Blog » 2011 - Partnership Agreement Economic Integration and Convergence with EU Policies.pdf
Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit,
Warsaw, 29-30 September 2011
The Heads of State or Government and representatives of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the representatives of the European Union and the Heads of State and Government and representatives of its Member States have met in Warsaw on 29-30 September 2011 to renew their commitment to the objectives and continued implementation of the Eastern Partnership. The President of the European Parliament and the representatives of the Committee of the Regions, the Economic and Social Committee, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development were also present at the Summit.
The Prague Summit in May 2009 launched a strategic and ambitious Eastern Partnership as a specific dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy, to further support Eastern European countries’ sustainable reform processes with a view to accelerating their political association and economic integration with the European Union. The agenda agreed in Prague contains the guiding principles of the Eastern Partnership, and the participants of the Warsaw Summit re-affirm their commitment to implement them fully.
The Warsaw Summit recognises that reinforced reform efforts serve a common interest, and need therefore to be applied in a spirit of shared ownership and mutual accountability. The Eastern Partnership is based on a community of values and principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. All countries participating in the Eastern Partnership are committed to these values through the relevant international instruments. Any European Union Member State is also committed to them through the Treaty on European Union. The participants of the Warsaw Summit acknowledge the European aspirations and the European choice of some partners and their commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy. They highlighted the particular role for the Eastern Partnership to support those who seek an ever closer relationship with the EU.
Much has been achieved already. Political and economic reforms have been implemented in partner countries and relations between the EU and its Eastern European partners have deepened significantly. There is more trade and economic interaction between the EU and its Eastern European partners than ever before. In order to consolidate this trend, the EU and most of its partners are engaged in negotiations on Association Agreements which will also lead to Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas as soon as the conditions are met. At the same time, they are engaged in progressing towards increased mobility across the continent. Dialogues on visa-free regimes have been launched with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. Visa-facilitation and readmission agreements are being implemented with Georgia and similar agreements will be sought with the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Belarus.
It is part of the essence of the Eastern Partnership to engage with all strands of societies, beyond governments. The Warsaw Summit welcomes the establishment of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, as well as the increased role of civil society, through the Civil Society Forum. It welcomes the creation of an Eastern Partnership Business Forum and of the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership.
Recognising and welcoming the progress made so far, the participants of the Warsaw Summit underlined that much remains to be done to reach the goals of the Eastern Partnership, including by adapting existing instruments of co-operation. In this regard, they welcomed the publication of the Communication of the High Representative and the Commission on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy 1. Greater differentiation and mutual accountability will allow individual partners to better meet their aspirations, needs, and capacities. According to these principles, the pace of reforms will determine the intensity of the cooperation, and partners most engaged in reforms will benefit more from their relationship with the European Union, including closer political association, deeper gradual economic integration in the EU Internal Market and increased EU support. This entails support for civil society and social and economic development, as well as comprehensive institution-building, strengthening respect for human rights and the rule of law, greater market access, increased EIB financing in support of investments and greater facilitation of mobility in a well-managed and secure environment. The resolution of conflicts, building trust and good neighbourly relations are essential to economic and social development and cooperation in the region.
The participants agree that the Eastern Partnership must be significantly strengthened and commit to stepping up its implementation, with the objective of building a common area of democracy, prosperity, stability and increased interactions and exchanges. They also agree that the achievements and the progress of the Eastern Partnership must bring direct and clearly perceived benefits to the citizens of partner countries, and they commit to enhancing their efforts to make the Eastern Partnership visible to all.
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The Heads of State or Government and representatives of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the representatives of the European Union and the Heads of State or Government and representatives of its Member States, are committed to the success and the development of the Eastern Partnership, and have therefore agreed to the following: A deeper bilateral engagement: Political association, Socio-Economic integration and mobility
1. The Eastern Partnership aims to create the necessary conditions to accelerate political association and further economic integration between the European Union and interested partner countries, recognising the economic benefits of enhancing trade in goods and services, the potential for increased investment flows and the importance of progressive economic integration with the EU Internal Market. The Eastern Partnership will seek to further support political and socio-economic reforms in the partner countries, facilitating comprehensive approximation towards the European Union, leading progressively to economic integration in the EU Internal Market, and therefore to the creation of an economic area between the EU and partner countries.
2. Progressive approximation with EU rules and practices require a high degree of commitment from partner countries to complex and broad-ranging reforms, underpinned by strong institutional capacity. This will necessitate sustained commitment and support by the EU to help partner countries engaged in undertaking challenging reforms, according to the principle of mutual accountability and differentiation.
