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Mikser: EU must improve connections with Eastern Partnership countries

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser and Polish counterpart Witold Waszczykowski. April 12, 2017.
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser and Polish counterpart Witold Waszczykowski. April 12, 2017. Source: (Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser affirmed at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrád countries in Warsaw on Wednesday that the EU must improve its connections with Eastern Partnership countries.

Better connections, which were also the focus of Wednesday's discussions, are an important part of Eastern Partnership policy, which is also one of the priorities of Estonia's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.

"A stable, safe and prosperous neighborhood is in the interests of the EU," emphasized Mikser. "In order to ensure this, we must develop connections between the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries, especially transport, energy and digital connections. Better connections will enhance economic cooperation, trade and contacts between people and will bring the Eastern Partnership countries closer to us." According to the minister, attention must also be paid to the possibility of financing infrastructure projects.

On the subject of digital connectivity, Mikser emphasized that developing e-governance infrastructure would improve the optimization of trade and public services, making countries more transparent at the same time.

According to the minister, Estonia has an opportunity to highlight the Eastern Partnership policy during its presidency by, for example, organizing high-level events.

"In the framework of the Estonian presidency, we will work toward ambitious results of the Eastern Partnership summmit that would motivate all participants to continue developing the partnership," Mikser said. "It is important that the summit convey a clear message of our commitment and that it would demonstrate how cooperation will benefit our people."

According to Mikser, it is important to keep Eastern partners — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine — motivated to reform their countries and societies.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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