The fifth Eastern Partnership summit will take place in Brussels on 24 November. This programme is perceived differently today by Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova.
The countries of Eastern European and China have been increasingly interested in deepening bilateral contacts over the past few years. In the case of Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova this has been caused by the bad economic situation which was in part caused by the consequences of the global economic crisis of 2008 and the desire to establish closer political relations with a country whose significance on the international arena is continually growing. Each of these countries has different expectations regarding the scale and the nature of co-operation with China.
Clear qualitative changes have taken place in relations between the European Union and its Eastern neighbours over the past year. The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has been playing a significant part in the context of these changes
The EU enlargement is scheduled to take place in 2004. After this date, it should be a priority for the EU to develop a coherent and comprehensive policy towards its nearest neighbours, i.e. countries bordering the Member States, which cannot join the EU in the nearest future due to their location or weaknesses of their political and economic systems