Union appreciates this progress“, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said during his visit to Rabat. "I came here with a clear message that the Commission stands firmly behind your reform efforts and expect these efforts to be continued“, he stressed when meeting the Head of the Government Abdelilah Benkirane and several members of the cabinet, as well as the leaders of both Chambers of the Parliament.

 
Morocco: Š. Füle in Rabat on reforms and bilateral cooperation
Morocco: Š. Füle in Rabat on reforms and bilateral cooperation

17/01/2012

The progress of the reform process as well as a range of bilateral issues will be on the agenda of the visit of the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, to Morocco on 18 and 19 January. It is the first high-level visit of an EU official to the country after the November elections and following the appointment of the new Government headed by Abdelilah Benkirane. “Morocco is a key partner of the European Union in the Mediterranean. It is undertaking substantial political and economic reforms that we see very positively," Commissioner Füle said before leaving Brussels. "The relations between Morocco and the EU are an example of how reforms that are decided and implemented by the local authorities can be accompanied by EU solidarity. The path towards the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, which also promotes sustainable and inclusive development, deserves full EU support," he added.

 
Launch of the arbitration process between Slovenia and Croatia
Launch of the arbitration process between Slovenia and Croatia

17/01/2012

The European Commission welcomes the successful launch of the arbitration process between Slovenia and Croatia. We are delighted that the governments of both countries have agreed on the appointment of the President of the Arbitral Tribunal and two Members recognised for their competence in international law based on a list established by the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle. "This common agreement is a very welcome signal for the positive development of the good neighbourly relations between the two countries as well as for the Western Balkans regions showing that even difficult issues can be best solved by means of dialogue and cooperation" congratulated Commissioner Füle the two Parties.

 
Strengthening democratic reform in the Southern Mediterranean
Strengthening democratic reform in the Southern Mediterranean

17/01/2012

Strasbourg, 17.01.2012 - Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle today signed a € 4.8 million joint programme to strengthen democratic reform in the Southern Mediterranean countries. The joint programme will support democratic reforms and, the independence and efficiency of the judiciary, whilst promoting good governance. It will also target corruption and human trafficking and aim to promote human rights and democratic values, working through government officials, future leaders, youth and civil society.  It will be rolled out initially in Morocco and Tunisia, and implemented over three years throughout the region.

 
Border Arbitration Agreement between Slovenia and Croatia
Border Arbitration Agreement between Slovenia and Croatia

10/01/2012

"Upon the initiative of the European Commission, Commissioner Füle met today with Ms Vesna Pusic, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia and Samuel Žbogar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia. Further to the regular contacts which have taken place between the Commission and the parties, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the next steps of the implementation of the Border Arbitration Agreement signed by both countries on 4 November 2009 in Stockholm. The European Commission is neither party to this agreement nor bound by its timelines, but has been invited to perform certain functions under this agreement by the signatories.

 
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the passing of Kiro Gligorov, former President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the passing of Kiro Gligorov, former President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

03/01/2012

"Following the news that the former President Kiro Gligorov passed away on 1 January 2012 at the age of 94, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neigbourhood Policy Štefan Füle wish to express their condolences to the family of Mr Gligorov and to the citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. As president from 1991 until 1999 Mr Gligorov guided his country into and through critical transitions, including the peacefully achieved independence from the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Taking the country forward on that new path, he made important decisions to the benefit of the citizens based on his long experience and knowledge of his country. May he rest in peace."

 
Political agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the formation of the state government
Political agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the formation of the state government

29/12/2011

"The EU High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle welcome the political agreement by political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the formation of the state government – the Council of Ministers.They are encouraged by this development and look forward to further concrete steps to put Bosnia and Herzegovina firmly back on track towards the EU."

 
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle following the consensual appointment of the Ombudsman by the Albanian parliament
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle following the consensual appointment of the Ombudsman by the Albanian parliament

22/12/2011

"I am particularly glad that the Albanian Parliament has agreed today to appoint Mr. Igli Totozani as the new People's Advocate.I want to commend the Albanian Parliament and the political parties for this important result and for the transparent and open process leading to this appointment.  Filling this position will help strengthen a key independent institution that plays a fundamental role in safeguarding Albanian citizens' rights. I want to stress that the way in which this appointment was finalised is an important step towards consolidating the dialogue between the ruling majority and the opposition.I welcome this development that paves the way for fulfilling one of the 12 key priorities identified by the European Commission in the Opinion on Albania's application for EU membership. This is another encouraging sign of the new impetus that Albania is gaining on the path to EU integration. I look forward to further positive developments in other key priority areas in 2012. I wish the new Ombudsman every success in fulfilling his important function".

 
Štefan Füle: The legacy of Václav Havel goes beyond European borders
Štefan Füle: The legacy of Václav Havel goes beyond European borders

19/12/2011

In former President Václav Havel we have lost a statesman of truly European significance, who made a major contribution to the re-unification of Europe. At the same time, he always made sure that the enlarged and even more integrated Europe fully reflected the interests of all its citizens. In both his work and his views, he showed how civil society can contribute to the transformation of the political system. His message in this respect goes well beyond the borders of Europe, and serves as an inspiration in the fight against totalitarian regimes across the globe.

 
EU helps to further stabilise Libya through support for education, administration and civil society
EU helps to further stabilise Libya through support for education, administration and civil society

15/12/2011

The European Commission has today adopted an assistance package for Libya to support the stabilisation and transition process of the country. The programme will strengthen civil society and public administration by providing training for experts and expertise through twinning with EU and Arab partners. It will also improve education in the country by supporting teacher training and reviewing the way that textbooks deal with issues of gender or minority discrimination, for example. EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, commented: "From the start of the Libyan crisis, the EU has stood by the people of Libya in their quest for freedom. Today's decision helps pave the way towards a more open and inclusive society for Libyans, with a public administration that responds to their needs. We are initiating a stronger partnership, both with civil society and with the new authorities, in sectors which are crucial for democratic transition."

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on his visit to Ukraine
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on his visit to Ukraine

13/12/2011

"During my visit to Ukraine, I have met with President Yanukovych of Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Klyuyev and Foreign Minister Gryschenko. I also had the opportunity to visit former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the Batkivshchyna Party, who is currently in detention.

 
Launching of Montenegro's accession process by the European Council
Launching of Montenegro's accession process by the European Council

13/12/2011

"[...]I encourage Montenegro to keep the pace of reforms in the months to come. In particular, I look forward to a strengthened cooperation with Montenegro on the rule of law, judiciary and fundamental rights. The European Commission will continue assisting the country in its efforts and will present, as requested by the European Council, a report on the progress achieved by Montenegro in these areas in the first half of 2012", stated Commissioner Füle on 13 December on the occassion of the launch of Montenegro's accession process by the European Council.

 
Enlargement process on track with 5 more chapters open with Iceland
Enlargement process on track with 5 more chapters open with Iceland

12/12/2011

"I am pleased to be part of today's event where we have opened five additional negotiation chapters with Iceland. These chapters cover the areas of Company law, Enterprise and industrial policy, Trans-European networks, Judiciary and Fundamental Rights, and Financial and budgetary provisions. Perhaps even more importantly, we also already provisionally closed four of these chapters. This demonstrates again the extent to which Iceland shares the values of the European Union and is integrated in its markets. The benefits that Iceland enjoys as a result in terms of job creation and competitiveness can be further enhanced by full integration", stated Commissioner Füle on 12 December after the third meeting of the Accession Conference with Iceland at Ministerial level.

 
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on Serbia
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on Serbia

12/12/2011

"We are very encouraged by the progress made by Serbia over the recent years and months. We would like to congratulate President Tadić, his government and the Serbian people for this. The decision of the European Council today is recognition of this progress made. It is also a clear sign that the EU wishes to welcome Serbia into its ranks and looks forward to further intensifying its cooperation with Serbia. We are very satisfied with Serbia's full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the considerable progress towards fulfilling the accession criteria and the requirements in the Stabilisation and Association Process. In particular, we appreciate the difficult reforms made to the rule of law and justice system.

 
Meeting with Abdelkader Messahel, Deputy Foreign Minister of Algeria
Meeting with Abdelkader Messahel, Deputy Foreign Minister of Algeria

09/12/2011

"I have met today Mr Abdelkader Messahel, Deputy Foreign Minister of Algeria, in charge of Maghreb and African issues, in order to exchange views on the regional issues in the Maghreb and Sahel, and to review bilateral relations with Algeria. We agreed that Algeria and the European Union have a mutual interest in the intensification of our cooperation in order to face the new challenges of instability, poverty and arms proliferation in the Sahel region. We also underlined the importance of intensifying and deepening regional integration, both for the Maghreb and for the Sahel and welcomed recent announcements concerning the revitalising of the Arab Maghreb Union. I should like to confirm that the European Union fully supports these important advances", stated Commissioner Füle on 8 December following his meeting with Abdelkader Messahel, Deputy Foreign Minister of Algeria.

 
Statement by Stefan Füle on the occasion of the signature of the Accession Treaty with Croatia on 9 December 2011
Statement by Stefan Füle on the occasion of the signature of the Accession Treaty with Croatia on 9 December 2011

08/12/2011

"The signing of the Accession Treaty is a historic moment for Croatia and for the European Union. It is also a timely reminder of the basic rationale of EU integration: that together, in an integrated Europe, we are better able to face the challenges of the 21st century. On this occasion, I would like to congratulate the Croatian citizens and all those that have made this success possible. I would like to pay a particular tribute to the work accomplished by the Croatian governments, supported by a strong cross-party consensus on the goal of EU integration. Croatia is now a different country to the one that applied for EU membership nearly a decade ago. It is a Croatia where the transformative power of the enlargement process can be clearly seen: from strengthened democracy and rule of law, to more competitive economy and EU-aligned standards in many areas. These changes are of direct benefit to Croatian citizens."

 
Belarus: The vision for a European future
Belarus: The vision for a European future

07/12/2011

"Our approach is to engage with all those in Belarus who support reform and modernisation. We know that this multi-dimensional approach is essential if we are to bring about lasting change. We must reach out to all Belarusian citizens if we are to sow the seeds for far more significant change. There are many new groups emerging who are becoming increasingly frustrated with the current regime, including a number within the government itself. Both civil society and the political opposition must play a crucial role if we are to achieve our aims."

 
Strengthening Europe's place in the world: external budget for 2014-2020 adopted
Strengthening Europe's place in the world: external budget for 2014-2020 adopted

07/12/2011

Today, the European Commission adopted budget proposals for its external instruments from 2014-2020. They will allow the Union to fulfil its responsibility on the global stage: fighting poverty and promoting democracy, peace, stability and prosperity. On this occasion, Commissioner Štefan Füle commented: "These new instruments will allow us to respond even better in the future to our partner's needs and ambitions. Through the new European Neighbourhood Instrument and the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance, support to our neighbours will become faster and more flexible; allowing for increased differentiation and incentives for best performers. At the same time it will continue to ensure the success of the democratisation process and improve economic and social development in our immediate neighbourhood, and support the reform process in those countries preparing for EU membership."

 
Meeting with Mr Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia
Meeting with Mr Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia

05/12/2011

"I had a fruitful and open discussion with Mr Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. Shortly after the visit of High Representative Ashton in Yerevan and the Cooperation Council meeting of 25 November, this meeting confirms the mutual commitment to reinforce links between the EU and Armenia. Regarding  EU-Armenian relations, I expressed the view that the EU is very pleased to see new and ambitious reform efforts from Armenia, bringing together important priorities of EU-Armenia relations, including preparations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement", stated Commissioner Füle on 5 December 2011 following his meeting with Mr Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.

 
Croatia's accession as the 28th member of the EU approved
Croatia's accession as the 28th member of the EU approved

01/12/2011

The European Parliament (EP) approved Croatia's accession as the 28th member of the EU at its plenary session in Brussels on 1 December. In his address to the European Parliament on 30 November, Commissioner Štefan Füle noted that the EP's positive vote will be a vote "for Croatia, for the region and for the EU", adding that enlargement is in the EU's strategic interest, for its security and prosperity. "A credible enlargement policy is our most effective tool to support this process of reform and transformation. That the accession of Croatia is now a reality, proves the credibility of this policy."

 
EU- Georgia Cooperation Council, Brussels, 1 December 2011
EU- Georgia Cooperation Council, Brussels, 1 December 2011

01/12/2011

''This meeting comes only two weeks after the second visit of the High Representative Vice-President Ashton to Georgia. Looking at the agenda of visits, meetings and events that took place over past year, we can say this has been a year of further intensification of relations between the European Union and Georgia; a year that confirms an ever deepening relationship and strengthened EU commitment to Georgia", stated Commissioner Füle on 1 December at the joint press conference after the 12th meeting of the EU- Georgia Cooperation Council in Brussels.

 
Meeting with Sadullah Ergin, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Turkey
Meeting with Sadullah Ergin, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Turkey

30/11/2011

"My meeting today with Mr Ergin, the Turkish Minister of Justice, demonstrated again the very constructive working relation we have established. We have discussed a number of issues that are high on the Turkish political reform agenda such as the new constitution and freedom of expression. We agreed that we need to focus on ways to accelerate the process of Turkish political reforms and turn the positive agenda into social and political reality for the benefit of the Turkish people as a whole but also of Turkey's accession process", stated Commissioner Füle on 29 November in Brussels.

 
Meeting with Kosovo Minister for EU Integration Ms Vlora Citaku
Meeting with Kosovo Minister for EU Integration Ms Vlora Citaku

29/11/2011

Today I met Kosovo's Minister for EU Integration Ms Vlora Citaku. We had a fruitful exchange on the findings of the Commission's recent Progress Report on Kosovo and on ways to help advance Kosovo's progress towards Europe. I emphasised the Commission's continued strong support for Kosovo's EU perspective and underlined the Commission's proposals made in its recent 2011 Enlargement Strategy. We proposed to launch a structured dialogue with Kosovo on the rule of law. The Commission will continue to support Kosovo's efforts to further fulfil its European perspective, notably as regards visas, a trade agreement, and Kosovo's participation in EU programmes, in line with its 2009 Communication. I also underlined the importance of Kosovo launching a comprehensive agenda for the north. In addition, I appreciated the constructive role the opposition is playing on many issues of the European Agenda.

 
Belarus: Š.Füle with the opposition on European future
Belarus: Š.Füle with the opposition on European future

29/11/2011

The ongoing repression of civil society and the ways in which the EU might increase its support to Belarusian society were the main topics of a meeting between Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and representatives of the seven major opposition parties and movements in Brussels today.

 
Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

28/11/2011

Poznan, 28 November 2011 - Commissioner Štefan Füle, today took part in the third assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. The meeting was attended by over 300 representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) from both Eastern Partnership countries and EU Member States.The focus of the meeting was on agreeing a clear and coherent plan for the role of civil society in implementing the work of the Eastern Partnership. The assembly also considered the progress that the Eastern Partnership countries had so far made in implementing key democratic reforms. In his speech to the assembly, the Commissioner recalled the recent Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw, which had set out a renewed agenda for the initiative with the core EU values of democracy, human rights and freedoms at its heart. He also highlighted the agreement to extend cooperation in a range of important sectors, including economic integration.

