EU-Eastern Partnership single economic zone on horizon?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 30
By Azad Hasanli – Trend:
Foreign ministers of member states of the EU and the Eastern Partnership program are expected to discuss the prospects of creating a single economic space during an informal meeting September 3, 2016 in Bratislava, Slovakia, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine told Trend Aug. 30.
Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that his country would initiate creation of a single economic space between the countries of the Eastern Partnership program (Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus and Armenia).
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry told Trend that Klimkin’s idea of creating a single economic space within the Eastern Partnership program was first mentioned in Joint Declaration of the Warsaw Eastern Partnership Summit of 2011, and more detailed - in the Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius of 2013.
“In accordance with the Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, effective future implementation of association agreements and, where relevant, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) accompanied by reforms contribute to convergence with EU legislation and standards, which in turn will lead to gradual economic integration of partners with the EU internal market and thus the creation of economic space,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stressed that the creation of an economic space should be seen as ambitious and long-term vision of the EU and partner countries of the Eastern Partnership program.
This undertaking, on one hand, should be aimed at strengthening trade cooperation between the countries, as well as implementation of the Association Agreement and the DCFTA based on the rules of the World Trade Organization and the EU, and on the other hand - to provide compatibility of the DCFTA with other trading modes [free trade zones of the countries of the CIS, GUAM, etc.], according to the ministry.
The EU's Eastern Partnership program was adopted on the initiative of Poland and Sweden, and was approved at the EU summit in Brussels in 2008.
The program is aimed at rapprochement between the EU and Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia and Belarus.
It stipulates a significant increase in political interaction and integration of former Soviet republics into the EU economy, increasing the volume of financial aid to them, and strengthening energy security.