The Eastern Partnership aims to deepen political and economic relations between the EU and eastern partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). The Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs co-chairs Platform 2 of the partnership which deals with economic development and market opportunities, with a strong commitment to cover small businesses and barriers to trade.
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) was launched in 2009. It is a joint project by the EU and its eastern partners to help promote political and economic reforms, and support efforts of the countries in the region to move closer to the EU. It is part of the EU neighbourhood policy and works through multilateral and bilateral tracks.
Platform 2: Economic development and market opportunities
This directorate-general coordinates and co-chairs Platform 2 of the Eastern Partnership. The objectives of the platform are set out in the '20 deliverables for 2020' roadmap (see below) and include
- structural reforms
- financial sector architecture
- enterprise and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) policies
- agriculture and rural development
- trade and trade-related regulatory cooperation
- harmonising digital markets
The 2018-2019 work programme translates the objectives of the '20 Deliverables for 2020' into concrete steps for delivery.
The meeting of the platform takes place every year in Brussels.
Panel on structural reforms, financial sector architecture, agriculture and SMEs
This panel aims to develop a favourable business environment for small businesses in the eastern partner countries with concrete objectives. It will assess the progress made at least once a year according to the objectives set out in the ‘20 deliverables for 2020’ roadmap in the presence of experts from the EU, international financial institutions and the Eastern partner countries.
Trade panel on technical regulations and standardisation
Within the framework of Platform 2, the directorate-general also organises annual panels on subjects related to the reform of technical regulation systems. These meetings provide information on the development of EU policies, while allowing for the exchange of information and best practice between EU countries and the 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership on dedicated topics of the reform agenda
- standardisation to support technical regulations
- market surveillance requirements and infrastructure
- reform of the regulatory system and related infrastructure in the areas of market surveillance, metrology, standardisation and conformity assessment
High level industrial and regulatory dialogue between the EU and Ukraine
The high level industrial and regulatory dialogue (HLID) started in 2017. It brings together the directorate-general and Ukraine's Ministry of Economy Development and Trade. Several areas are covered including technical barriers to trade, public procurement, SMEs, space and industrial cooperation (in sectors such as automotive, textiles, raw materials and civil aeronautics). A high level industrial roadmap was agreed by the 2 parties aiming to facilitate business exchanges and following up on Ukraine's alignment with EU regulatory and technical requirements according to the association agreement (AA)/deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA). The plenary session of the high level industrial and regulatory dialogue takes place every year alternately in Brussels and Kyiv.
Subcommittees with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
Annual subcommittees to implement fully the association agreements with 3 eastern partners are held to discuss policy priorities and exchange information on several industrial issues such as industrial policy, SMEs, tourism and raw materials. This bilateral track complements the multilateral track followed through Platform 2 with all 6 eastern partner countries.
The COSME programme
3 eastern partners (Ukraine, Armenia and Moldova) participate in the competitiveness of enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) programme. These countries benefit from their inclusion in the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and build consortia to participate in specific calls for grants with other partner or EU countries. Note that these 3 countries are not participating in the financial instrument part of the programme.
EU neighbourhood policy on the website of the European External Action Service
'20 Deliverables for 2020' (PDF) on the website of the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations