The fifth Eastern Partnership Summit declaration, adopted upon conclusion of the Brussels Summit on November 24, reconfirms “the high importance” of the Eastern Partnership initiative as a specific dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy, and acknowledges “the European aspirations and European choice” of associated countries, including Georgia.
The joint declaration, concluded at the meeting of senior leaders of the European Union, 28 Member States and six Eastern Partnership countries, reaffirmed the European Union’s commitment to support the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of its partners, and called for “renewed efforts to promote the peaceful settlement of unresolved conflicts in the region” on the basis of international law.
“The Summit participants welcome the achievements of the Eastern Partnership to date and the strengthened differentiation in bilateral relations between the EU and each of the partner countries. The scope and depth of cooperation are determined by the EU’s and partners, ambitions and needs, as well as the pace and quality of reforms,” reads the document.
The declaration also welcomed “the 20 Deliverables for 2020,” a framework aiming to improve the lives of citizens across the Eastern partners in the four priority areas of cooperation identified in at the Riga Summit in 2015. The document, first presented in December 2016 and revised in June 2017, was attached to the declaration as an annex.
In his remarks after the Summit, European Council President Donald Tusk said the declaration was a “compromise” document. “I would prefer that the wording of the declaration was more ambitious, but we all decided that demonstration of our unity was the most important objective,” he noted.
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who attended the Summit, said in his remarks on November 24 that there was “a full consensus on Georgia’s success” at the Summit, which “is a very important result, but we should not slow down [on our reforms].”
“Regardless of what sentiments there might be in Europe and beyond, we will continue our ambitious reform plan,” Kvirikashvili noted, adding that the country should “prepare for the moment when Europe will be ready to open the window of opportunity for Georgia.”
Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze echoed the Prime Minister’s words, saying Georgia attended the Summit “as a successful and exemplary country, the European aspirations and choice of which, are firmly supported by both the European Union and the Member States.” He also noted the government would “do a lot more than the Association Agreement requires from us - to prepare the country for a political decision and to make the country a leader in the European transportation, and with that, achieve our European future.”
The Eastern Partnership was launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative to promote political association and economic integration between the EU and the six Eastern European partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.