Monday, 1 April 2013
PACE Ready To Help Ukraine Advance Toward EU Association
KIEV, Ukraine -- Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is ready to provide Ukraine with necessary help in the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, stated PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon during his meeting with the head of Ukraine parliament Volodymyr Rybak, informs the press service of the Ukrainian parliament. Namely, PACE would assist in the implementation of the constitutional reform in Ukraine, advancement of anti-corruption legislation, reforms of public prosecution and law enforcement, as well as justice and election systems. "I am absolutely convinced that Ukraine is willing to fulfill its commitments. Within the framework of these obligations, it would be expedient that the Association Agreement is signed in November this year. We are looking forward for this, since this document is beneficial both to Ukraine and the EU," stated Mignon. He approved of the recently released statement of the Ukrainian parliament regarding Association Agreement (AA). The document includes commitment of the Ukrainian parliament to assure compliance with the recommendations of the EU regarding the signing of the AA. Head of Ukrainian parliament Volodymyr Rybak reassured the PACE official that Ukraine would do everything in its power to join the European family. Rybak admitted that Ukrainian legislation had its flaws and in April and May 2013 the parliament intended to adopt laws corresponding with Ukraine's commitments to the Council of Europe. On March 20, 2013, the EU released a set of recommendations for Ukraine in terms of the reforms to adopt European standards. The recommendations were part of the annual neighborhood package published by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The report mentions the main accomplishments, including initialing of the AA text, adoption of a law on asylum and refugee status, combating money laundering, organized crime, drugs, and human trafficking in Ukraine. At the same time, the authors of the report note poor implementation of the new legislation, cases of selective justice, deterioration of the previously achieved standards during the October 2012 parliamentary elections. Public procurement and budget transparency have been backsliding throughout 2012, pointed out the report. Additionally, recommendations of the EU included stepping up efforts towards implementing the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization.