mfa.gov.ua: Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Dmytro Kuleba opened the fifth meeting of the Ukraine-EU Association Committee.
He reminded that the current government is the first in the history of Ukraine to include an ambitious goal – to reach the economic standards of Copenhagen’s necessary for EU accession over the next five years.
According to Dmytro Kuleba, the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU is the cornerstone of reforms in Ukraine. This Agreement is much more important and valuable since Ukraine’s integration into the EU on the basis of this Agreement is also a way to strengthen the European Union.
“We appreciate your strong support and cooperation in the context of the ongoing Russian aggression, as Russia continues to destroy our country, illegally occupying Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as distributing misinformation and hate throughout the country,” the deputy prime minister said. He also stressed that Ukraine appreciated the EU’s support for reforms in the country.
Dmytro Kuleba outlined five current priorities for Ukraine’s integration into the EU. First of all, it is sectoral integration. “I urge you to develop specific joint steps, roadmaps, programs, and action plans to ensure high dynamics of Ukraine’s integration into the EU’s digital and energy markets, to simplify customs procedures in trade with the EU, as well as in the field of justice, freedom and security”, – Deputy Prime Minister said.
The second priority is to overcome the consequences of climate change and energy efficiency. “I represent the government, which perceives the problem of climate change more seriously than the previous one. We warmly congratulate the European Green Agreement. Ukraine is ready to become a reliable partner of the EU in decarbonization, including the joint energy system with the EU, “- said the representative of the Ukrainian government.
The third priority, he described as bringing the Association Agreement’s requirements into line with real trade growth, in particular by revising tariffs, duty-free quotas and capacity building through the conclusion of an ACAA (industrial visa-free) agreement after the relevant bilateral procedures are completed. We hope to meet the EU ACAA assessment mission in Kyiv as soon as possible,” said Dmytro Kuleba.
The fourth priority is the European integration in the regions of Ukraine – the so-called decentralization of European integration. “Last week in Mariupol I participated in the opening of the EU regional office. Your vision of such a presence on the ground is perfectly in line with the vision of our government in terms of opening offices of European integration in all regions of Ukraine. I would be very grateful if the European Union could support us in this effort. I hope you share my belief that it is in the interest of the EU to unite with the Government in order to further promote European values, standards, practices, and instruments, to act in a coordinated, more profound and effective manner,” – Deputy Prime Minister emphasized.
He also urged colleagues from both Ukraine and the European Commission to use the opportunities of this visit to build and establish close communication ties: “The better we know and understand each other, the more we can plan and achieve together.