Today, 24 November, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser take part in the European Union Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels.
The Eastern Partnership, i.e. the European Union's cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, is one of the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“The Eastern Partnership summit is taking place for the fifth time already, but this is the first time it is held in Brussels. This sends a strong and symbolic message to Europe and the entire world, showing that the Eastern Partnership is important not only for Estonia, but for the whole European Union. Today's summit is undoubtedly one of the most important events taking place during our Presidency,” Prime Minister Ratas said before the summit.
The objective of the summit is to make the Eastern Partnership even stronger and more effective in four priority areas: economy, better governance, connectivity and the environment, as well as society. “The Eastern Partnership must continue to improve people's lives through specific cooperation projects,” stated Ratas.
As part of the Eastern Partnership summit, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sven Mikser, will participate in a lunch of the foreign affairs ministers of the European Union and partner countries.
“We have the opportunity to use today's Eastern Partnership summit to confirm our mutual political commitment. It is also important to take specific steps to encourage all of our Eastern partners to move forward with reforms and, therefore, come closer to the European Union,” said Minister Mikser.
During the summit, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas will have a separate meeting with his Moldovan colleague Pavel Filip, while Minister for Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser will meet with his Ukrainian colleague Pavlo Klimkin.
The summit is the culmination of the three Eastern Partnership conferences held in Tallinn as part of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, one of which focused on strengthening e-democracy and cyber-security, the second on the cooperation of government and civil society, and the third on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and innovation.
Prime Minister Ratas and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mikser will return to Estonia this evening.