European People's Party (EPP) leaders have published a declaration on how to strengthen the Eastern Partnership (EaP) process following an Eastern Partnership Summit in Batumi, Georgia, on 10 July.
“This first EPP EaP Summit meeting was very successful since it has created significant momentum in strengthening the political dimension of this process,” said Wilfried Martens, the President of the EPP, who hosted the Summit, which featured Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Prime Minister Vlad Filat of Moldova, Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Giorgi Baramidze of Georgia, Moldova's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca, Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan, and Minister of Education and Science Armen Ashotyan.
“Specifically, the Batumi declaration of EaP EPP leaders calls for: a) the EaP to offer a clear perspective for EU membership to Eastern Partners who are willing and acting accordingly, b) EU and the Eastern Partners to rapidly launch new concrete initiatives in the framework of the Eastern Partnership to develop its content, and c) EPP to be a major actor of this renewed interest and dynamics of the Eastern Partnership," he said.
"I sincerely hope that the concrete political commitments made in Batumi by our EPP EaP leaders will be matched by reciprocal commitments from the EU institutions," added the EPP President.
The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, also stressed the importance of this initiative ahead of the next Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in 2013: "The Vilnius EaP Summit will be decisive for the eastern partners so, therefore, the declaration adopted in Batumi gives us the best road map possible and creates a renewed dynamism for the Eastern Partnership project. The Batumi Summit will be considered as an important step for our integration process in the EU, which is the absolute priority of our respective governments."
In the Batumi declaration, “the participants reiterate the importance of an effective implementation of the Eastern Partnership: Roadmap 2012-13, and particularly its bilateral dimension, based on the principles
of differentiation and ‘more for more’”.