How can the EU promote a fair and people-centered Eastern Partnership?

COMECE contributed to the EU public consultation on the future of the Eastern Partnership, providing recommendations addressing some of the key challenges in EU’s cooperation with its six neighbours.

(Credit: European Commission)

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, COMECE elaborated its contribution on the future EU policy objectives with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

In dialogue with local Church authorities from the region, and with inputs from the experts of the COMECE Commission on the EU External Relations, the document encourages the EU to prioritise a people-centered partnership with its Eastern neighbours, empowering the youth and people with less opportunities in the social, economic and political spheres of life.

The COMECE recommendations also stress the need for the future Eastern Partnership to have a stronger focus on peace and reconciliation, in view of the protracted and frozen conflicts harmfully affecting persons, families and communities across the region.

In its contribution, COMECE proposes to set up participatory platforms of dialogue and cooperation, involving people of different sectors in cross-border exchanges, so as to favour an enabling democratic environment, and create conditions for justice, respect for the rule of law and lasting peace.

The future Eastern Partnership framework should foresee ways to better integrate the grassroots efforts of Churches and religious communities, especially promoting religious freedom and supporting initiatives on interreligious dialogue and the protection of religious heritage.