 
Meeting with Vitaly Klitschko, leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform
Meeting with Vitaly Klitschko, leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform

28/11/2011

Commissioner Štefan Füle met with Vitaly Klitschko, leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR), on Friday 25 November in Brussels.The Commissioner welcomed Mr Klitschko's engagement in the fight against corruption at municipal level, as well as his efforts to unite Ukrainian citizens behind core European values such as democracy and economic freedom. He stressed that the civil society and opposition must play an important role if Ukraine is to successfully follow a European path.

 
12th meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council
12th meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council

25/11/2011

''I am happy to see that Azerbaijan and the European Union move closer to each other. Our cooperation is bearing fruit and goes beyond energy. Energy sphere obviously remains an important feature of our relations: talks have been launched with the participation of Turkmenistan on the construction of the Trans Caspian pipeline, paving the path for the energy South Corridor. Our negotiations on the Association Agreement are also progressing in a satisfactory way even though we would like to accelerate the pace on certain issues. We hope to be able to start negotiations on Agreements on Visa Facilitation and Readmission at the beginning of next year. We understand the importance of those two agreements for the citizens of Azerbaijan and we will support the Polish and Danish EU Presidencies in their efforts to deliver on these agreements. This will enable us to boost people to people contacts, an important element of our cooperation", stated Commissioner Štefan Füle on 25 October 2011.

 
12th meeting of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council
12th meeting of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council

25/11/2011

''As said by Mikolaj, the Cooperation Council was a good opportunity to discuss progress in the negotiations on the future EU-Armenia Association Agreement and our relations in general. A lot has happened since last Council with Armenia, I was pleased to see the progress across all areas mentioned. It is important to see Armenia deliver on these policies so that it can get closer to the EU", stated Commissioner Štefan Füle on 25 October 2011 at the 12th meeting of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council in Brussels.

 
Meeting with Edi Rama, leader of the Socialist Party of Albania
Meeting with Edi Rama, leader of the Socialist Party of Albania

24/11/2011

Today's meeting between Commissioner Füle and Mr. Rama was  part of our regular contacts with the Albanian political forces. The meeting took place in the context of recent agreements between the ruling majority and the opposition to start joint work on electoral reform and the revision of the rules of procedures of the parliament, and to vote on laws requiring qualified majority."To advance in the EU integration process, it is essential that all political forces – majority and opposition – as well as the whole society embrace the European agenda and turn it into a national agenda", said Commissioner Füle.  In this context, Commissioner Füle expressed his appreciation for the role that the Socialist Party is ready to play to support the European perspective for Albania.

 
Meeting with Georgian Vice Prime Minister and State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration,  Giorgi Baramidze
Meeting with Georgian Vice Prime Minister and State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Baramidze

24/11/2011

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle met with Georgian Vice Prime Minister and State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Giorgi Baramidze  today to discuss the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy Review and the follow-up to the recent Eastern Partnership Summit."In our talks we focused on how our partner countries, which are most engaged in reforms,  will  benefit more from their relationship with the EU, in line with the “more for more principle", Mr Füle said after the meeting. Such benefits are expected to include: closer political association, deeper gradual economic integration in the EU market and increased EU support more generally, including in the domain of assistance.

 
Meeting with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Ivica Dacic
Meeting with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Ivica Dacic

24/11/2011

"Today I met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Ivica Dačić to review the current state of play in the European agenda in Serbia, the implementation of agreements reached in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, and a number of issues in the area of justice, freedom and security. Our meeting took place two weeks before the Council of Foreign Ministers and the European Council will examine the Commission's recommendation of granting Serbia candidate status as explained in its Opinion on Serbia's membership application adopted on 12 October.

 
 Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the trial of Human Rights defender Ales Byalyatski
Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the trial of Human Rights defender Ales Byalyatski

23/11/2011

“We are seriously concerned about the detention and prosecution of internationally renowned Belarusian human rights defender Ales Byalyatski for alleged tax evasion. We consider the charges against Ales Byalyatski in the ongoing trial as a politically motivated pretext to target his important work to the benefit of victims of repression. As such, the ongoing trial is a highly visible and symbolic manifestation of the crackdown on civil society in Belarus since the 19 December 2010 Presidential elections. We call on Belarus to immediately and unconditionally release Ales Byalyatski and to drop the charges against him and against his deputy Valyantsin Stefanovich.”

 
Meeting with family members and friends of jailed Belarusian political activists
Meeting with family members and friends of jailed Belarusian political activists

23/11/2011

Commissioner Štefan Füle met with family members and friends of jailed Belarusian political activists. Those attending were Irina Bogdanova, sister of former Belarusian Presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, and Director of human rights group Free Belarus Now, and Natalia Koliada, Director of the Belarus Free Theatre. The discussion focused on the current political situation in Belarus, particularly the deepening repression of civil society and political opponents by the Lukashenko regime. Commissioner Füle emphasised EU's grave concern about the ongoing widespread intimidation and harassment of the Belarusian civil society and political opposition and reiterated his full support for all those fighting for democracy, rights and freedoms in Belarus. The Commissioner reiterated the EU's call for the immediate and unconditional release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Dervis Eroglu, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Dervis Eroglu, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community

22/11/2011

"Today I met the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Dr. Derviş Eroğlu. Mr Eroğlu shared his views of the last tripartite meeting between himself, the leader of the Greek Cypriot community Mr. Demetris Christofias and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon end of October in New York. I welcomed the efforts of the leaders of both communities and the United Nations to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. I also reiterated the European Commission's strong support of the settlement talks.

 
Close working ties with Anna Lindh Foundation
Close working ties with Anna Lindh Foundation

22/11/2011

The Commissioner outlined the modalities of a deeper and closer working partnership with the Anna Lindh Foundation on 22 November. The initiative aims to revitalize civil societies in the Southern  Mediterranean and to improve their capacities in  democratic transition efforts. The Commissioner is launching a new three-year joint programme with the Foundation to run concurrently with the present EU-Anna Lindh operational mandate. The EU is already the leading donor of the Foundation with almost €20 million funding provided since the Foundation's inception in 2005.

 
EU-Turkey: Positive agenda to keep reforms going
EU-Turkey: Positive agenda to keep reforms going

18/11/2011

“European Union and Turkey should shape the joint future in a proactive way,” Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said on Friday in Istanbul.  He visited Turkey together with Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht to discuss with their Turkish counterparts  how to inject fresh life into the mutual relations in general and into the accession process in particular. “There are frustrations both in Turkey and in the EU because of the slow pace of the accession process. We have ideas how to make sure that the tempo of reforms in Turkey doesn’t depend on the speed of negotiations, which are not progressing as we would wish,” Mr Füle stated after official talks with several members of the Turkish government.

 
Political agreement in Albania
Political agreement in Albania

17/11/2011

"I welcome the adoption today by the Albanian Parliament, with cross-party consensus, of the decision to establish a parliamentary committee on electoral reform and of two laws requiring a reinforced three fifths majority vote. I would also like to welcome the decision by the Conference of Chairpersons, taken on Monday 14 November, to establish a Parliamentary working group on reform of its rules of procedure, and a calendar for the review and adoption of the three fifths majority laws.

 
Visiting Istanbul to strengthen new EU agenda with Turkey
Visiting Istanbul to strengthen new EU agenda with Turkey

16/11/2011

The renewed positive agenda between the European Union and Turkey will be the main focus of the joint visit of European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, to Istanbul on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November. Both Commissioners will meet representatives from the Turkish government, the business community and civil society. "Our meetings will  focus on the many things EU and Turkey have in common", Commissioner Füle said before the trip. "We cooperate in so many fields, we are interlinked in so many ways and that's why the fundamentals between the EU and Turkey are solid,“ he stated and added "But we need a renewed agenda which would focus on how to inject new life into our relations in general and into the accession process in particular."

 
Media freedom high on European agenda
Media freedom high on European agenda

15/11/2011

Media freedom and freedom of expression in the enlargement countries were topics of joint discussion between the Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes responsible for the Digital Agenda including media policy and Commissioner Štefan Füle with President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek on 15 November in Strasbourg. They focused on how to best foster Freedom of Expression in the existing legal framework. "The European Commission considers freedom of expression to be one of the pillars of democracy and is convinced that high standards to protect media freedom need to be in place in all countries," Mr Füle stated during the meeting.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Egemen BağışTurkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Egemen BağışTurkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator

09/11/2011

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has met with the Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış on 9 November in Brussels. It was their first bilateral meeting after the European Commission had published the Progress Report 2011 on Turkey. Commissioner Füle and Minister Bağış agreed that defining a positive agenda as set out in the Progress Report is the way forward to provide new momentum to EU-Turkey relations. They also concurred that this positive agenda is not to replace, but to complement the accession process. Mr Füle repeated that Turkey continues to be a key country for the EU and that the accession process remains the most effective tool to frame the relations of the European Union with Turkey.

 
Friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina

08/11/2011

''We all have to work hard as partners to make sure that the country does not fall behind the rest of the region. We can only help Bosnia and Herzegovina to help itself. Within the country there needs to be a European Consensus: a consensus to work together; a consensus which goes above entity and party politics; a consensus to improve the lives of your citizens and to provide them and their children with a better future", said Commissioner Füle on 8 November in his intervention at the European Parliament.

 
EU-Lebanon: turning challenges  into opportunities
EU-Lebanon: turning challenges into opportunities

28/10/2011

"The changes in the Arab world are offering a chance to advance also our cooperation with Lebanon," Commissioner Štefan Füle said during his first visit to Beirut. On Thursday and Friday he met the president Michel Sleiman, speaker of the parliament Nabih Berri, prime minister Nagib Mikati, minister of foreign affairs Adnan Mansur and other members of the government. In the discussions Mr Füle stressed the willingness of the European Union to strengthen relations based on values and progress in the necessary reforms as well as on meeting the international obligations. "I am confident that the Lebanese government will find the way how to respect and honour its international commitments including the financing of the Special tribunal for Lebanon (STL) " Commissioner Füle told his partners in Beirut.

 
Visit to Lebanon (27-28 October)
Visit to Lebanon (27-28 October)

28/10/2011

The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, will visit Lebanon on 27 and 28 October. It will be his first visit in the country and his discussions with Lebanese partners will focus on strengthening the relations between the European Union and Lebanon as well as supporting the reform process there through the revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). In Beirut Commissioner Füle will meet with the President of the Republic Michel Sleiman, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Nagib Mikati, Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansour and other members of the government as well as representatives of the civil society.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle following the meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr Nikola Poposki
Statement by Commissioner Füle following the meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr Nikola Poposki

25/10/2011

"I had a productive meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr Nikola Poposki, in which we discussed our future cooperation following the publication of the Progress Report. The renewed Commission Recommendation to start accession negotiations recognises the work of the government. However further efforts are needed to address core challenges. We now look forward to working with the new government, which can bring new momentum.

 
"Negations with Iceland will strengthen both of us"
"Negations with Iceland will strengthen both of us"

20/10/2011

The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle expressed confidence that the accessions negotiations with Iceland would lead to mutual beneficial results: ''The aim of the accession process is to have stronger Iceland and stronger EU,''  Mr Füle said at the end of his first visit to Iceland.

 
Commissioner Füle on Iceland' s path towards the EU
Commissioner Füle on Iceland' s path towards the EU

19/10/2011

"Negotiations with Iceland have had a good start and are progressing well, we have excellent cooperation", stated Commissioner Füle prior to his visit to Iceland on 19 and 20 October 2011, for the first time since the country applied for the EU membership. He will be able to personally discuss the content of the 2011 Progress Report on Iceland with his interlocutors in Reykjavik and discuss further steps in the accession process.

 
Commissioner Füle visits Montenegro
Commissioner Füle visits Montenegro

13/10/2011

Commissioner Štefan Füle will visit Podgorica on 13 October to deliver in person the recommendation of the European Commission to open accession negotiations with Montenegro. "Montenegro has worked hard and made good progress in meeting the political criteria" Commissioner Füle said before leaving Brussels.

 
Commissioner Füle to deliver recommendation for candidate status to Serbia
Commissioner Füle to deliver recommendation for candidate status to Serbia

13/10/2011

"On the basis of the progress achieved in reforms, co-operation with the International Court Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia, and regional reconciliation, we have decided to recommend granting Serbia Candidate Status on the understanding that Belgrade re-engages in the dialogue with Kosovo and is moving swiftly to the implementation in good faith of agreements reached to date",  stated Commissioner Füle on 12 October ahead of his visit to Belgrade on 14 October to present the European Commission's Opinion on Serbia's EU membership application.

 
European Commission recommends moving onto next stages towards EU entry
European Commission recommends moving onto next stages towards EU entry

12/10/2011

"For the candidate and potential candidate countries our policy facilitates a profound transformation. A transformation to a stable, pluralistic democracy which upholds and reinforces the rule of law. A transformation to a functioning market economy and the prospect of long term prosperity. A transformation to a modern society, which fully embraces the values at the heart of the European Union. This same process benefits the European Union and its Member States. At this time of on-going economic uncertainty in Europe, the transformational enlargement process: - provides stability in the region, - creates a larger economic space and - increases the human and cultural capital of our common European home", stated Commissioner Füle on 12 October at the Presentation of the 2011 Enlargement Package.

 
Meeting with Dr Jaffar Hassan, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan
Meeting with Dr Jaffar Hassan, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan

06/10/2011

''Today I had a very constructive meeting with Dr Jaffar Hassan  on a number of issues regarding relations between the EU and Jordan in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). We discussed the constitutional amendments adopted by the Parliament which represent an important progress in the on-going political reform efforts of Jordan. I stressed that the implementation of the amendments is also essential to keep the momentum and credibility of the process: these reforms should lead to the consolidation of the institutions safeguarding democracy and the rule of law and the empowerment of the political parties.

 
Eastern Partnership Conference "Towards a European Community of Democracy, Prosperity and a Stronger Civil Society"
Eastern Partnership Conference "Towards a European Community of Democracy, Prosperity and a Stronger Civil Society"

30/09/2011

"The Eastern Partnership is innovative and inclusive as it reaches out to all stakeholders: government, parliaments, regional and local authorities, business community, and - last but not least - civil society", stated Commissioner Füle on 29 September in Warsaw at the Eastern Partnership Conference.

 
The first meeting of the EU-Tunisia Task Force
The first meeting of the EU-Tunisia Task Force

29/09/2011

"The EU is keen to accompany Tunisian in its reform process. We know from experience in other countries that democratic transitions can face many obstacles or even fail to meet people's expectations. We want your transition to succeed. The EU is ready to offer support to Tunisia based on Tunisia's needs and a shared vision of privileged relations."