3. The Association Agreements with comprehensive reform agendas and, where appropriate, with Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) as an integral part, are the cornerstones of relations under the Eastern Partnership. Productive negotiations have taken place with Ukraine. In this context, the participants of the Warsaw Summit look forward to the possible finalisation of negotiations by the time of the EU-Ukraine Summit in December 2011. Good progress has been made in the Association Agreement negotiations with the Republic of Moldova, and significant progress were made in the negotiations with the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Georgia. As far as the DCFTA part of Association Agreements with Georgia and the Republic of Moldova are concerned, it is envisaged that such negotiations could start by the end of this year, provided sufficient progress has been made in fulfilling a number of remaining key recommendations. Building on the substantial work accomplished, Armenia is pursuing its efforts to become ready for DCFTA negotiations as soon as possible.
4. In order to facilitate the implementation of Association Agreements, Eastern Partnership Association Agendas will progressively be established. A limited number of priority areas for cooperation will be jointly identified and accompanied by measurable benchmarks. Monitoring of progress and assistance to partner countries will focus more particularly on these benchmarks and priorities.
5. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the launch of an Eastern Partnership Business Forum on 30 September in Sopot and the support it can provide to accompany in particular negotiations on Association Agreements and DCFTAs and establish a competitive and inclusive market economy. In this regard, the promotion of investment and a vibrant and innovative SME sector is of significant importance.
6. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the Macro-Financial Assistance provided by the EU to some partner countries during the recent economic crisis. The EU macro-financial assistance instrument may also be mobilised in the future to assist partner countries to address short-term balance-of-payments difficulties when the pre-conditions are met and when the programmes are linked to a meaningful reform agenda.
7. The participants of the Warsaw Summit agree to strengthen cooperation in areas related to freedom, security and justice, and coordination between the relevant frameworks, both at the bilateral and regional levels. Further cooperation and coordination will include in particular the prevention of and the fight against illegal migration, the promotion of secure and well managed migration and mobility and integrated border management, the fight against drugs, organised crime, trafficking in human beings and money-laundering, the fight against terrorism as well as the fight against corruption and further work towards a fully independent judiciary. Convening meetings at ministerial level will help to ensure appropriate political guidance and coordination. Moreover, bringing the Söderköping Process under the aegis of the Eastern Partnership multilateral track will allow enhancing the dialogue and cooperation on the broader migration agenda. The participants of the Warsaw Summit encourage the cooperation of the EU specialised agencies active in the areas related to freedom, security and justice with interested partner countries.
8. It remains a core objective of the Eastern Partnership to enhance mobility of citizens in a secure and well-managed environment. This objective entails visa facilitation and readmission agreements as a first step. Once these agreements are concluded and effectively implemented, the EU and the partner countries will take gradual steps towards visa-free regimes in due course on a case-by-case basis provided that conditions for well-managed and secure mobility set out in two-phase action plans for visa liberalisation are in place. In this context, the participants of the Warsaw Summit take stock of progress made by the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in the implementation of their respective Action Plans on visa liberalisation. These Plans could serve as models for other partner countries bearing in mind the specificity and progress of each country.
9. The participants of the Warsaw Summit also welcome the effective implementation to date of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Georgia. They look forward to the launch of negotiations of such agreements with the Republic of Belarus for the benefit of the population at large, the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan. They underline the opportunities opened by the EU Visa Code for improving visa delivery for bona fide travellers, in particular for students, researchers and businesspeople. They welcome the establishment of Mobility Partnerships, in line with the global approach to migration, with the Republic of Moldova and Georgia and good progress made by the Republic of Armenia in this respect, and look forward to establishing similar frameworks with other partners.
10. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the launch of Comprehensive Institution Building programmes to support the implementation of the future Association Agreements including DCFTAs as well as to support the implementation of the action plans towards visa liberalisation. They also welcome Pilot Regional Development Programmes which will assist partners in addressing economic, social and regional imbalances.
Participation in EU programmes and Agencies and enhanced sector cooperation
11. The participants of the Warsaw Summit agree to facilitate, including through continued co-financing, participation by partner countries in EU programmes and agencies. They also look forward to the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding on the association of the Republic of Moldova to the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the entry into force of a protocol enabling the participation of the Republic of Moldova in EU programmes and the recent signature by Ukraine of a similar protocol and look forward to other partner countries’ concluding such protocols. They also welcome the increased interaction of partner countries in EU agencies in various areas, including aviation safety, food safety and the fight against drugs. They agree to establish a priority list to facilitate participation of partner countries in programmes and agencies.
12. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the fact that since the launch of the Eastern Partnership, sector cooperation has increased in a wide range of sectors. They call for enhancing sector cooperation and dialogue including through ministerial or senior officials meetings, as appropriate.
