To upgrade Estonia’s already solid commitment towards the Eastern Partners the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in co-operation with the Estonian School of Diplomacy created the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership (ECEAP). Center was launched on 1 January 2011.
ECEAP is mainly financed from the development cooperation funds of the Estonian MFA. The Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) and Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs are additional supporters of the Center’s activities. Our previous projects have been supported also by the European Commission.
The activities of the center are directed above all towards the six European Union Eastern Partnership (EaP) partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
ECEAP arranges training courses for senior and mid-level officials in order to strengthen the administrative capacities of the Eastern Partnership partner countries and their capability to cooperate with the European Union. The ECEAP also offers young diplomats, civil servants and civil society representatives scholarships to participate in the post-graduate training provided by the ESD, conducts EaP-related research, seminars, round tables and conferences.
Eastern Partnership is an EU initiative under the European Neighbourhood Policy since 2009.
The European Union’s cooperation with the partner countries through the Eastern Partnership is divided into four platforms:
1) Democracy, Good Governance and Stability
2) Economic Integration and Convergence with EU Policies
3) Energy Security
4) Contacts Between People
On bilateral level the Eastern Partnership aims at close co-operation through association agreements, free trade, visa liberalization, and many other forms of enhanced integration.
Estonia prioritises the Eastern Partnership partner countries both in terms of foreign policy, economic relations and development co-operation.