MEPs send a message of solidarity while visiting Eastern Ukraine
"For the first time, we held our meeting in Dnipro as a sign of our solidarity for the conflict-affected people,” said MEP Dariusz Rosati, Chair of the EP delegation visiting Ukraine.
Members of the European Parliament visited Dnipro, Avdiivka and Kyiv on 18-21 September 2017 on the occasion of the sixth meeting of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee which was held under the co-chairmanship of Dariusz Rosati (EPP, PL) and Mykola Kniazhytskyi (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine).
MEPs and MPs debated EU-Ukraine relations, security and political situation in Ukraine and its reform agenda, as well as the implementation of Minsk agreements. They met with representatives of local authorities, NGOs, business and population, as well as, in Kyiv, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Irina Gerashchenko as well as heads of the anti-corruption agencies and civil society organisations, and representatives of the OSCE. At the end of the meeting, they adopted a joint statement and recommendations.
Following the visit, MEP Rosati stated: “For the first time, we held our meeting in Dnipro in Eastern Ukraine as a sign of our solidarity and of our constant attention and concern for the conflict-affected people. We also travelled to Avdiivka, a city located only 6 km from the contact line and the target of heavy shelling on several occasions in the past few months. We could witness the hardship of people living there, in particular concerning the provision of essential services for the population such as running water, and we are determined to help improve their living conditions. We could appreciate the EU efforts to alleviate the situation and visited for example an EU-funded psycho-social centre for children and families.
During our discussions with our Ukrainian counterparts of the Verkhovna Rada as well as with representatives of the government, including Prime Minister Groysman, we reiterated our firm condemnation of the Russian aggression and our strong support to the independence, sovereignty and unity of Ukraine and the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
Our meeting took place in a conducive environment for our bilateral relations, with major recent achievements such as the entry into force of the visa-free regime and of the Association Agreement as well as the introduction of Autonomous Trade measures. We welcomed progress in reforms, but strongly urged the Ukrainian authorities to stay focused and determined in pursuing necessary reforms, including those agreed upon in the Association Agreement, particularly in the coming year as the cycle of domestic elections approaches. We called for speeding up inter alia the judicial, health, tax, and privatisation reforms and highlighted our worries on recent developments in the field of fight against corruption."
Note to editors
EP’s delegation was composed of Dariusz ROSATI (EPP, PL), Tibor SZANYI (S&D, HU), Michal BONI (EPP, PL), Michael GAHLER (EPP, DE), Andrea BOCSKOR (EPP, HU), Mark DEMESMAEKER (ECR, PL) and Rebecca HARMS (Greens, DE).