OSCE Chairman underlines European perspective of EU's Eastern neighbours
Azerbaijan, Baku, 21 June/ corr. Trend E.Ostapenko/
The European Union's neighbouring countries, which implement democratic reforms and undertaken commitments, should get more EU support than the countries that do not implement reforms, Lithuanian Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman Audronius Ažubalis said at the EU's Foreign Affairs Council on 20 June in Luxembourg.
The information was published at the Ministry's website.
The EU foreign ministers had a discussion on the Joint Communication entitled "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood" and future principles of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Renews ENP was proposed by the European Commission and European External Action Service on 25 May.
Ažubalis spoke in favour of the new principles of the ENP, emphasizing the importance of the conditionality principle of 'more for more' - the EU's neighbouring countries that make every effort to implement reforms leading to European integration should receive more support from the EU than the countries, which do not make such efforts.
The new ENP is to update the EU strategy with regards to its eastern and southern neighbors, which will now be based on the principle of "more funding - more reforms". The EU would make funding available for its neighbourhood partners to support and match the speed of political and economic reform they wish to make.
Also more than €1.2 billion in new funding will be allocated to the ENP countries, bringing the total to almost €7 billion.
"Lithuania's consistent position is that the EU's Eastern neighbours have a European perspective", Ažubalis said. "This is provided in Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union and we shall strive that this would be formulated with greater determination, even though discussions on this topic are never easy".
According to him, the EU's response to the countries that are implementing reforms should not be limited only to increased financial support, but has to include also other areas, such as further liberalization of visa regime and trade, and the promotion of cooperation in separate sectors.