Debates on "EU relations with Eastern Partnership countries and Canada"

March 29-30th, 2012                                                                                      
The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence has organized international Roundtable Debates which brought together prominent speakers from the EU, Canada and Eastern Partnership countries: - "EU – Canada – Baltic States – Eastern Partnership" organized with the assistance of the Government of Canada, the Embassy of Canada to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, the Jean Monnet Excellence Centre at the University of Latvia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia (March 29th, 2012 in Riga, at the University of Latvia); - "EU - Eastern Partnership Cooperation: Focus on Moldova" organized with the assistance of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Latvia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova to the Republic of Latvia (March 30th, 2012, in Riga, at the University of Latvia). Originally proposed by Poland and Sweden, the Eastern Partnership seeks to back political and socio-economic reforms in the Partner Countries, facilitating their approximation and convergence towards the EU. It implies the Association Agreements, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, allowing for the Eastern Partnership countries’ political association and economic integration with the EU. The Eastern Partnership also promotes democracy and good governance, strengthens the energy security sector reform and environment protection, encourage people to people contacts, support economic and social development and offer additional funding for projects to reduce socio-economic imbalances and increase stability. Currently, the EU together with the Eastern Partnership countries elaborates the Road Map of the Eastern Partnership in order to implement commitments adopted at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw last September. This Road Map will include objectives, concrete commitments and specific steps to be taken until the next Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in the second half of 2013. Therefore, discussing developments in the Eastern Partnership during the Roundtable was very timely and important before the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries adopt the Road Map this autumn. Canada is one of the European Union’s oldest and closest partners working closely together on global challenges such as energy security and regional stability throughout the world. Currently, the EU is in negotiations for a Comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada, which could further strengthen the economic relations between both sides. Exchanging experience about EU - Canada and EU - Eastern Partnership countries during the Roundtable debate enriched the knowledge about the above processes. Seperate speeches from the conference's speakers are available here: