Magazine article Europe-East

Eastern Partnership : Fule Pledges to Seek Additional Funding

Magazine article Europe-East

Eastern Partnership : Fule Pledges to Seek Additional Funding

Article excerpt

The EU Commissioner for Enlargement and the Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, has acknowledged that the resources earmarked by the Union for the financing of the Eastern Partnership (EP) "are not enough". Addressing a seminar on business opportunities in the EP countries, held on 4 March, Fule pledged to look for additional resources. He said he had already embarked on talks with the World Bank and pledged to raise the issue inter alia with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

"The 350 million for the financing of the Eastern Partnership is not enough," said Fule. He referred to the 350 million of extra resources, which the European Commission proposed, in December 2008, to allocate to the Eastern Partnership from the margin of Heading 4 of the EU budget. The proposal was then approved by the EU leaders at their March 2009 summit. He stressed that in order to make the Eastern Partnership a success, not only greater financial resources are required but also greater involvement of businesses on both the EU and the EP side. To this end, Fule invited BusinessEurope - the leading EU business organisation - to take part in the work of one of the four Eastern Partnership thematic platforms - Economic integration and convergence with EU policies'. "I'm convinced that the EU business organisations can help by using their experience to promote independent business cooperation in the EP countries," said Fule, emphasising that "economic integration is central to the Eastern Partnership project". …

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