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Brussels, 22 November 2010
14th EU-Ukraine Summit joint press statement
1. The 14th EU-Ukraine Summit took place in Brussels on 22 November, 2010. The European Union (EU) was represented by Mr Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Mr José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Ukraine was represented by President Viktor Yanukovych.
2. The leaders recalled that EU-Ukraine relations are based on common values and a common history and that the EU has acknowledged Ukraine's European aspirations and welcomed its European choice. They noted that the depth of the EU-Ukraine relationship will be determined by the implementation of reforms and by further consolidation of common values.
3. The parties discussed the issue of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democratic values and the rule of law based on an independent and impartial judiciary. They stressed in particular the importance of a free media. Following the recent local elections, the leaders recalled the need for further strengthening of democratic development in Ukraine in particular the electoral framework.
4. The leaders took note of the recent constitutional developments in Ukraine. The EU side encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to undertake constitutional reform in an inclusive and comprehensive manner in close cooperation with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.
5. The leaders expressed their satisfaction at the progress achieved in EU-Ukraine relations. In this regard they stressed the importance of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement which is currently being negotiated. They reiterated their common commitment to establishing a deep and comprehensive free trade area between Ukraine and the EU with a view to providing for gradual integration of Ukraine’s into the EU’s internal market. They looked forward to the conclusion of negotiations as soon as possible while retaining the quality and viability of the Association Agreement.
6. The leaders welcomed important reforms taken by Ukraine notably in the economic sphere to ensure an early return to growth and competitiveness. They heralded the agreement reached with the IMF on a Standby Loan for Ukraine based upon a macro-economic stability programme. For its part, the Ukrainian side welcomed the EU’s commitment to provide additional support through a macro-financial assistance package of €610 million. Both sides expressed their commitment to a swift conclusion of negotiations on the associated Memorandum of Understanding. The leaders also stressed the importance of further efforts to combat corruption and to improve the business and investment climate. They noted the key role the Public Procurement Law, adopted earlier in the year, could play in this regard. The EU will continue to support Ukraine in advancing its reform agenda.
7. The leaders warmly welcomed the Action Plan towards visa liberalisation for Ukraine. The Action Plan sets out all technical conditions to be met by Ukraine in order to progress towards the establishment of a visa free regime as a long term perspective for short stay travel for Ukrainian citizens. Its implementation will start now and will be systematically monitored by both sides.
8. The EU heralded Ukraine’s signature of the accession Protocol to the Energy Community following the adoption of a law on the Principles of Functioning of the Natural Gas Market and looked forward to its imminent accession to that body. The leaders expressed their confidence that the reforms required by the Energy Community Treaty would significantly strengthen the transparency, competitiveness and sustainability of the sector. The EU will continue to support Ukraine in enhancing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, implementing the necessary reforms to modernize its energy sector in line with its commitments under the Energy Community Treaty as well as the conditions envisaged in the Joint Declaration of the EU-Ukraine international conference on modernisation of Ukraine’s gas transit system of March, 2009.
9. The leaders welcomed the initiative of the President of Ukraine to hold the international conference on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe in Kyiv in spring 2011 in order to mobilize support for the completion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant projects.
10. The leaders also welcomed signature at the Summit of a Protocol allowing Ukraine to participate in EU programmes which will further support regulatory and administrative reform, thereby promoting sectoral integration through convergence of Ukrainian policies with EU norms, standards and best practices. The Protocol paves the way for participation in EU programmes in areas such as business and entrepreneurship, energy and information, communication and technology.
11. The leaders discussed the EU’s continuing support for Ukraine in particular through the Eastern Partnership and welcomed Ukraine’s active engagement in this initiative. They looked forward in particular to the start of Comprehensive Institution Building support to assist Ukraine in public administration reform and notably in the areas of state aids control, sanitary and phyto-sanitary control, migration and coordination of the legislative programme in Ukraine. They also discussed the preparation of the forthcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in May in Budapest.
12. The leaders discussed international and regional issues of common interest, in particular relations with Belarus, Russia as well as the Transnistria settlement in the Republic of Moldova. As partners in the 5 + 2 Transnistria settlement format, they agreed to continue their close co-operation underlining that the unconditional resumption of formal 5 + 2 talks remained a shared goal for both. They expect progress on this matter on the occasion of the OSCE Summit in Astana on 1-2 December 2010. The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in fighting against the acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia. In this regard, the EU welcomed the participation of Ukraine in the EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta and looked forward to its further contribution.