The EU's relations with its neighbours are guided by the Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy, the New Strategic Agenda 2019-2024, and the revised European Neighbourhood Policy. These policy documents focus on increasing the stability and resilience of our neighbours and support both the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
In this context, the Eastern Partnership was established in May 2009 to enhance relations between the EU and its Member States and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The Brussels Eastern Partnership Summit 2017 adopted a Joint Declaration including a joint reform agenda “20 Deliverables for 2020” carving out four key areas of focus (stronger economy, stronger governance, stronger connectivity and stronger society), with the overall objective to demonstrate the tangible benefits of cooperation to the daily lives of citizens. It also adopted a revised institutional structure to ensure the implementation of this ambitious work plan.
This year, the Eastern Partnership reached its 10-year milestone. A high-level conference dedicated to this anniversary, organised in Brussels on 14 May, brought together key actors which have shaped Eastern Partnership policy over the last decade. The conference confirmed the success of the Partnership in achieving concrete results for citizens, but also recognised the challenges that remain.
After 10 years of close cooperation, the joint work of all partners is not finished. Implementation of reforms and delivery of tangible results for citizens in line with the 20 deliverables agenda will remain a key priority. However, with 2020 approaching, it is equally important to look critically at the challenges and to reflect on how to ensure that the Eastern Partnership remains relevant and inclusive. In view of this, President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn announced a broad and inclusive structured consultation process to reflect on the future strategic direction of the Eastern Partnership and a new – post 2020 – generation of deliverables. This consultation process will be as inclusive as possible involving a wide range of stakeholders.
An inclusive consultation process
For this purpose, all stakeholders are invited to send their contributions on the future of the Eastern Partnership post-2020 policy framework using the EU Survey. The deadline for sending contributions is until 31 October 2019.