The Eastern Partnership is the EU's policy for the countries of Eastern Europe: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Sweden played a leading role in the establishment of the Partnership in 2009 and treats it as a particularly high priority issue.
The EU institutions (the European External Action Service and the European Commission)bear a special responsibility for leading the work. The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are also involved, as well as the Committee of the Regions and representatives of civil society in the EU and the region.
The Eastern Partnership is both the EU's policy for the six countries in the eastern European neighbourhood and a format for cooperation between the EU and these countries. The Partnership builds on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which is the EU's policy for its neighbours in Eastern Europe and south of the Mediterranean, specially adapted and further developed for the European neighbours. The purpose of the Partnership is to promote the countries' political association and economic integration with the EU, principally through practical measures to bring about adaptation to EU regulations in various areas, harmonisation of legislation and the building of democratic institutions.
The Partnership is, not least, an instrument for promoting reforms in the partner countries. Respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law is fundamental to the partner countries' deeper integration and cooperation with the EU.The cooperation, and the EU's economic support, are clearly linked to each country's progress on the path of reform, in line with the 'more-for-more' principle (this means that more reforms in a country lead to increased support and commitment on the part of the EU).
The Partnership consists of two tracks: a bilateral track consisting of relations between the EU and each of the countries individually and a multilateral track in which all partner countries, EU Member States and the EU institutions participate.