Heads of State and Governments want a stronger Eastern Partnership

Heads of State and Government will meet today and tomorrow to discuss the future of the Eastern Partnership.

The purpose of the summitis to provide a strong political signal on the increasing integration of the EU’s Eastern neighbours into Europe. At the same time, summit participants will evaluate the achievements of the Partnership to date which have contributed to the convergence of the partner countries towards European norms, standards and values ​​and facilitated their political association with, and economic integration into, the EU.

The summit will be attended by representatives from 33 countries which include 27 EU Member States and six Eastern European countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and possibly Belarus. Almost all these countries will be represented by heads of state or government. European Union institutions will be represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, who will also be chairing the summit meetings, Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, JoséManuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Catherine Ashton, Head of the European External Action Service. The meeting will be hosted by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Donald Tusk, representing the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Eastern Partnership Summit is held every two years, and the meeting in Warsaw is the second such meeting after the summit in Prague in 2009, which inaugurated this form of co-operation.
The summit will begin on Thursday with a gala dinner for the heads of delegations at the Copernicus Science Centre during which a debate will take place on the future of EU relations with the countries of Eastern Europe. Friday’s plenary session will take place in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister where discussions will focus on the political and economic aspects of cooperation, visa issues, priority programmes, parliamentary and non-governmental cooperation, as well as funding for the Eastern Partnership and cooperation with European financial institutions. The Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, located next to the Chancellery, will be transformed into a press centre for these two days serving over 500 journalists who will be reporting on the summit.

The presence of leading European politicians in Warsaw will also be an opportunity for a number of bilateral meetings.

A host of accompanying events will be taking place alongside the summit. On Thursday the Eastern Partnership Conference will be held in Warsaw: Towards a European Community of Democracy, Prosperity and a Stronger Civil Society - which will be attended by many NGOs and academics. Sopot, in turn, will host the Eastern Partnership Business Forum, which will be attended by representatives of governments, business, the European Commission and economic experts. Also taking part in the forum will be Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, as well as President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek.

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