Brussels, 11 June 2020
Video-teleconference meeting of EU and EaP Ministers of Foreign Affairs
The EaP CSF has submitted its written contribution for the video-teleconference meeting of EU and EaP foreign Ministers which took place on June 11, 2020. We welcome the meeting of EU and EaP Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the online format. It is essential to continue the dialogue on important issues regarding the future of the EaP policy.
The written contribution of the EaP CSF mentions the fact that the authorities of the EaP countries have not adhered to the values of our policy. The Eastern Partnership is based on values like human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights. However, the authorities the EaP countries have not delivered on many commitments. Still, there have been improvements in several EaP countries. It is necessary that the obligations which need to be respected are clear for everyone.
Therefore, on the one hand, the post-2020 Eastern Partnership should define the requirements with regards to the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms which should serve as a pre-condition for any support to non-compliant governments. On the other hand, ambitious goals should be established which the EaP countries will strive for.
In order to ensure the implementation of the targets, the EU should tailor them within each new deliverable to individual EaP countries. This will allow for country specific roadmaps where each country will have its own particular targets and commitments.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the civil society organisations work at the forefront in the response against the virus. This shows the importance of the support provided to them by the EU and other stakeholders. Unfortunately, the environment in which civil society operates is worsening in several EaP countries. Thus, public oversight mechanisms should be part of fundings provided by the EU which would ensure that the funding is spent effectively.
The written report also discusses the economic impact of COVID-19 on EaP countries and the importance of resilience building. Moreover, the necessity of support from the EU to SMEs is also highlighted.
The conclusion stresses the need to closely monitor the situation in the EaP countries even during the time of the pandemic and to increase the presence and visibility of the EU on the ground.