 
 Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - Croatia
Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - Croatia

28/09/2011

"The Commission notes that there was a first instance verdict against generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac in front of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, regarding their role in the events of August 5 1995. This case is at the moment in the appeal process.   The European Commission reiterates the importance of  full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, of which Croatia is a founding signatory party.

 
Intervention on Turkey-Cyprus in the European Parliament European Parliament Plenary Session Strasbourg, 27 September 2011
Intervention on Turkey-Cyprus in the European Parliament European Parliament Plenary Session Strasbourg, 27 September 2011

28/09/2011

"As soon as tensions appeared over this issue, we have been following developments very closely and with increasing concern. The High Representative and I made it very clear right from the start: threats are not an option when it comes to solve problems between neighbours. Disputes need to be settled by peaceful means. This is a guiding principle in international relations and in the European Union. We regret and refuse any statement or action that run counter to this approach."[...]

 
EU response to the Arab Spring: new package of support for North Africa and Middle East
EU response to the Arab Spring: new package of support for North Africa and Middle East

27/09/2011

The European Commission has adopted four new decisions for its Neighbourhood. The programmes will include support for areas like democracy, growth, job creation, microfinance and higher education."These decisions prove our strong commitment to our neighbouring partners. Through job creation, improved living conditions, university partnerships and promoting a stronger voice for civil society, this support demonstrates Europe's full engagement in ensuring the desired transition to democracy in the region." said Commissioner Stefan Fule.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Ms Teuta Arifi, Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Ms Teuta Arifi, Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

22/09/2011

"Today I met with Deputy Prime Minister Arifi. We had an open and constructive discussion.  I assured her that the forthcoming Progress Report will be factual and fair, reflecting the developments in the country over the last twelve months. I welcomed the roundtable with the media that the Deputy Prime Minister chaired in Skopje on 14 September. It is a positive sign that the journalists' associations and several NGOs are committed to the dialogue. I strongly encourage all stakeholders to continue efforts to maintain the dialogue between the government and the media community to address relevant issues and find commonly agreed solutions.

 
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina

22/09/2011

"The Press Office of Commissioner Füle informed that the Commissioner has sent today a letter to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Nikola Spiric, informing him that he will reallocate the funds (€ 96 million) from the IPA programme for BiH to the IPA Multi-Beneficiary Programme for the Western Balkan region unless an agreement on the programme for BiH is notified to the Commission in the coming days. The Commissioner will have to act to ensure that the € 96 million from IPA can still be committed before the end of the year and be used for the Western Balkan region. The Commission has always stressed that it can proceed with the adoption for Pre-accession Assistance programmes once it receives the confirmation that all projects have been agreed by all stakeholders and the reassurance that the Financing Agreement between the Commission and BiH can be subsequently ratified, signed and the corresponding projects properly implemented.

 
 Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia

21/09/2011

"I had a very fruitful discussion with Prime Minister Sargsyan. We agreed that both the European Union and Armenia are committed to further enhance the relations within the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy. In ten days, the Eastern Partnership Summit, an important milestone in developing this policy, will reconfirm our mutual commitment and create in important momentum to bring the countries of Eastern Partnership even closer to the European Union.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Ms Vlora Çitaku, Minister of European Integration of Kosovo
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Ms Vlora Çitaku, Minister of European Integration of Kosovo

19/09/2011

''Today I met Ms Vlora Çitaku, Minister for European Integration of Kosovo, to discuss the state of Kosovo reforms, in view of the upcoming Progress Report on Kosovo. Minister Çitaku also informed me about the latest developments as regards the implementation of the agreement on customs stamps reached within the scope of the Belgrade/Pristina dialogue. She informed me that Kosovo had lifted the embargo on Serbian goods. I hope that the restoration of the free movement of goods in both directions will be possible shortly. I also expect that the next round of the dialogue will bring further agreements.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Božidar Đelić, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Božidar Đelić, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia

19/09/2011

"Today I met Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić to review the state of play of reforms in Serbia, some three weeks before the Commission will adopt its Opinion on Serbia's membership application. Overall, I acknowledged the commitment of the Serbian leadership to the European integration process and important results achieved so far: The arrests and transfers of the ICTY indictees Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić have represented a major development for international justice and Serbia's road to the EU; Key pieces of legislation were adopted in recent months incorporating key European standards in the areas of electoral law, relations between parliament and independent regulatory bodies and financing of political parties. Important steps were also taken in the judiciary where a review process on the re-appointment procedure of judges and prosecutors is ongoing.

 
8th YES Conference: "Ukraine and the World: Common Challenges, Common Future", 15-17 September
8th YES Conference: "Ukraine and the World: Common Challenges, Common Future", 15-17 September

15/09/2011

"We will be focusing on events immediately around us in a year which brings a unique degree of attention and a unique degree of opportunity to Ukraine", said Commissioner Füle upon his arrival in Yalta where he participates in the 8th Yalta European Strategy Conference, meets Ukrainian leaders, NGOs, and the authorities and other stakeholders from Crimea.

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle welcomes the agreement reached on the Education Law in Montenegro
Commissioner Štefan Füle welcomes the agreement reached on the Education Law in Montenegro

08/09/2011

Stefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, welcomed the news from Podgorica that today the governing coalition has reached a political agreement with the three opposition parties – SNP, PzP, NOVA - on the implementation of the education law as regards the language denomination. Commissioner Füle praised the role of the Prime Minister, the Parliament Speaker and the leaders of SNP, PzP, NOVA for their tireless efforts to find a compromise solution and commitment to the country's EU bid. "I hope that the agreement reached today will pave the way for a prompt adoption of the election law, which is part of the key priorities and therefore one of the conditions to be met by Montenegro in view of opening EU accession negotiations", stated the Commissioner.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Mr Habib Essid, Minister of Interior of Tunisia
Speech by Commissioner Štefan Füle at the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP)

08/09/2011

[..]"There is no true democracy without local democracy that allows people to feel that they can decide on the issues of their daily life. This is the time, to underline the importance of the democratic values on which the Eastern partnership is based. When we can combine the efforts of governments, parliaments, civil society and regional and local authorities, we are better placed to advance those values."

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Mr Habib Essid, Minister of Interior of Tunisia
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Mr Habib Essid, Minister of Interior of Tunisia

06/09/2011

"Today I met Mr Habib Essid, Minister of Interior of Tunisia. We had a very fruitful discussion on the situation in Tunisia and the region, the state of bilateral relations, and the progress made by Tunisia in the democratisation process. The Minister referred to the preparations of the upcoming elections for a Constituent Assembly on 23 October and the measures taken by the authorities towards the re-launch of the economy and maintaining security. I reiterated the EU's commitment to support the ongoing democratic transition in Tunisia, and I recalled the measures already taken, notably the increase of the bilateral cooperation budget (from 80 to 130 million euro in 2011), the strengthening of the civil society and the support to the impoverished rural areas."

 
Commissioner Füle delivers an opening address at the 10th anniversary Conference on Ohrid Framework Agreement
Commissioner Füle delivers an opening address at the 10th anniversary Conference on Ohrid Framework Agreement

05/09/2011

[…] "Indeed, the road to the EU goes through Ohrid. Today, your country stands at the threshold of the European Union, with the promise of a better future for all your citizens. We stand by you now as we did in 2001 - ready to help you to deal with your challenges and take the country forward. Your creativity and the 'Ohrid spirit' of compromise and vision will be the key ingredients of success", stated Commissioner Füle on 5 September in Ohrid.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Tomislav Nikolic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Tomislav Nikolic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party

02/09/2011

"Today I met Tomislav Nikolić, the leader of the Serbian Progressive Party. Our meeting took place in the framework of my regular meetings with representatives of opposition parties from the Enlargement and Neighbourhood countries. Mr Nikolić shared his assessment of the current state of play in Serbia's reforms and politics. He also raised issues relating to Serbia's European integration process, in view of the European Commission's forthcoming Opinion on Serbia's membership application. I addressed Mr Nikolić's concerns related to the requirements for Serbia to obtain the Candidate Status this year, and whether recognising Kosovo is a precondition for Serbia's further Euro-integration.

 
Turkey - new legislation for the return of properties to religious foundations

29/08/2011

The Commission welcomes Turkey's new legislation for the return of properties to religious foundations published in the Official Gazette on 27 August; the Commission also welcomes the meeting of Prime Minister Erdogan with the heads of non-Muslim religious communities at the iftar dinner on 28 August. All this is positive and conducive to the respect of freedom of religion in practice.The Commission will monitor closely the implementation of the new legislation, in contact with both the Turkish authorities and the non-Muslim religious communities.

 
Commissioner Füle encourages adoption of the Election Law by the Parliament of Montenegro

22/08/2011

European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle welcomed information from Podgorica that parliamentary parties have reached a preliminary political agreement on the adoption of the election law.On 21 August, commissioner Füle underlined the importance for the Parliament to adopt this law as soon as possible, and said that European Commission follows carefully developments in Montenegro including the country's continuing efforts to implement the seven key priorities set out in the Commission Opinion. "Election Law is part of the key priorities and therefore one of the conditions to be met by Montenegro in view of opening EU accession negotiations," stated commissioner Füle, and called it also a key test of parties' readiness to put their commitment to EU integration into practice."The consensus among political parties and within the Montenegrin society on EU integration  is a huge asset for Montenegro's EU course. We encourage all sides to continue demonstrating statesmanship and responsibility on all issues related to Montenegro's efforts to fulfill the key priorities," added commissioner Füle.

 
European Union allocates €178.5 million for Serbia's National Programme for EU integration
European Union allocates €178.5 million for Serbia's National Programme for EU integration

22/07/2011

Ambassador Vincent Degert, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, and Mr Bozidar Djelić, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration, today signed a financial agreement between the European Commission and the Serbian Government on the National Programme for the Republic of Serbia for 2011, worth €178.5 million. The funds will be used for projects which will help Serbia implement reforms needed for future EU membership and bring direct benefits for Serbian citizens.

 
Key address by Commissioner Štefan Füle at the 8th International Conference on 'Georgia's European Way'
Key address by Commissioner Štefan Füle at the 8th International Conference on 'Georgia's European Way'

22/07/2011

"I am a strong believer in Georgia’s European way, and in a democratic, prosperous and reunited Georgia. Sharing the universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Offering its citizens all the benefits of modern European society might not be an easy choice for this country. It might not be the easiest possible way, but let me assure you that the European way is the real route to political and economic stability for this country."

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the arrest of Goran Hadzic
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the arrest of Goran Hadzic

20/07/2011

"The arrest of Goran Hadzic is excellent news - Serbia has now arrested all 46 Serbian ICTY indictees. As Goran Hadzic is the very last ICTY indictee to be arrested, the Court will now be able to complete its work. I send my sincere congratulations to the Serbian leadership for keeping their word. Serbia has once more shown that it is a credible partner. Within two months, today is a second great day for Serbia, a great day for justice, and a great day for regional reconciliation. We cannot bring the victims back. But there is at least some relief now that justice is being served."

 
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on Albania
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on Albania

19/07/2011

We note with concern that there has been controversy and polarisation over decisions of the Central Election Commission and the Electoral College, including over the latest decision and reasoning by the Electoral College. The elections in Tirana were not good as they demonstrated beyond doubt that the electoral framework needs to be reformed. We recall that the Council of the EU on 20 June stressed that shortcomings in the legal framework and electoral process will need to be addressed in a comprehensive, effective and consensual manner through a thorough electoral reform, in line with all recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR. To that end, we await the final assessment by OSCE/ODIHR.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Derviş Eroğlu, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Derviş Eroğlu, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community

14/07/2011

"Today I met the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Derviş Eroğlu. Mr Eroğlu shared with me his assessment of the recent tripartite meeting in Geneva between himself, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the leader of the Greek Cypriot community, Demetris Christofias. I reiterated the strong support of the European Commission for the efforts of the leaders of both communities and the United Nations to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, which will bring an end to one of the oldest conflicts on European soil.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle following his meeting with Dr Mahmoud Jibril, Chair of the Executive Board of the Libyan Transitional National Council
Statement by Commissioner Füle following his meeting with Dr Mahmoud Jibril, Chair of the Executive Board of the Libyan Transitional National Council

14/07/2011

I had a fruitful meeting this morning with Dr. Jibril, Chairman of the Executive Board & Head of International Affairs of the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC).  Dr Jibril provided an assessment of the current situation in Libya, in Benghazi and in the rest of the country. I praised the courage of the Libyan people who, against all odds, have bravely fought for their rights against the brutal repression of the Gaddafi regime.

 
Statement related to recent comments about freezing of EU-Turkey relations
Statement related to recent comments about freezing of EU-Turkey relations

13/07/2011

"On 7 July, the UNSG met the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in Geneva. They decided to enter into an intensive period of negotiations towards a comprehensive settlement. The EU is fully supportive of the efforts of the UNSG and the two leaders, and calls on all parties to make all efforts to help reach a comprehensive solution as soon as possible. I know that the Turkish government is equally committed to this goal. This is not the moment to speculate on any other outcome than a comprehensive settlement."

 
Visit to Turkey 12-13 July
Visit to Turkey 12-13 July

11/07/2011

Commissioner Štefan Fule will visit Turkey on 12-13 July, where he will travel to both Istanbul and Ankara.The Commissioner is going to Turkey soon after the elections in order to achieve new momentum in EU-Turkey relations, and the accession process, and to offer the Commission's full support for further reforms.During his visit, the Commissioner will meet the Minister for EU Affairs Mr Egemen Bagis and Foreign Minister Professor Ahmet Davutoglu.   He will also meet the Chairman of the opposition CHP party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.In addition, Commissioner Füle will meet with the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (Tüsiad), Confederation of Businessmen and Industries of Turkey (Tuskon), members of the Economic and Social Committee, as well as with representatives of universities, think tanks and civil society organisations.

 
New Neighbourhood Transport Action Plan
New Neighbourhood Transport Action Plan

07/07/2011

"In the new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy launched on 25 May of this year, we offer a deeper economic integration to our neighbours in the East and South. This action plan proposes the concrete transport measures  that we aim to  put in place for the benefit of citizens and companies both in the neighbourhood and in Europe.'' said Commissioner Füle when the European Commission launched the new Neighbourhood Transport Action Plan to strengthen transport links with neighbouring regions to the East and South of of the EU on 7 July in Brussels.

