Belgium, Brussels, Dec. 8/ Trend , Tarek Mahmoud/
The Commissioner for Trade and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner welcomed today the first Meeting of Foreign Ministers in the framework of the Eastern Partnership which gathers foreign ministers of 27 Member States, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, as well as EU institutions.
She noted that "thanks to the joint commitment and efforts of all partners the Eastern Partnership has had an excellent start. Within a very short time we have achieved significant steps towards strengthening and deepening our relations - bilaterally and multilaterally".
While taking note of the progress made on both the bilateral and the multilateral tracks of the Eastern Partnership, ministers are expected to endorse the Work Programmes for 2010 elaborated by the multilateral platforms. Bilateral work on further deepening of relations is advancing well with 2010 likely to see negotiations with five EaP partner countries on association agreements.
The new vision offered by the Eastern Partnership has been taken up and turned into concrete programmes for our joint endeavour. We have a joint goal political and economic stability, prosperity in the partner countries as well as increasing convergence with EU policies." said Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. "We are keeping our promise to achieve tangible results for the countries and citizens of the Eastern Partnership."
The Eastern Partnership will benefit from additional financial support of € 350 million for the period till 2013 which will add up to a total of € 600 million.