EU Urges Caucasus Nations to Continue Reform Process

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele gives a joint press on neighborhood policy in Brussels on Wednesday. AFP photo

BRUSSELS (Hurriyet)–The European Union has called on Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia to continue legislative and judicial reforms in progress reports for 2009 that were published earlier this week.

Following a recommendation by the European Commission, the EU decided to offer Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia privileged relationships in June 2004 within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, or ENP, to develop links with the EU, including through action plans.

“Further strengthening the ENP is no less than an investment in the EU’s own stability and prosperity – and this must be reflected in our offer to our partners,” Stefan Fuele, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, said Wednesday in Brussels.

“Economic reforms have progressed remarkably across our neighborhood, both east and south. What is essential for the future is to go up a gear on democratic and political reforms, where progress has been real but generally slower,” he said.

Addressing Georgia, Fuele said he was convinced that Tbilisi remained on course toward aligning itself to EU legislation, although free trade with the EU “might not be fully compatible with ultra-liberal ideas” pursued by the Georgian government.

The commission’s report on Azerbaijan said Baku “made some progress in the implementation of the ENP Action Plan, notably in areas related to economic and social governance,” Azerbaijan’s News.az reported on its website Thursday.

“It maintained a low inflation rate compared with the previous year and stable unemployment levels. The country fared comparatively well during the year despite the global financial crisis, which allowed the government to increase social spending and capital investment,” the report said.

The report was also positive about energy cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan, saying: “Good progress was made on energy cooperation with the EU on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on a strategic partnership in the field of energy. Progress was also made through Azerbaijan’s support for the development of the southern gas corridor, including Nabucco.”

Discussing Armenia, the report commended the country’s launch of a regular human rights dialogue with the EU and the improved legislative framework in the area of anticorruption and the strengthening of human rights.

In regard to the post-election violence in 2008, the report said, “Armenia took positive steps to address the internal political crisis following the February 2008 presidential elections, including the amnesty issued in June, the amendments to the criminal code and the publication of the report by the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Inquiry Committee,” the report said.

Notably, the country “should make further efforts to ensure thorough follow-up of the recommendations of the report by the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on the events of March 2008, improve electoral standards and further reform of the Prosecutor’s office.”

The report further said enhanced dialogue between the ruling political forces and the opposition would be beneficial.

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2 Comments

  1. manooshag said:

    Hye, Commissioner Stefan Fuele, your points well taken. Howsomever, it behooves me to address the following to the European Union (not inclusive of Turkey) and able to take on the continuing and ongoing issue of the Genocides committed without end.
    I believe the EU is well organized, strengths from the most civlized nations of Europe and has the ability to pursue the END OF THE CYCLE OF GENOCIDES. Long overdue, millions of innocents slaughtered, millions and millions survived and lived lives with horrendous memories. When a nations such as a Turkey is made to face it guilt this will deter any and all despots from pursuing any Genocides. The EU
    today has the outstanding position in the world to bring this issue for discussions, unfettered by any
    Turkish input, and shall have saved our planet from the scourge of Genocides. You, EU, can make the difference today. You, EU, need to accomplish what the world needs – together – with all like-minded nations – to end the cycle of the murders and more, to end the cycle of Genocides – forever! Manooshag

  2. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Thanks dear Manooshag for your letter,
    We can’t write better.
    EU continuously wants to find Serbian criminals who killed only few
    Compared to ours, we lost more unborns, children,
    Virgin girls raped, killed, hurled in rivers.
    Whilst, Serb criminals raped but never killed,
    Like the Pakistanis Soldiers just recently in 1971.
    Those raped Bengali girls but never killed because
    It is punishable sin for Muslims to kill females of any religin or race.
    Any one knows about poor Bangalis.
    If you don’t know,
    I will send you my poem
    To read and feel with thems!
    _______________________________

    Tale of Darkest Night in Bengali Genocide

    I never knew poor Bengalis
    Had also their genocide
    Till I met a young gardener, Mubarak,
    Who spoke about all the details with a broken rank.

    Every Friday, he tended our garden
    To plant flowers, arrange the pots and remove dead leaves.
    Each time he demonstrated how Pakistanis
    Killed their villagers, even those with white beards,

    How their militants raped most of the women,
    Leaving them pregnant, humiliated, speared.
    However they never killed pregnant women like the Ottomans did
    With Armenians—they were raped and escaped to have illegal sons.

    The gardener made me interested in their genocide.
    I read what I found till I understood the “slayers dine”!
    They started killing university scholars and their
    Students when they wanted to protect their teachers

    From military savages, scary and inhuman,
    Who wanted to vanish unarmed Bengalis,
    Impose their jungle rule on East Pakistan.
    This all was designed by the evil “Pak militants.”

    Stories of victims are many, unwritten yet. After I was
    Informed, I asked others; few knew about “slayers grade”!
    Bloodthirsty Pakistani army enjoyed and covered unpaid.
    Bengalis genocide named “deadly night”*still hidden unread.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    * The killing of Bengali intellectuals began at the night of March 25, 1971, in Dhaka
    and continued till the surrender of Pak army on December 14, 1971.This date is called
    ‘Martyred Intellectual Day.’ It is estimated that at least one and half million people
    were killed during the nine-month period. The genocide continued till 1975.

    Source: “A Poetic Soul Shined of Genocides” August 2008

*

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