 
Implementers of EU assistance to Belarus meet to discuss aid effectiveness
Implementers of EU assistance to Belarus meet to discuss aid effectiveness

07/07/2011

"We work closely with our implementers to increase our effectiveness in delivering EU assistance in Belarus. Our common priority is to reach out through civil society to the population at large. For that purpose we are ready to ensure that the population benefits from our expertise and full support in these difficult times", stated Commissioner Füle on 7 July 2011 ahead of the first meeting of implementers of EU assistance to Belarus, organised by the European Commission and the European External Action Service in Brussels.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle following his meeting with Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Kostyantyn Gryschenko
Statement by Commissioner Füle following his meeting with Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Kostyantyn Gryschenko

05/07/2011

Minister Gryschenko and I had a meeting today in Strasbourg following our address to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Club*. As Ukraine holds the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe I will maintain close contact with Minister Gryschenko on issues of common interest.    I  welcomed the agreement reached by Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova regarding the demarcation of the borderline between the two countries at the Odessa-Reni highway sector at Palanca. The agreement will give a boost to bilateral relations between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, and will thus strengthen regional stability in the immediate neighbourhood of the European Union.

 
Latest developments in the Turkish Parliament
Latest developments in the Turkish Parliament

05/07/2011

The Commission is following the situation very closely and with concern. Turkey will have to deal in the near future with important challenges, which will require the inclusion of all democratic forces. At the same time, the Parliament will be at the heart of debates and decisions on Turkey's future. All sides must contribute to guaranteeing its integrity and its good functioning, and we trust that all  involved are committed to working towards addressing the issues and moving forward.

 
Joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the agreement between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine over the Palanca issue
Joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the agreement between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine over the Palanca issue

01/07/2011

''We welcome the agreement reached on 30 June 2011 between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova regarding the demarcation of the borderline between the two countries at the Odessa-Reni highway sector at Palanca. The signing of the agreement will give a boost to bilateral relations between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, and will thus strengthen regional stability in the immediate neighbourhood of the European Union. We encourage the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to continue their efforts to resolve all the outstanding issues regarding border demarcation. The EU stands ready to facilitate this process. More generally, this is also the result of constructive work between neighbours in the spirit of the Eastern Partnership.

 
EU closes accession negotiations with Croatia
EU closes accession negotiations with Croatia

30/06/2011

EU Member States decided today to close accession negotiations with Croatia, which should allow for the signature of the Accession Treaty by the end of the year. Following the ratification procedure in all Member States and Croatia, accession is foreseen for 1 July 2013. "We are celebrating this historic event with our Croatian friends: within 20 years as an independent republic, Croatia has changed tremendously. It has made impressive progress towards meeting the EU membership criteria. This is being rewarded today'', said Commissioner Štefan Füle.

 
Beyond 2013: integrated pre-accession assistance
Beyond 2013: integrated pre-accession assistance

30/06/2011

The European Commission presented today its financial priorities for the years 2014-2020. The proposal sets aside 12.5 billion* for the EU enlargement policy, allowing for a continuation of the current levels of support for candidate and potential candidate countries. Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle said: "The Commission's proposal to maintain the current levels of pre-accession assistance will allow the EU to continue strong support for our partners' efforts to prepare for accession and advance their reforms. This will ultimately benefit all of us through greater security and prosperity".

 
The Commission has proposed today to increase the funding for European Neighbourhood Instrument
The Commission has proposed today to increase the funding for European Neighbourhood Instrument

30/06/2011

The European Commission adopted a Communication on the budget for the next financial framework 2014 – 2020. The Communication announces a total of €16,1 billion to be allocated for the future European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI). If adopted, the new funding for the neighbourhood policy would increase by over 40%, compared to €11,4 billion under the old European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), which covers the current financial period 2007 – 2013.   Commissioner Štefan Füle said: "The Commission has proposed today to increase the funding for European Neighbourhood Policy by €4,7 billion for the next financial perspective. I am convinced that the EU's support to our partners in the South and the East is essential to ensure the success of the democratisation process and improve economic and social development. The significant increase reflects our commitment to our neighbourhood and its growing importance for the EU."

 
Latest developments in the Turkish Parliament
Latest developments in the Turkish Parliament

29/06/2011

The Commission is following the situation very closely and with concern.Turkey will have to deal in the near future with important challenges, which will require the inclusion of all democratic forces. At the same time, the Parliament will be at the heart of debates and decisions on Turkey's future. All sides must contribute to guaranteeing its integrity and its good functioning.

 
Eastern Partnership - informal Information and Coordination Group, 28 June 2011
Eastern Partnership - informal Information and Coordination Group, 28 June 2011

29/06/2011

''Today's meeting brings clear added value to our common efforts towards Eastern Partnership countries. It is important that we explore all possibilities of increasing synergy between our activities in the region'' Commissioner Füle said at the 2nd meeting of the informal Information and Coordination Group.   The Group's participants, which included third countries and International Financial Institutions, discussed about the European Neighbourhood Policy Review Communication and preparations for the second Eastern Partnership Summit which will take place in Warsaw on 29-30 September 2011.

 
Successful start of Iceland's membership negotiations with the EU
Successful start of Iceland's membership negotiations with the EU

27/06/2011

"This accession conference marks an important step forward in Iceland's accession process. I am pleased that at this early stage of negotiations we open four and even close two negotiating chapters, and I am confident that this achievement provides momentum to meet the challenges of the future negotiations", stated Commissioner Füle on 27 June on the occasion of the intergovernmental conference with Iceland.

 
Statement following the meeting with Deputy Head of the “Batkivshchyna” Party Mr. Hryhoriy Nemyria
Statement following the meeting with Deputy Head of the “Batkivshchyna” Party Mr. Hryhoriy Nemyria

24/06/2011

During our meeting today, Mr. Hryhoriy Nemyria and I reflected on the crucial importance of the year 2011 for EU-Ukraine relations. We discussed recent developments in relations between the European Union and Ukraine, and I was very pleased that Mr Nemyria reaffirmed the determination of the political group he represents to play a constructive role in shaping the important reforms needed for Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU. In particular, we want to conclude  the negotiations of Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area this year.

 
Meeting with Vlad Filat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova
Meeting with Vlad Filat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova

23/06/2011

''We have taken stock of our rapidly developing relationship, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. Moldova’s strong commitment to the goals of political association and economic integration is of the highest importance in this regard.''  stated Commissioner Füle following the meeting on 24 June 2011.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

23/06/2011

''Today I met with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. We had a constructive and forward-looking discussion covering all main issues related to the accession process of the country. Together with HR/VP Catherine Ashton, I have welcomed the competitive, transparent and well administered parliamentary elections of 5 June, especially as regards the election day itself. Now we are looking forward to a smooth process of government formation. It is important for the country to get back to work.

 
Statement following meeting with Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Vuk Jeremić
Statement following meeting with Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Vuk Jeremić

23/06/2011

I was very happy to meet Minister Jeremić at this crucial juncture for Serbia. We met already this week at the Western Balkan Forum in Luxembourg, an important gathering of the European Union states with the foreign ministers of the Western Balkan countries. Indeed, the year 2011 brings a huge opportunity for Serbia to move closer to EU accession, as the European Commission is actively preparing its Opinion on Serbia's membership application.

 
First Bureau meeting of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, Brussels, 21 June 2011
First Bureau meeting of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, Brussels, 21 June 2011

22/06/2011

''Euronest is a unique multilateral forum where partners can exchange experience on reform and approximation to EU standards and on legislation to enhance democratic governance in their countries. I believe that Euronest will make a very important contribution to the objectives of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy at the level of parliaments, i.e. pursuing deep democratization and promoting the benefits of the Eastern partnership to citizens,'' Commissioner Füle stated in his address to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Bureau meeting. Commissioner Füle also used this opportunity to present the major elements of the Joint Communication on the ENP Review, adopted on 25 May 2011.

 
Address by Commissioner Štefan Füle to the Western Balkan Forum
Address by Commissioner Štefan Füle to the Western Balkan Forum

22/06/2011

"This is the year of enlargement opportunities. With our support, the leaders of the Western Balkans can turn 2011 into the year of enlargement momentum. Fulfilling commitments brings results. There is still time before our next Enlargement package, to convince both the Commission and Member States that your countries are ready to move to the next stage in the process", stated Commissioner Füle on 20 June in his address to the Western Balkan Forum.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the EU – Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the EU – Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council

21/06/2011

"We had a very constructive and forward looking exchange on the occasion of the 2nd meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council between the European Union and Montenegro. Today's meeting allowed us to address three points: First, we discussed the important political dialogue, regional cooperation and relationships in the Western Balkan region and, as the Presidency has said, we appreciated very much the insight which has been shared with us by Minister Milan Rocen. Second, it allowed us to review the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. And third, the timing of that second Association Council was indeed very appropriate; it helped us to identify outstanding challenges on Montenegro's path towards the next stage of European Union integration.

 
Joint statement by High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the announcement of the new Constitution of Morocco
Joint statement by High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the announcement of the new Constitution of Morocco

20/06/2011

"We welcome the King of Morocco's announcement of the main elements of the new Constitution that will be submitted to referendum on 1 July 2011. It is a significant step and signals a clear commitment to democracy and respect for human rights. The proposed constitution touches on key elements of reform and modernization, such as the separation of powers, the strengthening of the government’s role, the independence of the judiciary, regionalisation and equality of rights between men and women. Once fully implemented, it would be a major step forward in the process of reforms already initiated by Morocco.

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle's address to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Albania
Commissioner Štefan Füle's address to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Albania

15/06/2011

"[…] we have clear evidence over the past years that the country and its politicians are able to achieve significant progress. The overall smooth implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the visa liberalisation are successes that show Albania's ability to firmly progress on the European path provided there is a clear political will", stated Commissioner Füle on 14 June in his address to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Albania.

 
Commission proposes to close the remaining chapters in the accession negotiations with Croatia
Commission proposes to close the remaining chapters in the accession negotiations with Croatia

10/06/2011

"I am particularly glad to announce that today the Commission has completed its negotiations with Croatia. This means that, as far as the Commission is concerned, the work is completed. Now it is up to the Member States to make the final evaluation of the negotiations and decide whether the negotiations can be officially concluded and the Accession Treaty signed", stated Commissioner Füle on 10 June 2011 on the occasion of the recommendation by the Commission to close the remaining chapters with Croatia.

 
Joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

07/06/2011

"We welcome the competitive, transparent and well-administered parliamentary elections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and congratulate the people, the political parties and responsible authorities for their contribution to this process. We particularly note the high turnout. We call on the government to implement fully the conclusions and recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission. We are pleased to note that political parties have largely endorsed the election. As a candidate for membership of the European Union, the country now needs to look to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The new government must swiftly resume the reforms necessary to continue the country's progress towards the European Union, and the opposition should contribute in a constructive manner in Parliament to the reform process. We underline the importance of the government taking steps to ensure good neighbourly relations."

 
Visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6 June
Visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6 June

06/06/2011

''By launching a dialogue on justice related reforms within the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Process, the EU is offering to the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina an important platform. This dialogue provides an opportunity that cannot be missed,'' Commissioner Füle stated ahead of his visit.

 
Statement of Commissioner Stefan Fule following his meeting with Ms Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions
Statement of Commissioner Stefan Fule following his meeting with Ms Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions

01/06/2011

Today, I met with Ms Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions. I took this opportunity to welcome the work of the Regional and Local Euro-Mediterranean Assembly (ARLEM) and to express my satisfaction at the inauguration of the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP), which is planned for September 2011. These two assemblies will serve as effective complements to the activities of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and will constitute important components of its regional dimensions.

 
Signature of the Community Based Approach, Phase II Financing Agreement (Ukraine), Brussels 31 May 2011
Signature of the Community Based Approach, Phase II Financing Agreement (Ukraine), Brussels 31 May 2011

31/05/2011

I have had good talks with Deputy Prime Minister Klyuyev today. I am happy to take part today in the signing ceremony for the second phase of our programme on the Community Based Approach (CBA) to local development in Ukraine. Today we are launching a further €17 million of EU support to complement the €12 million already invested. The overall objective of the programme is to promote sustainable socio-economic development at local level by strengthening participatory governance and community-based initiatives throughout Ukraine.

 
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee

31/05/2011

''Today, I met with Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). We discussed the importance of dialogue with civil society in the countries covered by the Enlargement and the Neighbourhood Policies.I am fully aware of the role of the EESC in rallying civil society behind the cause of European integration and in transmitting good practices to candidate, potential candidate and neighbouring countries through joint consultative committees and civil society fora. The Committee is at the centre of the European Union's efforts to export the European model of social dialogue.

 
Commissioner Füle participates in “Dialogue Montenegro - EU”, 27 May 2011
Commissioner Füle participates in “Dialogue Montenegro - EU”, 27 May 2011

27/05/2011

“I am positive that Montenegro, with its constructive, open and inclusive approach, but most importantly with the energy of its people and the solid political consensus which already exists, will make good progress on its European path, and become an example to follow in the region”, stated Commissioner Füle on 27 May 2011 in Podgorica at the conference “Dialogue Montenegro - EU”.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić

26/05/2011

"Today, I received confirmation from the Serbian authorities regarding the arrest of General Ratko Mladić. 1. Justice is being served and a great obstacle on the Serbian road to the EU has been removed. 2. I talked to President Tadić, congratulated him and Serbia's citizens, because this is a big day for Serbia, but also for the Western Balkans and for all of us. 3. Let me pay a special tribute to President Tadić for his leadership and personal role in not only bringing General Mladić to the Hague tribunal, but also in playing an important role for reconciliation and regional stability in the Western Balkans.

 
A new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy
A new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy

25/05/2011

''With so much of our Neighbourhood in a process of democratic change, this review is more important than ever. It is vital that we in the EU make a comprehensive offer to our neighbours and build lasting partnerships in our neighbourhood to reinforce democracy and inclusive economic and social development. This is why Cathy and I are launching today our vision for a refocused and innovative European Neighbourhood Policy ENP -- confirming the EU’s determined and reinforced engagement with its neighbours.'' said Commissioner Štefan Füle on 25 May 2011 at the Press Conference

 
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on Albania
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on Albania

25/05/2011

''We take note of yesterday's publication by the Central Election Commission (CEC) of results of the mayoral election in Tirana. However we also note that the legal soundness of the decision of the CEC to count the so-called misplaced ballots is a matter of concern.The electoral process is not yet finished. The European Union will be closely following the completion of the appeals procedures and the publication of the final results as well as the assessment of the process by the OSCE/ODIHR elections' observation mission.The EU expects the appeals procedure to be fair, transparent, carried out independently and in full compliance with the existing legal framework.

 
EC statement on Albania
EC statement on Albania

19/05/2011

''The EU calls on and encourages all stakeholders (political parties, individuals, state institutions including the Central Election Commission) to uphold the constructive atmosphere that had prevailed on the election day during the remaining stages of the electoral process, to respect the rules and exercise restraint. All steps should take place within the institutions and according to the rules of the country.Election results should be processed as soon as possible.''

 
''Turkey: Building bridges for prosperity''
''Turkey: Building bridges for prosperity''

19/05/2011

"We have long-standing and well-established trade relations between big European and Turkish companies in all sectors of the economy. At the same time, Turkish companies are becoming all the more active in the EU and mergers and acquisitions increase. This all demonstrates that Turkey has become a key contributor to Europe’s competitiveness in the global economy. And even much more than that: Turkey is a partner of key strategic importance to the EU, in terms of security, stability, prosperity and energy supply", stated Commissioner Füle on 18 May 2011 in his speech at the at the European Business Summit.

 
Visite à Alger, 16 - 17 mai
Visite à Alger, 16 - 17 mai

17/05/2011

Au cours de cette visite, organisée en étroite collaboration avec les autorités algériennes, Monsieur Štefan Füle sera reçu par Monsieur Ahmed Ouyahia, Premier ministre. Il rencontrera également messieurs Mourad Medelci, Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Abdelmadjid Sellal, Ministre des Ressources en eau, Mustapha Benbada, Ministre du Commerce et Karim Djoudi, Ministre des Finances. Il sera également reçu par  M. Ziari, Président de l'Assemblée Populaire Nationale.Le Commissaire à l'Elargissement et à la Politique européenne de voisinage s'entretiendra également avec des représentants d'ONGs. Il visitera un projet de sensibilisation et d'éducation des jeunes aux droits de l'homme mis en place par l'ONG CISP et soutenu par l'Union européenne. Cette visite et ses rencontres permettront de procéder à une revue globale des relations entre l'Union européenne et l'Algérie afin de les faire progresser davantage.

 
Reaction to the Open Europe Report
Reaction to the Open Europe Report

10/05/2011

On numerous occasions since the beginning of the year, whether in the European Parliament or to the 27 European Foreign Ministers, both the High Representative and the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy have emphasized the need to draw lessons from the past, rise up to the challenges faced in our Neighbourhood and in particular address the consequences of the Arab Spring.This shared commitment led to the adoption of the EU’s 8th March Communication “A partnership for shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean” aimed at addressing these shortcomings. This package   made a number of proposals, most of which have actually been taken up two months later in the Open Europe report’s recommendations of the 8th May.As the Open Europe report points out itself, quoting from a speech made by Commissioner Stefan Füle in the European Parliament, the EU recognized already in February that it could have exercised more pressure on authoritarian regimes in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood to deliver on democratic reforms and that certain mistakes were made in the past in the European Neighbourhood policy (ENP).

 
''Speak Up!'' International Conference on Freedom of Expression: Opening speech by Commissioner Štefan Füle
''Speak Up!'' International Conference on Freedom of Expression: Opening speech by Commissioner Štefan Füle

06/05/2011

"Our 2010 enlargement package showed that freedom of expression and the media were issues facing stagnation or worse - a retreat from previous achievements. To be a Member of the European Union means meeting our exacting standards. There can be no slippage and we are deeply concerned by these developments", stated Commissioner Füle on 6 May in his opening speech at the "Speak Up!" International Conference on Freedom of Expression in Brussels.

 
Commission to host a high level international conference on the issue of freedom of media
Commission to host a high level international conference on the issue of freedom of media

03/05/2011

"Today, on the occasion the World Freedom of Press day, let me reiterate that freedom of expression and media is not ensured just by adopting laws and creating institutions – it is a fundamental value, which needs to be cherished by all societies and without which no democracy can function." said Commissioner Štefan Füle on 3 May, announcing a high-level international conference entitled "Speak Up!".

 
Commissioner Füle visits Egypt
Commissioner Füle visits Egypt

03/05/2011

"I have come here to express the support of the European Union to the Egyptian people and their legitimate request for democracy, human rights and a better future. The determination of the Egyptian people to defend their democratic aspirations and move from authoritarian rule to genuine multiparty democracy is humbling and commendable. Since the beginning of the uprising, the EU has been very clear in urging the Egyptian authorities to listen to the voices of the Egyptian people." said Commissioner Füle in Cairo on the 3 May.

 
Commissioner Füle visits Jordan
Commissioner Füle visits Jordan

03/05/2011

"I commend the efforts made so far by the country and stress the willingness of the EU to continue supporting Jordan in addressing the current economic and financial challenges the country is facing. Referring to the work of both the National Dialogue and Royal Committees, I emphasize the need for concrete implementation of reforms to the benefit of the Jordanian citizens. Let me reiterate the principle of "more EU support for more reforms''." said Commissioner Füle in Amman on 2 May.

 
Statement on freedom of expression and media in the Western Balkans and Turkey
Statement on freedom of expression and media in the Western Balkans and Turkey

14/04/2011

"Freedom of expression is not ensured just by adopting laws and creating institutions – it is a fundamental value, which needs to be cherished by all societies and without which no democracy can function", stated Commissioner Füle prior to his meeting with journalists from the Western Balkans and Turkey to discuss the current situation with regard to freedom of expression and media in the region.

 
Statement on the outcome of the referendum on the IceSave agreement
Statement on the outcome of the referendum on the IceSave agreement

11/04/2011

The Commission takes note of the negative vote in the referendum on the new IceSave bill concerning the terms and conditions for the loan repayment by the Icelandic Deposit Guarantee scheme to the UK and the Netherlands. Given the importance and the potential impact of the referendum outcome, the Commission will closely monitor the further developments in the framework of Iceland's existing commitments to fully respect its obligations deriving from membership in the European Economic Area.

 
President Barroso and Commissioner Füle to travel to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from 7 to 9 April
President Barroso and Commissioner Füle to travel to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from 7 to 9 April

07/04/2011

"2011 is a year of opportunities for the enlargement policy and for the whole Western Balkans. A lot can be done if our partners live up to the expectations of their citizens and deliver on reforms. I hear a lot about Enlargement fatigue. For me, it is a myth: like the yeti - often discussed, but never seen. Let us fight this myth together through reforms which deliver benefits to the people. The accession process is not an easy one but a credible one: aspirant members deliver on reforms, and the EU delivers on their progress. Our joint roadmap is very clear. For each country, it is set out in our 2010 Progress Report or Opinion. The Commission is here to guide and help. Our partners can count on us. Together with President Barroso, we will deliver these messages to our partners and the citizens." said Commissioner Füle on the eve of the visit.

 
European Neighbourhood Policy Review
European Neighbourhood Policy Review

07/04/2011

"I am delighted to have this opportunity for an exchange of views on the European Neighbourhood Policy. In the context of the current events in the southern Mediterranean, redeveloping this policy could not be more important.[…]", stated Commissioner Füle on 6 April in his address to the European Parliament.

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on the occasion of his trip to Tunisia
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on the occasion of his trip to Tunisia

01/04/2011

"Salaam aleikoum, bonjour. Avec ma collègue Cecilia Malmström, nous sommes particulièrement heureux d'être aujourd'hui parmi vous en Tunisie, pays qui a une relation privilégiée avec l'Union européenne et qui vient de connaître des changements spectaculaires sous l'impulsion d'un peuple courageux et déterminé. La révolution authentiquement populaire et démocratique qui vient de se dérouler est une source d’inspiration au-delà des frontières de la Tunisie. Le peuple tunisien mérite toute notre admiration.

 
Visit to Albania, 30 March 2011
Visit to Albania, 30 March 2011

30/03/2011

"We have held constructive discussions on the Action Plan prepared by the Albanian government to address the priorities of the November 2010 Commission Opinion on Albania. I would like to commend the efforts made by the Albanian government in preparing the action plan and thank them for organising this seminar to discuss the proposed measures. I would also like to thank the Albanian authorities for their general openness to the suggestions and recommendations of the Commission.

 
Visit to Belgrade,  29 March 2011
Visit to Belgrade, 29 March 2011

29/03/2011

"2011 is a year of opportunities for our enlargement policy, for the whole Western Balkans region and for Serbia in particular. The European Union has shown it wants much closer ties with Serbia. Following the visits of our expert teams who are verifying the answers to the Questionnaire, I will be discussing with my counterparts in Belgrade the pace of economic and political reforms Serbia is undertaking. I very much look forward to these talks." said Commissioner Stefan Füle on the eve of his visit to Belgrade.

 
Press point with Ms Vlora Citaku, Minister for European Integration of Kosovo
Press point with Ms Vlora Citaku, Minister for European Integration of Kosovo

25/03/2011

"Our first meeting was very productive and enabled us to confirm where we stand on Kosovo's European reform agenda, and to agree on our priorities for this year. The European Commission will continue to actively work on the initiatives outlined in our 2009 Communication on Kosovo in order for it to progress on its EU path and will help it prepare for the start of the visa liberalisation dialogue and towards a possible trade agreement. We recently sent our proposal for a framework agreement allowing Kosovo to participate in EU programmes to the Member States. We will continue our high level political dialogue on all issues relevant to Kosovo's efforts to move closer to Europe, and will continue to provide generous financial assistance under our IPA programme." stated Commissioner Füle on 25 March following his meeting with Minister Vlora Citaku.

 
Statement by Commissioner Stefan Füle following his meeting with Mr Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Statement by Commissioner Stefan Füle following his meeting with Mr Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

25/03/2011

"Today I met with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. We discussed a number of issues regarding the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's European accession path and the political situation in the country. I underlined that 2011 is an important year for the whole region. The countries there should spare no effort in creating a positive momentum for enlargement and it is important that Skopje is an active part of it. It is therefore essential that the name issue is solved. Otherwise there is a tangible risk that the country could fall behind in the accession process.

 
Statement by Commissioner Stefan Füle following his meeting with Vladimir Filat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova
Statement by Commissioner Stefan Füle following his meeting with Vladimir Filat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova

25/03/2011

"Today I met with Prime Minister Vladimir Filat with whom I had a very useful and timely discussion. We discussed EU-Moldova relations and the importance for the country to continue its impressive reform endeavour. I have emphasized the need for Moldova to ensure the sustainability of the reform process. In this context, I have been encouraged by the commitment of Prime Minister Filat to ensure an effective implementation of the EU Moldova Action Plan. I have also stressed that it is up to Moldova to find a solution to the current institutional deadlock and that a rapid solution would contribute to the sustainability of reforms.

 
Statement by Commissioner Stefan Füle following his meeting with Mrs. Yulia Tymoshenko leader of Ukrainian Batkivshchyna Party
Statement by Commissioner Stefan Füle following his meeting with Mrs. Yulia Tymoshenko leader of Ukrainian Batkivshchyna Party

24/03/2011

"Today I met with Mrs Yulia Tymoshenko in Brussels. It was the second time we met this year. Strong relations with Ukraine require continuous contacts with all main political forces. We agreed that the process of shaping reforms for Ukraine's rapprochement with the EU needs the engagement of the opposition. As leader of the opposition, Mrs Tymoshenko stressed she would play a constructive role in this regard in particular on the election code, which we discussed at length. Inclusiveness and maximum transparency in the reforms of the constitution, the election code and the judiciary are essential.

 
European Commission confirms strong support to the Belarusian population
European Commission confirms strong support to the Belarusian population

21/03/2011

Following announcement that it will increase its direct support for Belarusian civil society fourfold for the period 2011 – 2013, the Commission steps up donors' coordination. Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle commented: "Today's meeting provided an important opportunity to further demonstrate our solidarity with the population and civil society of Belarus. It will help ensure that the international assistance provided in this difficult period, is focussed, targeted and supportive."

 
European Neighbourhood Policy
European Neighbourhood Policy

18/03/2011

"We will continue to give balanced attention to each and every ENP partner country and to ensure the EU’s relations with our partners are pursued in a differentiated and tailor-made way: not on the basis of geography but on the basis of each partner’s commitment and level of ambition in conducting reforms." stated Commissioner Füle at the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels on 16 March 2011.

 
Launch of the European Union Youth Orchestra's Spring Tour 2011
Launch of the European Union Youth Orchestra's Spring Tour 2011

15/03/2011

''By including for the first time two pre-accession countries from the Western Balkans, Croatia and Serbia namely, in its tour this year, the orchestra delivers a powerful signal, similar to the work we all do together for a larger, stronger, united Europe.'' said Commissioner Füle on 15 March at the press conference.

 
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on Morocco's future constitutional reform
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on Morocco's future constitutional reform

11/03/2011

''We welcome the King of Morocco's announcement yesterday of extensive constitutional reform. It represents a commitment to further democratization. The proposed constitutional reform touches on key elements for modernisation, such as regionalisation, the independence of justice, the separation of powers, the strengthening of the government’s role and equality for women. Once fully implemented, it will be a qualitative leap in the process of reforms already initiated by Morocco.

 
A Partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean
A Partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean

08/03/2011

"The events unfolding in North Africa and other parts of the Arab world are of historic proportions. We are witnessing a sea change in the internal dynamics of this region. What has happened over the last weeks will have profound and lasting consequences not only for the people and the countries of the region but also for the rest of the world, in particular Europe." said Commissioner Füle.

 
Commissioner Stefan Füle's address to the European Parliament on Turkey
Commissioner Stefan Füle's address to the European Parliament on Turkey

08/03/2011

"The Commission remains committed to the accession process with Turkey. The EU-Turkey relationship is strong. Turkey needs the EU and the EU needs Turkey. The European Union is and will remain a key player for Turkey." said Commissioner Füle at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 8 March 2011.

 
Commissioner Füle meets Montenegrin Prime Minister Igor Lukšić
Commissioner Füle meets Montenegrin Prime Minister Igor Lukšić

04/03/2011

"During our very interesting, thorough and constructive meeting, we have reviewed the achievements of Montenegro on its EU-accession path, and forthcoming steps. We also looked into the plans of Montenegro to address the key priorities set out in the Commission Opinion in view of opening accession negotiations. As I told the Prime minister, Montenegro's strong commitment and ownership over the key priorities are an asset. The determined, constructive and inclusive approach adopted by the Montenegrin government are very welcome. While the ownership of the process lies firmly with Montenegro, the Commission is closely accompanying the process with dialogue, advice and technical assistance. I am very pleased that comments submitted by the Commission in our recent consultations have been taken on board." stated Commissioner Füle on 4 March in Brussels after the meeting with Prime Minister Lukšić.

 
Interim report on the progress by Croatia adopted
Interim report on the progress by Croatia adopted

02/03/2011

"I commend the Croatian government's efforts in this key chapter. The Commission continues to support Croatia on the last stretch of its path towards EU membership and is ready to propose the closing of negotiations as soon as Croatia has met all remaining requirements identified in today's report. I am hopeful that this report will help the Croatian government and Croatian society as a whole to redouble their efforts in this crucial area", stated Commissioner Füle on 2 March 2011 on the occasion of the Commission adopting an interim report on the progress made by Croatia in the area of judiciary and fundamental rights (Chapter 23).

 
Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding on the National Indicative Programme for Ukraine
Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding on the National Indicative Programme for Ukraine

02/03/2011

"I was very happy to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on the National Indicative Programme for Ukraine with Mr Kluyev. Today, we discussed in particular our Association Agreement negotiations, including the provisions setting up a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). I reminded Deputy Prime Minister Kluyev that the DCFTA is part of a broader Association Agreement which includes crucial elements on human rights, democracy and fundamental freedoms." stated Commissioner Fule on the occasion of the signature of the National Indicative Programme for Ukraine in Brussels on 2 March 2011.

