ArmInfo. "I hope that the cooperation and friendship between Armenia and the EU will continue to improve and develop," said Polish Ambassador to Armenia Pawel Cieplak at an event marking the 15th anniversary of the country's accession to the EU, the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Eastern partnership, initiated by Poland and Sweden and the 30th anniversary of the first semi-free elections in Poland on June 4, 1989.
"On May 1, 2004, the Republic of Poland became a full member of the European Union. A month later, the Poles first elected their representatives to the European Parliament. Since joining, the Poles have been actively involved in European integration processes, shaping European policy and holding important positions in EU structures," the diplomat said. Thus, in 2009-2012.Jerzy Buzek was the President of the European Parliament, and since 2014 Donald Tusk has been the President of the European Council. According to him, the positive impact of EU accession on the acceleration of socio-economic development is indisputable. Preparations for joining allowed us to adopt positive examples in the field of economics, limit bureaucracy and carry out meaningful internal reforms.
As a result, according to the ambassador, during its membership in the EU in 2004-2017, Poland's GDP doubled, while per capita GDP increased by almost two thirds, as did industrial output. Today, social security spending accounts for more than 20% of GDP, and during the period of Poland's membership in the EU, these per capita expenditures doubled.
Pawel Cieplak also touched upon the Eastern Partnership initiative. "The natural mission for Poland, as the largest country in Central Europe, was to build bridges across the new EU border in order to expand security and prosperity in Europe," he said. In 2008, Poland and Sweden initiated the Eastern Partnership program, which was officially launched in 2009, and became one of the components of the European Neighborhood Policy. The diplomat recalled that the program is aimed at strengthening political ties, economic cooperation and integration of the European Union with its eastern neighbors: Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia. "On the tenth anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, which we celebrate in 2019, the progress achieved by the six countries covered by this EU policy is undeniable," the Ambassador stressed.
This is indicated, in particular, by the signed treaties and the resulting intensification of political and economic cooperation. The most important of them are the Association Agreement, as well as the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with Armenia, and the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Azerbaijan. An undoubted achievement, as the diplomat pointed out, is an increase in interpersonal contacts by facilitating travel, as well as student exchanges between students of educational institutions in the EaP countries and the EU (thanks to the "Erasmus +" program).