Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bildt named co-father of the new Partnership

Sweden, as well as Poland and, to a certain extent, the Czech Republic, was praised for the EU Eastern Partnership initiative at a seminar at the Brookings Institution in Washington on Monday, attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Poland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski.

"The Eastern Partnership is a very important institution of the European Neighbourhood Policy," said Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott, formerly Deputy Secretary of State at the US Department of State. Mr Talbott named Mr Bildt and Mr Sikorski as co-fathers of the initiative, while Commissioner Ferrero-Walder proudly called herself the Partnership's mother.

The themes of the seminar were the EU Eastern Partnership, energy security and EU-US cooperation. The third panel, in which Mr Bildt took part, looked to the future, even if Mr Bildt started off by commemorating the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
"Enlargement will continue, but it will be more difficult. We need new instruments, and one such instrument that is now available is the Eastern Partnership."

"The Partnership also needs new friends - we gladly turn to third countries, and I am thinking particularly of the US and Turkey," said Mr Bildt, and a similar appeal for support from other countries was expressed by Poland's foreign minister Mr Sikorski.

Participants on earlier panels included Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, and Mikael Eriksson, Energy Policy Coordinator at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Press Release: Swedish Presidency of the European Union. Published on 3 November 2009

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