The European Parliament’s AFET Committee calls for a more ambitious Eastern Partnership

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European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopted recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the Eastern Partnership, in the run-up to the June 2020 Summit.

In the final version adopted by the AFET Committee, 23 out of 24 amendments submitted by Miriam Lexmann and supported also by Andrius Kubilius MEP (EPP/Lithuania), for Prime Minister of Lithuania, and Sandra Kalniete MEP (EPP/Latvia), former Foreign Minister of Latvia and EU Commissioner. Amendments of other MEPs which Ms Lexmann support, were also included in the report. Some of the main issues pursued by Ms Lexmman and in the final report, included:

  • Include the associated countries (at the moment, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) as observers in the European Commission’s comitology proceedings as a means of showing the EU’s commitments to further integration and to strengthen the countries’ reform orientation and administrative know-how. 
  • The above is also complimented by efforts of Mr Andrius Kubilius (and which Ms Lexmann also supported together with a group of MEPs) to include the associated countries as observers in the meetings of the European Council working groups and committees. 
  • More focus on supporting and engaging with civil society and local communities (including Churches) across the 6 countries, to strengthen local ownership of the EaP, and to intensify our fight against disinformation not just in the EU but also in these neighbouring countries

According to Lexmann, ‘these amendments and the overall final report are important because they don’t simply include empty phrases, but concrete recommendations to provide space for those countries which wish to cooperate more with the EU to do so, while also engaging civil society in those countries where the governments do not have such ambitions’. 

‘Supporting our neighbours in striving for a more peaceful, prosperous and democratic neighbourhood is also in our own interest and, as this report shows, I believe the transition and transformation experience of Slovakia and other Central-Eastern European countries on our European journey has a lot to contribute in this process, added Lexmann. 

Photo – Ilustrated Photo.

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