Van Rompuy: EU cannot afford to forget about Eastern neighbourhood

The EU cannot afford to forget about the Union’s Eastern neighbourhood, although recent developments have drawn its political attention to the South, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said today in Prague.

The EU should make sure that the Eastern Partnership, which is due to hold a summit later this year, gains new momentum and focuses on strategic issues, such as democracy, good governance, and progress in some of the unresolved conflicts, said Van Rompuy, adding: “We must not easily forget about mutual commitments made on the respect for the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights.”

Turning to the EU’s relations with Belarus, Van Rompuy said the Eastern Partnership would provide the Union with the best tool to strengthen its engagement with Belarusian civil society while maintaining a policy of “critical and conditional engagement with the Government.”

“It is this kind of approach that provides the EU with the best chances of promoting its political priorities,” said European Council President. (ENPI Info Centre)

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