European Parliament and Verkhovna Rada extend their partnership
Following the successful end of the second Jean Monnet Dialogue, Mr. Andrij Parubiy the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and, on behalf of EP President Antonio Tajani, Mr Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) exchanged letters on Thursday to confirm the extension of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parliaments on cooperation and capacity building.
The MoU provides the political framework for the democracy support activities with Ukraine and specifically with the Verkhovna Rada. The 2nd Jean Monnet Dialogue for peace and democracy took place in Irpin, near Kiev, on 18 to 19 April 2017. This is a consensus-building process for the Speaker and all faction leaders focussing mostly on institutional reform of Verkhovna Rada. This dialogue followed up on the conclusions of the first meeting held in October 2016 at the historic Jean Monnet House outside of Paris and addressed the rights and responsibilities of all factions in the opposition in the Verkhovna Rada (detailed conclusions attached).
The EP was represented by Mr Elmar Brok, lead MEP on democracy support activities for Ukraine, and former EP President Pat Cox author of the Report and Roadmap on the reform of the Verkhovna Rada. The Ukrainian participants were convened by the Speaker Mr Parubiy and included the leaders or their representatives of the 8 factions and groups of the Verkhovna Rada.
At the press conference, the Speaker Mr Andrij Parubiy, Mr Elmar Brok and former EP President Pat Cox made the following statements:
Speaker Andrij Parubiy stated: "In announcing the successful outcome of the second Jean Monnet Dialogue, I would personally and sincerely like to thank our partners in the European Parliament for encouraging and facilitating this consensus-building process. I can announce that all 8 factions and groups of the Verkhovna as well as myself have signed these conclusions which commit all of us on equal basis to taking the next steps in our commitment to reform of our institution."
Mr Elmar Brok stated: "I am here on behalf of President Tajani to extend the Memorandum of Understanding, to confirm to you once more that Ukraine is a high priority for the European Parliament, and to confirm that President Tajani will pay a visit to Ukraine at the earliest opportunity. What you achieve here in the Verkhovna Rada is vital for the democratic future of Ukraine and represents an important symbol of hope for the whole region."
Former EP President Pat Cox stated: "I am honoured to work with the Speaker and leaders of the factions and their representatives on the Jean Monnet Dialogue and process of consensus building for reform. Dialogue is a long term process that is only successful if you can maintain the determination that I have witnessed in our first two meetings and start the step-by-step process of institutional reform. As you have heard from Mr Elmar Brok on behalf of President Tajani, the European Parliament is fully committed to be your partner on this democratic journey."
Note for the editors
The first Jean Monnet Dialogue for peace and democracy was launched at the historic Jean Monnet House, Bazoches, France in October 2016. For more information on the Jean Monnet Dialogue process contact Gerrard Quille, Head of EP Mediation Support service (+32 473 525072).