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Brussels, 29 August 2013
Ukraine: With opposition leaders on European reforms
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with three leaders from the Ukrainian parliamentary opposition: Vitaliy Klichko (UDAR), Oleh Tiahnybok (Svoboda) and Arseniy Yatsenyuk (Batkivshyna) to take stock of the EU reform related agenda and of the outstanding issues which Ukraine needs to address with a view to enabling the signing of the Association Agreement/DCFTA with the EU. This is what he said at the press conference after the meeting:
'This has been actually Ukrainian week here in Brussels, in the European institutions, and rightly so, this only shows how much attention we pay to this important neighbour and how committed we are to the shared ambition to sign the Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November and create the conditions for it. And I was very happy to have here today leaders of three opposition parties who clearly associate themselves with the EU agenda and who support that in their work particularly in Verkhovna Rada.
Two days ago, after the meeting with Andriy Klyuyev I recalled that Ukraine needs to show determined action and tangible progress on all the benchmarks so that the EU could sign the Association Agreement in Vilnius.
This includes the resolution of the outstanding case of selective justice, particularly the one remaining case of Yulia Tymoshenko and further reform of the judiciary; the improvement of the electoral legislation, the reform of the General Prosecutor's office and also improvements to the business climate. And, at that meeting I also recalled the particular responsibility of the government of Ukraine to prepare a quality draft legislation to be later on discussed and adopted by Verkhovna Rada.
Today with opposition leaders we have discussed their part in this process. Because it is crucial to have their support for all the necessary reforms.
Critical legislative work needs to be carried out in the Verkhovna Rada by all political parties in early autumn. Time is of essence, I have underlined that on Tuesday and I have underlined it again today, as the EU will assess Ukraine's implementation of the benchmarks already in October.
I asked the three opposition leaders for their constructive engagement on European agenda. And I am glad that they´ve expressed unequivocal willingness to support legislative acts required for the signing of Association Agreement. And my message on that occasion was, that , despite the pressure of time, one would expect a full-fledged process in Verkhovna Rada where there is going to be time not only for voting but also for a due consideration.
The process of Ukraine's political association and economic integration with the EU should be an inclusive endeavour. It needs a broad consensus on the EU reform oriented agenda with constructive contributions of both government and opposition as well as with the civil society. That is why I look forward to participating in inclusive political roundtable on this matter at the occasion of my next visit to Kyiv.'