President Nilsson participated in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Foreign Minister’s meeting in Brussels on 23 July with the contribution of High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.
Launched in May 2009, the EaP fosters the necessary conditions to accelerate political association and further economic integration between the European Union and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The main goal of the 3rd Ministerial meeting was to agree on a Joint Statement endorsing the Communication on Eastern Partnership: A Roadmap to the autumn 2013 Summit.
The EESC has been very active during the last two years in ensuring that the EaP Civil Society Forum, apart from different NGOs and think-tanks, includes also social partners, farmers, consumers and other relevant organisations. It also insisted on the better representation of the European organisations in the Forum in order to stimulate the exchange of expertise and best practices.
The EESC has already adopted 4 opinions on the EaP in 2011:
- Energy supply: What kind of Neighbourhood Policy do we need to ensure security of supply for the EU?"
- Involvement of Civil society in the Eastern Partnership
- EESC Opinion: The Eastern Partnership and the eastern dimension of EU policies, with emphasis on agriculture
- A new response to a changing Neighbourhood