Minister Murphy attends Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga21 May 2015
Minister of State for European Affairs and Data Protection, Dara Murphy TD, is today (Thursday) representing Ireland at the fourth Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga (21-22 May).
This is a high level Summit that takes place every two years and brings EU leaders together with leaders of the EU’s six Eastern Partners - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Speaking in advance of the Summit, Minister Murphy said:
"At the Summit, which begins today, I will join a discussion with EU leaders and leaders from the six partner countries on developments in Europe’s eastern neighbourhood since the Vilnius Summit in 2013. We will seek to chart a path ahead for the Eastern Partnership which is the EU framework for relations with these partner countries. At the heart of this partnership is a commitment to strengthen democracy, rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms in the region."
"This Summit will focus on the EU’s Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Through these Agreements, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will be integrated into the European economy and will strengthen their political association with Europe. Ireland has now ratified these three Agreements, following Dáil approval last January by a large majority. During the Dáil debate, I said that closer economic integration with the EU will in time create opportunities for Ireland to forge stronger political and economic relations with these three countries"
"The Summit will also discuss strengthening the EU’s relations with the other three partner countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. The countries are not seeking Association Agreements but we are looking to strengthen our relations, taking into account the EU’s values, as well as the respective ambitions and needs of the EU and these three countries."
21 May 2015
The Eastern Partnership was launched in 2009 to provide a coherent framework for EU co-operation with six countries of Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Previous Eastern Partnership summits have taken place in Prague (2009), Warsaw (2011) and, most recently, in Vilnius (November 2013). This Summit will be hosted by Latvia in its capacity as EU presidency and chaired by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk. A very high-level of attendance by leaders of EU Member States and of the six partner countries is expected. The Summit is expected to agree on a Joint Declaration dealing with developments in Europe’s Eastern neighbourhood and plans for further cooperation.
Find out more about the Eastern Partnership Summit