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16 May, 2013 15:20   ▪  

Hannes Schreiber: Yulia Timoshenko`s case depreciates the reforms introduced to the Ukrainian judicial system so far

Yulia Timoshenko`s case and its influence on the future of EU-Ukraine relations were one of the biggest issues discussed at the 6th Europe-Ukraine forum held in Budapest.

According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, Mr. Peter Burian, the autumn summit of the Eastern Partnership in Vilnius will have a crucial impact, since it will show whether EU countries have managed to face the common challenges, reports Economic Forum.

“At this stage, we need some visible results, such as signing the Association Agreement,” Mr. Burian said.  In his opinion, EU should support Ukraine in any possible way on its way towards membership, while the Ukrainian parliament and government should implement necessary reforms. “Both parties confront a difficult task, thus a close political and economic cooperation is of great importance. For the Ukrainian part, not only the system changes remain a challenge, but also presenting the positive aspects of European integration, such as liberation of the visa regime.”

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Referring to the reform process in Ukraine, