European Parliament Recommends the EU Deepen Ties with Georgia, Moldova & Ukraine

The European Parliament (EP) has issued a draft recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS (European External Action Service) on the Eastern Partnership, in the run-up to the November 2017 Summit in Brussels, calling on deeper ties with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The recommendations will be debated in the European Parliament plenary on November 14, with the vote scheduled to take place on November 15. The parliament said that the report was already adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (AFET) on October 10.

The document reads that the Eastern Partnership (EaP) is based on a shared commitment between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the European Union to deepen relations and adhere to international law and fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and gender equality, as well as to the social market economy, sustainable development and good governance.

"The main focus is on Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova, three countries which have recently achieved major progress in cooperation with the EU,” the European Parliament said.

The document asks the EU institutions to invite Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to focus on full implementation of the Association Agreement (AA) agendas in order to unlock all the opportunities available through the AAs and to reiterate the importance of genuine implementation of the reforms for the future stability and development of the countries and the wellbeing of their societies.

The EP also asks the European Commission, along with the European Investment Bank and other multilateral financial institutions, to work towards the successful implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe and to request the establishment of a trust fund for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova based on the best practices of multi-donor instruments, while stressing that this trust fund should focus on private and public investment.

The recommendations underline that the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the EU’s eastern partners remain under threat from unresolved regional conflicts, including the ones initiated by the Russian Federation.

“The EU should play a more active role in the peaceful resolution of all ongoing conflicts in its neighborhood. Russian aggression towards Ukraine, the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the continued occupation of two Georgian regions, as well as Russian hybrid threats including destabilization activities and propaganda, threaten European security as a whole,” the document reads.

The EP also recommended the EU Council, the Commission and the EEAS to commit to sustaining the unity of action among EU Member States in maintaining collective pressure on Russia, whose military presence in the region has grown over the past years.

Moreover, the recommendations read that the EU should strengthen targeted restrictive measures, solve the conflict in eastern Ukraine through full and genuine implementation of the Minsk agreements and by maintaining the OSCE monitoring mission, solve the conflict between Russia and Georgia through tangible outcomes of the Geneva International Discussions and full implementation by Russia of the 2008 ceasefire agreement, re-establish Ukraine’s full sovereignty in Crimea, and that of Georgia in its occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and of Moldova in Transnistria.

The European Parliament also calls for “continued support to the work carried out by the EU and OSCE missions in Georgia, Moldova and eastern Ukraine as essential operations to ensure peace and security first and foremost for the benefit of citizens on the ground; to ensure effective implementation of these missions’ mandates and urge Russia to guarantee their unimpeded access”.

Thea Morrison

09 November 2017 17:39