EU includes S.Caucasus in wider Europe-New Neighbors project


June 15 2004

BRUSSELS, JUNE 15, ARMENPRESS: On June 14, the European Union
included Georgia, along with Armenia and Azerbaijan, in its Wider
Europe Neighborhood Initiative. Within the framework of the EU
Neighborhood Initiative, a number of projects will be created to
help these countries implement reforms and adopt the common rules,
standards and policies that make up the body of EU law.

The European Security Strategy, adopted by the European Council in
December 2003, identifies the South Caucasus as one of the regions in
which the EU should take a “stronger and more active interest”. The
final decision is expected on June 17 at the EU summit in Brussels.

European Union governments identified also Russia as a “key partner” in
the bloc’s new strategy of upgrading political and economic relations
with its neighbors. Foreign ministers from the 25 nation bloc said
that the policy – including the elaboration of action plans aimed
at bolstering reform in neighboring states – would be prepared for
Jordan, Moldova, Morocco, Tunisia, Ukraine, Israel and the Palestinian
Authority. Ministers said the E.U. did not want to create “new dividing
lines” between the recently-enlarged Union and its neighbors.