Under the co-chairmanship of Mr. Petro Poroshenko on behalf of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and of Mr. Paweł Kowal on behalf of the European Parliament the Twentieth Meeting of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) was held in Brussels on 14 November 2013
Post-Vilnius agenda for EU – Ukraine relations
Under the co-chairmanship of Mr. Petro Poroshenko on behalf of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and of Mr. Paweł Kowal on behalf of the European Parliament the Twentieth Meeting of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) was held in Brussels on 14 November 2013.
The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, having considered the state of play of the EU-Ukraine relations following the Sixteenth EU-Ukraine Summit (25 February 2013, Brussels) and in the run up to the Third Eastern Partnership Summit (28-29 November 2013, Vilnius) agreed upon the following Joint Statement.
The Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC):
- Believes that further deepening of EU-Ukraine integration on the basis of the Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, is of mutual interest. Underlines that, in addition, the Association Agreement represents a unique instrument for Ukraine’s modernisation in line with high economic and social standards of the EU.
- Notes some progress achieved by Ukraine in the implementation of the Association Agreement criteria, specified in the Conclusions of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council.
- Expresses its full support for the European Parliament's monitoring mission to Ukraine, headed by former Presidents Aleksander Kwasniewski and Pat Cox, including the need for attention to lawsuits that are of particular concern.
- Expects the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement to be signed at the Third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius on 29 November 2013 provided that all criteria of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council are fulfilled as well as early launch of provisional application of the Agreement. Confirms mutual commitment of the European Parliament and of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the earliest possible ratification of the Association Agreement.
- Welcomes wide consensus in the society and among political forces in Ukraine regarding the European aspirations and the European choice. Calls upon the political forces represented in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to preserve existing consolidation around the issues of European integration as a valuable momentum creating favourable environment for efficient and coordinated efforts in bringing Ukraine closer to the European Union.
- Underlines that the core post-Vilnius agenda for Ukraine should imply proper and dedicated implementation of the Association Agreement. To this end calls upon the Government of Ukraine to finalize in close consultation with the EU and adopt the National programme of implementation of the Association Agreement.
- Underlines joint responsibility of Ukraine and the EU for successful and full implementation of the Association Agreement. In light of decision of EU-Ukraine Summit of 25 February 2013 expects Ukraine and the EU to hold comprehensive consultations on adaptation of future EU assistance to the needs of proper implementation of future Association Agreement including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
- Welcomes recent settlement of the situation around the inconclusive results of the last parliamentary elections in Ukraine in five single-mandate constituencies. Expects the re-elections in those constituencies, scheduled for 15 December 2013, to be conducted in a free, transparent and democratic manner in accordance with relevant international standards.
- Considers that the practical implementation in Ukraine of the rule of law is crucial to the prospects for further integration of Ukraine to the EU and is one of the critical elements underpinning the Association Agreement. In this regard, stresses the need for constitutional reform which should result in the establishment of a balanced and functional system of governance with proper checks and balances, as well as fulfilment of timely, transparent and comprehensive reform of the judiciary, prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in line with European standards.
- Expresses its concern towards the recent unfriendly trade measures taken by Russia against Ukrainian exports which were considered as pressure on Ukraine, aimed against the sovereignty of the country. Underlines the need to refrain from undue political interference and pressure.
- Expects the EU to be forward-looking and strategic in terms of alleviating consequences of Russian pressure on the Eastern Partnership states and in particular Ukraine. To this end the EU should grant Ukraine substantial support in assisting to resume Ukraine – IMF cooperation; increasing volumes of financial and technical support programmes, de-freezing budget support programmes; granting EU Macro-financial assistance to Ukraine; wider opening of EU markets for the goods and services from Ukraine; increasing information campaign on the benefits of the Association Agreement for Ukraine, the EU and the Russian Federation.
- Notes that as a transit country Ukraine remains a reliable partner of the EU, willing and able to ensure stable and secure gas flows to Europe. In this context welcomes commitment of Ukraine and the EU to promote energy cooperation based on principles of solidarity and mutual benefit which are the founding ones for the Energy Community. Looks forward to earliest possible disbursement by the International Financial Institutions of the first loan for the emergency gas transit project “Reconstruction of Line Facilities of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod Natural Gas pipeline, first stage” which will launch practical EU-supported modernisation of Ukrainian GTS.
- Underlines the importance of developing by Ukraine its Energy Strategy by 2030 in line with its European Energy Community obligations; calls for continuation of gas and electricity market reforms as well as an adequate share of energy from renewable sources by 2020;
- Underlines the importance of ensuring the free movement of Ukrainian citizens to the EU Member States as a prerequisite for strengthening of the European integration moods in Ukrainian society. Calls on the Ukraine to finalize all necessary legislative procedures prior to the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius; the EU Council to take the earliest possible decision regarding completion of the first and moving on to the final phase of implementation of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan. Also calls upon Member States to fully protect the social rights of Ukrainian citizens legally residing in the Member States of the European Union.
- Believes that credible European perspective in line with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union should constitute an important incentive to stimulate further reforms. Looks forward to the Third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November 2013 as an opportunity to provide for a conceptual breakthrough of the Eastern Partnership and expects the Summit to be effectively prepared with proper engagement of the Partner States and due attention to their respective positions.
- Expresses full support and positive assessment of the progress in implementation of Ukraine’s priorities as Chairman-in-office of the OSCE. Welcomes determined efforts of Ukrainian Chairmanship with a view of institutional strengthening of the Organization as well as progress in conflict resolution, in particular within 5+2 talks on Transnistrian settlement.
- With a sense of deep sorrow commemorates victims of Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-1933 and urges European Union member countries to condemn criminal actions of USSR totalitarian regime, aimed at organisation of Holodomor - genocide of Ukrainians, as well as to commemorate millions of victims of Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-1933, in particular, during formal events of the Eastern Partnership summit on the 28-29 of November, in Vilnius.
- Intends to hold the next meeting of EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Committee in Ukraine in March 2014.