Marius Niculae

The Heads of State or Government and the representatives of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the representatives of the European Union and the Heads of State or Government and representatives of its Member States have met in Vilnius on 28-29 November 2013.
The President of the European Parliament and representatives of the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) and the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly were also present at the Summit.

The participants of the Vilnius Summit set the following goals to be attained by the Partnership by 2015:
  • Further deepening relations and cooperation between the EU and partners;
  • Making further steps in strengthening democracy, guaranteeing respect of human rights and rule of law including through the pursuit of reform of the judiciary and strengthening law enforcement;
  • Securing where applicable signature by Autumn 2014 and provisional application of the Association Agreements/DCFTAs thereby launching the implementation phase and ensure that the Agreements’ ratification processes are well advanced;
  • Establishing where applicable Association Agendas as soon as possible in 2014 as the means of preparing for and implementing the Association Agreements/DCFTAs and to serve as the key monitoring tool;
  • Continuing to provide EU assistance to support partners’ reform agendas including taking into account the provisional application and implementation of the Association Agreements including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas;
  • Accession by the Eastern European partners concerned to the regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin and making progress towards their accession to the Common Transit Convention as further steps in the process of economic integration;
  • Advancing through gradual steps towards visa free regimes, in due course on a case by case basis, provided that conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place;
  • Strengthening the business dimension of the Eastern Partnership including through improving the business environment in partner countries to the benefit of local, regional and European SMEs and businesses;
  • Gradually developing a Common Knowledge and Innovation Space to pull together several existing strands of cooperation in research and innovation;
  • Further strengthening the multilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership;
  • Seeking further regulatory approximation in all transport areas and implementing transport infrastructure projects, along the Eastern Partnership transport network through existing EU programmes and instruments, seeking closer involvement of European and International Financial Institutions and prioritizing projects that improve connections with the TEN-T core network;
  • Promoting and strengthening strategic multilateral projects, through creating a conducive, transparent, regulatory, and financial environment for the implementation of projects of Common Interest and Projects of Energy Community Interests for the countries concerned.
  • Further strengthening of public institutional capacity with support from the EU;
  • Promoting and strengthening visible and effective multilateral Flagship Initiatives including where appropriate combining policy dialogue and support for infrastructure;
  • Further strengthening people to people contacts – including through the opening of the new “Erasmus +”, “Creative Europe” and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie strand within Horizon 2020 to the participants from the Eastern Partnership countries;
  • Implementing a Visibility Strategy for the Eastern Partnership.

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