EU — Council conclusions on releations with the South Caucasus

3023rd FOREIGN AFFAIRS Coun­cil meet­ing — Lux­em­bourg, 14 June 2010
The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:
“1. The Coun­cil recalls its Con­clu­sions of 8 Decem­ber 2009 wel­com­ing the expressed com­mit­ment of Arme­nia, Azer­bai­jan and Geor­gia to enhance their respec­tive rela­tions with the EU with­in the frame­work pro­vid­ed by the East­ern Part­ner­ship, as a spe­cif­ic East­ern dimen­sion of the Euro­pean Neigh­bour­hood Pol­i­cy.

2. The Coun­cil looks for­ward to the launch of nego­ti­a­tions for future Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ments in the course of July 2010, with a view to estab­lish polit­i­cal asso­ci­a­tion and achieve grad­ual eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion of these coun­tries with the EU, includ­ing the estab­lish­ment of Deep and Com­pre­hen­sive Free Trade Areas, once the coun­tries have met the nec­es­sary con­di­tions.

The nego­ti­at­ing process­es will be guid­ed by the prin­ci­ples of inclu­sive­ness, dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, con­di­tion­al­i­ty and joint own­er­ship. The Coun­cil under­lines that active engage­ment of the part­ner coun­tries and their com­mit­ment to shared val­ues and prin­ci­ples, includ­ing democ­ra­cy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and good gov­er­nance are essen­tial to make the nego­ti­a­tions and the imple­men­ta­tion of these ambi­tious agree­ments a suc­cess. The EU is com­mit­ted to assist the part­ner coun­tries in this regard.

3. The Coun­cil notes that the recent deci­sion on the estab­lish­ment of the new sub­com­mit­tees under the Part­ner­ship and Coop­er­a­tion Agree­ments cur­rent­ly in force with the coun­tries of the South Cau­ca­sus will con­sid­er­ably broad­en the sec­toral dia­logue and con­tribute to advanc­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of the ENP Action Plans.

4. The Coun­cil recog­nis­es the high impor­tance attached to mobil­i­ty of cit­i­zens by the coun­tries of the South Cau­ca­sus. Bear­ing in mind the impor­tance of a secure envi­ron­ment, and in accor­dance with the Stock­holm Pro­gramme and the Joint Dec­la­ra­tion of the Prague East­ern Part­ner­ship Sum­mit, the EU stands ready to pro­mote mobil­i­ty of cit­i­zens of the South Cau­ca­sus coun­tries and oth­er East­ern Part­ner­ship coun­tries through visa facil­i­ta­tion and read­mis­sion agree­ments, and once these are suc­cess­ful­ly con­clud­ed and imple­ment­ed, move towards a con­trolled process tak­ing grad­ual steps towards visa-lib­er­al­i­sa­tion as a long-term goal, on a case-by-case basis, as well as describe the con­di­tions for well-man­aged and secure mobil­i­ty. In this con­text, the Coun­cil has invit­ed the Com­mis­sion to devel­op before the end of 2010 a plan on how to take coop­er­a­tion for­ward in this area.

5. The Coun­cil recog­nis­es that con­flicts ham­per not only the polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment of the part­ner coun­tries but also the region­al coop­er­a­tion and the sta­bil­i­ty of the Euro­pean con­ti­nent. In this con­text, the Coun­cil reit­er­ates its com­mit­ment to sup­port the process­es aimed at peace­ful and last­ing set­tle­ment of con­flicts in the region and calls on all par­ties to ful­ly com­mit them­selves to these process­es.

6. The EU will con­tin­ue to pro­mote sta­bil­i­ty, pros­per­i­ty and coop­er­a­tion, through­out the South Cau­ca­sus, build­ing also on the oppor­tu­ni­ties pro­vid­ed by the mul­ti­lat­er­al frame­work of the East­ern Part­ner­ship, and reaf­firms its com­mit­ment to assist Arme­nia, Azer­bai­jan and Geor­gia to this end..”

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union