 
Joint statement by EU High Representative Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the establishment of a new government in Kosovo
Joint statement by EU High Representative Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the establishment of a new government in Kosovo

23/02/2011

"We welcome the establishment of a new government in Kosovo and the election of the President. We look forward to working with them to improve the lives of the people of Kosovo and to help them fulfil Kosovo's European perspective. We also count on the new government to tackle its reform priorities, in particular to strengthen public administration, enhance the rule of law and to ensure the integration of all communities. We welcome the new government's commitment to the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue. Here also we will be working closely with the Prime Minister and his new team."

 
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on Egypt
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on Egypt

16/02/2011

"The political reality of Egypt changed spectacularly last Friday when President Mubarak stepped down after 30 years in office. His departure has opened the way to the possible transformation of Egypt. Let me repeat it in front of this House: the EU salutes the courage of the Egyptian people who have pursued their struggle for democratic change peacefully and with dignity." stated Commissioner Füle on 16 February 2010 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

 
Statement on the situation in Albania
Statement on the situation in Albania

16/02/2011

"The developments in Tirana on Friday 21 January 2011 were tragic. The tone in Tirana needs to change. The dangerous downward spiral must end. The political crisis must be resolved. This is the shared responsibility of the political leaders in Albania. That is what the citizens of Albania expect. And they are right." stated Commissioner Füle at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 15 February 2011.

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle meets Croatian Prime Minister
Commissioner Štefan Füle meets Croatian Prime Minister

15/02/2011

"I have had a very useful and constructive meeting with Prime Minister Kosor. We have discussed the importance of maintaining  the momentum of the accession negotiations and of tackling the remaining  outstanding issues so that the EU accession process can be concluded. I emphasised on my side that Croatia needs to focus in particular on fulfilling all the closing benchmarks of chapter 23 - Judiciary and Fundamental rights."

 
"Civil Society organisations challenge public authorities", Istanbul
"Civil Society organisations challenge public authorities", Istanbul

11/02/2011

'Today, we bring together Civil Society Organisations from the enlargement countries, members of national governments and parliaments and representatives from European institutions.Overall, around 300 participants are present. This is an impressive response. In a participative democracy, the role of civil society is of vital importance in providing an alternative perspective.' stated Commissioner Füle on the occasion of the Congress of the European Movement International in Istanbul on 11 February 2011.

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle will visit Morocco on 7 and 8 February 2011
Commissioner Štefan Füle will visit Morocco on 7 and 8 February 2011

07/02/2011

"With close to €200 million every year, Morocco is the largest recipient of EU funding under the European Neighbourhood Policy. We have intensified our aid further under the "statut avancé", in line with the ambitious commitments of the Kingdom in all areas of our co-operation, both economic and political. I am looking forward to discussing a further push in these reforms during my visit, particularly in areas such as justice reform and the convergence of Morocco's regulations with the EU's. We will also discuss how the EU can best support regional integration in the Maghreb in order to help support job and growth creation , " stated Commissioner Füle on 6 February prior to his visit.

 
European Commission calls for orderly transition and the holding of free and fair elections in Egypt
European Commission calls for orderly transition and the holding of free and fair elections in Egypt

02/02/2011

"The European Commission has been following closely the latest events in Egypt and at its meeting today expressed its firm commitment to support the legitimate aspirations of the people of Egypt. The European Commission reiterates the call for an orderly transition in Egypt through a comprehensive process encompassing all political forces and civil society ready to abide by democratic norms. We urge for the necessary reforms including the holding of free and fair elections to be undertaken in a timely, decisive and concrete manner."

 
European Commission is quadrupling its aid to the Belarusian population
European Commission is quadrupling its aid to the Belarusian population

02/02/2011

Today at a speech made in an international Donor's Conference on Belarus held in Warsaw, European Commissioner Štefan Füle announced that the European Commission intends to increase its funds and support for civil society fourfold, up to € 15,6 Million. Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle commented "As a clear demonstration of our unequivocal support to civil society in these difficult times, we will increase our funding from the currently available €4 million to €15.6 million. With these measures, we are seeking to avoid isolating the Belarusian population. I believe we have an important responsibility in this regard."

 
Serbia delivers its answers to the Commission's questionnaire
Serbia delivers its answers to the Commission's questionnaire

31/01/2011

"Today is a historic day for Serbia. The exercise of drafting and transmitting replies to the European Questionnaire is a key step a potential EU candidate takes in order to demonstrate all the efforts it has made in order to potentially become a candidate and potentially open accession negotiations." stated Commissioner Füle on 31 January 2011, when he received Serbia's answers to the European Commission questionnaire from Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković.

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle visits Syria on 25 January 2011
Commissioner Štefan Füle visits Syria on 25 January 2011

25/01/2011

"Aware of the important role that Syria plays in the region, I look forward to my first official visit to Damascus and to having good talks with the Syrian authorities. The EU is currently reviewing its policy towards the entire region - the European Neighbourhood Policy. As the Commissioner responsible for European Neighbourhood policy this visit will give me the opportunity to discuss with the Syrian government a common vision for EU-Syria relations in the medium and long term", stated Commissioner Füle on 25 January prior to his visit.

 
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the situation in Albania
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the situation in Albania

24/01/2011

"We strongly regret the loss of human life in the context of today's demonstration in Albania. Demonstrations are instruments of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly for citizens. We deplore that today's event has spiralled into violence. We urgently appeal to all political forces to call for calm and refrain from provocation. In order for Albania to progress on its European path, we once again urge Albanian politicians to engage in a constructive political dialogue to resolve without any further delay the long-standing political stalemate and to mobilise the countries energies to this end", stated EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on 21 January.

 
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the situation in Tunisia
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the situation in Tunisia

17/01/2011

"In this critical moment, we reaffirm the EU's solidarity with Tunisia and its people. We condemn, once again, the violent repression of the demonstrations and reiterate our sympathy to the families and friends of the victims. We pay tribute to the courage of the Tunisian people and their peaceful struggle for their rights and democratic aspirations", stated EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on 17 January.

 
Joint statement by HR Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the formation of new government of the Republic of Moldova
Joint statement by HR Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the formation of new government of the Republic of Moldova

14/01/2011

"We welcome the approval today by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova of the new government, following the elections of 28 November. This is an important step for the country’s democratic development. We are confident that the new government will continue to build on the substantial progress achieved in EU-Moldova relations", said EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on 14 January.

 
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the situation in Tunisia
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the situation in Tunisia

11/01/2011

"We are concerned about the events that have been taking place in Tunisia in recent days. In particular, we deplore the violence and the death of civilians. We express our sympathy to the families of the victims. We call for restraint in the use of force and for the respect of fundamental freedoms", said EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on 10 January.

 
Three new chapters closed in accession negotiations with Croatia
Three new chapters closed in accession negotiations with Croatia

22/12/2010

Croatia has succeeded in provisionally closing a further three chapters in the country's negotiations with the EU. At the meeting of the Accession Conference on 22 December, the European Union and Croatia have moved on to a provisional agreement on Chapters 'Justice, freedom and security', 'Environment' and 'Foreign, security, defence policy'. Since the start of the negotiations in 2005, thirty-three chapters have been opened, of which 28 have been provisionally closed.

 
Commissioner Füle congratulates Montenegro for securing candidate status
Commissioner Füle congratulates Montenegro for securing candidate status

17/12/2010

"We hope that today's decision will give new impetus to the country's EU-related reforms, especially with respect to the key priorities identified by the Commission as instrumental to preparing the country for the opening of its accession negotiations with the EU", said Commissioner Füle on 17 December.

 
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on Kosovo elections
Joint statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on Kosovo elections

13/12/2010

"We congratulate the people of Kosovo on their elections on 12 December and the calm and orderly manner in which the majority of the voting took place. We also want to congratulate the authorities and the Central Electoral Commission in particular, for having organized these elections at such short notice", said EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on 13 December.

 
Next months are decisive for Serbia
Next months are decisive for Serbia

09/12/2010

"The months to come will be decisive for Serbia's advance towards its EU membership. This is also a time when we all look with a magnifying glass to every action Serbia takes. I am confident that the country will live up to Europe's great expectations. We will stand ready as always to accompany Serbia's reforms with our political, technical and financial support." stated Commissioner Füle at the VIP corner with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković on 9 December.

 
Pre-accession assistance for the Western Balkans, Iceland and Turkey, 6-7 December 2010
Pre-accession assistance for the Western Balkans, Iceland and Turkey, 6-7 December 2010

06/12/2010

The European Commission, in cooperation with the World Bank, is hosting a conference in Brussels on 6-7 December 2010 to discuss how the Instrument for pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) can be improved to have the most positive impact on the progress of the Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland towards the European Union. "IPA offers you an excellent training ground for the management of the future, and much larger, funds that you will receive once you join the EU. [...] We need you to join the EU in full confidence of your capacity to shape not only the fate of your country, but also the future of the EU", stated Commissioner Füle on 6 December addressing the participants of the conference.

 
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle on the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova

01/12/2010

"We welcome the conduct of the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova on 28 November 2010, which met most international standards for democratic elections, and congratulate the citizens of the Republic of Moldova on the high level of turnout. The Republic of Moldova has made significant efforts during the past year to strengthen democracy and implement structural reforms.

 
Visit to Croatia, 25 November 2010
Visit to Croatia, 25 November 2010

25/11/2010

"The EU funded project on Zagreb Main Railway Station is a good example of concrete results of Croatia's preparation for cohesion policy. The project will improve traffic safety, expand capacity, accelerate the operating process, reduce maintenance costs and finally allow for a better integration of the railway network in Croatia to the EU network" stated Commissioner Füle during his visit in Croatia on 25 November 2010.

 
Visit to Serbia - 23-24 November 2010
Visit to Serbia - 23-24 November 2010

23/11/2010

"I have come to Belgrade not only with more work for you, but also with a clear message of hope. Hope that the efforts you have already invested bring us further along our common path. Hope that the significant efforts you will be investing in the months to come will bring you ultimately future membership of the EU", stated Commissioner Füle on 23 November ahead of his visit to Serbia during which he will hand over the questionnaire to the government.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle on Palanca (Moldova-Ukraine border)
Statement by Commissioner Füle on Palanca (Moldova-Ukraine border)

23/11/2010

"I welcome the outcome of last Friday's meeting in Chisinau between representatives of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, called in at the joint initiative of the European Union and the United States of America to discuss the situation at the Ukrainian-Moldovan state border near the Palanca village. Solutions to such issues should be sought through negotiation in a peaceful manner and in the good neighbourly spirit, and not through unilateral action.

 
Commission adopted the 2010 Enlargement Package
Commission adopted the 2010 Enlargement Package

10/11/2010

"In this climate of economic uncertainty, people may ask "why does enlargement matter?" Enlargement matters because it reinforces peace and stability in Europe. Enlargement makes the EU a safer place, with its focus on consolidating the rule of law, while promoting democracy and fundamental freedoms across the region" stated Commissioner Füle upon the adoption of the 2010 Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports on 9 November.

 
Visa free regime for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Visa free regime for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina

08/11/2010

"The visa-free regime is the best proof that reforms at home bring tangible benefits for citizens and progress in relations with the EU. We can build on this in order to further the reforms needed to bring the two countries closer to their European aspirations", stated Commissioner Füle on 8 November on the occasion of the adoption by the Ministers of Interior of the European Union of the proposal to introduce visa free travel for citizens from Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 
Civil society wants a stronger European Neighbourhood Policy. But "more conditional on the respect of Human rights"
Civil society wants a stronger European Neighbourhood Policy. But "more conditional on the respect of Human rights"

08/11/2010

"Civil society has become an indispensable actor in public governance. Your strong commitment, the constant action of your organisations in many areas close to citizens' concerns such as the human rights, the environment, social and economic development and many others deserve this recognition. Your point of view as witnesses and  actors of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), will be very helpful for us in the on-going review process", declared Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, at the opening of a meeting with representatives of civil society organisations held in Brussels on 5 November 2010. This meeting is part of the wide consultation process undertaken by the Commission in the framework of the ENP strategic review.

 
Statement on reconciliation initiative Croatia-Serbia
Statement on reconciliation initiative Croatia-Serbia

05/11/2010

"I welcome the important step forward towards reconciliation in the Western Balkans in the light of Presidents Josipović and Tadić visits to Vukovar and Paulin Dvor. Such places could become the symbols of reconciliation and an example for the entire Western Balkans region."

 
European Neighbourhood Policy Review
European Neighbourhood Policy Review

26/10/2010

"In the months and years to come, we must demonstrate our capacity to act convincingly in our Neighbourhood, using all the instruments and opportunities for joined-up action offered by the Lisbon Treaty." stated Commissioner Füle on 26 October on the occasion of the ENP Review at the AFET Committee in the European Parliament.

 
Commission to start preparing its Opinion on Serbia's application
Commission to start preparing its Opinion on Serbia's application

25/10/2010

"Today's decision is the expression of the strong EU support to Serbia and its leadership. This support is paralleled by equally high expectations." stated Commissioner Füle on 25 October on the occasion of the decision of the General Affairs Council to forward to the Commission Serbia's application for EU membership.

 
Visit to Cyprus - 14 october 2010
Visit to Cyprus - 14 october 2010

14/10/2010

"The European Union is proud to have contributed with its financial support to a major landmark of the Cypriot pursuit of peace." stated Commissioner Füle on 14 October on the occasion of his visit to Cyprus, where he also attended the opening of the Limnitis/Yeşilırmak crossing point in the northwest of the Republic of Cyprus.

 
Ukraine: from crisis to growth
Ukraine: from crisis to growth

13/10/2010

''The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement offers the prospect of a gradual opening of the EU’s internal market of 500 million consumers to Ukrainian businesses and investors - a market 10 times larger than any of Ukraine’s other neighbours''. said Commissioner on the occasion of the Conference: ''Ukraine: from crisis to growth - economy, investments, markets'' in Brussels on 13 October.

 
Debate on EU enlargement in the Dutch Parliament - 6 October 2010
Debate on EU enlargement in the Dutch Parliament - 6 October 2010

06/10/2010

"Enlargement implies strict conditionality and political guidance. These are two sides of the same coin" stated Commissioner Füle at the debate on EU enlargement in the Dutch National Parliament, in the Hague.

 
YES conference in Ukraine
YES conference in Ukraine

01/10/2010

"We are deeply committed to supporting the process of reform in Ukraine and to completing our work on the Association Agreement. We believe this offers Ukraine the prospect of getting closer to the European Union, in a relationship based on common values and an increasingly shared vision of the world in which we live." stated Commissioner Füle on 1 October on the occasion of the participation in the 7th Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference in Yalta.

 
Commission adopts two reports on EU aid to the Turkish Cypriot community and implementation of the Green Line regulation
Commission adopts two reports on EU aid to the Turkish Cypriot community and implementation of the Green Line regulation

21/09/2010

The Commission adopted on 20 September 2010 the Annual Report on EU aid to the Turkish Cypriot community and on 21 September the Annual Report on the implementation of the Green Line regulation.

