Distinguished Heads of the Delegations,
Ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, let me join previous speakers in expressing sincere gratitude to our Ukrainian hosts for the excellent organization of this important forum and traditional hospitality, extended to us.
It was always clear, that cooperation of EU with countries is inevitable.
It is clear now, that cooperation of EU with neighboring regional initiatives is inevitable either.
BSEC, as full-fledged regional cooperation organization, offered this opportunity to EU back in April 1999, when Platform for EU-BSEC cooperation was adopted in Tbilisi, on the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of BSEC Member States. The same distinguished gathering granted BSEC Observer status to France and Germany.
Today’s event is a crowning event for previous activities, but also very distinguished platform to conceptualize future regional dimension of EU’s cooperation with neighborhood.
What is the role and place of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM in this process?
GUAM Member States are sharing common vision, based on coinciding set of foreign policy priorities, common philosophy, common understanding of role and place GUAM as full-fledged regional cooperation organization should occupy in the network of international relations.
Few arguments in support of EU-GUAM cooperation:
- Goals and objectives of GUAM are in full compliance with the EU policy priorities in the region;
- Approximation to EU, articulated in different manner, constitutes the top foreign policy priority for all four GUAM Member States;
- Guam is trying to establish in the region space of civilized partnership, based on European principles, norms and practice of cooperation;
- All GUAM Member States are under the same foreign policy instrument of EU: European Neighborhood Policy and respective ENP Action Plans;
- In ENP APs, signed with all GUAM Member States, EU is encouraging regional cooperation, GUAM matches perfectly this vision.
- Added value of GUAM for EU
- Offering our well-institutionalized network of cooperation, we may remove organizational headaches from Brussels and, with combined efforts, could better implement projects and programmes of EU in the area;
- Offering our capacity to promote EU values eastwards from the current EU borders.
- Possible avenues for EU-GUAM interaction
- Transport – connecting European infrastructure to GUAM Transport network, then extending it further to Central Asia and China. Formation of alternative transport corridor, connecting European markets with the emerging markets of the East;
- Energy – ensuring diversification of energy recourses and energy transportation routs, delivering energy recourses from Central Asia to European market; thus decreasing dependence of Europe from the monopoly supplies;
- Law enforcement – combating organized crime, illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons and human beings.
To conclude with, let me reiterate, that we remain open for active multi-faceted cooperation based on GUAM principles and values with any European or Asian state or organization.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.