TALLINN - According to the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the informal meeting of the European Union and Eastern Partnership foreign ministers, which took place in Sopot, Poland on May 24, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that European Union enlargement has brought the six Eastern Partnership states closer to the European Union than they’ve ever been before. The Eastern Partnership became an official policy of the European Union in the spring of 2009.
“The creation of the Eastern Partnership was an important step, but unfortunately the policy has yet to receive sufficient funding, considering the importance of strategic partnerships,” Paet noted. “The funding given to the Eastern Partnership should reflect its political importance for the European Union,” he added.
According to the foreign minister, Estonia supports taking relations between the European Union and its Eastern partners to the next level. “We support the concluding of free trade agreements, the expansion of visa freedom, and close practical co-operation with Eastern Partnership states in energy and infrastructure matters,” said Paet.
Paet mentioned that Estonia would like to establish an Eastern Partnership training center to train young diplomats and other state officials from Partnership states.
The foreign ministers of the European Union member states and the foreign ministers of the Neighborhood Policy Eastern Partnership countries participated in the meeting. The Eastern Partnership partner countries are Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus.