Stenbock House, 8 February 2019 – today, in Tallinn, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas opened the Eastern Partnership Annual Conference marking ten years since the partnership agreement was concluded between the European Union and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus. In his speech, Prime Minister Ratas stressed the importance of commitment to cooperation and urged that eastern partnership should be even more ambitious in the next ten years.
According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, cooperation with the six eastern partners of the European Union is of high priority in Estonia’s foreign policy. “Cooperation with eastern partners based on common values and mutual interests has helped to achieve a great deal. It has helped to improve the lives of the people in these countries – creating new jobs, improving infrastructure, and expanding learning opportunities for young people there,” said Ratas as he listed the key results of the partnership.
According to Ratas, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus are important partner countries. As part of our development cooperation, we share our experience with these countries in e-government building, administrative reform, strengthening civil society, and developing media skills,” the prime minister said. He encouraged partners to continue with their reforms and set new aims for cooperation in the next decade.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas also met with Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, with whom he discussed bilateral relations and cooperation with the European Union. Ratas confirmed Estonia’s support and readiness to assist Armenia in integrating into the European Union.
In their cooperation, the EU and its eastern partners are guided by the 20 goals which were set for the year 2020 at the summit in Brussels in 2017 during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The goals are divided between priority areas: economic development and market opportunities, strengthening of institutions and good governance, connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change, mobility and people-to-people contacts. Additional information: https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/20_deliverables_for_2020.pdf (PDF)
The Eastern Partnership Annual Conference takes place for the sixth time and is organised by the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission Representation in Estonia.