The European Council has discussed current relations with the six Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – at a meeting on 14 November.
Ministers exchanged views on the implementation of the Partnership with regards to democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and sustainable development, and possible deliverables to be achieved in 2017.
Acknowledging the progress achieved by the partner countries, the Council underlined the importance of a reform process, notably in the judiciary, in the fight against corruption in public administration.
The Council also welcomed progress in the implementation of the Association Agreements/Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (AA/DCFTAs) with Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, which is providing accelerated political association and economic integration with the EU.
The Council called for well-functioning energy markets and encouraged further enhancement of gas and electricity interconnectivity between the partner countries and the EU, as well as increased investment in renewable energy.
The Council recognised that mobility and people-to-people contact brings societies in the EU and partner countries closer together. Therefore the Council underlined the importance of the timely finalisation of a visa liberalisation process for Georgia and Ukraine.
The EU remains committed in its support to the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of all its partners. The Council reiterated the EU's role in conflict resolution and confidence building efforts, in support of the existing agreed formats and processes.
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