5th Eastern Partnership Summit set to consolidate strong ties

The 5th Eastern Partnership Summit kicked off this morning in Brussels with leaders focussing on the way in which the initiative – which brings together the EU institutions, the 28 EU Member States, and the six Eastern partner countries, namely ArmeniaAzerbaijanBelarusGeorgiathe Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine – can continue to be a Partnership of added value for citizens across the continent. “I expect that the relationship between our neighbours and the European Union will be consolidated”, said the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker upon arrival to the Summit. Ahead of the Summit, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn said: “It is in the EU’s interest for its neighbours to have peace, stability and prosperity. The way to do this is through strong partnerships, to support our neighbours in their reform efforts, and to focus on bringing real and concrete results that are positively felt by ordinary people. Results so far show that we are doing this, and today will be a time to make sure this trend continues.” Leaders will discuss a forward-looking agenda, the 20 deliverables for 2020, which span the four focus areas of the Eastern Partnership: stronger economies; stronger governance; stronger connectivity; and stronger societies. They will also look back on a number of significant achievements since the last Summit in Riga (May 2015) and take forward a number of agreements with the individual partner countries. President Juncker will, together with President Tusk and the Prime Minister of Estonia, Jüri Ratas, hold a joint press conference at 15:30, which will be live on EbS. A number of factsheets are available on the Summit website.