KYIV, Ukraine, May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The European Commission adopted the proposals for decisions of the Council of the EU on the signing and provisional application as well as the conclusion of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, reads the respective press release of the Commission. The political statement accompanying the proposals states: "It is now up to the Ukrainian authorities to address the outstanding issues in order to enable the signing of the Agreement. This would represent a historic breakthrough in EU-Ukraine relations."
The adoption of the proposals "technically enables the EU to move ahead with the required preparatory arrangements without pre-empting any decision," notes the Commission. The Commission highlights that the possible Association Agreement with Ukraine, initialled in March 2012, is "the first of a new generation of Association Agreements between the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries."
The decision of the European Commission gives all branches of power in Ukraine strong motivation to proceed with the measures aimed at the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU in November 2013, at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, commented on the news Kostiantyn Yeliseyev, Ukraine's Commissioner on Foreign Policy and Integration Processes.
In order for the Association Agreement to be signed, Ukraine is expected to meet the benchmarks, outlined in the December 10, 2012, conclusion of the Council of the EU meeting. The three areas that Ukraine needs to demonstrate determined action and tangible progress in are the implementation of pre-agreed reforms, elimination of selective justice, and compliance of the 2012 parliamentary elections with international standards.
Association Agreements are international agreements, concluded between the EU and third countries, aimed at enhancing bilateral relations. Some of the agreements expressly refer to the possibility of the third country to become a candidate for membership in the Union (e.g. the stabilization and association agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina, June 2008), while others introduce a customs union (e.g. the 1963 treaty with Turkey) or progressive establishment of a free trade area for goods (e.g. the association with Chile).
Agreement with Ukraine envisions acceleration of the political cooperation and introduction of the deep and comprehensive trade areas between the parties. The document is unprecedented in the number of areas covered and detail of commitments and timelines, states the European Union website.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine