Expectations build for Riga Summit

Take note – story published 9 years ago

Increasing attention is being given to the outcomes of the Riga Summit, due to take place May 21-22, with officials from both Latvia and Estonia talking up its importance.

At a Brussels meeting Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas discussed the Eastern Partnership - which will be the focus of the Riga Summit - with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission and Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council. 

Rõivas said that with regard to the Eastern Partnership Summit, it would be essential to use the remaining weeks in order to take concrete steps towards visa freedom for Georgia and Ukraine.

At the meeting with the President of the European Commission, the main focus was on the integration of the energy market into European market in order to warrant energy security.

“Given the current security situation, Baltic region’s energy independence from Russian market is of strategic importance for the whole of Europe,” said Rõivas.

“Support given by the European Commission to large-scale energy projects, for example, Balticconnector, as well as the electric power and gas connections between Poland and the Baltic States, is important for us,” said Rõivas.

Meanwhile on 4 May, in advance of the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit, a 'warm-up' conference entitled 'The EU and its Neighbours: Charting the Way Forward' dedicated to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) took place in Rome.

The Latvian Foreign Ministry’s State Secretary, Andrejs Pildegovičs, spoke at the panel addressing the Eastern Partnership issues and noted that the aim of the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit would be to confirm the EU’s engagement and commitment to promote stability and peace in the EasternPartnership countries.

Pildegovičs added that the Eastern Partnership is not a confrontational policy, its objective being the development of cooperation tailor-made to suit the interests and needs of each Eastern Partnership country.

The Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga will provide a strong signal of European unity, Pildegovičs predicted.

The Eastern Partnership Summit will provide an opportunity to evaluate the progress achieved in relations between the EU and the six Eastern Partners (Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine) since the last Summit in Vilnius.

The Summit will also allow for an initial exchange of views on the results of the provisional application of the three Association Agreements signed with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

It will form the climax of Latvia's six-month EU Presidency, which ends June 30. 

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