The goals achieved within the Eastern Partnership (EaP), as well as the commercial and association agreements with Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia and the visa liberalisation would have seemed impossible not necessarily ten years ago, in the beginning of this cooperation format, but also in the beginning of the mandate of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini told a joint press conference with Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu in Bucharest on Friday.
We have achieved so much with all our eastern partners. Looking back just a few years ago, not necessarily ten, some things would have been unbelievable at the time, especially regarding Ukraine as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. We have managed to fulfill the main three objectives which we decide to work on together with the three countries: the commercial agreement, which is the most advanced that we could attain, the association agreement, which ensures us a framework for regular exchanges and cooperation on a political level in various sectors, and the visa liberalisation which has always been a priority of the agenda for the three countries and which has brought an immediate change for the citizens in Ukraine, as well as those of the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, Mogherini said, in reply to a request to assess what has been achieved so far within EaP.
If you take a look, for instance, in the beginning of my mandate, four and a half years ago, all these objectives would have been absolutely impossible to reach and I believe we have something to celebrate, both due to the determination of the member states and to the determination of our partners in achieving something that was impossible to dream of at some point, she stressed.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy pointed out she does not comment on the statement of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, according to whom Ukraine would file the accession to the UE request in 2024, but she pointed out that there is a goal agenda for 2020 and that they are positive that these changes, which are extremely concrete in terms of the manner in which they could affect citizens' lives can be implemented.
When we celebrate in May ten years of Eastern Partnership, we will have something to celebrate with each of the six partners. Because in the relation with each of these countries, even with those three that we don't have association agreements with (Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan - ed. n.), we advanced a great deal in our partnership, in terms of signing, initialling or negotiating agreements, in terms of strengthening cooperation or in terms of internal reforms and, in general terms, in having regular contacts and respecting what kind of relationship they want to have with the EU, Mogherini underscored.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy says that the EU has proved flexibility in adapting its agenda and the cooperation level with these countries started from this reality. Many times an especially fit approach is mentioned, and now it really is and this has paid good results with all the six countries, Mogherini also said.