President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, participated yesterday in the Eastern Partnership leaders’ videoconference.
Together with European Council President Charles Michel, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, and the 33 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States and six Eastern Partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine), the leaders discussed the response to the coronavirus pandemic and the long-term objectives of the Eastern Partnership.
“It is in the European Union’s strategic interest to have a prosperous eastern neighbourhood”, said President von der Leyen at the press conference. She added: “That is what the Eastern Partnership has been working on for more than a decade, and with tangible results.”
The President highlighted the European Union’s strong and immediate response to address the coronavirus pandemic in the region, with over €2.4 billion being made available across the six partner countries, in a combination of grants, loans and macro-financial assistance.
The leaders agreed on five priorities for the Eastern Partnership post-2020, covering economic growth to the green transition, digitalisation to good governance and enhanced connectivity. Work will now begin to establish new, concrete deliverables, to build on the achievements so far.
“Today’s video conference has certainly reinforced our collective commitment to the Eastern Partnership, and the view that the European Union and its eastern partners are stronger together”, said President von der Leyen.
More information is available in factsheets on the EU’s relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine, on the new Eastern Partnership policy beyond 2020, on the EU’s response to the coronavirus in the Eastern Partnership region, on the current state of implementation of the 20 deliverables for 2020, and on the top 10 achievements of the Eastern Partnership 2009-2019.
Eric Mamer – Peter Stano – photo EU