PRESS PACKS

Glossary of Eastern Partnership and relations with Russia

 

Annual meetings of ministers of foreign affairs: The Eastern Partnership (EaP) Foreign Ministers (EU member states and the six Eastern European Partner Countries) meet annually during the spring. This annual meeting and the bi-annual meetings of the heads of state and government of the Eastern Partnership countries are the driving forces behind the Eastern Partnership. At these meetings, the EaP foreign ministers review the progress achieved based on the reports of the four multilateral (thematic) platforms and decide on future policy priorities.
 
Approximation to the EU acquis is the transposition and implementation into national legislation by EU member states or associate states of the body of EU law, also called the acquis communautaire. In other words, it is the harmonisation of national legislation or its alignment with the EU acquis. Such approximation is usually the result of the EU accession process and EU membership but can also be the result of a high degree of integration with the EU without joining the Union.
 
Bilateral track: One way through which the Eastern Partnership objectives are achieved is through the bilateral, track, that is deepening relations between the EU and each individual Eastern Partner country. This is reached through bilateral agreements such as the Association Agreement, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, the bilateral dialogue on visa liberalisation, as well as through closer bilateral cooperation in a number of fields (economy, energy, environment, transport, research, etc.) and technical assistance. The Eastern Partnership is complementary to existing bilateral contractual relations and relies on differentiation between the partners and on conditionality with regard to its implementation.
 
Black Sea Synergy (BSS): This is a regional initiative of the EU seeking to increase cooperation among and between the countries surrounding the Black Sea. It aims to stimulate democratic and economic reforms and contribute to solving conflicts in the region. The BSS focuses on concrete initiatives in the areas of transport, energy, the environment, maritime management, fisheries, migration, the fight against organised crime, the information society, cultural cooperation and support to civil society.
 
Common Spaces (CSs) with Russia: Four policy areas of enhanced cooperation between the EU and Russia form what is called the “strategic partnership” with this country. The CSs were launched in 2003 in the framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the aim of strengthening EU-Russia strategic partnership. They include the Common Economic Space, covering economic issues and the environment; the Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice; the Common Space of External Security, including crisis management and non-proliferation, and the Common Space of Research and Education, including cultural aspects. Specific objective and actions required to put the CSs into effect are set out in Road Maps, endorsed at the Moscow Summit in 2005.
 
Comprehensive Institution-Building programme (CIB): The purpose of the CIB programmes is to assist each partner country to meet the commitments of the association agreements and more specifically to improve their administrative capacity. These programmes are tailored to the needs of each partner country.
 
Conditionality: This is one of the three principles that govern the Eastern Partnership (the other two are differentiation and joint ownership). Conditionality implies that the EU links certain benefits to the fulfillment of a number of conditions or reforms by the third country (or threatens the country with sanctions for not fulfilling certain conditions). For instance, the signature of AAs will be conditional on the partner country’s ability to show sufficient progress in terms of democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
 
The Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) is a platform for dialogue between local and regional authorities from the partner countries and the EU, established in 2011 by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) at the invitation of the European Commission. At the inaugural meeting in Poznan, Poland, CORLEAP adopted an  Action Plan for 2012-2013, which stressed the need to ensure that future bilateral agreements between the EU and partner countries contain provisions on strengthening local and regional self-government, and urged more funding for projects that support local democracy, human rights at local and regional level and citizens' participation.
 
Convergence of partner countries with the EU is the growing similarity between the EU and partner countries due to their gradual integration with the Union and their adoption of its standards and legislation in the political and economic fields. Convergence can be achieved in the Eastern Partnership framework through the various agreements through sectoral policy convergence, growing economic integration and regulatory approximation. In order to achieve this, the EaP relies on four thematic platforms and a structured approximation process supported by the Comprehensive Institution-Building programme (CIB).
 
The Council of Europe Facility is an instrument that facilitates partner countries’ approximation with Council of Europe and EU standards in core areas covered by the EaP, in particular the improved functioning of the judiciary, public administration reforms, support for the improvement of electoral standards, the fight against cybercrime and corruption, and human rights protection. It makes it possible to mobilise Council of Europe expertise for participating countries to share peer to peer advice and exchange best practice.
 
Deep and comprehensive free trade areas (DCFTA) are a new generation of free trade areas providing for the fullest possible liberalisation of not only trade in goods, but also trade in services and investment, as well as extensive regulatory convergence on issues like technical standards, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, protection of intellectual property, public procurement, energy-related issues, competition, customs etc. These DCFTAs also foresee deep regulatory approximation with the trade-related EU acquis.
 
