The European Parliament (EP) adopted an important report on the implementation of the common foreign and security policy. It defined the main EU provisions in respect of this policy and its future directions, the Lithuanian EPP press bureau announced in a press release.
The EP Foreign Affairs committee member Andrius Kubilius emphasises the document‘s importance because it reaffirmed the key provisions of the EP in the area of foreign and security policy. Even more significant is the fact that the Eastern Partnership policy and future EU relationship with Russia provisions proposed by A. Kubilius and his colleagues were adopted as well.
“By working thoroughly, and intensively presenting our ideas in different forums, we were able to get the European Parliament to endorse our most important provisions by adopting this important document. Now these are the provisions of the entire Parliament and not just ours,” Noted A. Kubilius.
The parliamentarian agreed that to strengthen the Eastern Partnership; further, there is a need to differentiate it by using the proposed Trio Strategy as a basis (relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia) to raise the partnership to a new level, and by taking over the most effective instruments of the EU strategy aimed at West Balkan integration. The same provisions were actively supported by the governments of the Trio countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia) as well as their respective members of parliament.
“It is also important that based on our proposals in this document, Russia is named as the greatest threat to the European Union. It is also underscored that the example of Ukraine’s success will help Russia to transform itself into a democratic state. Besides, our notable amendment on the European Magnitsky Act was also adopted. It has been noted that to implement the provisions relating to Russia, a new Western relationship strategy towards Russia is required. With this adopted document, we succeeded in forming the core future EU foreign policy provisions in areas that are important to us,” the MEP noted.
The adopted report acknowledges that “the stability of the Eastern neighbouring countries is important for the stability of the Union itself, and that the EU has the power to promote transformative changed in the neighbouring regions and countries”.
The document also declares that “in order for the Eastern Partnership to be more successful, both sides (EU and its partners) must propose new initiatives and take on new responsibilities. It is important to develop a closer relationship with Eastern Partnership countries by preparing targeted strategies for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova”.
document also underscores, that “it is important to take into account ideas
such as “Trio Strategy 2030” and other ideas that are being proposed by developed
countries associated with the Eastern Partnership. It also stresses that the
relationship with the Eastern Partnership should be based on the principle “support
based on progress (more for more)” and
“less support for less progress (less for less)”.
The document suggests that the implementation of the “Trio Strategy 2030” should be led by EU institutions and a coalition of similarly thinking states, just like Western Balkan integration has led to the creation of the “Berlin Process“. The document encourages to give more attention to specific projects and programs that promote integration and development and take into account the best practices of the Berlin process and European Economic Area integration process.
The report also emphasises that “Russia is the main source of hybrid and common safety threats to the EU and its Member States. It actively seeks to harm Europe‘s unity, independence, values and international norms”. It is also underscored that “although we cannot expect any changes to the aggressive policy under the current government in Moscow, it is possible that in the far future there will be a positive change towards Russia becoming a more democratic and European country. Therefore it is encouraged to put effort into strengthening the EU and its Member States‘ resilience to hybrid threats and into preparing a long term strategy in respect of Russia. The strategy should be based on three pillars – deterrence, restraint, and transformation.”
The document also states that “the successful transformation of the Eastern Partnership countries, especially those associated with the EU (Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova) can create positive results and exert a positive influence on the public of neighbouring Russia”.
The report adopted by the EP also prompts the European Council to “supplement the EU human rights and foreign policy toolkit by adding to it a type of a universal Magnitsky Act sanctions regime. This would be to strengthen existing regulations, create conditions for freezing assets and ordering visa bans against people participating in committing gross human rights violations“.
A. Kubilius noted that this document adopted by the European Parliament is not only a significant milestone in pursuit of changes in the Eastern Partnership politics and long-term relationship strategy with Russia but also a summary of the results, which have been achieved to date. Analogous provisions were adopted by the European People‘s Party congress, in the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly special resolution, and in the European Parliament, and Ukrainian and Moldovan parliamentary association committee statements.
“We are learning to influence the important European Union policy areas, and we are doing quite well,” MEP A. Kubilius summarised.