Sumario: January 21, 2005: Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner at inauguration of President Yushchenko (Brussels)
FR - DE
European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will attend the inauguration of President Yushchenko in Kiev on Sunday. The new President is taking office after a repeat second round of the elections which international observers noted had brought Ukraine "substantially closer" to international standards for free and fair elections. The European Commission is fully committed to working with the new President to significantly deepen the relationship between the EU and Ukraine both politically and economically, under the European Neighbourhood Policy. This will include the Commission's strong and sustained support to President Yushchenko's agenda of broad and deep political and economic reforms. A new Action Plan negotiated with Ukraine was approved by the Commission and the Council last December. Now that democratic elections have taken place it will be possible to launch the implementation of that plan, as soon as the final procedural steps have been taken.
On the eve of her visit, Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: "I congratulate President Yushchenko on his inauguration. Ukraine is a country of strategic importance for the EU, and the Presidential elections in Ukraine, with the events that surrounded them, have opened the way for a new beginning in the EU-Ukraine relationship. The Action Plan that we have already agreed has all the flexibility we need to take the steps needed in the short and medium term to advance our political and economic co operation. I am already working with my colleague High Representative Javier Solana, on how we can take full advantage of the Action Plan, to move our relations with Ukraine up a gear, and ensure swift results to the benefit of the Ukrainian people."
The Action Plan for Ukraine clearly identifies achievable priorities, tailor-made to meet the specific needs of Ukraine, and the EU will be able to closely link financial assistance with progress on these priorities. The more common values are implemented, the stronger the EU-Ukraine relationship will become.
In view of the new political circumstances, the European Council Summit on 17 December asked the Commission and the Secretary General/High Representative to come forward with proposals to further "strengthen cooperation with Ukraine, making full use of the Action Plan". The Commission and Council are currently preparing a substantial and realistic package of proposals, which will be presented to the 31st January External Relations Council, as a basis for an ambitious approach to implementing the Action Plan.
The Action Plan has all the scope needed to allow a significant intensification of EU-Ukraine ties. It includes important elements to strengthen democracy and to prepare Ukraine for membership of the WTO, a key condition for a possible free trade area.
The plan also expresses the EU's willingness to discuss visa facilitation, sets out clear steps towards deepening the dialogue on energy, transport and the environment, and opens participation in some Community programmes to Ukrainians.
Endorsement by the EU Ukraine Co operation Council on 21 February should pave the way for implementation of the Action Plan.
For more information on EU-Ukraine relations: