Benita Ferrero-Waldner submits Eastern Partnership communiqué also joined by Azerbaijan

Benita Ferrero-Waldner submits Eastern Partnership communiqué also joined by Azerbaijan
# 03 December 2008 14:54 (UTC +04:00)
According to the communiqué, European Commission proposes signing "Association Agreements" with six Eastern European countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and to "acknowledge the European identity and aspirations of these countries".
The communiqué underlines that the new pacts, which recall the association treaties signed with Poland or Lithuania prior to the 2004 round of enlargement, do not amount to a promise of future accession. The moves include establishing "a single deep and comprehensive Free Trade Area, providing the basis for the development of a common internal market, such as the European Economic Area (EEA)," which the EU currently has with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The Eastern Partnership aims to create visa free travel in the long-term, but to waive the cost of obtaining EU visas more quickly and to set up Common Application Centers in the six countries to help people enter the EU passport-free Schengen zone.
The communiqué indicates that Armenia should close its Medzamor nuclear plant and notes EU "concern" over energy infrastructure in conflict zones, such as a Russia-Balkans gas pipeline running through the disputed Moldovan region of Transdniestria.
The communiqué proposes holding an "Eastern Partnership Summit" in June 2009 to launch the project. Follow-up meetings of EU and Eastern Partnership foreign ministers are to take place each spring. "Senior officials" from the "27 + 5(6)" countries are to meet twice-yearly to prepare for the ministerials.

The European Partnership is to raise the EU’s per capita spending in the region from the current €6 per head to €12 per head by 2013 and €20 per head by 2020,

The submitted document will be discussed at the meeting of the European Union Council on December 11-12.
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