The Eastern Partnership Integration and Cooperation (EaPIC) programme is a funding mechanism that aims to provide increased support to institutional and sector reforms in the Eastern partner countries with a view to step up their political association and economic integration with the EU.
Launched in June 2012 under the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI), EaPIC is governed by the 'more for more' principle, which means that the more a country advances in its internal reforms for democracy, respect of human rights and the rule of law, the more support it can expect from the programme. EaPIC supports initiatives that are tailored to the needs of each country, based on assessment of its progress towards deep democracy. They address two key areas: democratic transformation and institution building as well as sustainable, inclusive growth and economic development.
 
Eastern Partnership Culture Programme: Falling under the EaP’s multilateral (thematic) platforms on contact between people, it enhances the role of culture as a force for reform and promotes inter-communal tolerance and social cohesion. The programme contributes to the exchange of information and experience among cultural operators at a regional level and with the EU. It also supports regional initiatives that make a positive cultural contribution to economic development, social inclusion, conflict resolution and intercultural dialogue.
 
Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF): This aims to promote contact among Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and to facilitate their contact with public authorities by providing input to and monitoring the work of ministerial meetings and the multilateral (thematic) platforms. The CSF also promotes dialogue, networking and exchange of experience (including on EU integration) between CSOs and between CSOs and authorities in EaP countries. Aside from CSOs from the Eastern Partners, the EU and third countries, the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee and representatives from international organisations/networks also participate in the Civil Society Forum.
Four working groups have been set up and are functioning in parallel to the EaP thematic platforms with a view to providing input for their agenda.
These working groups are: Democracy, human rights, good governance and stability; Economic integration and convergence with EU policies; Environment, climate change and energy security; Contacts between people.
Enhanced cooperation: The Eastern Partnership offers the potential for greater political and economic cooperation between the EU and the Eastern Partner Countries building on and going beyond the ENP’s achievements. Enhanced cooperation is offered through strengthened bilateral ties and through the addition of a multilateral framework.
 
The EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly (Euronest) is the parliamentary component of the Eastern Partnership and is a tool to help promote democracy further and to exchange best practice among parliamentarians from partner countries and EU member states. It consists of members of the European Parliament and the parliaments of Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. After the elections in Belarus in 2010 were declared as flawed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Belarus’s  membership of Euronest was automatically suspended.
 
European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI):  From 1 January 2007 onwards, as part of the reform of EC assistance instruments, the MEDA (South), TACIS (East) and various other financial instruments have been replaced by a single instrument, the ENPI. The ENPI is designed to target sustainable development and approximation to EU policies and standards – supporting the agreed priorities in the ENP Action Plans (as well as the Strategic Partnership with Russia, which was previously also covered by the TACIS programme).  For this budgetary period (2007-2013), approximately €12 billion in EC funding are available to support reforms in these neighbouring partner states.
 
ENPI East: A term used since the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) replaced TACIS in 2007. It refers to the countries from the East that are benefitting from this Instrument.
 
European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI): Designed by the EU in 2011 when an overall substantial increase in funding for Neighbourhood partners was announced, this Instrument has a proposed budget of €18.2 billion for the period 2014-2020.  In line with the principles of differentiation and "more for more", the ENI will support the strengthening of relations with partner countries and bring tangible benefits to both the EU and its partners in areas such as democracy and human rights, the rule of law, good governance, sustainable economic and social development and progressive economic integration in the EU single market. The ENI is part of an overall package of geographic and thematic instruments, worth €96,249.4 million for the period 2014-2020 (current prices) and is expected to be adopted by the European Parliament.
 
European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP): It was developed after the EU’s enlargement in 2004 with 10 new countries, in order to avoid the emergence of new dividing lines in Europe. Through it, the EU offers its neighbours a privileged relationship, building upon a mutual commitment to common values (democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development).  The ENP goes beyond existing relationships to offer a deeper political relationship and economic integration through reforms as a means of achieving peace, stability and economic prosperity. The level of ambition of the relationship will depend on the extent to which these values are shared. The ENP covers the EU's immediate neighbours by land or sea, namely:   Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine. Although Russia is also an EU neighbour, relations are developed through a Strategic Partnership covering four “common spaces”. Info Centre interview with ENP Commissioner.
 
New ENP (more-for-more approach): The renewed ENP, as it is also known, was the culmination of an extensive review and consultation with governments and civil society organisations both within the EU and in the 16 ENP partner countries to Europe’s South and East.
 
