The EU and Armenia enjoy close links and reconfirm their commitment to further develop and strengthen comprehensive cooperation in all areas of mutual interest within the Eastern Partnership framework.
Based on common values, both sides are committed to further cooperation aimed at the continuous improvement of democratic institutions and judiciary, the promotion of human rights and rule of law, good governance, the fight against corruption, the strengthening the civil society, the further improvement of the framework for enhanced trade and investments, the continued implementation of the mobility partnership and increased sectoral cooperation.
Based on their common endeavour to build upon the existing framework of cooperation, the EU and Armenia stress the importance of revisiting the basis for their relations.
The EU and Armenia acknowledge that they have completed negotiations on an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, but will not proceed with its initialling due to Armenia’s new international commitments. They agree on the need to update the EU-Armenia ENP Action Plan.
30 November 2013
Steering committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum expresses our deep concerns regarding the police attack against the non-partisan, mostly youth-attended peaceful Euromaidan demonstration in Kyiv, Ukraine in early morning November 30.
It is the first time in the European history when a peaceful demonstration gathered to support European integration of its country was brutally disrupted by the government which repeatedly declares the strategic objective of the EU integration. Official explanation of the Ukrainian interior ministry which justifies the disproportional use of force by the need to set up a Christmas tree is ridiculous and should be rejected.
We remind Ukrainian government that violence against peaceful people cannot be tolerated. We call for immediate investigation of all the cases reported regarding attacked and wounded people, including women and teenagers. We urge to punish those officials who are behind of decision to attack people in Kyiv.
The right for peaceful gathering should be guaranteed in full compliance with Ukraine’s constitution and international obligations.
Adopted in Vilnius, November 30, 2013
EU condemns excessive use of force against peaceful protest in Ukraine
The European Union has strongly condemned the excessive use of force by the police in Kyiv to disperse peaceful protesters, who had expressed “in a strong and unprecedented manner their support for Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU,” EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle said in a joint statement issued on Saturday. This support had been welcomed by the participants of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit, the statement said.
The unjustified use of force goes against the principles to which all participants of the Vilnius Summit, including the President of Ukraine, had just reaffirmed their adherence, Ashton and Füle said.
They called on Ukraine, also in its capacity as Chairmanship in Office of the OSCE hosting its Ministerial Conference on 5-6 December in Kyiv, “to fully abide by its international commitments to respect the freedom of expression and assembly.”
Ashton and Füle also urged Ukraine’s leadership to carry out investigations into the events in Kyiv and “to hold responsible those who acted against the basic principles of freedom of assembly and of expression.” (EU Neighbourhood Info)
EaP Civil Society Forum at the Civil Society Conference in Vilnius: Political Challenges and Future agenda of the Eastern Partnership
02 December 2013
In November an important event in the life of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Civil Society Conference that is traditionally conducted in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summits took place. Up to 100 Forum participants took part in the event that brought together civil society leaders from the EaP countries and the EU, key experts from regional and transatlantic non-governmental organisations, think-tanks, international aid agencies and political foundations, as well as distinguished political figures and public activists. The event took stock of the Eastern Partnership policy from Warsaw to Vilnius and set the future course of action from Vilnius to Riga. The panellists discussed how to empower civil society and enhance civil society’s participation in the decision making processes.
Commissioner Füle talking about the deliverables of the Eastern Partnership, said that engagement with citizens, with the civil society is the major success of the policy. Commissioner reiterated the support to the Civil Society Forum, a stakeholder in the Eastern Partnership and expectation of playing a key role of a structural dialogue with authorities of the EaP countries, building up on the results of the sectorial cooperation, leading dialogue with member states, and taking part in the implementation of Association Agreements (Commissioner Speech).
In the joint declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit, government representatives of the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU also recalled the valuable role of civil society within the Eastern Partnership. They recognized that civil society constitutes an integral element in a well-functioning democratic system. They underlined the contribution of civil society in all the relevant activities under the Partnership including through the Civil Society Forum and its National Platforms and the importance of participation of the Civil Society Forum representatives in the meetings of the multilateral Platforms and the role played by civil society in partners’ reform processes in encouraging dialogue between civil society and partner countries’ authorities on achieving the goals of the Eastern Partnership. They emphasized the importance of continuing to make available adequate resources as appropriate to support the capacity development and further involvement of civil society in national reform processes.
The panel Role and State of Civil Society: Glass Half-full or Half-empty?, in which all the panellists represented Civil Society Forum, identified the formation of the regional civil society, and regional solidarity on various issues, be it the U-turn of the policies of the Ukrainian government or the issue of political prisoners, as a success of the Eastern Partnership policy. The importance of statements produced by the Forum and National Platforms in this regard was stressed by Krzysztof Bobinski and Ulad Vyalichka. Manana Kochladze underlined the importance of tripartite dialogues between the government, civil society and the EU, which is successfully going on in Georgia since 2010, and reminded that the path to European integration will be lengthy as it requires change of a mind-set. Leila Alieva called to analyse and address individual obstacles to reform in each of the Eastern Partnership countries and suggested that by replacing the ambitious reform agenda by agendas dominated by pragmatic interests the societies of the EaP countries are deprived of their reform potential.