Posted on 12.12.2012 in Featured, News, Ukraine

Association Agreement: EU to strengthen cooperation with Ukraine in all spheres to make it closer to European standards

The European Union acknowledges the European aspirations of Ukraine, welcomes its European choice, and intends to strengthen cooperation via association in all spheres to make the country closer to European standards, reads the text of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement that was passed to Interfax-Ukraine

The document is ready for the signature and the sides are currently deciding on the date and terms of the signature. The preamble of the document reads that the European Union “acknowledges the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomes its European choice, including its commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy and a market economy.”

According to the document, the EU also recognizes that Ukraine “as a European country shares a common history and common values with the Member States of the European Union and is committed to promoting those values.” At the same time, the EU notes the importance Ukraine attaches to its European identity and takes into account the strong public support in Ukraine for the country’s European choice.”

The preamble of the document reads that the sides recognize “that the common values on which the European Union is built – namely democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and rule of law – are also essential elements of this Agreement.”

The Association Agreement also reads that the sides acknowledge that the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU will depend “on progress in the implementation of the current Agreement as well as Ukraine’s track record in ensuring respect for common values, and progress in convergence with the EU in political, economic and legal areas.”

The document also mentions that the sides are “desirous of achieving economic integration, inter alia through a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area as an integral part of this Agreement. Brussels also recognizes that “such a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, linked to the broader process of legislative approximation, shall contribute to further economic integration with the European Union Internal Market.”

In addition, according to the document, the sides are committed “to developing a conducive new climate for economic relations between the Parties, and above all for the development of trade and investment and stimulating competition, factors which are crucial to economic restructuring and modernization.”

According to the document, the sides are also committed to “enhancing energy cooperation, building on the commitment of the Parties to implement the Energy Charter Treaty.”

The Association Agreement also reads that the sides are committed to “enhancing energy security, facilitating the development of appropriate infrastructure and increasing market integration and regulatory approximation towards key elements of the EU acquis, promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources as well as achieving a high level of nuclear safety.”

The EU also recognizes “the importance of the introduction of a visa free travel regime for the citizens of Ukraine in due course, provided that the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place.”

A separate article of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU deals with the sides’ objectives. According to the document, the Association aims at “gradual rapprochement between the Parties based on common values and close and privileged links, and increasing Ukraine’s association with EU policies, and participation in programs and agencies.” The second objective is “to provide an appropriate framework for enhanced political dialogue on all areas of mutual interest.” Another objective of the Association is “to promote, preserve and strengthen peace and stability in the regional and international dimensions.”

The sides also want to establish conditions for enhanced economic and trade relations leading towards Ukraine’s gradual integration in the EU Internal Market including by setting up a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area and to support Ukrainian efforts to complete the transition into a functioning market economy also through the progressive approximation of its legislation to that of the Union.

According to the Association Agreement, Brussels and Kyiv also set an objective “to enhance cooperation in the field of Justice, Freedom and Security with the aim of reinforcing the rule of law and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.” In addition, the sides are planning to establish conditions for an increasingly close cooperation in other areas of mutual interest.

Interfax-Ukraine has only the political part of the Association Agreement of 906 pages. The part on the creation of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area is still in the pipeline.

Source: KyivPost