Strengthening neighborhood policy

  • 2011-05-11
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and the president of Slovenia, Danilo Turk, who arrived in Estonia for an official visit on May 5, focused on the European Union neighborhood policy, eastern partnership and the enlargement of the EU during their meeting, reports news agency LETA. “A successful and, hopefully, strengthening neighborhood policy of the European Union will also contribute to the success of our union,” President Ilves said. “The promotion of democracy, stability and economic development is still important for our neighboring countries and the European Union.”

President Ilves emphasized that in both the eastern and southern regions of the EU, opportunities for integration with the European Union are present, but the development of such opportunities is mostly dependent on the ambitions and capabilities of the neighboring countries.

“The responsibility and strong desire of the people and governments of a number of countries is to get closer to the European Union and commit to political and economic reforms to meet that purpose,” President Ilves added.
When speaking of eastern partnership, he confirmed Estonia’s continued support for the integration of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in the direction of the European Union, saying: “More efficient cooperation in political and other spheres is needed here, as well as the initiation of projects of practical value.”

Presidents Ilves and Turk support the enlargement of the European Union. “Estonia and Slovenia, who are each other’s valued partners in international organizations and in bilateral cooperation projects in general, could together find options for assuring that the European Union enlargement policy is dynamic and viable,” noted Ilves. “Our enlargement mentality will not fade away, as it never faded away in countries that once supported our accession to the European Union.”

Here, the Estonian head of state emphasized the importance of the Balkans: “The European Union will not be complete without the involvement of the Western Balkans and, particularly, Croatia and Serbia into the European Union.”