The Eastern Partnership Initiative
The Eastern Partnership represents the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It is based on shared values of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The EU is proposing to its partners: new association agreements including deep and comprehensive free trade agreements with those countries willing and able to enter into a deeper engagement, gradual integration in the EU economy and easier travel to the EU through gradual visa liberalisation, accompanied by measures to tackle illegal immigration.
The Partnership aiming at promoting democracy and good governance; strengthening energy security; promoting sector reform and environment protection; encouraging people to people contacts; supporting economic and social development; offering additional funding for projects to reduce socio-economic imbalances and increase stability.
The initiative covers both bilateral EU relations with partner countries and multilateral format.
Bilateral involves negotiations between the partner country and the EU on the tasks in the areas of political association and economic integration with the EU (the Association Agreement and DCFTA), mobility (liberalization of the visa regime), sectoral cooperation (energy security, agricultural development, environment, social policy, etc.).
The multilateral format is a complementary to the bilateral and through its mechanisms (summits of Heads of State, Foreign Ministers' meetings, the meetings of experts) offers to partner countries the opportunity to exchange of experiences on the implementation of internal reforms. The multilateral format is also designed to promote stability and confidence-building in the region (it is a "protracted conflicts").
The multilateral dimension operates at the following levels: summits involving Heads of State and Government, Foreign Ministers' meeting, the meeting of experts in the four EaP thematic platforms: democracy, good governance and stability; economic integration and convergence with EU policies; energy security; contacts between people. In addition, the EaP multilateral dimension with the support of the European Commission implemented a number of practical projects (flagship initiatives) in the following areas: integrated border management, promotion of small and medium enterprises, energy efficiency, environmental management and prevention of natural and man-made disasters.
The multilateral dimension includes meetings in the format of the informal dialogue at the level of Foreign ministers and sectoral Ministers of partner countries and European Commissioners. During the informal meeting the issues of multilateral sectoral cooperation and development of the Eastern Partnership are discussed.
The parliamentary dimension of the Eastern Partnership provides with the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.
The Eastern Partnership also involves non-governmental sector within Civil Society Forum (CSF). The purpose of the Forum is to develop contacts between non-governmental organizations and to facilitate their dialogue with public authorities.
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