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Kiev, 7 February 2013
Remarks by Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, to the press after the meeting with members of the Ukrainian Government
This is my seventh visit to Ukraine but for the first time I participated in a unique event meeting with key members of government whose portfolios relate to the European agenda. This is a unique moment and unique testimony of the special relations we have.
My message I brought from Brussels is very clear: It is time for Ukraine to take its place among those countries that are shaping and actively facing global challenges together. It is time to join the fellowship of trust and confidence. We have a window of opportunity to move forward. But time is short.
The European Union is committed to signing the Association Agreement, including the part on economic integration called DCFTA, provided there is determined action and tangible progress on the three key issues: selective justice, shortcomings of the October elections and advancing Association Agenda reforms. If there is delivery, the signature is within reach, possibly by the time of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit in Vilnius in November.
We have been talking about the roadmap between now and the Vilnius summit on what needs to be done. I talked about it not only here but also in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and also to both Presidents Cox and Kwasniewski about their mission which has been extended. It is important that there is tangible progress and that the Ukrainian side provides this mission with substantial assistance.
Today I repeated over and over again that 2013 is a year of opportunities. It is a year not only to intensify the relations between Ukraine and the European Union, but also to strengthen the political, economic and legal base of our cooperation.
All these years we have been preparing for and talking about getting Ukraine closer to the European Union. Now we have concrete program how to do it and how to build more EU in Ukraine.
After several recent setbacks in Ukraine, there is a need to regain confidence that Ukraine could emerge as a modern European country.
So, I focused together with the Prime Minister and his key ministers on the government’s commitment to undertake the necessary measures and to take stock of progress in view of the upcoming EU-Ukraine Summit in Brussels on 25 February.