Trio Association leaders welcome Eastern Partnership Summit decision

The leaders of the trio of associations – Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova – released the statement following a meeting in Brussels on the sidelines of the 6th Eastern Partnership Summit on December 15.

“We welcomed the joint Eastern Partnership Summit Declaration ‘Recovery, Resilience and Reform’ released today in Brussels, and endorsing the long-term political goals and the next generation of post-2020 priorities, reaffirm our strong commitment to strategic, ambitious and forward-looking strategies. an Eastern Partnership based on common fundamental values, mutual interests and shared ownership and responsibility. We welcomed the endorsement by the Eastern Partnership summit of the economic and investment plan for the Eastern Partnership, which includes concrete flagship initiatives for partner countries, ”read the statement posted on the website of the Eastern Partnership. president’s office.

As indicated, the Trio of Associations initiative promoting European choice, European aspirations and the European identity of their peoples, designed to strengthen cooperation in the field of European integration, remains committed to the further strategic development of the Eastern Partnership in accordance with the principles of differentiation and inclusiveness.

The participants reaffirmed their firm commitment to further strengthen the political association and economic integration of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine with the European Union, in particular through the pursuit of close cooperation to strengthen rule of law and push forward with reforms to meet the Copenhagen criteria.

“We recalled that under Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, any European State which respects the values ​​referred to in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and undertakes to promote them may request to become a member of the European Union. We noted that respect for common values ​​and the implementation of Association / ALEAC Agreements will contribute to the future progressive developments of our relations. We recalled that the effective implementation of AAs and their deep and deep FTAs, including the wider process of legislative approximation, will contribute to deeper economic integration with the internal market of the European Union, as foreseen in the association agreements ”, underlined the authors of the press release.

They recognized the need to strengthen the cooperation of the trio of associations with the EU with a view to increased coordination between them on issues of common interest related to the promotion of European integration, including the recognition of perspectives. European associations of the trio by the EU.

It is also underlined that, based on the positive experience of the informal ministerial meetings of the DCFTA, the trio of associations look forward to extending the enhanced sectoral cooperation with the EU to other areas, in particular the green and digital transitions, connectivity, energy security, justice and home affairs, strategic communication and health.

In addition, the participants expressed their interest in deepening the cooperation of the trio countries with the EU with the aim of integration into the EU’s digital single market, including through participation in the EU. Digital Europe, the mechanism for interconnection in Europe as well as the reduction of roaming charges between the EU. and the associative trio.

“We are ready to do everything to strengthen cooperation with the EU, including at high level, in order to strengthen European energy security in order to make full use of the existing gas transport routes, the full application of the legislation of the EU, the synchronization of electricity grids and the prevention of the use of energy as a weapon. We noted the need to improve connectivity and transport links between the EU and the trio of associations, in particular through the liberalization of the road transport market, the development of transport corridors as well as the implementation of projects. infrastructure with the support of the Eastern Partnership’s economic and investment plan, ”the statement said. bed.

Its authors acknowledged that the dramatic changes in the situation in the Eastern Partnership and Black Sea region since the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit in 2017, including security, energy, health and other emerging challenges are expected. be treated collectively by partner countries in close cooperation with the EU.

It is underlined that the continued destabilization and violations of the principles of international law in many parts of the Eastern Partnership region pose a serious threat to peace, security and stability in Europe.

“We commended the EU’s active efforts in conflict resolution and confidence-building processes and called for its enhanced role in facilitating peace and stability in the Eastern Partnership region using all the instruments available, including the relevant restrictive measures if necessary. We called on EU leaders to address these issues at the European Council meeting on December 16, 2021, ”the document said.

The leaders of the three countries also pointed out that Russia’s attempts to annex and illegally occupy the territories of Georgia, its aggression in eastern Ukraine and its temporary occupation of Crimea as well as the conflict not resolved in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova pose a serious threat to the region and to Europe as a whole.

In this regard, the leaders reiterated their strong condemnation of the flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a number of Eastern Partnership States, including incitement and support for conflicts, the use of disinformation and cyber attacks, the growing militarization of the region, human rights violations, or the holding of elections in temporarily occupied territories.

In addition, participants underlined the importance of further strengthening resilience and cooperation in the field of Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) with the EU and recalled their common commitment to promote the principles enshrined in the Association. Agreements. The three countries have indicated that they look forward to developing cooperation with EU agencies and mechanisms, including the European Peace Facility and participation in PESCO projects. We have also expressed our interest in engaging in a dialogue with the EU on the basis of the Security Compass initiative.

“We reiterated our determination, supported by the firm will of our peoples to work for accession to the European Union. In this regard, we call on the European Union to support the sovereign choice of our States as well as all the relevant measures taken by us vis-à-vis European integration and recognize the European perspectives of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, ”the statement reads.

As reported, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the trio of associations is expected to become a new wave of long-term EU enlargement.

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Andrew B. Reiter