Procedure : 2010/2934(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0671/2010

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 24/11/2010 - 19
CRE 24/11/2010 - 19

Votes :

PV 25/11/2010 - 8.12
CRE 25/11/2010 - 8.12

Texts adopted :


PDF 136kWORD 83k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0650/2010

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on Ukraine

Adrian Severin, Hannes Swoboda, Marek Siwiec, Kristian Vigenin on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on Ukraine  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on Ukraine, in particular its resolution of 25 February 2010,


–       having regard to the Joint Declaration on the Eastern Partnership launched in Prague on 7 May 2009,


–       having regard to the Statement and Recommendations of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, which met on 3 - 5 November 2010,


–       having regard to Ukraine's membership of the World Trade Organisation since March 2008,


–       having regard to Ukraine's accession to the Energy Community Treaty, approved by the ECT Ministerial Council held in Zagreb in December 2009,


–       having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Union and Ukraine, which entered into force on 1 March 1998, and to the ongoing negotiations on the Association Agreement (AA) designed to replace the PCA,


–       having regard to the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda, replacing the Action Plan and endorsed by the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council in June 2009,


–       having regard to the agreement between the European Community and Ukraine on visa facilitation, signed on 18 June 2007, which entered into force on 1 January 2008, and the EU-Ukraine visa dialogue launched in October 2008,


–       having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a dialogue on regional policy and development of regional cooperation between the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction of Ukraine and the European Commission, signed on 22 July 2009,


–       having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)(1),


–       having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy between the European Union and Ukraine, signed on 1 December 2005,


–       having regard to the last-minute changes to the Ukrainian electoral law passed by the Verkhovna Rada in June 2010, shortly before the holding of the local elections,


–       having regard to the European Parliament EU-Ukraine PCC Members' delegation to Ukraine observing local and regional elections of 31 October 2010,


–       having regard to the National Indicative Programme 2011-2013 for Ukraine,


–       having regard to the results of recent EU-Ukraine Summits, including the recognition by EU-Ukraine 2008 Summit in Paris of Ukraine as a European country which shares a common history and common values with the countries of the European Union, and the conclusions of EU-Ukraine Summit held in Kiev on 4 December 2009,


–       having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas Ukraine is a neighbour of strategic importance to the EU; whereas its size, resources, population and geographical location give Ukraine a distinctive position in Europe and make it a key regional actor,


B.  whereas Ukraine is a European state and, pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, may apply for membership of the EU like any European state that adheres to the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law,


C.  whereas local and regional elections have taken place in Ukraine on 31 October 2010; whereas criticisms have been expressed by national and international observers about some aspects of the organisation of these elections, in particular with respect to the electoral law, as well with regard to the procedures of adopting the law as with regard of some specific contents of this law,


D.  whereas the EU favours a stable and democratic Ukraine that respects the principles of the social market economy, the rule of law, human rights and the protection of minorities and that guarantees fundamental rights; whereas Ukraine's domestic political stability and focus on internal reform is a prerequisite for the further development of relations between the EU and Ukraine,


E.  whereas, since the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has regrettably lost more than five years in properly addressing its major constitutional and institutional deficits, especially in solving the conflicts of competence between the President and Prime Minister; whereas, as a consequence, important reform projects in the public, economic and social sectors have been delayed, inconsistently implemented or not completed at all,


F.  whereas allegations have been made that democratic freedoms, such as freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the media, have come under pressure in recent months,


G.  whereas – following the decision by the Constitutional Court to declare the 2007 amendments to the Constitution illegal - Ukraine must proceed to an overall constitutional reform in order to establish a viable and efficient system of checks and balances to define a clear distribution of competences between the President, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada,


H.  whereas EU-Ukraine relations have made substantial progress in the last years in general, and in particular in the areas of foreign and security policy and trade, financial, economic and energy matters,


I.  whereas Ukraine's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) marks an important step in its acceptance of international and European economic standards and of enhanced trade links with the EU; whereas considerable progress has been made in the negotiations on the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free-Trade Area (DCFTA) as an integral part of the Association Agreement,


J.  whereas the accession of Ukraine to the Energy Community Treaty is of great importance for all parties,


1.  Stresses that Ukraine has strong historical, cultural and economic links to the European Union and that it is one of the Union’s key partners in its Eastern neighbourhood, exerting an important influence on the security, stability and prosperity of the whole continent;


2.  Welcomes the repeated statements by the Ukrainian political and state leadership on its aspirations with regard to the path of European integration and its long-term ambition to become a Member State of the European Union; notes that this aim continues to be supported by a consensus of all actors on its political stage;


3.  Welcomes the efforts made by the current governing coalition to re-establish political stability in Ukraine, which is an essential condition for the consolidation of democracy in the country; notes that a lasting political stability can only be ensured through constitutional changes that establish a clear separation of powers, as well as a proper system of checks and balances between and within the executive, legislative and judicial branches of power;


4.  Stresses that this situation of greater stability makes it possible for the current government to carry out a policy of active and systematic reforms in a number of important sectors of Ukraine’s economic and social life which are also of great importance for making progress in the country's European integration process; points out that considerable reforms have already been started with the adoption of a new tax code and new legislation on financial procurement, the strengthening of the financial markets and the modernisation of the energy sector;


5.  Notes that international observers stated that the elections were mostly conducted in a gentle and well organised manner, but that several shortcomings have been noticed with the most disturbing fact that opposition parties could not effectively take part in the elections in three oblasts; notes that particular concern was expressed about the electoral law which had been adopted shortly before the launching of the electoral process and which did not allow for a proper preparation of the electoral process;


6.  Stresses that the regular last-minute changes of the election rules and the continuing discussions about the application of these election rules create an atmosphere of unnecessary controversy around all elections; therefore welcomes that a draft for a Unified Election Code has now been tabled for adoption in the Verkhovna Rada; welcomes in this context the readiness expressed by President Yanukovych to draw lessons from the local elections and advance on the adoption of this Electoral Code; stresses that electoral reform should be conducted through a transparent and participative process and should ensure that a revised electoral framework is in place well ahead of parliamentary elections; urges the Ukrainian authorities to take up the offers for support by the institutions of the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to come to a law which is fully in line with European standards; urges the authorities to adopt a law on political party financing that is in line with European standards and to consider the possibility of state funding for political parties to decrease their dependence on economic interests;


7.  Expects that the parties of the opposition and their political leaders will in good faith ensure and promote a system of effective checks and balances towards the work of the government; therefore appeals on the opposition to demonstrate a concrete will to ensure a basis of sincere and constructive cooperation with the government on the main objectives of development, reforms and external policies of Ukraine; also calls on the opposition to refrain from any actions which are just aimed at disturbing the decision-making capacity of the Verkhovna Rada;


8.  Calls upon the authorities and opposition to jointly implement a constitutional reform package that addresses the current shortcomings, as well as the underlying causes of the systemic political instability in Ukraine; calls upon the parties of the government and the opposition to fully involve all sectors of the civil society in the discussions about the constitutional reforms and to conduct them in a spirit of harmony and cooperation; urges the parties to closely cooperate with the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission);


9.  Expresses its concern about the increasing number of allegations that democratic freedoms, such as freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the media, have come under pressure in recent months; therefore calls upon the authorities to investigate all allegations of infringements of rights and freedoms and remedy any violations found; in addition, recommends that the authorities review any decision or appointment that could lead to conflict of interest, especially in the field of law enforcement and the judiciary;


10.  Is concerned about recent developments that could undermine the freedom and pluralism of the media; calls upon the authorities to take all necessary measures to protect these essential aspects of a democratic society and to refrain from any attempts to control, directly or indirectly, the content of the reporting in the national media; stresses the urgent need for a legal reform of the media sector and therefore welcomes a recent proposal for Public Service Broadcasting in Ukraine; also welcomes public assurances by the Ukrainian authorities that a legal framework needed to establish a public service broadcaster will be concluded by the end of the year;


11.  Stresses the great importance of Ukraine’s European integration process for the pursuance of economic, social and political reforms in Ukraine; therefore hopes that substantial progress will be made at the next EU/Ukraine Summit, taking place on 22 November in Brussels, to bring closer the rapid conclusion of an Association Agreement; calls in particular on the Commission and Ukraine to step up efforts in implementing the EU – Ukraine Association Agenda;


12.  Stresses that the Deep and Comprehensive Free-Trade Agreement should ensure Ukraine's gradual integration into the EU internal market including the extension of the four freedoms to the country; urges the Commission and Ukraine to make rapid progress in this field based on Ukraine’s achievements as a member of the WTO; urges both parties to do everything necessary for achieving a final agreement in the first half of next year;


13.  Stresses the importance of further reinforcing cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of energy; calls on Ukraine to fully implement and ratify its accession to the Energy Community Treaty; also calls on Ukraine to implement its commitments arising from the Joint Declaration of the EU/Ukraine International Investment Conference on the Modernisation of Ukraine’s Gas Transit System; calls for further agreements to be concluded between the EU and Ukraine aimed at securing energy supplies for both sides, including a reliable and diversified transit system for oil and gas; in this respect supports the Ukraine's initiative for tripartite solutions between EU, Ukraine and Russia to secure energy flows from Russia to the EU;


14.  Urges the Commission and Council to conclude a roadmap for the visa-free travel for Ukraine, including the intermediate objective of abolishing the existing visa fees;


15.  Asks the Commission to work with the Member States and Ukraine to prepare special measures to be introduced in relation to the European Football Championship, with a view to use this special occasion as a testing period for a final visa-free regime;


16.  Stresses the importance of stepping up cooperation on youth and student exchanges and the development of scholarship programmes which will enable Ukrainians to become acquainted with the European Union and its Member States;


17.  Urges the Council and the Commission to further intensify the cooperation with Ukraine with regard to the developments in the neighbourhood area and in particular with regard to the development of the policies for the Black Sea area;


18. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Ukraine and the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

Last updated: 23 November 2010Legal notice