EaP Ministerial Meeting in Luxembourg, June 19, 2017. Photo: European Union
Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze took part in the annual Eastern Partnership (EaP) ministerial meeting chaired by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Luxembourg on June 19.
The meeting, bringing together foreign ministers from the EU and the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), as well as EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, was convened to work on the preparations of the EaP summit to be held in November 2017 in Brussels and sum up the main achievements of the partnership since the last summit in Riga in 2015.
At the meeting, High Representative Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn presented the ministers with a working document, jointly prepared by the European External Action Service and the European Commission: “Eastern Partnership - 20 Deliverables for 2020.” The document, identifying 20 deliverables for 2020 in the four priority areas, was first presented in December 2016 and revised in June 2017 based on contributions from EU Member States and EaP Partner countries.
Speaking at her joint doorstep together with Commissioner Hahn, Federica Mogherini praised “a very good ministerial meeting,” saying things were moving “in a very good way” with all six of the Eastern Partnership countries “bilaterally and all together,” despite having “a differentiated approach” with each of the countries.
“We had a very good ministerial meeting with our Eastern partners, reaffirming the strong commitment of the European Union and also of our partners to our close cooperation, preparing the Summit that we will have in November in Brussels and focusing the preparation of that on concrete deliverables,” she noted.
Commissioner Johannes Hahn stressed in his remarks that the concept of the 20 deliverables “was endorsed by the Member States and also very welcomed by the six neighboring countries.” “There are different views on some aspects, but in principle there was a strong support from both sides for this kind of approach,” Hahn added.
In a brief interview at the meeting, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze said that the four priority areas “are in line with” the Georgian government’s reform agenda. “Our goal is to deepening political, defense and security cooperation, along with practical integration, so that Georgia is integrated with Europe, part of European development, security and values,” Janelidze added.
As part of the ministerial meeting, Mikheil Janelidze also participated in a working breakfast with participation of EU Foreign Ministers. Held within the format of the Group of Friends of Georgia, the gathering was organized by the Latvian and Slovak Foreign Ministers.
Assessing the outcomes of the working breakfast, Janelidze emphasized that Georgia “is on EU agenda” and that the country was identified as “a success story” in the Eastern Partnership initiative and the EU policy in the Eastern Neighborhood.
“It has been named as an example of democratic and economic transformation and a pillar for security and strategic cooperation for the European Union. We also identified the possible directions that Georgia has chosen in terms of the EU integration, [specifically] on more political and economic integration of our country [with the European Union],” he added.
On the sidelines of the ministerial, Janelidze held meetings with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen.
The EaP was launched in 2009 to promote political association and economic integration between the EU and the six Eastern European partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.