Shortly before the new directions of Eastern Partnership cooperation were approved on April 9, 2020, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba proposed the idea that Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia can play a special role in the Eastern Partnership. "Ukraine, together with Georgia and Moldova, is ready to contribute to the beginning of a new ambitious Chapter of the Eastern Partnership. We are in favor of deepening the process of political association and economic integration with the EU by fully realizing the potential of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTA), in particular in "EU + Associated Partners" format, access to the EU Single Market and enhanced sectoral integration," Dmytro Kuleba said. He noted that Ukraine share the approach according to which the Eastern Partnership should be based on common values and meet the expectations of all its participants. Dmytro Kuleba also thanked for the implementation of the "V4EastSolidarity program" - assistance program for the Eastern partnership member-states in combating the consequences of the coronavirus disease pandemic, and for the consistent support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by the Visegrad Four countries. "We share the need to direct the efforts of the Eastern Partnership to provide comprehensive assistance to partners in the development of a sustainable society, in particular by supporting member-states in countering cyber threats and disinformation," he added.
In fact, already on April 15, 2020, the European Commission approved proposals for the long-term objectives of the Eastern Partnership policy after 2020 during a video conference meeting. The aim is to increase the volume of trade, strengthen interconnection and deepen economic integration with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law in these states," European Commission spokesman, Eric Mamer said. According to him, the goals of such a long-term policy are also to help partners in the East to solve environmental problems, increase their climate stability, promote digital transformation and the development of civil society.
Mamer also said that these proposals were developed with the participation of the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell and the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood, Olivér Várhelyi. The official information about the decision, which is published on the website of the European Commission, quotes Borrell, who reminded that the Eastern Partnership remains an important element of the EU's foreign policy. "The strength of our neighbors is also the strength of the European Union; the Eastern partnership remains an important element of the EU's foreign policy. Our proposals will further strengthen the six partner states, reflecting the priorities and challenges that we share, while continuing to bring meaningful and positive results for all citizens," he said.
In turn, European Commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi stressed that the Eastern Partnership measures will help to strengthen the partner states' sustainability facing the challenges of our time. "We will work closely together to solve today's cross-border issues, including the Covid-19 pandemic," the European Commissioner said. The European Commission expects that the EU member-states and partner states will consider and support the above-mentioned proposals for the Eastern Partnership Summit, which will be held in June 2020.
It is worth noting that this project, which is called «Reinforcing Resilience – an Eastern Partnership that delivers for all» is the result of consultations throughout the autumn of 2019 between EU member-states and Eastern partners on the future partnership policy after 2020. It is expected that the document will become the basis for discussion at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels, which is tentatively scheduled for June 18. Thus, even the pandemic could not delay the emergence of a new EU position document that defines the directions of cooperation with the Eastern Partnership states after 2020. Of course, our ambitions within the EAP are not fully satisfied yet. But we are still working on creating an additional format of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – "Eastern Partnership Plus".
As for Ukraine, it consistently adheres to the European integration course and demonstrates significant progress among other participating states within the framework of the Eastern Partnership.
Європейська правда. Кулеба просуває ідею особливого статусу України, Молдови та Грузії у Східному партнерстві: https://www.eurointegration.com.ua/news/2020/04/9/7108574/
Укрінформ. Єврокомісія затвердила пропозиції щодо "Східного партнерства" після 2020 року:https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-world/2899264-evrokomisia-zatverdila-propozicii-sodo-shidnogo-partnerstva-pisla-2020-roku.html
Рікард Юзвяк. Яким буде майбутнє «Східного партнерства» після 2020 року? :https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/majbutne-skhidnoho-partnerstva/30481927.html
Микола Точицький. Випробування коронавірусом: що зміниться і що залишиться у співпраці України з ЄС:https://www.eurointegration.com.ua/articles/2020/04/1/7108215/