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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Press statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Bronisław Komorowski, President of Poland
11 July 2013
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure and an honour to be here in Warsaw, in the Belweder and to meet President Komorowski. Indeed, it was a very useful and rich conversation, the one we had over lunch, the President and me – and thank you Mr. President for your kind and friendly hospitality.
Indeed, our analyses are convergent in the two issues that were the topics of our conversation; the need for a stronger Europe in the field of foreign policy and security - that Europe has to have a more coherent policy and make its positions better known and better respected in the world – and, secondly, the importance of the Eastern Partnership, including, of course, the importance of Ukraine for the overall process regarding political association and economic integration of the European Union with its neighbours.
Let me say some words about the Eastern neighbourhood. As you remember, the Eastern Partnership was one of the priorities of the Polish presidency of the Council that culminated in a very successful Warsaw summit. And now we are hoping to give a further impetus to the Eastern Partnership because the Eastern Partnership remains a priority for the European Union, for the European Commission, and it is a policy to which I am personally very committed.
The next Eastern Partnership summit will take place in Vilnius in November, and I look forward to making progress on all the association agreements with our Eastern neighbours. Together with President Komorowski, I wish to see the objective of political association and economic integration with our Eastern partners being achieved.
We are making progress. As you know, the negotiations on Association Agreements and DCFTAs - Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas - are completed at technical level with Moldova and close to completion with Armenia and Georgia. And regarding Ukraine, that was certainly an issue that we have devoted more time to during our conversation. The Ukrainian authorities reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the benchmarks, which could enable a possible signature of the Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area by the time of the Vilnius Summit.
These agreements will open up new areas of opportunity for those countries and for the European Union. They also represent the consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and our common values in the wider European continent. And they provide us with a larger economic space for our operators, with converging rules and standards. So, it is something that I really believe can be beneficial for both sides.
I am well aware of the aspiration, the European aspiration of the citizens of Ukraine and I hope that the Ukrainian authorities will work to make it possible to sign this Association Agreement by the time of the Vilnius Summit.
And indeed, Mr President, on this day when you commemorate such an important and tragic event for Poland, I think it is appropriate to remember that the Europe of the 21st century should be a Europe of reconciliation. It should be a Europe of unity around the values of freedom and peace.
And I am very pleased to be here today and to have the opportunity, side by side with the President of Poland, Mr Komorowski, to reaffirm our commitment to these values. These are the values we should keep in mind when we are facing everyday difficulties in our economies or in our societies. What we are struggling for is so important not only for ourselves but for our children and the children of our children.