The Eastern Partnership Will Help Partner Countries To Conduct Refor


2009-07-23 17:03:00

Interviewed by Aram Araratyan, ArmInfo, 23 July 2009

An Interview of Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country
holds the EU presidency, to ArmInfo News Agency

What are the main priorities of the Sweden’s presidency in EU?

The implementation of the Eastern Partnership is an important task
for the Swedish EU presidency. The main priorities of Sweden during
its presidency in EU will also be fighting the global financial
crisis and decreasing its negative consequences, as well as solving
climatic problems.

The European Union has approved the Eastern Partnership program. What
will this initiative bring to the countries involved and what are
the expectations for the initiative?

The overall ambition is to contribute to the establishment of the
Partnership’s multilateral framework, and contribute to making progress
in each partner’s bilateral relationship with the EU.

The Eastern Partnership provides for the launching of flagship
initiatives on specific issues of relevance for the partners and the
EU, the creation of Comprehensive Institution-Building Programs for
each of the six partner countries, the setting up a Civil Society
Forum, the launching of the parliamentary cooperation of the
Partnership and more.

The Eastern Partnership furthermore provides for the upgrading of the contractual and trade agreements of the six countries, if they are
willing and able to take on the commitments steming from this. This
is an issue that will need to be studied closely over the next months,
and thereafter.

Shared values including democracy, rule of law and respect for
human rights is a cornerstone of the Eastern Partnership, as well
as the principles of market economy, sustainable development and
good governance. The level of ambition of the EU’s relationship
with partners will take into account to which extent these values
are reflected in national practices and policy implementation. The
Eastern Partnership will also help partners to conduct reforms and
build democratic institutions.

Do you agree with the opinion that Eastern Partnership is anti-Russian
project and affects Russia’s interests and the spheres of its

The Eastern Partnership is primarily an EU policy and framework for
cooperation with the six partners. It is not directed against Russia,
and there is a possibility for Russia – and other third parties –
to become involved in activities and cooperation within the Eastern
Partnership’s multilateral dimension.

Will the global financial crisis affect the implementation of Eastern
partnership program?

The Swedish commitment to the implementation of the Eastern Partnership
will not be affected by the global financial crisis.

Thank you for the interview