Thursday, 4 December 2008

Eastern Partnership - ENP upgraded

Yesterday, the European Commission announced the launching of the "Eastern Partnership".

This upgraded European Neighbourhood Policy towards Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia - some have called it "new European Economic Area - means an expansion of the Unions involvement with its Eastern neighbours.

And it is a move towards more free trade as Nosemonkey remarks:
For those who dream of a future of global free trade agreements, these moves - with their suggestions of trade partnerships and opening up of markets - are surely a promising sign that the EU is beginning to head in the right direction? Such partnerships could never have been negotiated (arguably imposed) by just one nation acting alone - but the collective bargaining power that the EU’s vast market has brought has given the organisation a genuinely powerful ability to broker such deals that should, in the long term, benefit everybody concerned.
With 600 Million Euros, this initiative is not just a meaningless diplomatic commitment, it looks like a serious effort for an economic enlargement, like a more serious inclusion of those countries who have so far waited at the outskirts of the continent.

I have said before that I am heavily in favour of this move, of the investment in a Europe without dividing lines. I hope that the six countries addressed will be able to live up to the expectations put into them!