13. Recalling their energy interdependence, the participants of the Warsaw Summit agree to strengthen their energy partnership. They welcome the existing bilateral and
multilateral cooperation on energy. They will promote an inclusive and open policy on energy security, transportation and supply. The participants of the Warsaw Summit agree to work further towards integrating their energy markets, including by closer involvement of the interested Eastern Partnership countries in the Energy Community Treaty. They welcome the recent membership of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in the Energy Community Treaty, and encourage other partner countries to join it. The participants of the Warsaw Summit agree to further strengthen long term energy security, including through cooperation on stable and secure energy supply and transit, nuclear safety, competitive energy markets, and through enhancement of physical infrastructure according to market principles, to enhance energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources and welcome the launch of the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership with Ukraine and agree to work toward extending its membership to other interested partners. With regard to the development of strategically important infrastructure to ensure the diversification of the routes of the supply of energy to the European market from the Caspian Sea, the EU and partners concerned take note of the concrete steps taken towards the realisation of the Southern Corridor. Underlining the importance of nuclear safety, also as concerns the possible construction of new nuclear plants, they welcome the increased cooperation in this area and encourage transparency, accessibility of information and full compliance with international nuclear safety and environmental agreements, and take note of the recent endorsement of the Declaration on stress tests.
14. In the transport sector, the infrastructure network of EU and partner countries should be linked more tightly in order to facilitate exchanges of people and goods. This can be achieved through closer market integration and improved infrastructure links.
The participants of the Warsaw Summit further agree to enhance cooperation on transport, in particular in the framework of the Eastern Partnership multilateral track. The participants of the Warsaw Summit take note of the good progress being made in developing a wider European Common Aviation Area. They welcome the signature of the Common Aviation Area Agreement between the EU and Georgia and the recent start of negotiations with the Republic of Moldova and look forward to finalising negotiations with Ukraine. They encourage other interested partners to negotiate similar agreements.
15. The participants of the Warsaw Summit recognise that progress towards a Green Economy which is environmentally sustainable and efficiently uses resource and energy is a key shared objective. They remain committed to comply with international environmental law standards. They agree to take urgent action to address climate change and combat environmental degradation, including caused by obsolete pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. They also agree to promote climate change dialogue and sharing of best practices, which should help implement international climate agreements and enable partner countries to actively use fast-start and long-term support to reach their climate policy aims. They welcome the on-going development of a Shared Environment Information System.
16. The participants of the Warsaw Summit agree to develop cooperation on agriculture and rural development including in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). They welcome the conclusion of the Agreement on protection of geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuff with Georgia, they look forward to the signature of a similar agreement with the Republic of Moldova, and encourage other partners to conclude such agreements.
17. In the light of the increasing role of information and communication technologies in the democratization of societies, the participants of the Warsaw Summit agree to enhance the liberalisation of electronic communications and welcome the work toward a network of Eastern Partnership electronic regulators.
18. Co-operation and policy dialogue under the Eastern Partnership on education, research, youth and culture should be further enhanced, including through the launch of an Eastern Partnership Youth Programme, the continuation of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme and expanding participation in relevant programmes, including the successor of the Lifelong Learning, Culture and Youth in Action programmes. A Common Knowledge and Innovation Space linked to Smart Growth and the EU innovation agenda will be established in order to give the policy more impact and visibility.
Strengthening of multilateral co-operation
19. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the progress made in the multilateral track of the Eastern Partnership. The multilateral Platforms will further help advance partner countries’ legislative and regulatory approximation to the EU acquis by allowing exchanges of experiences and best practices. The work programme of the platforms and panels will be reviewed to allow flexibility in responding to the needs of partner countries and to take into account new areas of cooperation. The participants of the Warsaw Summit further agree to focus on a swift implementation of the five Eastern Partnership Flagship Initiatives which support concrete cooperation projects between the EU and partner countries. They welcome and look forward to complementary and reinforcing national programmes, such as the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership focused on administrative capacity, as well as the Eastern Partnership Academy of Public Administration in Warsaw.
20. The participants of the Warsaw Summit acknowledge the significance of multilateral cooperation which is being enhanced through the Eastern Partnership and stress the importance to ensure coherence between various relevant regional initiatives and networks. They recall that the Eastern Partnership could help to develop closer ties among the partner countries themselves.
21. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the establishment of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly which will play an important role in supporting progress towards the realisation of the objectives of the Eastern Partnership. They welcome the launch of a yearly Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of the Eastern Partnership held under the auspices of the Committee of the Regions. They call upon the Committee of the Regions to work with the local and regional authorities from Eastern partners to establish a permanent institutional framework of cooperation.
