by Mr David McALLISTER, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Mr Dariusz ROSATI, Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC),
Mr Michael GAHLER, AFET standing rapporteur on Ukraine
on the entry into force of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine.
Brussels, 1st September 2017. Today marks a historic moment in the relations between the European Union and Ukraine, as the ambitious and comprehensive EU-Ukraine Association Agreement finally enters fully into force. It took ten years since the launch of the negotiations until this day – a long and bumpy path that led through Maidan when thousands of citizens stood up for the Dignity of Ukraine and for this Agreement itself to become reality – for some of them even for the cost of their lives.
This Agreement offers the most ambitious framework to date for building a closer relationship and an enhanced cooperation between the EU and Ukraine in a variety of fields, starting from economic and trade relations up to transport, energy, education, as well as foreign and security policy, legal cooperation and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. One of the major consequences of the Agreement will be the gradual approximation of the Ukrainian legislation, norms and standards with the EU ones. We have no doubt that this will decisively contribute to giving a strong impetus to the much needed modernisation and democratisation of Ukraine, with tangible benefits for every citizen.
A full implementation of the Agreement should therefore be the top priority of our bilateral relations in the coming future. We congratulate the Ukrainian authorities for the efforts already deployed to ensure the Agreement’s implementation and call on them to step up these efforts. We, as representatives of the European Parliament, will continue pushing for the EU assistance to be geared towards helping Ukraine implementing this ambitious agreement. We will also pursue our intensive cooperation with the Verkhovna Rada, which plays a crucial role in implementing and overseeing the Agreement.