MEPS will meet with parliamentarians from the EU's Eastern Partners in Baku, Azerbaijan, to discuss how they could work together on energy, trade and human rights issues. The meeting on 2-4 April will be the second ordinary session of the parliamentary assembly of Euronest, a forum to promote political and economic integration between the EU and Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Formed in May 2011, Euronest's parliamentary assembly is chaired by two co-presidents: Borys Tarasuk, former foreign minister of Ukraine, and Bulgarian Social-Democrat MEP Kristian Vigenin. Mr Vigenin commented: "I am very optimistic that this multilateral format will also benefit bilateral contacts between our member countries."
Mr Vigenin said that one of the topics they would focus on would be challenges for the future of democracy, including the question of free and independent media.
For political reasons, Belarus is not a member of Euronest at the moment, however it will be discussed by a working group at the meeting. Mr Vigenin said: "We are trying to continue the dialogue with representatives from Belarus, especially with opposition and civil society, but full participation of Belarus in our assembly will only be possible when free and fair elections take place in the country."
In Baku committees on energy security, social affairs, political affairs and economic integration are also going to meet.
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