IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Catherine Ashton calls initialling of AA with Armenia, Georgia and Moldova at Vilnius Summit “realistic”
On 27 June 2013 High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton briefed the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on the most recent discussions in the Foreign Affairs Council, including the ones on the prospects of Vilnius Summit.
Aston stressed the intention of the Council to initial the Association Agreements (AAs) including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) with Armenia, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova at the Vilnius Summit, which according to her is a realistic timeline. Furthermore, she emphasized that signing the AA with Ukraine at the Summit is still possible provided Ukraine fulfils the set benchmarks. The discussions of engagement in Belarus, especially with the civil society, will be continued on the way to Vilnius.
HR/VP Ashton stressed that the EaP Foreign Ministers Meeting on 22 July should demonstrate the importance attached by the EU to its partners in the East and also allow them to be more involved into the preparations of the Vilnius Summit at an early stage thereby encouraging a sense of joint ownership for the Summit. Furthermore, the meeting should provide for a strategic and ambitious debate on the post-Vilnius era.
The full intervention of HR/VP Catherine Ashton is available here.