16:56 31.05.2017

MEPs welcome Dutch Senate's ratification of EU-Ukraine agreement

MEPs welcome Dutch Senate's ratification of EU-Ukraine agreement

A number of members of the European Parliament have welcomed the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement by the Senate of the Netherlands and called to provide the necessary assistance to Ukraine in using the full potential of the agreement.

"We warmly welcome today's positive vote of the Dutch Senate on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which paves the way for the full entry into force of this key agreement. For the European Parliament, which ratified this agreement with an overwhelming majority already back in November 2014, this is an excellent - and long awaited news," EP's Foreign Affairs committee chair David McAllister (EPP, Germany), EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee chair Dariusz Rosati (EPP, Poland) and vice chairs Tibor Szanyi (S&D, Hungary) and Kaja Kallas (ALDE, Estonia) as well as Ukraine standing rapporteur Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany, said in a statement posted by the EU Delegation in Ukraine.

The European Parliament labeled the ratification process as "a marathon with many, often unexpected and unfair obstacles." MEPs called on both the Dutch authorities and the EU executive to finalize the remaining procedural steps with the necessary speed, and at the latest by the EU-Ukraine Summit scheduled for July 13 in Kyiv.

"After the granting of the visa-free regime, which will become effective on the 11th of June for Ukrainian citizens, this is yet another fundamental milestone in the bilateral EU-Ukraine relations. Hence, it is time to look at the future of these relations, starting by helping Ukraine to use the full potential of the Association Agreement, and exploring areas in which cooperation could be further reinforced," the statement reads.

MEPs also said they stand side by side with Ukrainians and will do their utmost to assist them in their reform efforts and contribute to the further development of bilateral cooperation, for the benefits of both the EU and Ukrainian citizens.

As reported, the Lower House of the Parliament of the Netherlands (House of Representatives) on February 23 officially confirmed the ratification of the Association Agreement with Ukraine. On May 30, the upper chamber of the Parliament of the Netherlands (Senate) voted for the ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.

To complete the ratification process, the Agreement should still be ratified by the government of the Netherlands.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker also expressed the hope that the ratification procedure would be completed before the Ukraine-EU summit scheduled for July 13.

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