European parliament urges EU leaders to liberalize ‪visa regime for ‪Ukraine next year due to substantial progress in crucial areas
European parliamentarians in an open letter urged EU Leadership to liberalize visa regime for Ukraine due to the substantial progress achieved to date by Ukraine in fulfilling the necessary requirements from the visa-liberalization package, namely in two crucial areas: anti-corruption and anti-discrimination.
The letter addressed to President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová.
"To begin with, the Verkhovna Rada has adopted the amendments to the Criminal and Civil Codes of Ukraine and to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine eliminating shortcomings in the legislation and in this way reducing corruption risks and enabling transparent law enforcement procedures. This legislation, including the law on the National Agency of Ukraine for Identifying, Tracing and Managing Assets Derived from Corruption, opens a way for introducing a completely new instrument in Ukraine in the area of fight against corruption aimed, first of all, at improving routine life of the ordinary Ukrainian citizens," reads the letter posted on the Facebook account of Mission of Ukraine to the EU on Thursday evening.
According to MEPs, the introduction of an anti-discrimination amendment to the Labor Code has proven that the Ukrainian authorities and society support human rights in all its manifestations that is an encouraging symptom of enhancing democracy in Ukraine initiated by the Revolution of Dignity.
They noted that these laws were adopted with a strong parliamentary majority which only proves Ukraine's commitment and a strong political will regarding the Association agenda and reform process.
"We are convinced that unconditional granting the visa free regime to Ukraine – as well as to Georgia, which has also done a considerable progress in the areas concerned – would reflect the genuine European Union's commitment to the Eastern Partnership which is all the more urgent given the enormous military, political, economic and propaganda pressure on these associated partners of the EU. Moreover, it would reinforce the determination of Ukraine – as well as of Georgia – to continue on this path of reforms facilitating a positive democratic change in these countries," the MEPs stressed.
"To conclude, we strongly believe that due to our joint efforts the Ukrainian and Georgian people will become the beneficiaries of the visa free regime already next year," reads the letter.
It was signed by Petras Auštrevičius Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Michaela Šojdrová, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Tunne Kelam, Marju Lauristin, Ivan Jakovčić, Karol Karski, Michał Boni, Bronis Ropė, Valentinas Mazuronis, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Tibor Szanyi, Tanja Fajon, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Jasenko Selimovic, Urmas Paet, Michael Gahler, Norica Nicolai, Nathalie Griesbeck, Antanas Guoga, Rebecca Harms, Algirdas Saudargas, Benedek Jávor, Andrej Plenković, Sandra Kalniete, Krišjānis Kariņš, Jaromír Štětina, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Jozo Radoš, and Fredrick Federley.