Eastern Partnership: state of play

8 December 2009

Radek Sikorski, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs said it needs enthusiasm and perseverance to get the Eastern Partnership (EaP) moving, but it is creating political stability in the region.

The EU has set up a series of measures and programmes to help EaP members implement reforms, to show that membership brings tangible benefits, particularly the much sought-after visa liberalisation.

The creation of a Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy will boost the Partnership, and hoped it would fulfil its key priorities by 2011.

Iurie Leanca, Moldovan Minister for Foreign Affairs, said the EaP was important for Moldova, but he was uncertain it could meet people’s expectations, for example on visa-free travel to EU Member States. The EaP’s budget is insufficient for its ambitious plans, so members must try to attract private investment and build up public-private partnerships.

Moldova itself will use the opportunities the EaP offers to enhance EU cooperation, and this gives the country a strong incentive to push ahead with reforms.