 
European Neighbourhood Policy: Meeting with EU NGOs
European Neighbourhood Policy: Meeting with EU NGOs

15/09/2010

"Developing the ENP and advancing its ambitious reform agenda cannot be done by governments and public servants only: it requires the involvement of civil society – both in the EU and in the partner countries." stated Commissioner Füle at a meeting on 15 September 2010.

 
Commission welcomes result of referendum in Turkey
Commission welcomes result of referendum in Turkey

13/09/2010

"The Commission welcomes the approval, by the Turkish people, of the Constitutional reforms in the referendum which took place on 12 September. It demonstrates the continued commitment of Turkish citizens to reforms in view of enhancing their rights and freedoms. As we consistently said in the past months, these reforms are a step in the right direction as they address a number of long-standing priorities in Turkey's efforts towards fully complying with the accession criteria. [...]"

 
Commissioner Füle welcomes EP decision on macro-financial assistance to Moldova
Commissioner Füle welcomes EP decision on macro-financial assistance to Moldova

08/09/2010

Following the adoption by the EP of the decision to approve a macro-financial assistance to Moldova of 90 million EURO, Commissioner Füle stated: "I welcome this decision, which shows our commitment to supporting the Republic of Moldova in its reforms aiming at addressing the effects of the global economic crisis. We will continue our bilateral cooperation with the country, with which we are negotiating a comprehensive upgrading of our relations, through an Association Agreement."

 
EU opens accession negotiations with Iceland
EU opens accession negotiations with Iceland

27/07/2010

"The opening of accession negotiations today marks a new chapter in the history of our relations with Iceland. Accession should be a win-win-situation for both sides. For Iceland, this means economic and monetary stability and a voice at the EU decision making tables. For the EU, it means we become stronger in dealing with the Arctic region and in areas such as renewable energy and climate change." said Commissioner Füle on the occassion of the EU opening accession negotiations with Iceland.

 
EU-Croatia Accession Conference 27 July 2010
EU-Croatia Accession Conference 27 July 2010

27/07/2010

Croatia has succeeded in provisionally closing a further two chapters in the country's negotiations with the EU. At the meeting of the Accession Conference at Deputies level on 27 July, the European Union and Croatia have moved on to a provisional agreement on financial control and food safety. Since the start of the negotiations in 2005, thirty-three chapters have been opened, of which 22 have been provisionally closed.

 
ICJ opinion on Kosovo's independence
ICJ opinion on Kosovo's independence

23/07/2010

"The advisory opinion opens a new phase. (…) The EU is ready to facilitate a process of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. This dialogue would be to promote cooperation, achieve progress on the path to Europe and improve the lives of the people." stated High Representative Catherine Ashton on 22 July 2010.

 
Iceland to receive pre-accession funding
Iceland to receive pre-accession funding

14/07/2010

"This decision underlines our commitment to support Iceland's accession process. We encourage the country to do what it takes to ensure a successful accession to the European Union." stated Commissioner Füle on 14 July 2010 on the occasion of the amended Regulation on the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) entering into force. The Regulation ensures that Iceland will be able to receive financial assistance from the EU to prepare for membership.

 
EU-Turkey political dialogue - Istanbul, 13 July 2010
EU-Turkey political dialogue - Istanbul, 13 July 2010

13/07/2010

"We believe that Turkey's policy of zero-problems with its neighbours, and the subsequent measures it takes in this respect, are perfectly compatible with its EU membership objectives." stated Commissioner Füle on the occasion of the EU-Turkey Political Dialogue Meeting.

 
Statement on the 15th commemoration of Srebrenica
Statement on the 15th commemoration of Srebrenica

11/07/2010

"Srebrenica is today a silent memorial to something that should have never happened and must never happen again." reads a joint statement by HR/VP Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Füle issued on 11 July 2010.

 
Statement on Turkish Constitutional Court ruling, 8 July 2010
Statement on Turkish Constitutional Court ruling, 8 July 2010

09/07/2010

"The Commission takes note of the ruling of the Constitutional Court, which we will need to analyse in more detail, in particular following the publication of the reasoned opinion of the Court. After our first assessment, our understanding is that the ruling concerns only a limited number of elements of the reform package, such as the method of election of the members of the Constitutional Court and of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors."

 
First official visit to Belarus 8-9 July 2010
First official visit to Belarus 8-9 July 2010

09/07/2010

''We share with Belarus much more than just a common border. Our cultural and economic ties go back many centuries. We have an opportunity to see these ties go forward, and extended; if this opportunity is seized by Belarusian authorities for the benefit of their citizens.'' stated Commissioner Füle prior to the visit.

 
The year ahead will be important for Kosovo and Albania
The year ahead will be important for Kosovo and Albania

08/07/2010

''Whatever the International Court of Justice will say, I trust the EU will continue to actively engage with Kosovo to ensure it stays connected to developments in the rest of the Western Balkans. Concerning Albania, I hope that the political picture as well as pragmatic progress on the ground will allow us to establish a clear path ahead in the Opinion the Commission will present in the autumn.'' stated Commissioner Füle on 7 July 20010 at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

 
Iceland - a full member of the enlargement family
Iceland - a full member of the enlargement family

08/07/2010

"The Commission fully supports Iceland's aspiration to join the European Union. I am confident that Iceland will continue to undertake all necessary efforts to ensure a positive outcome of the accession negotiations. " stated Commissioner Füle on 7 July 2010 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

 
Cultural route - Fortresses on the Danube
Cultural route - Fortresses on the Danube

02/07/2010

The photo exhibition 'Fortresses on the Danube' will open on 5 July in Brussels, under the patronage of Commissioners Štefan Füle and Johannes Hahn. The subject of the exhibition that will be displayed from 5 to 30 July in the Berlaymont, Hall 1st floor is the Danube region's heritage of fortifications, which reflect the development of European military architecture from ancient times to the present day.

 
EU-Croatia Accession Conference 30 June 2010
EU-Croatia Accession Conference 30 June 2010

30/06/2010

"Important challenges lie ahead of Croatia in the last phase of the negotiations: in particular the reforms of the judiciary and of the public administration, the need to fight against corruption at all levels." stated Commissioner Füle on the occasion of the Accession conference with Croatia on 30 June 2010 in Brussels. At the Accession conference, EU foreign ministers agreed to launch formal negotiations on Chapters 8 (Competition), 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and 31 (Foreign, Security and Defence Policy) and to provisionally close a further two chapters with the country, bringing the number of provisionally closed Chapters to 20 of the 33 policy-related chapters of its accession talks.

 
EU -Turkey: a heavy-weight chapter opened
EU -Turkey: a heavy-weight chapter opened

30/06/2010

Chapter 12 (Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy) was opened at the Accession Conference with Turkey on 30 June in Brussels. On this occasion, Commissioner Füle stated: "The EU's credibility lies on its continued commitment to negotiations. There should be zero-doubts policy about this commitment. Turkey's credibility lies on the country's commitment to pursue reforms. There should be zero-hesitations policy about these reforms."

 
EU policy towards South East Europe - SEECP Meeting, Istanbul, 22-23 June 2010
EU policy towards South East Europe - SEECP Meeting, Istanbul, 22-23 June 2010

23/06/2010

"The European project has been a project of healing Europe after the Second World War, and it was successful. After the end of the Cold War this success was repeated – a torn-apart continent started to reintegrate again. The fifth enlargement has brought a number of nations back to where they originally came from – to the one European family. [...]"

 
Regional Cooperation in Western Balkans - Istanbul, 22 June 2010
Regional Cooperation in Western Balkans - Istanbul, 22 June 2010

22/06/2010

"Many of the challenges that the region is called upon to face, from infrastructure development to the rule of law, can best be dealt with on a regional level. We expect our partners in South Eastern Europe to engage in practical and pragmatic cooperation" said Commissioner Füle on 22 June at the Annual Meeting of the Regional Cooperation Council in Istanbul.

 
Iceland to start accession negotiations
Iceland to start accession negotiations

17/06/2010

"The Commission remains supportive of Iceland's aspiration to join the European Union. The Council decision clearly underlines the fact that Iceland has a place in the European Union. I am certain that Iceland will continue to undertake all necessary efforts to ensure a positive outcome of the accession negotiations." stated Commissioner Füle on 17 June 2010, following the decision by the European Council to open accession negotiations with Iceland, which applied for EU membership in July 2009.

 
Visa facilitation agreement with Georgia
Visa facilitation agreement with Georgia

17/06/2010

"This is part of our commitment to bring Georgia closer to the EU, not only at institutional level but also at peoples' level" stated Štefan Füle, on the occasion of the conclusion of the visa facilitation agreement with Georgia. Georgia is one of six countries within the European Partnership established by the EU in May 2009 to deepen and strengthen relations between the EU and its Eastern neighbours.

 
Visa dialogue with Moldova launched
Visa dialogue with Moldova launched

15/06/2010

"This is a promise that we made last December to Moldova, and a sign of our commitment to the Moldovan people. I am happy to see that we are able to deliver it. This step towards visa-free regime with Moldova is the best proof that reforms at home can bring Moldovan citizens tangible benefits." stated Commissioner Füle on 15 June 2010 on the occasion of  EU-Republic of Moldova Cooperation Council in Luxembourg.

 
Slovenia-Croatia Border Arbitration Agreement endorsed by popular vote
Start of the SAA ratification process with Serbia

14/06/2010

"This decision brings Serbia another step closer to the EU, putting our relation on a strong legally binding and institutional basis. I am looking forward to the Council making an equally important decision on requesting the Commission to prepare an opinion on Serbia's membership application", stated Commissioner Füle on 14 June 2010, on the occasion of the Council deciding to proceed with the ratification process of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Serbia.

 
EU-Moldova relations - EPP Public Hearing 09 June 2010
EU-Moldova relations - EPP Public Hearing 09 June 2010

09/06/2010

"The European Union fully welcomes Moldova’s commitment to the process of European integration and to the development of its democratic culture, as illustrated in the 'Rethink Moldova' strategy produced by the Moldovan Government." stated Commissioner Füle on 9 June 2010, on the occasion of the hearing organised in the European Parliament, one year after the pro-European shift of the country.

 
Slovenia-Croatia Border Arbitration Agreement endorsed by popular vote
Slovenia-Croatia Border Arbitration Agreement endorsed by popular vote

07/06/2010

"I welcome the result of the popular vote which has endorsed the Border Arbitration Agreement signed by the governments of Slovenia and Croatia. This initiative has demonstrated how bilateral issues in the region can be solved in a European spirit of compromise", stated Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Mr Štefan Füle on 6 June 2010, when Slovenian voters gave the green light to the Border Arbitration Agreement between Slovenia and Croatia (51.5% in favour, 48.5% against).

 
EU supports on-going reforms in Moldova and Georgia
EU supports on-going reforms in Moldova and Georgia

02/06/2010

The European Commission adopted on 1 June 2010 the Annual Action Programme 2010 for the Republic of Moldova, worth a €66 million and the the Annual Action Programme 2010 for Georgia, worth €37 million. The programmes will support the on-going reforms in the two EU neighbours, with special focus on poverty reduction and economic development.

 
Western Balkans Conference - Sarajevo, 2 June 2010
Western Balkans Conference - Sarajevo, 2 June 2010

01/06/2010

"The Conference provides a timely confirmation of the perspective of EU membership for the Western Balkans and the continuation of the enlargement process. I welcome the commitment expressed by the Western Balkans to intensify the pace of reforms in key areas and to further strengthen inclusive and efficient regional cooperation. The Commission will support the Western Balkans in these endeavours. Enlargement is based on strong conditionalities but it is first of all a political project",stated Commissioner Füle in a press release issued jointly with HR/VP Catherine Ashton.

 
First official visit to Jordan - 31 May - 1 June 2010
First official visit to Jordan - 31 May - 1 June 2010

31/05/2010

During the two-day visit, Commissioner Füle is scheduled to meet with His Majesty King Abdullah II, Prime Minister Samir Rifai, and members of the cabinet. He will also hold talks with members of the business community and will visit EU-funded projects. The visit comes two weeks after the release of the European Neighbourhood Policy Country Report on Jordan, which outlined the progress achieved by the country in the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan in 2009.

 
Union for the Mediterranean For’UM - Marseille, 27 May 2010
Union for the Mediterranean For’UM - Marseille, 27 May 2010

27/05/2010

"The Union for the Mediterranean is an attempt to tap the vast and still partly unexploited human and economic potential of our region. It is about renewable energy, de-pollution, better transport, increased trade, stronger regional education centres, and many other endeavours that can create the growth and, more importantly, the jobs that our region needs" said Commissioner Füle at the Union for the Mediterranean For’UM in Marseille on 27 May 2010.

 
Commission proposes visa-free travel for citizens of Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Commission proposes visa-free travel for citizens of Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina

27/05/2010

"This proposal is of the utmost importance for the citizens of the countries concerned, since it will bring them closer to the EU. The visa-free regime will contribute to making the European perspective more tangible", Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Mr Štefan Füle stated on this occasion.

 
EU - Albania joint statement with EU HR/VP Catherine Ashton
EU - Albania joint statement with EU HR/VP Catherine Ashton

21/05/2010

"Albania stands at a crucial moment on its path towards the EU integration (...) It is high time to find a solution to the current crisis on a basis which will stand the test of time. Albania's prospects should not be further affected by a continuation of the status quo." reads a joint statement issued on 20 May 2010

 
Eastern Partnership - Informal Foreign Ministers meeting, Poland, 24 May 2010
Eastern Partnership - Informal Foreign Ministers meeting, Poland, 24 May 2010

21/05/2010

On Monday 24th May in Sopot (Poland) will take place an informal meeting of Eastern Partnership Ministers of Foreign Affairs. After the meeting a press conference is planned with: Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs  Mr Radosław Sikorski, European Commissioner Štefan Füle, EU Presidency/Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Ángel Moratinos.

 
EU-Moldova: closer and closer
EU-Moldova: closer and closer

17/05/2010

"For more than a decade, we have set increasingly ambitious goals for our relationship. Looking back, I am amazed to see how many of them have been achieved." stated Commissioner Štefan FÜLE on the occasion of his address to the Moldovan Parliament, during his visit to Moldova on 14-15 May 2010.

 
Visit to Moldova 14-15 May 2010
Visit to Moldova 14-15 May 2010

14/05/2010

"Moldova faces formidable challenges" said Štefan Füle prior to his first official visit to Moldova. "These require decisive and determined action on reform. The European Union will stand by Moldova in these efforts. Our support will continue to be real and substantial", the Commissioner stressed.

 
2nd Meeting of the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Council
2nd Meeting of the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Council

12/05/2010

"The overall picture of EU-Albania relations remains positive. Albania has been able to make progress on key political reforms, on economic development and on its preparations for European integration. The implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement has been progressing smoothly. Albania has maintained a constructive and stabilising role in the region," stated Commissioner Štefan FÜLE, at the press conference on 11 May 2010 in Brussels.

