Azerbaijan, EU sign financial agreement
The European Union and Azerbaijani government signed a Financial Agreement for allocation of 19.5 million euros to launch the Framework Programme in support of EU-Azerbaijan Agreements.
The agreement was signed by the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule and the Minister for Economic Development of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev within the visit of Azerbaijani delegation to Brussels, a report posted on European Commission's website, said.
"The sides had a comprehensive discussion about the political, economic and regional developments, and addressed joint priorities in the run-up to the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius (Lithuania) in November 2013," the report said.
"We are at a critical moment of our relations: this year offers opportunity for both the European Union and Azerbaijan. I emphasized the high ambitions which the EU retains for the development of our relations, as well as our continued readiness to give concrete support to core reforms such as those of public finance, education, regional development and justice, building on the excellent co-operation already achieved in the energy sector," the report cited Commissioner Fule as saying.
Both parties agreed during the discussion that negotiations on the Association Agreement and the document on a Strategic Modernisation Partnership run in parallel and are complementary.
"The launch of this substantial programme demonstrates the EU's long-term commitment to support modernization and reform in Azerbaijan, and to ensure the effective implementation of the commitments undertaken in our Agreements, including the Association Agreement we are currently negotiating. We believe in a future relationship built around shared values, good governance, human rights and democracy," Stefan Fule said after the signature.
According to the European Commissioner the ultimate beneficiaries should be citizens themselves.
"And this means we need a strengthened public administration, including in the regions, providing modern services and acting with sensitivity to critical cross-cutting issues such as environmental sustainability and gender. There is a lot of experience in these types of reforms in the European Union and we are confident that our assistance will bring a real added value," Commissioner Fule underscored.