After the victory of Ukrainian revolution, Brussels has declared its readiness to intensify and speed up visa dialogue with Kyiv. At the same time, despite the “Maidan moral capital”, EU leaders do not seem open to abolishing the visa regime with Ukraine until it fulfils all the technical criteria. The new Ukrainian authorities therefore have to resume work on the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan.
Where is Ukraine at the moment in terms of the technical requirements which need to be met by its “post-revolutionary” elites?
Ukraine was the first Eastern Partnership country to start visa dialogue with the EU. Both sides signed the Visa Facilitation Agreement (VFA) back in September 2008, although it has been amended twice, in July 2012 and January 2013. Two years after signing the VFA, the EU and Ukraine started negotiating a plan for future visa liberalisation.
Natalia Shapovalova, an associated fellow at Fride1 writes: “Despite having introduced visa-free travel roadmaps for the Western Balkan countries, the EU hesitated to offer Ukraine a similar plan for full visa liberalisation. Instead, an Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) was put in place in November 2010. The VLAP envisaged a more gradual, two-stage process in which the adoption of legislation would be followed by implementation. Unlike the Western Balkan roadmaps, the VLAPs with EaP countries do not envisage a visa-free regime upon completion of all reforms, but rather speak of the possibility of a visa-free regime.
The whole document can be read below (English):
Polish version:EU, EU integration, EU visa, Schengen, Schengen visa, Ukraine, Visa, visa facilitation agreement, visa free, visa liberalisation, VLAP