“Development policy is a key EU policy addressed to EU’s eastern neighbours,” said Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz in Brussels on 19 May. The deputy chief of Poland’s diplomacy took part in a Foreign Affairs Council meeting attended by EU’s ministers for development. Development cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries was high on the meeting’s agenda.
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton stressed the need for a rapid and flexible response to the situation in Ukraine and for continued support of civil society organisations in the Eastern Partnership countries.
Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz said that development cooperation has to be more consistent with the EU’s political activity. “The Development Council should play a particular role in this process,” she stressed.
“Although Member States have been paying special attention to Ukraine recently, they should not forget about other Eastern Partnership countries,” said the deputy minister.
According to Deputy Minister Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, the EU should maximise its support for Georgia and Moldova in the implementation of their Association Agreements and Agreements on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas. “The EU should send a clear message to its partners that they can count on its help in ambitious reform programmes,” said Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, and stressed the great importance of implementing joint programming towards “reform leaders,” i.e. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The deputy minister welcomed the EU rescue package for Ukraine, in particular the establishment of the Support Group for Ukraine. She believes the Group should urgently start working to improve coordination of measures taken in Ukraine.
The ministers talked about the process of drafting the post-2015 agenda, taking into account the results of the United Nations’ Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals after 2015. The role of the private sector in development cooperation was also discussed in the context of the EC Communication published on 13 May. EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs informed the Council about the implementation of the “Agenda for Change.”