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Top news

26 October 2017, 10:00

Euronest to nest in Kyiv high up soon

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

From October the 29th till November the 1st the Ukrainian Parliament will be hosting the Six Ordinary Session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly

The meeting is supposed to be attended by Members of the Ukrainian Parliament, European parliamentarians and parliamentary representatives of the Eastern Partnership countries (the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine).

Four Euronest working committees’ meetings (politic, economic, energy and social) are scheduled to take place along with a Women’s Forum. It will be for the first time to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to host such a high-level Euronest event at its premises. There will be key issues to discuss as follows:

-         Free, fair and evenhanded mass media (media freedom and integrity),

-         Youth unemployment,

-         Energy component in 2015 UN Paris Climate Change Agreement implementation,

-         Women in the labour market,

-         Cybersecurity in the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries.

 

Worthy of note

     The European Union has a vital interest in seeing stability, better governance and economic development at its Eastern borders. At the same time, the Union’s partners in Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus all seek to intensify their relations with the EU.

     The Union's policy towards them must be proactive and unequivocal: the EU will give strong support to these partners in their efforts to come closer to the EU, and will give all necessary assistance with the reforms this entails, through a specific Eastern dimension within the European Neighbourhood Policy.

     Since the conclusion of Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the European Union and Eastern Partners, successive enlargements have brought greater geographic proximity, while reforms supported by the ENP have brought these countries politically and economically closer to the EU.

     The EU has a growing responsibility to the partners, to help them address the political and economic challenges that they face and to support their aspirations for closer ties.

     The time has come to make a step change in relations with these partners, without prejudice to individual countries' aspirations for their future relationship with the EU. In 2008, the European Council invited the Commission to prepare a proposal for an “Eastern Partnership” (EaP), emphasising the need for a differentiated approach respecting the character of the ENP as a single and coherent policy framework. The EaP should bring a lasting political message of EU solidarity, alongside additional, tangible support for their democratic and market-oriented reforms and the consolidation of their statehood and territorial integrity. This serves the stability, security and prosperity of the EU, partners and indeed the entire continent.

     The ENP has already been successful in forging closer relations between the EU and its neighbours. The EaP should go further. The guiding principle should be to offer the maximum possible, taking into account political and economic realities and the state of reforms of the partner concerned, bringing visible benefits for the citizens of each country. An essential component of the EaP will be a commitment from the EU to accompany more intensively partners' individual reform efforts.

The EaP will be based on mutual commitments to the rule of law, good governance, respect for human rights, respect for and protection of minorities, and the principles of the market economy and sustainable development. The level of ambition of the EU’s relationship with the Eastern Partners will take into account the extent to which these values are reflected in national practices and policy implementation.

     Joint ownership is essential, and both sides of the EaP have their responsibilities. Only with strong political will on both sides will the EaP achieve its objective of political association and economic integration.

     Work to achieve these goals should go ahead on a bilateral and a multilateral track:    

-  The bilateral track will be designed to create a closer relationship between the EU and each of the partner countries to foster their stability and prosperity in our mutual interest. It will include the upgrading of contractual relations towards association agreements; the prospect of negotiations to put in place deep and comprehensive free trade areas with each country and greater support to meet the related requirements, leading to the establishment of a network of FTAs that can grow into a Neighbourhood Economic Community in the longer term; progressive visa liberalisation in a secure environment; deeper cooperation to enhance the energy security of the partners and the EU; and support for economic and social policies designed to reduce disparities within each partner country and across borders. A new Comprehensive Institution-Building (CIB) programme will be needed to improve the capacity of each partner to undertake the necessary reforms.    

-The multilateral track will provide a new framework where common challenges can be addressed. Four policy platforms are proposed below, on democracy, good governance and stability; economic integration and convergence with EU policies; energy security; and contacts between people.