On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Minister for European Affairs George Ciamba, together with Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn, addressed the participants in the conference celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, held in Luxembourg,
The Romanian minister stated that a stronger role of the EU on the global arena fundamentally depended on a robust and convincing external action that should also build on strengthening the ties between the EU and its partner and neighbourhood countries. He also pointed out that the developments in the eastern neighbourhood of the EU were of strategic importance for Romania, for the Member States in the region, as well as for the Union on the whole, and that they required a strong and constant commitment across all the Member States.
The Romanian minister highlighted that the anniversary celebrated in Luxembourg stood proof of the significance of the Eastern Partnership not only for the region, but for the entire European Union. In that connection, Minister Ciamba recalled that Luxembourg was also the place were the Treaty of Accession of Romania to the European Union was signed in 2005.
George Ciamba and Jean Asselborn emphasised the significance of the Eastern Partnership as a way to bring the neighbourhood countries closer to the values of the European Union, which was a means to export stability and prosperity to the region.
In his speech, the minister delegate for European affairs pointed out that the 10 years since the Eastern Partnership was launched was a good time for a thorough evaluation of its achievements. He added that it was also necessary to launch a wide debate on the priorities for the next decade, in order to prepare the next level of commitments, which should be politically endorsed at the next Eastern Partnership high-level meeting in 2020.
“The 10-year anniversary of the Eastern Partnership marked during the term of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU is a good opportunity to boost the efforts to implement the material objectives set out for 2020. It is also a good opportunity to adequately reflect on the progress made, to communicate the benefits of this partnership and to set out objectives for our future cooperation”, stated Minister George Ciamba.
The Romanian official expressed his appreciation for the cooperation with the eastern neighbours – The Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus – in the frame of the Eastern Partnership, which effectively contributed to bringing them closer to the European common values and principles, in line with their own objectives and ambitions.
Minister Ciamba pointed out that the positive outcomes brought by the engagement of the European Union in the Balkans might inspire other Eastern Partnership member countries that could absorb part of the constructive results of the European project.
“We must strengthen the role of the EU on the global arena, but first of all, we must step up our efforts in the sense of building a stronger influence in the region”, stated the minister delegate for European affairs.
The Romanian dignitary outlined a set of actions and sectorial ministerial meetings included in the Romanian Presidency agenda, which were intended to advance the interconnection projects in priority fields. The minister also pointed out that, besides advancing the fields of concrete cooperation, the Romanian Presidency also intended to take the opportunity of the Eastern Partnership anniversary to boost the commitment to that frame of cooperation, by informing on its consistent benefits and relevance.