I am happy to be in Chisinau again, this time to participate in the Eastern Partnership informal dialogue with my colleagues, Foreign Ministers. Many thanks to the Moldovan authorities, especially to Deputy Prime Minister Galbur for hosting the meeting.
Thanks also to the media present - we count on you for increasing EU visibility in the Eastern Neighbourhoods and reinforcing our strategic communication efforts. We shall keep our support to independent media across the Eastern Partner countries and I am pleased to announce the second Media Forum will take place mid-September, in Kyiv.
Today, we had a very constructive, open discussion on our [Eastern] Partnership, our expectations and visions, ownership and commitments. We have exchanged about the ways to improve it, to make it more visible and tangible for the citizens.
We are now entering into a decisive phase for preparing the Eastern Partnership Summit that would take place in Brussels on 24 November. The Summit is an opportunity to build on our achievements and to inject new dynamism into our relations.
Together with our partners, we have identified a list of 20 deliverables for 2020 that include milestones for the next Summit and a clear vision for 2020 and beyond.
Joint ownership and commitment to reforms both on the side of the EU and the Partner countries are crucial. The concrete Eastern Partnership results will bring benefits to citizens in your region.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
- We want our business (and citizens) to take full benefits of new trade opportunities opened by the DCFTA, but also by new agreements (with Armenia and Azerbaijan).
- We believe that 10 000 SMEs can be provided with access to additional finance including in local currency.
- We aim at providing access to broadband and harmonisation of roaming tariffs among partners.
- We will also focus on rule of law and judiciary reform, and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. By the end of the year we would like to have effective legal aid and by 2020 alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in place.
- We want to complete the extended Trans European Transport core network by 2030 (on the basis on single investment pipeline)
- We keep in mind employability and entrepreneurship, stepping up efforts and opportunities especially for youth.
I have already started my visits to Partner Countries in order to prepare the Summit. And I have recently met the representatives of your youth in Warsaw, during the Youth Forum and will also be personally involved in the other main events leading up to the Summit (Media Conference, Civil Society Conference, Business Forum). All this shows EU's and my personal strong engagement with the societies of our Partner Countries.