Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 30 / Trend , G.Dadashova/
President of the European Council
Herman Van Rompuy has today stated that the European Union remains firmly committed to a closer relationship with its Eastern European partners, the website of the Council of European Union reported.
"This includes a joint determination to uphold the values on which the Eastern Partnership is based: democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law," Rompuy said at the
Eastern Partnership Conference, "Towards a European Community of Democracy, Prosperity and a Stronger Civil Society," running in Warsaw today.
"We should not underestimate the political significance of what we have achieved since the Prague Summit," he said. "Between the EU and the partners, we are well on the way to concluding new and upgraded contractual relations with most partners: association agreements and free trade agreements."
He said the EU have launched flagship initiatives (regarding renewable energy, regional
electricity markets, and border controls) to support its objectives. "We have reached out to all stakeholders - civil society, parliaments and the business community. Achieving our goals requires broad support and engagement," Rompuy said.
Regarding the still existing conflicts in the region, Rompuy said that without an end to conflict, reforms will have no effect and democracy will not flourish, nor can the EU's relations
with its partners reach their full potential.
"The EU stands ready to support any confidence building and reconciliation efforts. We have the means and the experience to do so," he said.
The Eastern Partnership program, initiated by Poland and Sweden in 2008, seeks to bring the six post-Soviet countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine closer to the democratic and economic workings of the EU.