Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to open our meeting by stating that it takes place in important political circumstances marked with the change of seasons in Ukraine – EU relations.
Our relations witnessed the longest ever winter throughout the whole 2012. Winter ended at Ukraine – EU Summit this February.
Finally, on Sunday the long anticipated decision of the President of Ukraine marked the beginning of spring.
This decision shows that Ukraine is doing its best in order to prove its commitment to political association and economic integration with the EU.
At the same time, however important and symbolical current achievements are they should not be the reason for self-satisfaction.
We know where we need to demonstrate more progress in all the three areas (reform of judiciary, improvement of electoral legislation, overall implementation of the Association Agenda) and we are already delivering.
In order to ensure political steering and assessment of day-to-day progress we have established informal monitoring mechanism at the level of senior officials. The first comprehensive conclusions on the progress achieved should be made in May.
Currently all the executive authorities of Ukraine are mobilized to provide the necessary tangible progress and the main reason for that is a common understanding of strategic importance of Ukraine – EU Association Agreement.
I dare to say that from the point of view of Europe’s history, the Association Agreement for Ukraine is as significant as the fall of the Berlin Wall for Germany.
It is relevant from both the political and economic dimensions.