KYIV, Ukraine, September 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle welcomed the adoption of new reform laws by the Ukrainian parliament. The European official expressed his satisfaction over political consensus on the EU agenda and encouraged to maintain it for the remaining tasks while moving toward the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, as per Füle's official twitter.
The legislation in question was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on September 5, 2013. The MPs adopted the draft law introducing the changes to the Criminal Enforcement Code of Ukraine (including permit of limited cell phone use by inmates), as well as ruled to rerun the elections in five constituencies where the October 2012 parliamentary elections were declared invalid.
The requirement to hold fair elections was one of the three key areas in which the EU expected "determined action and tangible progress" on Ukraine's part. The remaining two areas included reforms implementation and elimination of selective justice. The requirement was set at the Council of the EU meeting in late 2012. At the time, the Council also reiterated its commitment to sign the Association Agreement (AA) with Ukraine.
EU Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Tombiński also reacted to the adoption of the new laws. He admired the parliament voting by the overwhelming majority and took it as a sign "that a consensus between political forces on EU-related legislation is possible," states the website of EU Delegation to Ukraine. "A very important step towards the signature of the Association Agreement in Vilnius at the end of November has been made, although an equal mobilisation is needed in coming weeks in order to do a remaining work," reads the statement.
The intention to sign the AA at the Eastern Partnership summit, taking place on November 28-29, 2013, has been declared by both the EU and Ukraine. The goals of the summit, according to the EU's External Action Service, include signing the AA with Ukraine, provided the benchmarks set in December 2012 are met, and negotiations finalization on the AAs with Moldova, Georgia and Armenia. The summit will mark the four years of EU's Eastern Partnership, created to strengthen the ties between the EU and its neighbors - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine