As per the invitation received from Federica Mogherini, High Representative, Vice President of the European Commission and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner of the European Commission, EIH’s Director General, Mr. Armen Petrosyan participated at a high-level conference held on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership.
The conference brought together Heads of States or Governments of the Eastern partner countries, foreign ministers of the EU Member States, civil society representatives, business leaders, and journalists from across 34 countries. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, also participated in the event.
“The Eastern Partnership is fundamentally a future-oriented partnership for the citizens and with the citizens; firmly focused on what is important for them. Together we are working towards stronger economies, stronger governance, stronger connectivity and stronger societies”, said President Juncker. “We have put in place ambitious Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and citizens of these countries also benefit from visa free travel for short stays in the EU. 125,000 loans have been provided to businesses in the Eastern Partnership, of which half are in local currency, and we have contributed to the creation of over 30,000 jobs in the region. And our trade has increased with each of the six Eastern Partnership countries, which together are the EU’s 10th trading partner. I would like us to continue to focus on the content of what we believe we should do together so that our Partnership can keep its promises.”
The conference participants discussed developments of the Partnership during this first decade and exchanged views on its future.
“This was an excellent opportunity to keep abreast of the latest development in Europe and to seek additional opportunities for the regional businesses to cooperate with each other for the common good”, Mr. Petrosyan remarked.
Ten years ago, in May 2009, the Heads of States or Governments and representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine gathered with high-level EU officials in Prague to strengthen mutual ties of friendship and cooperation and to launch a strategic and ambitious partnership, as a specific dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy to be developed alongside bilateral cooperation.
This joint endeavor, in an effort to build a more prosperous, resilient, stable and democratic region, was based on shared values, mutual interests and commitments, bringing the Eastern partner countries closer to the EU and developing stronger ties among the partner countries themselves, for the benefit of all.