In the address at the international conference “ The Development of the EU Eastern Partnership Cooperation from Capacity to Excellence: Strengthening of Research, Regional and Innovation Policy in the Context of “Horizon 2020” “ held on June 12, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrejs Pildegovičs stressed that “today the EU Eastern Partnership, which was launched five years ago, has acquired an important place in the political agenda of the EU, and Latvia as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015 has defined the Eastern Partnership as one of the Presidency priorities”.
State Secretary noted that the goal of the Eastern Partnership has been and remains the assistance to our Eastern neighbours in achieving closer ties with the EU as well as enhancement of stability in the region by strengthening such core values as democracy, good governance, human rights and market economy. “The Eastern Partnership is not directed against any third country and the goal of the programme does not involve creation of new dividing lines in Europe”, stressed Andrejs Pildegovičs, and pointed out that the EU and Latvia as the Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2015 is ready for an open dialogue with all countries interested in the Eastern Partnership.
A. Pildegovičs informed the participants about the plans of Latvia regarding organising of several events during its Presidency, including the Eastern Partnership Summit. According to Mr.Pildegovičs, these events will involve representatives of the civic society of the Eastern Partnership countries, representatives of their business communities and municipalities. Plans of the Presidency for the first half of 2015 include organising the Eastern Partnership society and media freedom conferences, a business forum, a youth forum and other events. A.Pildegovičs stressed that it would be important to continue with those cooperation programmes and projects involving youth and students, which had already been commenced. He also expressed his regrets about the fact that a partner country like Belarus was still not part of the, so called, “Bologna Process”.
Addressing the situation in the Ukraine, A.Pildegovičs stressed that Latvia supported the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ukraine and reiterated the support of Latvia to the position and actions of the new President and the Government of the Ukraine targeted at stabilising the situation in the Eastern regions of the country. A.Pildegovičs noted that it would be of particular significance if Russia would fully accept the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukraine and would take real and tangible steps in order to ease tensions and normalise the situation in the Eastern part of its neighbour.
The international conference “The Development of the EU Eastern Partnership Cooperation from Capacity to Excellence: Strengthening of Research, Regional and Innovation Policy in the Context of “Horizon 2020” is organised by Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence of the University of Latvia, and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and the European Commission. The Conference takes place in Riga and Jūrmala on June 11-13, 2014.