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EU Ambassador in Ukraine spoke with students of the South and West about European perspective of Ukraine

March 19, 2014.

    On 13th of March, 2014, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Jan Tombinski hold an online discussion with university students and activists of the EU Information Centers (EUis) in Kherson and Ternopil. During the online video bridge the EU Ambassador spoke about current state of EU-Ukraine relations and prospects of further cooperation in the context of existing challenges.
    The online discussion of the EU Delegation to Ukraine in regions was organized with the support of EUis, that operate on the basis of Ternopil National Economic University and Kherson State University (KSU). Participants of the event in Kherson were students of all 13 KSU faculties (about 150 people), as well as professors and staff of the University. The video bridge in Ternopil coincided with the International scientific and practical conference of young scientists. Therefore, apart from citizens of Ternopil and heads of local authorities, 272 representatives from 10 countries (France, Germany, Serbia, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Georgia) participated in the online dialogue with the EU Ambassador. Such web cast was held for the first time. During a live stream participants were tolerant to each other; they were taking turns in asking questions they were interested in.
    Opening the discussion with students, Jan Tombinski emphasized that now we must talk more about Ukrainian values and policy which should enhance the sovereignty of Ukraine and its people. “Only Ukrainians should decide county’s development strategy. Europe, in its turn, is ready to help with money and expertise to promote stability, economic prosperity and modernization of Ukraine in the next years,” said the Ambassador.
    During the video bridge the EU Ambassador in Ukraine Jan Tombinski said that the political part of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU may be signed before the presidential elections on May 25, 2014. Refuting some myths and stereotypes on signing the Association Agreement, the Ambassador noted that the Agreement is not the last stage of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine. “In accordance with Art.49 of the Treaty on European Union, each country that applies to join the EU must be able to assume obligations of the EU. The EU should be confident that Ukraine is ready to comply with these requirements: first of all, it is a guarantee of democracy and rule of law, protection of human rights, combating corruption, and functioning market economy. These are general fundamentals of modern society,” Jan Tombinski pointed out.
    The Ambassador also informed participants about the reduction of tariffs on Ukrainian export to the EU. “Opening doors for export from Ukraine gives a real boost to the development of Ukrainian business. It will have a real impact on daily lives of all country’s citizens. Tariffs reduction will result in annual economic benefit for Ukraine that will amount to 500 million euros," concluded Jan Tombinski.
    Apart from the mentioned issues, participants were interested how EU will act to solve the military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Jan Tombinski emphasized that it is a question of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. He assured that the EU is doing its best to avoid such development of events. Students were also asking about visa-free regime, investment in education, career prospects in the European labor market.
    The online bridge with the students in Kherson and Ternopil is a part of “Building Europe in Ukraine” information campaign. The campaign embraces a series of informative and educating events (public events, street initiatives, seminars, trainings, round-tables) that will be conducted during the year by the EU Delegation to Ukraine. The campaign is aimed at spreading European values and raising citizens’ awareness on the EU-Ukraine relations.
    For more details, please, contact Victoria Davydova, Press and Information Officer of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, to get more details about “Building Europe in Ukraine” information campaign: tel. +38044-390-80-10, or e-mail: victoria.davydova@eeas.europa.eu.

Supported by Eurasia Foundation Supported by Eurasia Foundation