Panel Political Integraction and European and Euro-Atlantic Integration
I think I do not have to mention the part, that Poland has played in the forming of Eastern Partnership and Polish influence on the EU’s Eastern Policy. We would like to continue that role, so we could encourage our eastern partners on their way to full integration with EU and NATO.
Having in consideration the time limit given for my speech I will concentrate on short analysis of the situation of GUAM countries in context of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Meeting in Vilnius. Unfortunately I will let myself to mention my concern about the situation in some of the countries, especially in reference to abuses of human rights, rights of a democratic country and rights of political opposition.
I will begin with Poland’s neighbor – Ukraine. Ukraine is in a pivotal moment of getting closer to European structures. Currently only two affiliated issues are to be realized in relations between EU and Ukraine.
First of them is completing EU’s expectations in the matter of reforming Ukrainian system of justice, electoral system and development in implementation of reforms that have been agreed. Second is signature and implementation of Association Agreement along with Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. The signature of both this agreements at the Eastern Partnership Meeting in Vilnius will depend on Ukraine’s actions.
Agreement between EU and Ukraine is an act that will benefit for both parties. It gives Ukraine the possibility of development and europeanization. Within the implementation of new rules by Kiev, Ukrainian justice system will improve, corruption will be restrained, changes will be faster and modernization of Ukrainian economy and reduction of dependence from import of fossil fuels will benefit. However I can’t forget to mention the incorrectness in the last parliamentary elections, especially that I took part in the observation mission. Another serious problem is the selectivity, when it comes to application of the law.
Anyway, we hope that the Eastern Partnership Meeting scheduled for November in Vilnius will be a historical event in the context of eastern policy of EU and relations between Ukraine and EU.
Proceeding to the next country – Moldavia, I must point out that we have taken note about averting the political crisis and avoidance of early parliamentary elections with high relief. We look forward to quick ending of negotiations with EU and to signature of Association Alliance during the Eastern Partnership Meeting in Vilnius. From Poland’s point of view the development of between parliamentary relations it is worth noting. We have lately appointed two-sided parliamentary Assembly in the proven formula, used before in relations between Ukraine and Lithuania.
When it comes to Azerbaijan, we realize that the situation in its region is very complex due to protracted conflicts. The negative influence from the region’s surroundings, conflicts in the Middle-East, Russia’s integration projects or Iranian influence are not conducting to stabilization in Azerbaijan.
However the multiple increase of fines for organization and taking part in illegal gatherings, arrests of opposition leaders, or using pepper spray and rubber bullets at the gatherings cannot be justified by any reason.
In the perspective of upcoming Eastern Partnership Meeting we wish to encourage Azerbaijan to higher level of cooperation with the EU, especially in the context of speeding up the negotiations of Association Alliance. We hope that Azerbaijan will have a greater use of the Eastern Partnership, and it will be an impulse for modernization of its economy, further democratization and growth of its civil society. We are sure that opening a dialog with society and allowing opposition to function is the stipulation of calm and compatible with European standards process of presidential elections.
It is time to speak about Georgia, our host…
Unfortunately our anxiety about Georgia is the greatest, of all the countries mentioned herein. Yesterday’s events in Tbilisi (arrests using force of witnesses (not even suspects), without earlier notice) made it stronger. I would like to note that Poland’s support for Georgia is not affiliated with any political option. Poland invariably supports actions for democracy – therefore we are ready to cooperate with any democratically chosen government.
Georgia is one of the leading countries of Eastern Partnership and with all certainty a leader in European integration from its region. We notice it with satisfaction, that the actions for development of Georgia’s cooperation with EU are highly supported by Georgian society.
In the last years Georgia has made a great effort to modernize. The success of reforms are the accomplishment of all Georgian people. Especially the recognition they deserve for reformation of the police and implementation of actions against corruption. We have watched yesterday’s presentation with admiration, if not even envy… The parliamentary elections of 2012 – in the opinion of international observation mission, in which I took part – were recognized to be fully democratic.
We realize, that cohabitation can be a challenge for every democracy in the world. Nevertheless its success could significantly improve Georgia’s position on international arena. Therefore we stress out the need of cooperation between two main political forces in Georgia.
The arrest of the former prime minister and minister of internal affairs Wano Merabiszvili or actions against local authorities, like yesterday in Tbilisi and earlier in Rustavi, Kutaisi or Gori do not affect the advantage of Georgia. We need to stress out that this type of actions – in the opinion of international partners – are highly controversial and can lay grounds for anxiety about democracy in Georgia and intentions of its government. These actions can be harmful for Georgia – also in context of perspectives of European integration in the day before the Eastern Partnership Meeting in Vilnius.
Despite these reservations Poland constantly supports territorial integrity of Georgia and its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. The process of modernization of Georgia is targeted to becoming a member of NATO and EU, and we consider it one of the key factors favoring stabilization and development of the country.
We hope that during the Meeting in Vilnius Association Agreement along with DCFTA will be initialed and later signed in 2014. We also hope that highest possible development in the case of implementation of the Acton for Visa Liberalization Plan. However it depends on the country, the government. In our opinion the society is ready for that.
In my speech I have moved only few of the most important matters from the upcoming Eastern Partnership’s point of view. If such need will occur, we can return to this issues in further discussion.
Thank You very much.