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"On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we say once again, violence must stop now.
The 5th Eastern Partnership Summit kicked off this morning in Brussels with leaders focussing on the way in which the initiative - which brings together the EU institutions, the 28 EU Member States, and the six Eastern partner countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine – can continue to be a Partnership of added value for citizens across the continent. "I expect that the relationship between our neighbours and the European Union will be consolidated", said the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker upon arrival to the Summit. Ahead of the Summit, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn said: " It is in the EU's interest for its neighbours to have peace, stability and prosperity. The way to do this is through strong partnerships, to support our neighbours in their reform efforts, and to focus on bringing real and concrete results that are positively felt by ordinary people. Results so far show that we are doing this, and today will be a time to make sure this trend continues."
The conference was organised by the European Commission in close cooperation with the European External Action Service, and with a support from the Ukrainian Government. It was one of the key preparatory events leading to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit in November 2017.
The youth seminar "Bridging the gap between youth policy, youth participation and parliamentarians in the Western Balkans" takes place on 20-21 November in Brussels. It is organised by the European Commission and the European Parliament and takes place in the framework of the "High Level Round Table on the European Integration Process of the Western Balkans in a Regional Perspective".
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, is in Skopje today and tomorrow to reiterate the EU's readiness to support the country in its reform process.
A report produced by the European External Action Service and the European Commission highlights that Ukraine has pursued the implementation of a number of reforms identified in its Association Agenda in 2017, with several significant successes. Progress in other areas has been less forthcoming, with accelerated implementation needed to bring about real change for the Ukrainian people.
"Since last year's report, we have seen a number of long-awaited achievements. Our Association Agreement entered into force, and Ukrainian citizens were granted visa-free travel for short stay visits to the Schengen area. We now expect the implementation of reforms to be accelerated so that Ukrainian citizens can fully reap the benefits of our partnership. Ukraine can count on the European Union's continued support in order to make this possible”, said the High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini.
At the EU-Western Balkans Media Days that took place on 9 - 10 November in Tirana, Albania, the Commission announced that it will invest in new initiatives to support independent journalism, sustainable media outlets, and boost regional cooperation among public service media.
The European Commission reported on the impressive progress in the implementation of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey, during the 8th meeting of the Steering Committee of the Facility, that took place in Brussels yesterday.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations will be in Tirana, Albania from 8 to 10 November to participate at the EU-Western Balkans Media Days. The event will gather over 250 representatives of media outlets and media-organisations, as well as policymakers from the EU and the Western Balkans, to discuss about freedom of expression, economic sustainability of the media sector, and the role of media in the accession process.