Foreign affairs MEPs recommend EP consent to EU-Ukraine association deal  

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The rapporteur Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP, PL) after the vote © European Parliament 2014  

The European Parliament should give its consent to the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine, recommended the Foreign Affairs Committee in a vote on Monday afternoon. The deal would establish a deep political association between the EU and Ukraine and provide for mutual free market access, by dismantling import duties and banning export duties and restrictions.

The committee recommended by 49 votes to 8, with 4 abstentions, that Parliament as a whole give its green light to the deal in a vote next week.

“We have to support the deal to send a sign of solidarity to Ukraine for its pro-European choice”, said rapporteur Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP, PL), urging MEPs to vote in favour.

“The will and desire of Ukrainian people is that we support this agreement” said Foreign Affairs committee chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE). “The broad majority in favour of the deal is an overwhelming positive signal to people of Ukraine that the EU will stick to its obligations under the agreement”.

Most MEPs in the debate preceding the vote called on their colleagues to back the deal with a fast-track procedure to show the EU’s solidarity with Ukraine. However, some stressed that this use of a fast-track procedure should be an exception, as they feared it might leave too little time to assess the deal’s possible impact on citizens and businesses in sufficient depth, and a few were concerned that this step by the EU part could “provoke Russia even more”.

Next steps

The full house will vote next week in Strasbourg on whether to ratify the agreement, on the same day as the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) is scheduled to the deal in Kiev. Once ratified, the deal would apply provisionally from 1 November this year.