The EU-Ukraine association agreement should be initialled without delay, and preferably before the end of this year, said Parliament in a resolution voted on Thursday. EU governments should therefore give the agreement their green light at the summit of 8-9 December, it adds. While urging Ukraine to review the conviction of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, MEPs argue that the agreement could serve as a lever to bring about the changes needed in the country.
Parliament's recommendation, drafted by Ryszard Antoni Legutko (ECR, PL), stresses that the deepening of relations between the EU and Ukraine is in the interests of both parties but warns against the selective use of justice and urges Ukraine to respect human rights and the rule of law. Ms Tymoshenko and other opposition leaders should be allowed to participate fully in politics, it says.
MEPs also say it should be possible to suspend the agreement temporarily should basic fundamental principles be breached. They also call on Ukraine to make the former communist secret service archives public. The House wants the recently-postponed meeting with President Yanukovych to go ahead.
The negotiations on the association agreement, which is intended to significantly deepen Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU, was recently set back by the arrest of Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
In a resolution of 27 October 2011, Parliament condemned the use of the judiciary as a tool political revenge and warned that a failure to review Ms Tymoshenko's conviction could jeopardise the prospects of concluding and ratifying an EU-Ukraine association agreement.
The recommendations will be forwarded to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service. After the Council takes a political decision on initialling the agreement and following a joint proposal by Commission and EEAS, it will be signed and passed on to Parliament for its formal consent and to each Member States for ratification. If all goes well, the agreement could enter the ratification stage by the end of 2012.
Procedure: Non legislative resolution