EU offers Eastern Partnership members money, motivation

The EU has invited representatives from six post-Soviet states to take part in its fifth annual Eastern Partnership summit. On the agenda: reforms and closer economic ties.

Although she’s only acting German chancellor, Angela Merkel will be in attendance at Friday’s EU summit with the six Eastern Partnership countries.

“This is a very important signal,” said Johannes Hahn, the EU’s commissioner for enlargement. “Germany is an important partner. The chancellor’s participation shows great respect for the partnership with the eastern countries.”

Merkel skipped the most recent EU summit in Gothenburg, Sweden last week because she was busy with coalition negotiations. This time, 22 of the 28 EU leaders will be in attendance, along with representatives from Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus.

“The door to the EU remains open for these countries,” said Hahn. “But now, the focus is on implementing what has, until now, mainly existed on paper.” By that, Hahn is referring to 20 economic, energy, infrastructure and state administration projects that must be implemented by 2020.

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