Summit in Riga: way to the development

Posted: 2015-05-12
Written by: EU Network
Category: EaPYF2015
Tagged: summit riga politics latvia geopolitics europe eu easternpartnerhsip eap2015 eap cis

summit.jpg

The major high-level foreign policy event of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of European Union — 4th Eastern Partnership Summit.

In its capacity as Presiding country of  the Council of the European Union (EU), Latvia will hold one of the major high-level foreign policy events of its Presidency – the 4th Eastern Partnership Summit will be taking place on 21-22 May in Riga. 

The Summit will bring together high-ranking officials from the 28 EU Member States and 6  Eastern Partnership countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine – as well as leaders of EU institutions, including Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.

 

lv2.jpg

 

It is expected that one of the key political messages of the Summit will be confirming the strategic significance of the Eastern Partnership policy, focussing on the partnership of each of the countries included and emphasising readiness to develop and deepen the EU’s bilateral relations in a differentiated manner with each of the six partners countries on the basis of jointly formulated priorities.

The Riga Summit is expected to confirm the strategic importance of the Eastern Partnership policy as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy within the overarching EU external policy. The Summit will also address the current issues and challenges related to the implementation of the Eastern Partnership and outline the main directions in the EU’s cooperation with partner countries in the coming years.

The Riga Summit will be the first since the signing of the Association Agreements between the EU and three partner countries – Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. These agreements provide for a closer political association and economic integration between the EU and those countries. The Summit will assess the preliminary results of the provisional application of the Association Agreements. Successful implementation of the agreements will be one of key priorities in the EU’s relations with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, which will enable these partner countries to modernise their economies and social system. The EU will pledge strong political and practical support for the application of the Association Agreements.

The Summit will also explore the development of opportunities offered by the Eastern Partnership policy in cooperation with other three partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

 

The Riga Summit will provide a platform for taking stock of the progress made with each of the six partner countries since the third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in the areas such as mobility (visa facilitation and short-term visa waiver), sectorial cooperation, EU support for reforms in the partner countries, the development of people-to-people contacts, as well as cooperation in energy, transport and other fields.

 

3 large scale events will take place as part of the summit in Riga, accentuating the role of the civil society, media and business contacts in the Eastern Partnership policy.

1st Eastern Partnership Media Conference will be taking place on 20th May in Riga. The conference will look at the media landscape in the Eastern Partnership countries, including the legal, regulatory and policy environment. Discussing the role of governments in ensuring an open and pluralistic media environment as well as the factors impacting on the development of professional media in the Eastern Partnership region. Participants of the conference will discuss responses to the challenges, take stock of the EU’s assistance to media in the Eastern Partnership region, and look at how to enhance possible contributions to improving the overall media environment in partner countries. Conference will be opened by Speaker of the Latvian Parliament (Saeima) Ināra Mūrniece.

2nd Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference will be held in Riga by over 300 civil society representatives and experts from the EU Member States and Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.During the conference, recommendations will be drawn up for the EU institutions and EU and Eastern Partnership member state governments to propose more effective ways of achieving the Eastern Partnership's objectives. The goal of the Conference is to help strengthen civil society and involve it in the planning and implementation of the Eastern Partnership policy.

The staging of this event in Latvia, the country currently holding the EU Council Presidency, continues the practice initiated during the Lithuanian Presidency of organising a broad-scale Civil Society Conference in parallel with the Eastern Partnership Summit to discuss issues closely related to the themes of the Summit. The Civil Society Conference provides a platform for representatives of civil society, non-governmental organisations and think tanks to debate Eastern Partnership issues.Politicians and experts from EU and Eastern Partnership countries will speak at the conference, which will be opened by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, Laimdota Straujuma.

2nd  Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference in Riga is organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Latvian Institute of International Affairs, the Centre for East European Policy Studies and the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation, with the participation of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. The conference is supported by the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Black Sea Trust, a Project of the German Marshall Fund of the US and the National Endowment for Democracy.

3rd Eastern Partnership Business Forum will evaluate the achievements of the Eastern Partnership initiative from the perspective of business communities to continue the dialogue on further development mainly focusing on the promotion of bilateral and multilateral economic relations between the EU and the 6 Eastern European partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine also in the context of cooperation with other countries interested in the region.The 3 signed Association Agreements will give a particular importance to the forum. Their implementation could open up prospects and bring additional benefits to economic cooperation.

 

The forum will cover the following horizontal topics: Eastern Partnership enhancing business prospects in the region; prospects for cooperation across borders in the Eastern European partner countries and beyond; role of the employer and business organisations in promotion of viable business environment and new business contacts.

 

The forum will cover the following sectoral topics: transport and logistics in cross-border business cooperation; role of banks in access to finance for business development; changing business operations within a growing digital economy; energy resources in business development. Business Forum will be opened by the State President of the Republic of Latvia Andris Bērziņš

Sintija Bernava — Chairwoman of the Board of the Non-Governmental Association DONUM ANIMUS 

Sintija Bernava holds  a Bachelor of Political Sciences, Master of Public Administration, and has a long-standing experience in working for the Latvian  Parliament, Latvian Government and in the non-governmental sector.

Raksts Latviešu valoda.

Comments

There are no comments

Post a comment