_MEPs and MPs determined to bring Kyiv closer to the EU
September 23, 2018.
Following MEPs visit to Ukraine on 17-20 September on the occasion of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee meeting, the Chair of the delegation Dariusz Rosati stated:
"We held the 8th meeting of our joint committee with the Verkhovna Rada in Western Ukraine – Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and the Carpathian region, and focused on the issues which are of particular importance for the people living in these areas: regional economic development, including with the help of the EU through cross-border cooperation projects with EU countries, minorities, decentralisation.
We reiterated our unwavering support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, condemning Russian aggression in the east of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea. We regretted the lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and called the Russian Federation and the separatists it backs to fully honour their commitments. We encouraged the Ukrainian MPs to prolong the Donbas special status law expiring on 10 October 2018. Taking into consideration the upcoming elections both in Ukraine and European Parliament, we discussed with our counterparts in the Ukrainian Parliament the achievements which, in our view, should be consolidated and the shortcomings that can still be overcome in the next few months, while acknowledging and welcoming the progress made in numerous areas.
In this respect, we encouraged all sides to step up efforts in order to adopt the new electoral law in second reading as soon as possible. We also expressed hope that the renewed Central Electoral Commission will swiftly enable the local elections planned for the autumn to take place, to ensure the further continuation of the highly positive decentralisation process. We stressed that the good achievements made in the field of anti-corruption should not be jeopardised by attacks on the independence and doubts about the integrity of these institutions, and that the High Anti-Corruption Court should be swiftly set up. Regarding the implementation of the Association Agreement, we highlighted the need to tackle in priority a few areas which are crucial for the modernisation of the country and for attracting foreign investments – such as taxation, customs, intellectual property rights and transport.
This meeting confirmed the excellent level of cooperation and interaction with our partners in the Verkhovna Rada, as reflected in the joint final statement and recommendations adopted by unanimity. We stressed in all our meetings with local authorities, students, business representatives, our strong determination to bring forward the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU. It is of crucial importance that we continue raising awareness on the concrete benefits of this close partnership for all citizens.”