22. The participants of the Warsaw Summit underline the important role civil society plays in pursuing the goals of the Eastern Partnership. They commit themselves to fully support the work of civil society and promote the development of civil society’s role in support of democracy, sustainable socio-economic development, good governance and the rule of law. The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and its National Platforms are essential to promote democratic values on which the Eastern Partnership is based. The Forum’s involvement in the implementation of the Eastern Partnership should be strengthened, including through reinforced capacity and enhanced participation in the Eastern Partnership multilateral track. Targeted support has been, and will strongly continue to be, provided to civil society in partner countries in full coherence with existing instruments and structures, and possibly through the establishment of a Civil Society Facility and a European Endowment for Democracy.
23. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the EIB and EBRD financial contributions to the Eastern Partnership, including through the EIB Eastern Partners Facility. They also welcome the establishment of the Eastern Partnership SME Facility to support the development of the SME sector and the contributions made through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility to support infrastructure projects which help connect the EU with Eastern partners, implemented in cooperation with European Financial Institutions.
The European Union has allocated considerable financial resources of up to EUR 1900 million in the period 2010-2013 in order to advance the implementation of the Eastern Partnership in the framework of bilateral and regional programmes. Risk capital and guarantee schemes are important financing instruments to promote economic development, in particular to support SME which are key drivers for job creation and innovation. Building on the success of previous experiences both in the Mediterranean region and in the Eastern partner countries, the participants of the Warsaw Summit stress the need to explore possible options to further support risk capital operations in the Eastern Neighbourhood.
As stipulated in the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council of the 20 June 2011, the allocation of additional resources from the European Union will be decided for the period 2012-2013 to support the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Review and, in this framework, the follow-up of the Warsaw Summit, for the benefit of partners committed to reforms. The participants of the Warsaw Summit look forward to the European Commission’s proposal to establish under the next multi-annual financial framework a new European Neighbourhood Instrument which will, inter alia, reflect the new level of ambition of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
24. The participants of the Warsaw Summit take note of the cooperation with IFIs and third countries interested in donor coordination and more generally in the development of the Eastern Partnership, including through the informal Information and Coordination Group, without prejudice to the principles of cooperation with third states, as defined in the Prague Declaration.
25. The participants of the Warsaw Summit agree to develop political cooperation and dialogue between the EU and partner countries, including as regards governance reforms, joint efforts to enhance regional security and resolve conflicts, as well as relevant global and regional foreign and security issues of common interest.
26. The participants of the Warsaw Summit reaffirm that the Eastern Partnership should further promote stability and multilateral confidence building and that conflicts impede cooperation efforts. They therefore emphasise the need for their earliest peaceful settlement on the basis of the principles and norms of international law and the decisions and documents approved in this framework. They welcome the EU’s strengthened role in conflict resolution and confidence building efforts in the framework or in support of existing agreed formats and processes, including through field presence when appropriate. They also welcome the appointment of the new EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia. They stress the importance of the presence on the ground of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia. They also welcome the recent decision to resume official negotiations in the “5+2” format aiming at a viable and comprehensive political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.
27. Stronger dialogue and cooperation on international security issues will be sought, including with a view to partners’ possible participation in civilian and military EU-led operations. Cooperation between the EU and partner countries, as well as regional cooperation projects and EU assistance programmes, will place greater emphasis on peaceful conflict resolution and confidence building measures.
28. The participants of the Warsaw Summit emphasize the need to promote and disseminate the key principles and activities of the Eastern Partnership among the public, and agree to take additional action to increase its visibility including by using the Eastern Partnership label widely to identify relations and activities between the EU and the partner countries.
29. The participants of the Warsaw Summit welcome the intention of the High Representative and the European Commission to propose by the end of this year a roadmap, in consultation with partners, that would list the objectives, instruments and actions and guide and monitor their implementation until the next Summit in the second half of 2013.
Declaration on the situation in Belarus adopted on the occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit
Warsaw on 30 September 2011
The Heads of State and Government and representatives of the EU and its member states express their deep concern at the deteriorating human rights, democracy and rule of law situation in Belarus, deplore the continuing deterioration of media freedom in Belarus and call for the immediate release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners, an end to the repression of civil society and media and the start of a political dialogue with the opposition. The EU is also deeply concerned about reports that prisoners are denied access to their families and lawyers as well as to medical care while being put under psychological and physical pressure. The European Union has consistently offered to deepen its relations with Belarus and, while reaffirming its policy of critical engagement, reiterates that such a deepening is conditional on progress towards respect by the Belarusian authorities for democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
COM(2011) 303 final, 25 May 2011