Open letter on Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga
Strasbourg, 20 May 2015
To the Heads of State and Government of the European Union
As Members of the European Parliament, we should like to take this opportunity to underline the importance of the decisions to be taken during the Eastern Partnership Summit on 21-22 May 2015 in Riga. Referring to the letter of the Bureau of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly of 13 May 2015, we call on the Heads of State and Government of the European Union to reaffirm their commitment to the Eastern Partnership policy. Our conviction is that the Eastern Partnership represents a highly effective stimulus in furthering democratic change and the process of reform in the partner countries in Eastern Europe. In this regard, we remain optimistic that the Riga Declaration will build on the considerable progress already made during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius of 2013 and will clear the way for further significant progress.
In particular, we believe that the Riga Summit Declaration should be clear, strong and forward looking and should concentrate, amongst other things, on a further progress and high ambitions of three Associated Partners of the EU — Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Firstly, the European Union’s commitment to the Eastern Partnership is all the more urgent given that, over the last three years, Russia has placed enormous military, political, economic and propaganda pressure on Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. We are convinced that the declaration that follows the Riga Summit should represent an unequivocal and determined expression of the European Union’s solidarity with and support for these countries and their pro-European agendas.
This supposes that the Riga Summit Declaration will go beyond the furthering of economic ties as already laid out in the associated agreements between the European Union and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine respectively. Whilst it is certainly desirable to foster trade with these countries, the European aspirations of these countries requires a more ambitious response. Consequently, in line with the provisions of Article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union, we believe that the European Union should send a positive signal with regard to these countries future membership in the European Union. Opening the perspective of such membership would represent a significant incentive to further democratic reforms as well as sending an appropriate and powerful signal in the currently strained geopolitical situation.
Secondly, we also believe that the process of visa liberalisation remains an additional, powerful means of facilitating positive democratic change and a catalyst for the reform process in the countries concerned. Following a decision taken at the Vilnius Summit of 2013 in response to the progress made by the Moldovan authorities, Moldovan citizens are now able to travel without visas throughout the Schengen Area. In light of the many positive consequences of this decision, we urge the Heads of State and Government of the European Union, during their meeting in Riga, to commit to extending the visa-free regime to the citizens of Georgia and Ukraine. In particular, the European Union should set definite deadlines for the completion of the action plans for visa liberalisation (VLAP) of Georgia and Ukraine.
It is our conviction that adopting these two measures is in the mutual interest of the European Union and its three Associated Partners and will represent significant progress for all parties concerned. For this reason, we look forward to seeing decisive action during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga with a view to visa liberalisation for Georgia and Ukraine and the opening of a European perspective for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
|Pavel Svoboda||Daniel Buda||Vladimir Urutchev|
|Marian-Jean Marinescu||Cristian-Silviu Bușoi||Emil Radev|
|Norica Nicolai||Rebecca Harms||Eva Paunova|
|Ramona Nicole Mănescu||Emilian Pavel||Dariusz Rosati|
|Pavel Telička||Antanas Guoga||Siegfried Mureşan|
|Mark Demesmaeker||Anna Elżbieta Fotyga||Christofer Fjellner|
|Renate Weber||Tanja Fajon||Andrej Plenković|
|Anna Maria Corazza Bildt||Beata Gosiewska||Roberts Zīle|
|Claudia Tapardel||Milan Zver||Eduard Kukan|
|Andi Cristea||Vilija Blinkevičiūtė||Krišjānis Kariņš|
|Petr Ježek||Jacek Saryusz-Wolski||Marju Lauristin|
|Cristian Dan Preda||Gabrielius Landsbergis||Ivan Štefanec|
|Bronis Ropė||Victor Boștinaru||Charles Tannock|
|Tunne Kelam||Viktor Uspaskich||Gunnar Hökmark|
|Michaela Šojdrová||Filiz Hyusmenova||Doru-Claudian Frunzulică|
|Svetoslav Hristov Malinov||Marian Harkin||Dita Charanzová|
|Frank Engel||Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu||Zigmantas Balčytis|
|Ilhan Kyuchyuk||Izaskun Bilbao Barandica||Nathalie Griesbeck|
|Algirdas Saudargas||Tibor Szanyi||Iskra Mihaylova|
|Sandra Kalniete||Inese Vaidere||Artis Pabriks|
|Peter Eriksson||Kaja Kallas||Marek Jurek|
|Viorica Dăncilă||Iuliu Winkler||Danuta Maria Hübner|
|Michał Boni||Luděk Niedermayer||Traian Ungureanu|
|Laurențiu Rebega||Jaromír Štětina||Boris Zala|
|Michael Gahler||Monica Macovei||Benedek Jávor|
|Ioan Mircea Pașcu||Petri Sarvamaa||Ulrike Lunacek|
|Miroslav Poche||Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea||José Inácio Faria|
|Martina Dlabajová||Damian Drăghici||Jeppe Kofod|
|Maria Grapini||Ryszard Czarnecki||Urmas Paet|
|Sorin Moisă||Angel Dzhambazki||Karol Karski|
|Andrey Kovatchev||Andrey Novakov||Kosma Złotowski|