EU: There was good progress on EU’s Strategic Energy Partnership with Azerbaijan last year

Baku: “EU-Azerbaijani relations further developed”

“There was good progress on the EU’s Strategic Energy Partnership with Azerbaijan to improve European energy security and the diversification of energy supplies in 2014,” says the progress report on implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy, adopted by the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, APA reports.

The report says that the commitment to implementing the Southern Gas Corridor continued to be of utmost importance for EU-Azerbaijan dialogue: “There was tangible progress with regard to several bilateral agreements, such as the entry into force of the Visa Facilitation Agreement and the Readmission Agreement, preparation to implement the Mobility Partnership, and the signature of the Protocol on Azerbaijan’s participation in EU programmes and agencies, which can help further to develop EU-Azerbaijani relations.

Azerbaijan made good progress in its macroeconomic development, not least through its efforts to further diversify the economy. The macroeconomic environment remained stable due to growth in the non-oil economy and greater social stability. Based on the assessment of its progress in 2014 on implementing the ENP, Azerbaijan should focus its work in the coming year on reinvigorating steps to upgrade the existing partnership between the EU and Azerbaijan in order to better reflect new realities in mutual relations.

A total of up to €94 million will be available for Azerbaijan in the years 2014-2017 to support reforms in key areas, such as education and skills development, justice, regional and rural development. In 2014 EU-Azerbaijan bilateral trade amounted to EUR 16.7 billion. The EU remained Azerbaijan’s main trading partner.”

SOURCE: Azeri-Press News Agency