EU ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT INITIALLED, BUT...

30.03.12


The EU press office has issued a short statement about the initialling of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, as follows:

"At the 15th EU-Ukraine Summit in December 2011, the leaders of the European Union and Ukraine announced that they had finalized negotiations on an Association Agreement aimed at establishing political association and economic integration between the European Union and Ukraine. This Agreement will replace the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement, in force since 1998, as the contractual basis of their relations. At the Summit, the leaders also instructed their Chief Negotiators to initial the Agreement as soon as possible.

Today the Chief Negotiators of the European Union and Ukraine initialled the text of the Association Agreement, which will include provisions on the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area as an integral part. In this context, Chief Trade Negotiators from both sides confirmed their agreement, reached on 22 December 2011, on the substance of the DCFTA, undertaking to complete the legal verification of the text, including technical annexes and protocols.

Both sides expressed their common commitment to undertake further technical steps, required to prepare conclusion of the Association Agreement."

However, the visit to Ukraine of two PACE rapporteurs, monitoring Ukraine's progress towards implementing their January recommendations, was less positive. The rapporteurs, Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE) and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin (Sweden, EPP/CD), said that political abuse of the judicial system continued to cast a shadow over Ukraine's European aspirations. PACE has not ruled out sanctions against Ukraine if the situation does not improve.



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