Eastern Partnership meeting strengthens cooperation. EU partnership of eastern member nation need major unity because of their fragile economy and defence need extra care in their strategy.
The video meeting of the leaders of the EU Member States, EU institutions and the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries on 18 June reaffirmed cooperation between the EU and its Eastern Partners, which are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The decision to hold the meeting despite the COVID-19 situation demonstrates the importance of the Eastern Partnership and the EU’s commitment to it. Prime Minister Sanna Marin represented Finland.
The leaders at the meeting discussed the importance of solidarity in the response to the coronavirus and the EU’s support for the Eastern Partnership countries. In addition, the leaders discussed the long-term policy objectives of the partnership.
The purpose of the Eastern Partnership is to promote stability, prosperity and democracy in the EU’s eastern neighbours, which is also an important priority for the EU and Finland. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of support from the EU to its partner countries as they work to reform their societies. Support from the EU is conditional and is tied to progress on reforms.
Finland emphasises the need to advance reforms in the Eastern Partnership countries. It is important to support their work to reinforce societal resilience and reform their institutions. Finland also stresses the significance of the rule of law, equality and sustainable development, as well as the ability to respond to hybrid threats and disinformation.
At their video meeting, the leaders agreed that they would hold the next Eastern Partnership Summit in the first half of next year. The Summit has generally been held every two years. The previous Summit took place in 2017.