EU foreign policy chief to unveil Eastern Partnership post-2020 policy

European Commission (EC) Vice President Frans Timmermans and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell will

eu eastern partnership

Photo: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA-EFE

European Commission (EC) Vice President Frans Timmermans and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell will formally present the Eastern Partnership’s (EaP) post-2020 policy today in Brussels.

The EU foreign policy initiative aims to build and strengthen ties between the bloc and the former Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova.

Although the EC has reported that its efforts to engage with Eastern European EaP members have produced “tangible results”, it also claims that its attempts have fallen short on strengthening governance and rule of law. Based on this assessment, expect today’s presentation to devote considerable attention to addressing this acknowledged shortcoming.

Policy proposals on anti-corruption will likely range from less intrusive measures, like information campaigns to expose corruption in Eastern European EaP countries, to more substantive initiatives, like funding anti-corruption bodies within public institutions. However, the debate today will also focus on the major geopolitical roadblock of Moscow’s competing bid to strengthen political and economic ties with its Soviet-era satellite states and consequently influence their public institutions. Expect the presentation today to emphasise this concern and propose means of encouraging Eastern European EaP countries to turn away from Moscow.

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