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Wilton Park: The Eastern Partnership: moving ahead: 14-15 October

A joint statement by the Foreign Ministers of Lithuania and Poland, and the UK's Minister for Europe.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

David Lidington, UK's Minister for Europe

Today we attended the Wilton Park conference, The Eastern Partnership: moving ahead, which included participants from across the EU and from Eastern Partner countries. The Eastern Partnership, with its focus on the future prosperity of Eastern Europe, is at the top of our agendas. Today’s discussion helped shape that future direction.

On the 28-29 November, Lithuania will host the third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. This will be an important moment for the EU and Eastern Europe. The possibility of Ukraine signing its Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, and Moldova and Georgia initialing agreements, will be important milestones towards redefining and strengthening the EU’s relationship with our Eastern European partners.

Eastern partners have already made significant irreversible and sustainable political and economic reforms, which will benefit their citizens. As they continue to grow they need to continue to implement further reforms. Liberalised economies, open and inclusive politics, and respect for the rule of law are all key building blocks for prosperity in the EU from which our eastern partners and others can benefit. We are ready to support partner countries in their efforts to implement reforms and the Association Agreements.

As we look towards the future we hope to see an Eastern Partnership that supports those seeking an ever closer relationship with the EU, and for some eventual EU membership, that supports open economic polices, inclusive democracy and that sustains respect for the rule of law, and we will do all that we can to ensure it.

Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland David Lidington, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom

Published 14 October 2013