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  • 18 April 2016

    The chief of Polish diplomacy judged that there is a need to discuss the future of the Eastern Partnership programme, which covers the EU’s six neighbours of very different status.

    “We have to think what to do with the six countries with a very different status. Three of them have signed the association agreements with the EU, which are slowly being implemented. The remaining three countries are in a kind of limbo,” Waszczykowski told journalists before the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. 

     

    The Eastern Partnership, an EU programme of cooperation with its six neighbours launched on Poland’s initiative, is on the Monday meeting’s agenda. Among the EaP countries, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have signed the association agreements. The other EaP countries are Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan. “We have to figure out whether to split this programme or to maintain it, but in any case a cooperation programme will be tailored individually to every country,” added the minister.      

     

    He also expects a discussion on the recent referendum in the Netherlands, in which 60% of voters rejected the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. “We have to ask them (the Dutch – PAP) why in a country that is holding the EU presidency there is such a glitch. If in Europe we are talking about solidarity, then everybody should show it,” said the minister.

     

    “The decision to enter into association with Ukraine has been taken and is being implemented by both Ukraine and EU institutions and many EU countries. Therefore, European solidarity holds for all parties,” he added.

     

    Monday’s discussion on the Eastern Partnership is meant to help prepare the meeting of the EU and EaP foreign ministers, scheduled for May.

     

    In Luxembourg, foreign ministers also discussed the migration issue, especially cooperation with third countries and an EU-led operation, “Sophia”, aimed at fighting human trafficking in the Mediterranean. 

     

    As minister Waszczykowski said, migration does not concern the south only. We should also focus on Ukraine’s internal situation, where 1.5 m people fled conflict-affected Donbas.

     

     

    The ministers will also discuss the terrorist threat. “Terrorist attacks are getting closer to Poland,” stated Waszczykowski.

     

    Chief of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini said that joint talks of EU foreign and defence ministers, scheduled for the evening, will cover the situation in Libya and EU’s economic and political support for this country.

     

    Source: PAP

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