Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius calls for joint effort to help Eastern Partnership countries translate European aspiration into reality

Created: 2019.05.31 / Updated: 2019.05.31 14:59
      Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius calls for joint effort to help Eastern Partnership countries translate European aspiration into reality
      Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius calls for joint effort to help Eastern Partnership countries translate European aspiration into reality
      Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius calls for joint effort to help Eastern Partnership countries translate European aspiration into reality

      On 31 May, a conference of the Baltic Assembly, marking the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, took place in Vilnius. The conference focused on trends that will shape the future of the Eastern Partnership initiative in the next ten years. The event was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius.

      “The Eastern Partnership initiative was one of the key priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2013. It is the same priority now, and, beyond any doubt, it will remain a priority also of our next Presidency in 2027. Even though it is still quite difficult today to make predictions about the Eastern Partnership's future achievements at that time, we must join our efforts to help the Eastern Partnership countries, especially Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. These countries have signed their Association Agreements with the EU, seek to eventually join the EU, and, thus, translate their European aspiration into reality,” said the Minister L. Linkevičius.

      According to the Foreign Minister, it is very important that the Eastern Partnership continues to be an ambitious policy, which motivates partners to implement complex, but much-needed reform. The Eastern Partnership countries should make an even greater effort to carry out all necessary reforms, while the EU and its member states have to provide all the necessary financial and expert aid.

      Among possible goals, the Foreign Minister identified the deepening of the sectoral integration of the Eastern Partnership countries with the EU and the ultimate integration of the most ambitious partners – Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova – into the internal market of the EU.

      “We must strive for both our future activities and their outcomes to be visible and understandable to people. However, we must also ensure that the Eastern Partnership maintains its geopolitical characteristics in the future. As regards the countries that share the same values with us and wish to most specifically contribute to the creation of a safe and prosperous Europe, we should not hesitate to join them, and work together to accomplish set goals,” said the Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius.

      Conference speakers included the Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania Viktoras Pranckietis, the Speaker of the Saeima of Latvia Ināra Mūrniece, the Second Vice-President of the Riigikogu Siim Kallas, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, Members of Parliament (MPs) from the EU member states and Eastern Partnership countries, and experts.

       

      Photos: Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania