EUGBC took part in the policy dialogue “Heading towards Vilnius, a milestone for the Eastern Partnership”

The EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting took place on 22 July 2013 in Brussels. In the margins of Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council, Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with Brussels based European Policy Center organized a policy dialogue “Heading towards Vilnius, a milestone for the Eastern Partnership”. On behalf of EUGBC, Executive Assistant Valerian Gvalia attended the meeting.

The discussion panel was represented by Linas Vinkevicius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Maia Panjikidze, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and Natalia Gherman, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova.

Introductory remarks were made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. He congratulated Georgia for the successful conclusion of negotiations on DCFTA, which was officially announced on July 22nd in Brussels. He underlined Lithuania’s strong commitments toward upcoming Vilnius summit vis-à-vis advanced EaP countries, with consideration of political realities on the ground in partner states.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia compared the on-going developments in Georgia with the one in Moldova; stressing strong political will of the executive branch to implement EU led sectorial reforms. She expressed confidence to accomplish first phase (legislative part) of Visa Liberalisation Action Plan by the Vilnius summit. She also confirmed that DCFTA is expected to be initialized in autumn in Vilnius by the EU member states.

Maia Panjikidze also drew attention of the audience on the importance of Georgia’s transit function vis-à-vis security of the European energy supply. She underlined Georgia’s commitments to join European Energy Community. The Minister also highlighted crucial role of business community to promote EU-Georgia relations. In this context she admitted importance of Civil Society Forum, which will be held prior to Vilnius summit in Chisinau, Moldova. Minister stated that Association Agreement with the EU will be powerful signal internally and externally to guarantee Georgia’s European future.

The discussion was followed by Q&A session.