The Summit of the leaders of the European People’s Party’s (EPP) Eastern Partnership member states was held in at the Gafesjian Modern Arts Center in Yerevan. The summit was attended by President of the Republic of Armenia, President of the Republican Party Serzh Sargsyan, president of the European people’s Party Wilfred Martens, Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili, Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
Opening Remarks by President Serzh Sargsyan at the Summit of the Leaders of the EPP Eastern Partnership member states
Distinguished President of the European People’s Party, Mr. Martens,
Distinguished President of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso,
Distinguished President of Georgia, Mr. Sahakashvili,
Distinguished Prime Minister of Moldova, Mr. Filat,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I cordially welcome all participants of the Yerevan Summit of the Leaders of the EPP Eastern Partnership member states. Welcome to Armenia. This is a truly historic event not only for Armenia, our partner states but also for the European Union and the European People’s Party. It’s been almost a year since in Marseille three Armenian political parties joined the EPP, and today we already have the honor to host in Yerevan the Summit of that influential pan-European party in the format of Eastern Partnership.
I express my thanks to the President of the Party, Mr. Wilfred Martens for establishing this tradition of the EPP-Eastern Partnership Summit. Mr. Martens, throughout your rich political biography, you have proved on many occasions the power of vision. You have made an immense contribution to the formation and strengthening of the European Union. By this initiative of yours, You have provided new opportunities to the political forces of the EU non-member states which adhere to the European system of values.
I also express gratitude to the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, President ofGeorgiaMikheil Sahakashvili and Prime Minister of Moldova Vlad Filat for their participation in this event. I believe, it is not accidental at all that political parties of our three states have joined the EPP family. It manifests first of all commitment and aspirations which bond us to the European Union, regardless of the fact that each of us is building its relations with the EU in its own way.
Just a couple of words about this Hall which has been chosen on purpose. This is the Vardanants Hall of theGafesjianCenter. On this wall, the great Armenian artist Grigor Khanjian pictured one of the most momentous events in the history of our nation: in 451, i.e. almost 16 centuries ago, when we had already been Christians for one hundred fifty years, Armenians had to fight to the death, battling against the attempts to avert them from the Christian faith and deprive them of believing in all-Christian values. In the unequal fight, paying with numerous lives, our ancestors succeeded in preserving our identity, our faith and our system of values. These challenges have been present in the history of our nation for centuries. I trust it is clear why it’s been so important for us to join the great family of the European People’s Party, whose activities are based on the pan-European system of values and imperative of democracy.
As it was reiterated in the EPP Bucharest Manifesto, our political family is the force behind the Eurointegration, the advocate and implementer of reforms.
The EPP has a great role in the development of the Eastern Partnership and making it a new link of Eurointegration. It is vividly proved by theSummitinBatumiand our today’s meeting. I am confident that discussions to be held today will bring their substantial input to the implementation of the joint objectives of the European People’s Party and Eastern Partnership.
I once again welcome you all to Armenia. Now I ask President Martens to chair the Summit.”