Flagship initiatives: Part of the multilateral track of the Eastern Partnership, the six flagship initiatives provide additional momentum, concrete substance and more visibility to the EaP. They also mobilise funding from different IFIs and investment from the private sector. The six initiatives are:
Integrated Border Management (IBM): In order to facilitate the mobility of people, IBM helps the partners to develop IBM strategies, align border management rules and adopt best practices in line with EU standards. It includes areas such as trade, customs, visas, the demarcation of borders, security (smuggling and human trafficking) and pan-European transport corridors.
 
SME facility: This seeks to strengthen the role of Small and Medium-sized Entreprises (SMEs) in partner countries by improving the business climate. It provides advice, funding and technical assistance to SMEs and for improving the regulatory framework. The SME facility is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) and is open to other IFIs.
 
Regional electricity markets, energy efficiency and renewable energy: This aims to integrate EU and EaP energy markets and to interconnect their grids in order to increase energy efficiency, to improve security of supply and to contribute to climate change objectives.
 
Diversification of energy supply: This aims to establish cooperation with Eastern Partners to secure alternative sources of energy supply and transit routes in order to avoid future energy crises. It involves closer cooperation between producers, consumers and operators to ensure the reliable supply of energy to Europe and to partner countries. This might include improving the conditions for long-term supply and purchase commitments, transit guarantees and infrastructure security that would be attractive to third country suppliers and investors in infrastructure.
Prevention of, preparedness for, and response to natural and man-made disasters (PPRD): This initiative aims to strengthen disaster management capacities at local, regional and national level in order to counter man-made disasters (floods, fires, health risks, maritime pollution) and the effects of climate change. It is achieved through enhanced cooperation between the EU (the Community Civil Protection Mechanism) and its Eastern Partners and among the partner countries, building on existing initiatives.
Environmental governance: This initiative seeks to promote environmental protection and address the issue of climate change. It aims at tackling pollution multilaterally through a mixture of international, regional and domestic action. Environmental governance is a set of formal and informal arrangements and institutions which determine how challenges and opportunities related to the use of natural resources and environment are addressed, what behaviour is deemed acceptable and what rules and sanctions are applied to affect the pattern of resource and environment use. 
 
Informal Eastern Partnership dialogue: This is a platform for discussions designed to bolster cooperation and dialogue between the European Eastern Partnership states and the EU in the spirit of the principles and objectives agreed at the EaP Summit, as well as to prepare annual Eastern Partnership ministerial meetings. The first round of the Dialogue took place in Chisinau, Moldova, on 5 June   2012.
 
Joint Declaration  of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit: A Joint Declaration was adopted by the heads of state and government of the EU and six Eastern European Partners at a summit in Prague on 7 May 2009, which launched the Eastern Partnership (EaP). This new policy initiative seeks to strengthen the EU’s relations with six eastern neighbours (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). The EaP is based on joint ownership and complements existing policies such as the ENP or the Black Sea Synergy. The EaP offers the potential for a new generation of association agreements, far-reaching integration into the EU economy, the establishment of  Deep and comprehensive free trade areas (DCFTA),  easier travel to the EU for citizens provided that security measures are implemented in return, enhanced energy security arrangements and increased financial assistance. In addition, the EaP includes a new multilateral dimension which will bring partners together to address common challenges through four multilateral (thematic) platforms and a number of  flagship initiatives.
 
Mobility and security pacts: These are agreements signed between the EU and partner countries which allow their citizens to travel more easily to the EU on the one hand while on the other tackling related problems such as corruption, organised crime and illegal migration. If properly implemented, these pacts should in due course lead to further visa liberalisation. They also seek to bring the asylum systems in partner countries into line with those in the EU and to establish integrated border management structures.
 
Multilateral track: The Eastern Partnership objectives are achieved through a bilateral track  and a multilateral track. The multilateral track represents a framework in which the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries tackle common challenges as a group (as opposed to the one-on-one EU-partner bilateral track). The multilateral track advances the EaP’s objectives through the four  multilateral (thematic) platforms   and a number of  flagship initiatives.
 
