21.05.2015 - 22.05.2015 | Riga, Latvia

Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga successfully concluded with the signing of the Joint Riga Declaration

The Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga held by the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU brought together the political leadership of the 28 EU Member States and six EaP partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine – as well as the EU institutions, including Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.
All heads of delegation attending the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga @ European Council, Council of the European Union

All heads of delegation attending the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga @ European Council, Council of the European Union

The Riga Summit confirmed the strategic importance of the EaP policy as a specific dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The Summit also addressed the current issues and challenges related to the implementation of the EaP and outlined the main directions in the EU’s cooperation with partner countries in the coming years.

The Riga Summit provided a platform for taking stock of the progress made with each of the six partner countries since the third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in the areas such as mobility (visa facilitation and short-term visa waiver), sectorial cooperation, EU support for reforms in the partner countries, the development of people-to-people contacts, as well as cooperation in energy, transport and other fields.

In the framework of the Summit, the Heads of State or Government and the representatives of the EaP countries and the representatives of the European Union and the Heads of State or Government and representatives of its Member States signed a Joint Declaration that takes stock of the achievements made since the Vilnius summit in 2013 and sets out a positive agenda for the future.

In particular, with relation to the field of science, research and innovation, the participants of the Summit stress the importance that people-to-people contacts in the areas of education, research, youth and culture play in supporting the objectives of the Eastern Partnership. They welcome the launch in 2014 of the first call of Erasmus+ programme fully open to students, young people and universities from the Eastern European partners offering enhanced opportunities for cooperation and mobility.

The Summit participants welcome the association of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to the framework programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 and look forward to finalising the agreements for association of Armenia and Georgia. Finally, the Summit participants also take note of the signature of, and the ratification by, Azerbaijan of the Protocol to the Framework Agreement on Participation of Azerbaijan in EU programmes and look forward to its final entry into force once the EU internal procedures have been completed.

Further information:

Source: Yannis Kechagiaras | CeRISS