"Right now we are discussing the future of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), we have concluded very broad and inclusive process of structured consultations, to consult very wide range of stakeholders on what they think should be the future of priorities of the EaP, right now we are in the process of assessing their replies that we have received. I think we will be able to come out with some concrete proposals in the upcoming months," said Radoslaw Darski, Deputy Head of Division for Eastern Partnership, regional cooperation, and OSCE at the European External Action Service, APA reports.
According to him, these proposals will also reflect the priorities of the new Commission: "Generally the stakeholders we consulted mentioned several priorities for the future agenda of the EaP – among others good governance, rule of law or freedom of speech. On the other hand, I could also see there were a growing demand, appetite and expectation from several stakeholders to see also certain priorities related to economy, trade, connectivity, youth, people o people contact environmental issues. These are, I think, some of the spheres of our common interest. We can only guess, of course, at this stage because it is too premature to judge or to prejudge what will constitute the final list of next deliverables. But I can see that there is a certain appetite of stakeholders side to see these concrete priorities in indicate future priorities list of the EaP."
Mr Darski said Azerbaijan was actively participating in the process. "We have organized a special dedicated event to the future of EaP in Baku and I have to say our Azerbaijani counterparts were very active in providing us with concrete proposals, concrete ideas. Of course, it is not possible to say with just one word what was the proposal of Azerbaijan because it consisted of several concrete feedback from numerous stakeholders the government, from the civil society, from academia, think-tankers. So, we have received plenty of concrete suggestions for the future of EaP. I can say that yes, indeed, Azerbaijan was involved in the process and provided us several replies."
"I can only say that negotiations are ongoing. We hope, we will able to conclude these negotiations and to have this agreement because it will offer us a new opening in the relations with Azerbaijan and I think it will be beneficial for all of us, for both of the EU and Azerbaijan. So, I can only hope that we will be able to conclude these negotiations in the upcoming future," Radoslaw Darski emphasized.