 
Multilateral (thematic) platforms: The Eastern Partnership’s four thematic platforms reflect the four main areas of cooperation between partner countries and the EU. Platforms are the main tool of the EaP multilateral track. They set objectives and targets within the given policy area, review progress and also serve to facilitate open discussion. Platforms include senior representatives from government ministries and agencies, parliaments, civil society, international organisations (such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), international financial institutions, the private sector and economic and social partners. The work of each thematic platform can be supported by a number of area-specific panels, which can either be permanent or temporary; they meet according to the needs of the platforms. More information about the panels can be found here.
The four thematic platforms are:
Democracy, good governance and stability (DGGS) – Platform 1
This thematic platform promotes democratic and economic reform in Eastern Partnership countries focusing on the development of stable democratic institutions (including electoral standards, media regulation and anti-corruption efforts) and effective state structures. It also promotes more civil society involvement in this process. The platform’s focus is also on security, the promotion of stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the partner countries through multilateral confidence-building and early warning arrangements.
 
Economic integration and convergence with EU policies (EIC) – Platform 2
This platform works towards the partners’ economic integration and regulatory convergence with the EU. This should be achieved through the establishment in the long-term of deep and comprehensive free trade areas (or regional free trade agreements) between the partners and the EU and between the partners themselves.
Energy security – Platform 3
This platform focuses on addressing issues related to security of energy supply, transit, diversification and the growing interconnectedness in and between the EU and Eastern Partnership countries. The platform also works towards the harmonisation of partners’ energy policies and legislation with EU practice and acquis. In order to avoid future energy crises affecting both the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries, the platform aims to increase dialogue on energy security and to strengthen energy crisis preparedness together with the EU’s NESCO (Network of Energy Security Correspondents), the Gas Coordination Group and Oil Supply Group and the Energy Community.
 
Contacts between people – Platform 4
This platform works towards increasing contact between EU and partner countries’ citizens, with an emphasis on young people, including through the development of the information society and the media. Other aspects of people contacts include cultural cooperation, education and research. People contacts are seen as a factor that promotes change in the partner countries.
Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility: This is an instrument that pulls together and reinforces existing initiatives of support to non-state actors in the EU’s neighbourhood (both East and South); it seeks to make efforts in the ENP region oriented to non-state actors more visible and structured and to move beyond simply providing financial support to non-state actors but towards enhancing engagement with civil society and increasing its involvement in the policy dialogue at the partner country level.
 
Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs): Form the legal basis of the EU’s relations with six of its Eastern Neighbours, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. Concluded at the end of the 1990s, these agreements aim to provide a suitable framework for political dialogue with the partner countries, to support democratic reforms, to accompany their transition to a market economy and to encourage trade and investment. The PCAs also aim to provide a basis for cooperation in the legislative, economic, social, financial, scientific, civil, technological and cultural fields. The PCA with Russia also provides for the creation of the necessary conditions for the future establishment of a free trade area.
 
Permanent Partnership Council with Russia (PPC): the meeting of the Ministers from the EU and Russia responsible for various policy areas, held as and when necessary. Foreign Ministers, Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, Energy, Transport and Environment Ministers have met in this format so far.
 
Pilot Regional Development Programmes  (PRDPs): These programmes help partner countries to address major structural problems, especially economic and social disparities between regions and population groups. Inspired by the EU cohesion policy experience, partner countries can benefit from these programmes to develop and support regional development strategies aimed at funding projects that would help in overcoming structural deficiencies.
Regional Cooperation: The EU’s programmes for regional cooperation complement national assistance programmes, tackle challenges with a regional dimension and promote interstate co-operation on issues of mutual interest. The EU considers cooperation with its regional partners – and between the partners themselves – to be an important political objective.
 
Regional Cooperation East:  Priority areas for regional co-operation are defined in the ENPI Eastern Regional Strategy Paper for 2007 to 2013, which was adopted by the European Commission in March 2007. the six priority areas with the East are: TransportEnergySustainable management of natural resourcesBorder and migration management, the fight against transnational organised crime and customsPeople-to-people activitiesLandmines, explosive remnants of war, small arms and light weapons
More information can be found in the Regional Programme brochure (2008) and EuropeAid’s Info Notes on projects funded.
 
Senior officials’ meetings: Senior officials from Eastern Partnership countries and EU member states who are involved in the reform process in the relevant policy areas (see the four multilateral (thematic) platforms ) meet regularly. These meetings serve to set the objectives of the thematic platforms and to review the progress achieved. Senior officials also report on their progress to the annual foreign affairs ministers’ meetings.
 
Summits (biannual): The meetings of the heads of state or government of the Eastern Partnership (the EU member states and the six Eastern European Partnership countries), which are usually held every two years. Together with the annual meetings of the ministers of foreign affairs, these meetings provide the political impetus to further shape and move the Eastern Partnership forward.

 


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