KYIV, Ukraine – The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Fuele named three key benefits for Ukraine if it signed the Association Agreement with the EU: fundamental reforms, economic development, and public services improvement. Such statement was made public at the meeting of the Ukraine – EU Parliamentary Club that started July 5 in Strasbourg, France.
“Firstly, this [Association Agreement signing] will set Ukraine onto the course of reforms in accordance with the European legislation. Secondly, this will create new opportunities for economic development and investment, and, thirdly, this will help achieve those most important, shared by the Ukrainians ambitions for mobility and modernization of the public services,” said Štefan Fuele during the Ukraine – EU Parliamentary Club meeting.
During the meeting the European Commissioner Štefan Fuele and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, who is currently the Chairman of Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe, also discussed the importance of interparliamentary cooperation for the implementation of the mentioned reforms in Ukraine. “We hope the European Parliament will be the union of all friends of Ukraine,” noted Hryshchenko.
Ukraine – EU Parliamentary Club was created in May 2011 following the initiative by the European Parliament members Aleksandr Mirskis, Latvia, and Boguslaw Liberadski, Poland. The Club consists of 35 European Parliament members and 33 members of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliamentary body. Notably, the Ukrainian parliamentarians represent members of both the ruling party and the opposition.
The negotiations on the Association Agreement – an instrument of the European Neighbourhood Policy – between the EU and Ukraine started back in 2007, and the negotiations on the Free Trade Zone Agreement followed in early 2008. The EU and Ukraine multiple times stated their intention to finalize the Free Trade Agreement by the end of 2011.
European Neighbourhood Policy is a foreign policy of the European Union with an objective to avoid the emergence of new dividing lines between the EU and its neighbours. The Policy was established in 2004 to strengthen stability, endorse security, and stimulate prosperity in the 16 closest neighboring countries: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine.