Decentralization to have positive impact on Ukraine - Fule
European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule has said he is confident that the impact of decentralization in Ukraine will only be positive.
"The impact of decentralization can only be positive… Decentralization is not federalization. There are many differences, some of which I have addressed in this speech. But the biggest one lies perhaps in the fact that whereas decentralization is called for from inside Ukraine, federalization is promoted by outsiders," he said in Brussels on Wednesday at a press conference held after a meeting with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Volodymyr Hroisman and President of the Committee of the Regions Ramon Luis Valcarcel Siso.
Fule said that the Association Agreement with the EU would only "strengthen the sovereignty of Ukraine, empower it and enable it to deliver on its full potential."
"The Customs Union is a different project, from a different world. It undermines sovereignty and it builds on economic and trade relations based on subsidies controlled by Gazprom and the Kremlin. Political cooperation is based on the demands of Moscow. Events in Crimea, the illegal referendum and annexation, which I deeply deplore, are proof beyond any doubt," he said.
Hroisman, in turn, said that the decision on decentralization was the decision of Ukraine.
"We believe that the model that we have chosen corresponds to the European Charter of Local Self-Government and is effective enough to run the country. The most important thing is that this model foresees the direct participation of citizens in decision-making and the election of the authorities," he said.