European Commission published Eastern Partnership progress report on Azerbaijan

Photo: European Commission published Eastern Partnership progress report on Azerbaijan / Politics

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 15 /Trend/

The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published on 15 May 2012 the annual Eastern Partnership progress report on 12 countries (on developments in 2011 and with a set of recommendations for the future), including one on Azerbaijan, said in a statement on organization's official website.

On the basis of this year's report and with a view to sustained implementation of the ENP Action Plan in 2012, Azerbaijan is invited to:

• Extend full cooperation to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on political prisoners.
• Swiftly implement the Human Rights Action Plan adopted in December 2011.
• Step up efforts together with Armenia to reach agreement on the Madrid Principles in accordance with the commitments made by the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the framework of the Minsk Group.
• Provide unconditional access for representatives of the EU to Nagorno Karabakh and surrounding regions.
• Ensure transparency in implementing the laws governing the process of demolitions, expropriations and forced evictions in Baku and the regions.
• Adopt the draft law on defamation which provides for the abolition of criminal liability for defamation and insult.
• Bring legislation on elections, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and media freedom into line with international standards and ensure its full implementation.
• Step up reform efforts in all aspects of the judicial system: prosecution, trial, sentencing, detention and appeals.
• Address outstanding issues in public financial management, notably on transparency and accountability in relation to the budget cycle.
• Implement with determination comprehensive measures to tackle corruption and to improve the business and investment climate, including reducing the oligopolistic structure of the economy.

Report said that Azerbaijan made progress in the fight against organised crime, terrorism, illicit trafficking and money laundry.

"Negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the Minsk Group led to no tangible results in 2011. Amidst increasing tension along the Line of Contact, mediation efforts resulted in marginal progress on the investigation of the violation of the ceasefire agreement", said in report.

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