The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative involving the EU, its member states and 6 eastern European partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Launched in May 2009, the EaP is based on a commitment to the principles of international law and fundamental values – democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. It also encompasses support for a market economy, sustainable development and good governance.
The EaP is a part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the political framework for the EU’s work with its southern and eastern neighbours to achieve the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration.
The EU and partner countries leaders meet every other year in Eastern Partnership Summits. The latest Eastern partnership Summit Declaration, agreed in May 2015 in Riga, reviewed the cooperation and provided the direction for further joint action.
Many of the challenges partner countries face are shared ones. Addressing them collectively contributes to the stability and prosperity of the region, promotes cooperation and the exchange of best practice between these countries. Multilateral cooperation enables partner countries to work together on issues across the borders
This work is based on four thematic platforms, supported by various expert panels and a number of flagship initiatives.
- Platform 1. Democracy, good governance & stability. The aim is to help partners develop greater resilience in facing the challenges to their stability by improving the public administration, the civil service, the judiciary, management of state borders, anti-corruption efforts, elections, asylum and migration, cooperation on the Common Security and Defence Policy, civil protection, police cooperation and cybercrime
- Platform 2. Economic integration & convergence with EU policies. Its work focuses on smart, sustainable and inclusive development of a free-market economy for the benefits of local and European SMEs and businesses. The goal is a modern, social and environment-friendly economy that provides jobs and growth
- Platform 3. Energy security. The work covers three key areas: developing electricity, gas and oil interconnections for better integration with the European energy markets; building energy efficiency and renewable energy sources for improved energy security; and a regulatory framework for nuclear safety
- Platform 4. People-to-people contacts aimed to enhance mobility of citizens within a secure and well-managed environment
Partner countries have so far benefited from €3.2bn of EU funded programmes. The main source of funding for the ENP in 2014-2020, including the Eastern Partnership, is the European Neighbourhood Instrument that replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).
To learn more about the cooperation between the EU and the EaP countries please visit www.eeas.europa.eu.