Focus on the Eastern Partnership

Weekend over – and with this weekend also the Chopin concerts in the Lazienki park two minutes from our Embassy. Yesterday the amazing pianist Marek Bracha concluded this season.

 I woke up seeing the marathon runners passing outside my window. Seemed to be perfect conditions. Maybe my knee will put in a protest, but it would certainly be a great experience to participate next year. Let’s see what is feasible…

Monday morning means the start of a more than usual exciting week. Exciting primarily  because what is taking place Thursday and Friday: the Eastern Partnership Summit here inWarsaw, hosted by the Polish EU Presidency.

 Obviously our Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, will attend.

 The Eastern partnership is engaging EU and six countries in the Eastern neighbourhood of the union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Initially a joint initiative within EU by Poland and Sweden, since two years owned and embraced by the Union as a whole – deepening and broadening the relations with the partner countries. Accelerating their integration with EU. And supporting the continous transition to market economy and democracy, building upon the core values of the European community.

 It is extremely encouraging to see so many prominent European leaders devoting time and energy to this process.

 Countries are different. I have personally visited five of the six – all except Azerbaijan. In the case of  Ukraine deepened agreements are well advanced, in other cases like Georgia and Moldova negotiations might be possible to launch rather soon.

But the path of European integration is there. It has shown its significant strengths already before and it could definitely play a similar productive role also in this context – inspiring and energizing further reforms.

I remember visiting Moldova for the first time in September 1997. Since then I have been there another seven times because I have been responsible for the Swedish development cooperation programme with Eastern Europe until 2004-.

 1997 the ignorance about a country like Moldova was very evident, not least in my own country. Now we have an Embassy there and the country is clearly orienting itself to the European Union.

 Not least with the help of the Eastern Partnership, hopefully coming out of the summit Friday afternoon even stronger than before.






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