Stefan Fule summarizes outcome of the Vilnius Summit
By Ana Robakidze
Thursday, December 12
European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, addressed the Ukrainian people and called on them to “unite” in his speech summarizing the outcome of the Vilnius Summit. Around 1 million Ukrainians have been holding demonstrations in the capital of Kiev for over a week now. President Victor Yanukoviche’s decision to suspend negotiations with the European Union and not to sign the Association Agreement sparked protests at the end of November.
“This is the time to be stronger and not weaker vis-a-vis the commitment to the reform path of Ukraine. This is the only way to be credible, urging all stakeholders in the political process in Ukraine to show readiness for inclusive and sustainable dialogue. The European Union remains ready to sign the Association Agreement, including the DCFTA as soon as Ukraine is ready and proves its commitment by deeds,” Fule said. He added that the EU has sent a message that the organization’s door is open for new members, and this message was meant for the Ukrainian people and not only for the government.
Speaking about the Eastern Partnership agenda, Fule said that it “is not directed against anyone” and “any threats – of any form – from Russia linked to the signing of agreements with the European Union are unacceptable.” He called on Eastern Partner countries to carefully consider the lessons learned in Vilnius and prepare for the next summit in Riga accordingly.
“We are strongly determined to sign the AA/DCFTAs with Georgia and the Republic of Moldova by autumn 2014 before the end of the term of this College,” Fule stated. He said the EU should enhance its efforts to help the Eastern Partners with delivering outstanding reforms on their way to EU integration.
According to the EU Commissioner it is important to be “more strategic”. “History will judge us not by the promises we made in Vilnius, but by the promises we keep,” he said.
The future development of the Georgia-EU partnership is discussed on December 12th, at the annual EU-Georgia Cooperation Council meeting. The council gathers to determine the tasks Georgia will have to implement after the Vilnius summit. Fule, as well as Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius participate in the council meeting in Brussels. The Georgian delegation is led by Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze.