Barroso, Yanukovych Agree on EU-Ukraine Summit Date

Dec 18, 2012, 06:58 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, December 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The next Summit between the European Union and Ukraine will take place on February 25, 2013, in Brussels, reported the press service of the Ukrainian President. Such agreement was reached during the telephone conversation between the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, who initiated the dialogue.

Originally, the Summit was scheduled for December 2012 but was postponed due to the recent parliamentary elections in Ukraine. The previous - 15th - Ukraine-EU Summit took place on December 19, 2011 in Kyiv. During the meeting the parties finalized the negotiations on the Association Agreement (AA), including the creation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the EU. Concurrently, both leaders welcomed the progress in implementing the visa liberalization Action Plan, adopted back in 2010.

Since then, Kyiv has been making progress in three important areas of the EU - Ukraine integration: Visa liberalization, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and the Association Agreement.

In July 2012, the EU and Ukraine extended the list of categories of the Ukrainian citizens who may undergo a simplified procedure to obtain visas to the EU. Working toward the goal of visa free regime Ukraine adopted the strategy of integrated border management, created the State Migration Service, responsible for managing citizenship, immigration, registration, and asylum issues. Furthermore, Ukrainian government took steps toward personal data protection necessary to launch biometric IDs.

Association Agreement including the DCFTA has reached the final stage of initialing in July 2012, when the sides finished editing and coordinating approvals of the second - economic - part of the agreement. Now that the AA has been initialed, it is being translated into 24 languages and prepared for signing and the following ratification.

Notably, the EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton as well as the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule expressed their belief that the parties would sign the AA at the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2013.

European integration has been a long-term foreign policy goal for Ukraine. The country began negotiations with the EU in 1999. Decision to head for association was first made at the 12th EU-Ukraine Summit on September 9, 2008, in Paris.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine