The Eastern Partnership is an initiative that aims to strengthen and deepen the cooperation between the European Union and the states covered by the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine) in the view of supporting and accelerating gradual rapprochement of those states with the EU.
The EaP initiative was launched on 7 May 2009 at the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit and is governed by principles of joint ownership, differentiation and conditionality. At the same time, common values, like democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, as well as the principles of market economy, sustainable development and good governance are at the basis of this partnership.
The Eastern Partnership fits into the extended cooperation format of the European Neighbourhood Policy, designed in the context of the 2004 EU enlargement, aiming at avoiding the creation of new dividing lines, as well as at bringing the new Eastern and Southern neighbours of the EU closer to the political and economic level of the EU and sharing with them the EU’s system of values.
The Eastern Partnership is a political instrument of the EU, which structures the cooperation with the partner states in two dimensions:
bilateral (signing and implementation of association agreements, gradual establishment of deep and comprehensive free trade areas and visa liberalisation) and
multilateral (activity of thematic platforms and regional assistance programmes).
The cooperation within the parliamentary dimension of the EaP is carried out in the framework of the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly. CORLEAP is a platform that brings together local authorities from partner states and the Committee of Regions of the EU. The EaP Civil Society Forum facilitates strengthening of the role and ensures involvement of the civil society in the implementation of the partnership’s goals. In 2012 the Republic of Moldova was the first non-EU country that hosted the Civil Society Forum.
The Eastern Partnership Brussels Summit, held on the 24th of November 2017, highlighted the importance of bilateral relations between the European Union and each of the partner states. Eastern Partnership 20 Deliverables for 2020, which are meant to bring this format closer to the needs of the citizens, were agreed.
In 2019 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership was celebrated and the structured consultation process on the future of this cooperation format after 2020 was launched.
The Republic of Moldova is an active participant within the Eastern Partnership and makes full use of the more for more principle, on the basis of a pragmatic approach towards the opportunities available at the bilateral and multilateral level with the aim of advancing towards the strategic goal of European integration.
Within the bilateral track, the Republic of Moldova has achieved three major goals set in 2009 in Prague: political association, economic integration and visa liberalization. Therefore, at this stage the Republic of Moldova focuses on the full implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU and on the fulfilment of all sectorial commitments agreed on with the EU so far.