Hökmark on Eastern Partnership Summit – debate in plenary
Gunnar Hökmark debates in plenary in view of the Eastern Partnership Summit (29 sept) – Mr President, the summit meeting in Warsaw must give strong support for, and reaffirm the priority of, the Eastern Partnership, which is an important means of influencing the development of those societies. All of these countries are balanced between two different options: either authoritarian structures, or the path towards democracy and open societies.
That is going on just now. The opportunities we lose today will be extremely difficult to regain in the future. I think that it is important to state that this is about Europe, and it is about democracy and the rule of law. Ukraine is an example of that, with what is happening with Yulia Tymoshenko. They are undermining the rule of law and strong support for human rights and an open society.
I think that it is of the utmost importance that the European Union should use all its tools. We are the biggest economy of the world, with the opportunities provided by association agreements, scholarships, and visa liberalisation. At the same time, the strong message is that the preconditions must be fulfilled if you want closer cooperation.
I think that the focus of the summit meeting must be to take the concrete actions which make both of these tracks credible and worthwhile.