CESD Chairman met President of Lithuania

CESD Chairman met President of Lithuania

Following the Vilnius Summit, President Dalia Grybauskaitė met civil society representatives from the six Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine on November 29, 2013. Vugar Bayramov, chairman of Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) was invited to meeting with Madam President.

The President underlined that the European future of Eastern partners was the shared responsibility of their governments and civil society. All political forces must support the strategic direction of development their country has taken.

“A real step forward in the Eastern Partnership has been made in Vilnius. We have already initialed association agreements with Moldova and Georgia. But still a long way to Europe is ahead. Therefore, concerted efforts by all political forces, strong will and determination to deliver on the commitments as well as resist external pressure and attempts to hamper integration processes, are needed,” the President said.

Recalling Lithuania’s experience, the President pointed out that its aspirations for the EU membership had been supported by all political parties – a national agreement was signed under which both the governing coalition and the opposition pledged to pursue the European path. All national capacities were mobilized and, as a result, over a comparatively short period of time, Lithuania made a huge progress and successfully joined the EU.

According to the President, the European transformation path is difficult, but this is the way to success that will ensure the democratic development of the countries and a better and more secure life for their people.

The President also emphasized that the European Union would never forsake the democratic principles and values; therefore, the countries seeking association with the EU should make every effort to ensure the respect for human rights and freedoms, the rule of law, fair and impartial trial.

Successful implementation of obligations, entrenchment of European principles and standards and the signing of the EU’s association agreements, including the deep and comprehensive free trade area, will open to Eastern partners a huge market of 500 million consumers, expand trade and business relations and make the countries more attractive for EU investment.

In this speech, Vugar Bayramov addressed on economic issues in Azerbaijan.

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