By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Energy is the key element of cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan, and there are plenty of fields in which potential cooperation is possible. However, the energy cooperation, which was launched in 2006, is especially significant.
Azerbaijan’s social policy shows high results, Kestutis Jankauskas, EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan, said at the meeting with teachers, students and graduates of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of Azerbaijan, organized by the Caucasus Center for Political Analysis.
In his lecture on “Relations between Azerbaijan and the EU in a volatile regional environment,” Jankauskas noted that Azerbaijan is one of the six countries of the Eastern Partnership program, which has recently celebrated a decade of its activity.
Stating that oil and gas are one of the main aspects in cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU countries, he emphasized the project of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is being implemented intensively, and which will initiate the implementation of other projects.
Jankauskas stressed that in particular, the development of regional transport is also one of the priorities of the EU policy in Azerbaijan.
The EU Ambassador expressed his desire for Azerbaijan and the EU to increase cooperation in the framework of the partnership, especially in the tourism sector. Jankauskas said that interests of European countries regarding Azerbaijan have risen during the diversification of the Azerbaijani economy.
Furthermore, he pointed at the cooperation which embraces new areas of the economy apart from traditional oil and gas spheres.
Jankauskas noted that the EU is ready to conclude an agreement with Azerbaijan, which is one of the leaders in twinning, implying the exchange of experience in various sectors of the economy, within which the EU held events with 26 ministries and institutions.
Moreover, he emphasized that in 2017, EU citizens crossed the borders of Azerbaijan 2.6 million times. Thus, the ambassador noted the necessity of improvement of tourism and education spheres, reminding the Erasmus education program, in order to make Azerbaijan more recognizable in Europe.
Currently, bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.
The new agreement document envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan’s legislation and policies with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should facilitate access of Azerbaijani goods to the EU markets.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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