The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission have today adopted a Joint Communication proposing a forward- looking EU strategy for Syria. As outlined in the Joint Communication, the European Union’s engagement in Syria goes beyond the current state of play. It is defined by a longer term perspective in support of the EU’s strategic goals on Syria. The European Union will continue to be the first and leading donor in the international response to the humanitarian crises, providing life-saving humanitarian assistance and resilience support to the Syrian people and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.
The EU and Algeria adopted their shared Partnership Priorities at the Association Council. The cooperation concerns political dialogue, energy and socio-economic development. Some of these priorities will be the subject of technical and financial cooperation, which will be implemented within the framework of the 2018-2020 financial programming.
On Monday,president of the Republic of Azerbaijan IlhamAliyev has met with President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker in Brussels. Satisfaction in the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union, confidence in further development of relations were expressed at the meeting. It was emphasized that the work continued on a new document on cooperation and partnership between Azerbaijan and the European Union, after the signing of which relations in all spheres would be further strengthened and expanded. Azerbaijan’s cooperation in the field of dialogue among civilizations and cultures with the countries of the world, including with the European Union was highly assessed during the meeting.
The European Parliament’s decision to call on the European Commission to freeze accession talks with Turkey is important as it marks a first in the overall enlargement process of the bloc but is unlikely to be implemented due to a complex procedure. When Turkey and the European Union agreed on starting full membership talks in 2005, they also adopted a framework to regulate the technicalities of the Ankara-Brussels negotiations.
MEPs in Strasbourg have voted on a non-legislative resolution which calls the EU to respond to the information warfare by Russia. RT and Sputnik news agency are alleged to be among from the most dangerous tools of hostile propaganda. Early in October, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs approved a report on combating propaganda which named the Russian media one of the main threats. Commenting the news, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that the European Parliament’s resolution on the Russian media’s activities proves the fact that the Western countries’ perception of democracy has been degrading. In the Wednesday vote, 304 MEPs supported the resolution based on the report ‘EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties’, with 179 voting against it and 208 abstaining. The report suggests that Moscow provides financial support to opposition parties and organizations in EU member states, causing disintegration within the bloc. At the same time, Russia is accused of “information warfare” with such entities as RT TV channel, Sputnik news agency, Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency and the Russkiy Mir (Russian World) fund alleged to be among its most threatening propaganda tools.
The European Union and Azerbaijan are creating delegations for the negotiations on a new partnership agreement, Malena Mard, head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, told reporters on Monday. Mard noted that the EU is satisfied with starting negotiations with Azerbaijan on an extensive and comprehensive agreement that covers many areas.
Turkey should not be “fixated” on the idea of joining the European Union and should look at other opportunities, such as the Russia-led Shanghai Pact, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), also known as the “Shanghai 5,” is a loose security and economic bloc led by Russia and China. The other formal members are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The commitments undertaken by Azerbaijan and Italy on implementation of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will expand bilateral cooperation, said Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Baku Nov. 7. “Our cooperation covers many areas, such as trade, agrarian sector, energy,” Gentiloni said in a briefing with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. “Italy can also contribute to development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU.”
Kosovo’s speaker of parliament, Kadri Veseli has addressed criticism against the policies of the European Union regarding the liberalization of visas. Kosovo criticizes the European Union’s policies on the liberalization of visas Veseli declared that Kosovo has met all the criteria set out in the guideline of the European Commission for the liberalization of visas.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has defied EU criticism over the arrests of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers and journalists, saying that Turkey is “no longer subject to orders.” Erdoğan added that the West will “eventually understand that I have come to serve my people, not dominate over them.”