The roadmap for Eastern neighbourhood policy of the European Union has been published, more than a year before the autumn Eastern Partnership summit to be held in Lithuania. It is a summing-up of achievements made thus far, as well as setting aims for the upcoming year.
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued a communication regarding the next Eastern Partnership summit. The document, entitled “Eastern Partnership: A Roadmap to the autumn 2013 Summit”, reads that the basic aim of the programme initiated by Poland and Sweden remains unchanged – it is to strengthen political and economic relations between the EU and EaP countries. The present achievements are perceived as a complex of three dimensions in Brussels. The first is a system of two agreements signed with an EaP country – a political one (Association Agreement) and an economic one (Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area DCFTA) – complementing each other. The second factor is regulation regarding visa facilitation and readmission, both aimed at controlling the traffic of EU and EaP citizens. At last, it is an inclusion of EaP states into EU programmes and agencies.
Another important fact included in the document is the emphasis that the EaP programme is an instrument supposed to complete a democratic transformation of the region. The rule “more for more”, stipulating the dependence of an amount of aid for development on the progress of initiating reforms in an EaP country, is also repeated. A novelty seems to be a more individual approach towards each separate country of the Partnership. Moreover, the resources of EUR 1.9 billion for 2010-2013 for the programmes within the EaP have been increased through the EaPIC (Eastern Partnership Integration and Cooperation) programme, an addition of EUR 130 million, mainly for education.
Translated by KD