 
Five years of European Neighbourhood Policy
Five years of European Neighbourhood Policy

12/05/2010

"One major lesson to draw from our five year experience of implementing an European Neighbourhood Policy is that, when endowed with the right policy mix and toolkit, the EU can act as a transformative soft power", stated Commissioner Štefan FÜLE on the occasion of the adoption by the Commission of the European Neighbourhood Policy Package, on 12 May 2010

 
EU-Turkey - accession negotiations continue
EU-Turkey - accession negotiations continue

11/05/2010

"We could open a couple of more chapters this year with Turkey, on the condition that the country meets the opening benchmarks. The reform process is the engine behind the accession process. We share a strong commitment to the continuation of Turkey's accession process" said Commissioner Štefan FÜLE, at EU-Turkey Association Council press conference on 10 May 2010 in Brussels.

 
EU-Tunisia 8th Association Council

11/05/2010

''Tunisia’s proposal presented in March 2010 concerning the advanced status is a good starting point for discussion. This proposal has to be analysed together with an assessment of what Tunisia achieved under the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan.'' stated Commissioner Štefan FÜLE, at the press conference on 11 May 2010 in Brussels.

 
60th Anniversary of Schuman Declaration-Europe Day 2010

10/05/2010

This year's 9 May marks the 60th anniversary of the Declaration proposed by then French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman that laid the foundations for what has become European Union. "Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity", he said.

 
First EU - Morocco Joint Parliamentary Committee

07/05/2010

"In 2005, when the EU took the initiative of establishing the European Neighbourhood Policy, Morocco was among the first to realise that we were offering a considerably strengthened partnership, offering “more for more” on a constant basis — and developing our co-operation as far as our partners are ready to take it. " stated Commissioner Füle on 5 May 2010, at the inaugural meeting of the EU-Morocco Joint Parliamentary Committee.

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle on his second official visit to Kosovo* (*under UNSCR 1244)

06/05/2010

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle is visiting Kosovo on 6 and 7 May. Mr Füle will meet key local and international stakeholders, to discuss Kosovo's European perspective. He will also inaugurate the EU-funded new building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, give a lecture to university students in North Mitrovica and mark Europe Day at a formal reception in Pristina.

 
My Istanbul

04/05/2010

The photo exhibition 'My Istanbul' opened on 4 May in Brussels, under the patronage of Commissioner Štefan Füle. The exhibition is part of a broader range of activities organised by Istanbul - European Capital of Culture 2010. 'My Istanbul' presents a selection of photos which reflect the city's colourful, rich, social, cultural and commercial activities. It will be displayed in the Berlaymont building, Rue de la Loi 200 Wetstraat, Hall 1st floor until 21 May 2010.

 
World Press Freedom Day

03/05/2010

"Independent free and vibrant media has a crucial role in good neighbourly relations. The media can help in combating prejudice and intolerance, increasing knowledge and fighting misconceptions and false expectations." states Commissioner Füle on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

 
Women's Rights in Turkey

29/04/2010

"EU financial support for gender equality and women's rights in Turkey so far amounts to over € 80 million. Such a support has led to useful projects on a wide range of issues, from combating violence against women to supporting women entrepreneurship, active labour market measures or the establishment of shelters for women subjected to domestic violence", stated European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle at the meeting organised by Dutch MEP Emine Bozkurt in the European Parliament on 29 April 2010.

 
South Caucausus seeks closer relations with the EU

28/04/2010

"There was a clear and loud message to Europe that I heard throughout my trip to Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Presidents, Prime Ministers, parliamentarians, opposition and civil society all confirmed that they wanted a closer, deeper and fuller relationship with the EU." stated Commissioner Štefan Füle in the European Parliament's AFET Committee on 28 April 2010, during an exchange of views with the members of the Parliament.

 
EU-Egypt: strong partnership towards enhanced cooperation

27/04/2010

"I applaud Egypt’s continued drive to reduce poverty and your commitment to reduce the numbers of those living in poverty to 6% of the population by 2022. Ensuring that the benefits of economic reform and growth are felt by all parts of society, particularly in vulnerable rural areas, will be important in meeting this ambitious target." stated Commissioner Füle during the EU-Egypt Association Council held in Luxembourg on 27 April 2010. The Council discussed ways in which the already strong partnership between EU and Egypt could develop through enhanced dialogue.

 
EU support for settlement in Cyprus backed with fresh money

27/04/2010

The European Commission has proposed to include in the 2011 EU draft budget €25 million of funding for the Turkish Cypriot community. "The activities planned with this fresh funding are reunification driven. They underline the EU commitment to a Cyprus settlement. The new funds are a strong signal that the EU expects continuation of the talks towards reunification of the island." stated Commissioner Füle on 27 April 2010.

 
Reform is central to EU-Ukraine relations

23/04/2010

"The Association Agreement we are currently negotiating with Ukraine will open the way to closer political association and economic integration with the EU'', stated Commissioner Füle at the end of his two days visit to Ukraine, while also underlining that "reform is at the heart of the European integration process."

 
EU-Ukraine Relations: future expectations

22/04/2010

"The EU and Ukraine are enormously important to each other. There is a natural and inevitable dynamic in our relations, based on mutual interest, which draws us closer together." said Commissioner Füle in a speech delivered in Kyiv on 22 April. "Closer ties between the EU and Ukraine will be to the benefit of us all: to our citizens, to our businesses and investors, to partners in civil society and above all to the future generation."

 
Commissioner Füle to visit Ukraine on 21 - 23 April

19/04/2010

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Ukraine on 21 - 23 April. The major focus of his visit will be on further enhancement of bilateral relations between the EU and Ukraine.

 
Albania delivers its answers to the Commission's questionnaire

15/04/2010

"The Commission's Opinion will be a fair and balanced assessment of Albania's readiness to comply with the EU membership criteria. We will pay particular attention to the fulfilment of the Copenhagen political criteria and of the obligations under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement." stated Commissioner Füle on Wednesday 14 April 2010, when he received Albania's answers to the European Commission questionnaire.

 
Reconciliation message by Croatia's President, a step towards better regional relations

15/04/2010

"The Western Balkans have had a troubled, and painful past. It is important that this past does not act as a break on progress towards a common future as members of the European Union. (…). Membership of the EU depends on each country fulfilling the conditions for membership and this includes regional co-operation and good neighbourly relations. In this context the words of President Josipovic are important not just for relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina but for the region as a whole." underlined Commissioner Füle in a statement issued on 15 April 2010.

 
Meeting of the Cyprus Steering Group

15/04/2010

"On 14 April President Barroso chaired a meeting of the Cyprus Steering Group in which Vice-President Viviane Reding and Commissioner Štefan Füle participated. It was the first meeting of the Group under the Barroso II Commission. The Group discussed the results of the ongoing settlement talks and looked in particular at EU related aspects of a future settlement."

 
EU enlargement should help the EU become stronger

14/04/2010

"Countries will join the EU when they are ready, each based on its own merits. We are first and foremost interested in the quality of the accession process, so that with each new accession the Union will be not only larger but also stronger", stated Commissioner Füle at the Committee of Regions, on 14 April 2010.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle during his visit to Armenia on 6 April 2010

06/04/2010

"EU-Armenia relations are enhancing rapidly. We will soon move to a new level of our contractual relationship, as we will soon start negotiating an Association Agreement. I hope that part of this new agreement will include aso further economic integration through a Deep and Comprehensive free Trade Area."

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle on official visit to South Caucasus

06/04/2010

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle will be visiting Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia on 5-9 April in the framework of his first official visit to the South Caucasus. During his visit the Commissioner will meet political leaders to discuss closer political engagement with the  three countries.

 
Joint statement by HR/VP Ashton and Commissioner Füle on Serbian Declaration on Srebrenica

31/03/2010

"The European Union welcomes the adoption by the Serbian Parliament of the declaration on Srebrenica. This is an important step for the country in facing its recent past, a process which is difficult but essential for Serbian society to go through. This is not only important for Serbia, it is the key for the reconciliation for the whole region. We appreciate the role of everyone who made such a step possible. [...]

 
Statement by Stefan Füle on the Constitutional reform proposals in Turkey

29/03/2010

A revised Constitution is needed in Turkey to allow for a number of key reforms – which aim at enhancing the democratic standards, human rights and the rule of law, and thus improving the daily life of Turkish citizens. I am happy that this objective is broadly accepted today within the Turkish society and over major parts of the political spectrum.

 
Commissioner Füle visits Tunisia

29/03/2010

The Commissioner will pay his first official visit to Tunisia on 29-30 March. During his trip he will meet several Tunisian Ministers and hold a press conference.

 
Commissioner Füle visits Tunisia

29/03/2010

The Commissioner will pay his first official visit to Tunisia on 29-30 March. During his trip he will meet several Tunisian Ministers and hold a press conference.

 
Statement by Stefan Füle on the Constitutional reform proposals in Turkey

29/03/2010

A revised Constitution is needed in Turkey to allow for a number of key reforms – which aim at enhancing the democratic standards, human rights and the rule of law, and thus improving the daily life of Turkish citizens. I am happy that this objective is broadly accepted today within the Turkish society and over major parts of the political spectrum.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle after meeting Mr Ghimpu, Acting President of the Republic of Moldova

26/03/2010

Mr Ghimpu, Acting President of the Republic of Moldova, and Commissioner Füle met this morning. In the course of the meeting, they had an extensive exchange of views on the internal situation in the Republic of Moldova, in particular the issue of constitutional reform.

 
Statement by Commissioner Füle after meeting Mr Ghimpu, Acting President of the Republic of Moldova

26/03/2010

Mr Ghimpu, Acting President of the Republic of Moldova, and Commissioner Füle met this morning. In the course of the meeting, they had an extensive exchange of views on the internal situation in the Republic of Moldova, in particular the issue of constitutional reform.

 
Rethink Moldova - the European Commission supports Moldovan Government's reform programme

25/03/2010

"I am encouraged by the Moldovan Government's commitment to continue the ambitious reforms in the field of public administration, economic recovery, independence of the judiciary, fight against corruption" stated Commissioner Štefan Füle at the end of the Moldova Partnership Forum held on 24 March 2010 in Brussels.

 
Rethink Moldova - the European Commission supports Moldovan Government's reform programme

25/03/2010

"I am encouraged by the Moldovan Government's commitment to continue the ambitious reforms in the field of public administration, economic recovery, independence of the judiciary, fight against corruption" stated Commissioner Štefan Füle at the end of the Moldova Partnership Forum held on 24 March 2010 in Brussels.

 
EU-Croatia: Stabilisation and Association Council takes stock of membership preparations

23/03/2010

"Croatia came a long way since it started negotiations in 2005" - stated Commissioner Füle after the EU-Croatia Stabilisation and Association Council on 23 March 2010. "It is now in the finishing line towards the conclusion of its accession negotiations. But as any long-distance runner knows, the last 100 meters are the most difficult."

 
EU-Croatia: Stabilisation and Association Council takes stock of membership preparations

23/03/2010

"Croatia came a long way since it started negotiations in 2005" - stated Commissioner Füle after the EU-Croatia Stabilisation and Association Council on 23 March 2010. "It is now in the finishing line towards the conclusion of its accession negotiations. But as any long-distance runner knows, the last 100 meters are the most difficult."

 
Statement by Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Štefan Füle upon arrival in Tirana

19/03/2010

"A fully functioning parliament is essential to a fully functioning democracy. If the current political stalemate were to persist, it could well prevent Albania from reaching the political standards expected from a country that has applied for EU membership. Parliament is a place for dialogue and for the resolution of differences.[...]"

 
Statement by Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Štefan Füle upon arrival in Tirana

19/03/2010

''A fully functioning parliament is essential to a fully functioning democracy. If the current political stalemate were to persist, it could well prevent Albania from reaching the political standards expected from a country that has applied for EU membership. Parliament is a place for dialogue and for the resolution of differences.[...]"

 
Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy visits Montenegro

18/03/2010

"The work ahead is even more challenging", stated Commissioner Füle during his trip to Montenegro on 18 March 2010. "The more you advance on your road towards opening accession negotiations, the deeper and comprehensive your reforms need to be".

 
Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy visits Montenegro

18/03/2010

"The work ahead is even more challenging", stated Commissioner Füle during his trip to Montenegro on 18 March 2010. "The more you advance on your road towards opening accession negotiations, the deeper and comprehensive your reforms need to be".

 
Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy visits the Western Balkans region

17/03/2010

Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy will pay an official visit to the Western Balkans region from 17 to 19 March. During his trip to the region, Commissioner Füle will visit Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania.

 
Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy visits the Western Balkans region

17/03/2010

Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy will pay an official visit to the Western Balkans region from 17 to 19 March. During his trip to the region, Commissioner Füle will visit Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania.

 
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy visits Turkey

15/03/2010

Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, will pay his first visit to Turkey on 15-16 March 2010. Prior to his visit, Commissioner Füle stated: "I am confident that at the end of the process it will be a new, modern and reformed Turkey whose accession to the EU will be to the benefit of both the EU and Turkey".

 
Commissioner Štefan Füle presents opinion on Iceland's accession bid

24/02/2010

On 24 February Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy presented the Commission Opinion recommending the opening of accession negotiations with Iceland. Mr Füle noted: "The opinion is an important step in the accession process and provides guidance to Iceland in its efforts to become an EU member. I am confident that Iceland will show determination in addressing the challenges highlighted in the opinion."

 
EU Commissioner Štefan Füle visited Croatia

22/02/2010

In his first visit to the country in his new capacity as Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Štefan Füle met the President of the Republic, Mr Josipović, the Prime Minister, Mrs Kosor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Jandroković, the Minister of Justice, Mr Simonović, Croatian Chief Negotiator, Ambassador Mr Drobnjak. He also meet the EU Member States ambassadors accredited in Zagreb.

 
On Friday, 19 February, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

22/02/2010

Commissioner Füle will be visiting the country just one week after his appointment. The visit takes place in the context of the European Commission's recommendation to open EU accession negotiations, which on 10 February received the wide backing of the European Parliament.

 
Welcome to my web site

10/02/2010

Since 10 February 2010, I have been in charge of the EU enlargement and neighbourhood policies – two vital policy areas for the EU's mission to consolidate peace, democracy and prosperity in Europe.

 
Interim Agreement between the EU and Serbia

01/02/2010

The EU-Serbia Interim Agreement on trade and related matters entered into force on 1 February. The agreement:- allows certain provisions of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) to be applied before the ratification process has been finalised- provides for the establishment of a free trade area between the EU and Serbia- regulates some important aspects of economic life, notably in competition and public support for business (state aid)- guarantees that the EU market will remain open to most Serbian products as it includes the trade concessions granted to Serbia since 2000.Serbia started to implement the Interim Agreement in January 2009.

 

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