Delegates of the international forum advice to use EU Neighbourhood Policy possibilities for democracy's development.

  • 2006-05-05
  • By TBT staff
VILNIUS- Leaders of the Baltic and Black Sea regions and the United States as well as representatives of the European Union and other international organizations that attended an international conference in Vilnius urged the European Union to use the possibilities of European Neighbourhood Policy to their full potential in a developing democracies' favour.

This was stated in a joint communique of the international conference Common Vision for Common Neighbourhood held in Lithuania's capital Vilnius on May 4. "Instruments such as the European Neighbourhood Policy need to be used to their full potential and further developed," the communique reads. According to the document, regional cooperation remains of great significance for promoting European and transatlantic integration.

The Community of Democratic Choice, which embraces Ukraine and Georgia, was inaugurated last year with participation of Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus and the then Polish leader, Alexander Kwasniewski. The forum participants also expressed further support for non-governmental organizations and civil societies of countries that have shifted to the path of democracy. A European Democracy Fund is proposed to be established for this purpose.

"Although during the forum much criticism about Russia was expressed, the meeting was not aimed against this country," Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus told a press conference after the forum.

"I have heard that this was an anti-Russian meeting. Definitely no, no and again no." Adamkus outlined. "But I hope, looking into the future, that we have very purely expressed that we want to see them (Russia) within our ranks, be constructive, assume responsibilities for the future and enjoy the benefits of being one peaceful community," Adamkus added
The forum was attended by leaders of Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine, US Vice-President Richard Cheney, the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, Azerbaijani Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, other representatives of EU and Eastern European countries, NATO and EU institutions.
Although it was invited to the event, Russia sent no official representatives to Vilnius. Russia was represented by public figures, journalists and political scientists critical of Vladimir Putin's administration.