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The New Structure of Eastern Partnership: What are The Main Priorities Today

The representatives of the EU member states and 6 partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, agreed on March 12 in Brussels on the main priorities of 2018, which the parties undertook during the Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2017. These are the economic development and market, institutional strengthening and good governance, energy efficiency and climate change, mobility and contacts between people.

At the same time, the new Eastern Partnership structure was officially launched on March 12, which will become a platform for implementing the "20 results for 2020" policy. It is noted that the new institutional structure of cooperation between the Eastern Partnership member states and the EU member states is more compact and focuses primarily on the effective implementation of reforms that bring real results to the citizens.

In the new structure 4 platforms were identified, according to the EaP 4 priorities. Each of the platforms is composed of three panels. Thus, the institutional strengthening and good governance platform has state and public governance reform; rule of law; Security and Defense General Policies and Civil Defense Panels. The Economic Development and Market Platform consists of structural reforms, financial sector architecture, agriculture; trade and digital markets harmonization panels. Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Platform has energy; transport; environmental and climate change panels. Education, culture and youth; research and innovation; migration and mobility panels are part of a mobility and communication platform.

Platforms and panels are governed by high-ranking officials elected by ministers. All, including parliamentarians (via EURONEST), local and regional authorities (through the Conference of Local and Regional Authorities (CORLEAP)) and civil society (through the Civil Society Forum) remain at the heart of the structure. Platforms will give more political orientation to the panels and at the same time will provide feedback to high-ranking officials regarding the overall operation of the panels, within the specific priorities. The panels will serve as a basis for deeper discussions on specific topics.

It is noted that the new method will help to further strengthen the link between political dialogue and financial aid. "We will agree on our financial priorities with concrete political agreements," EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hann said.

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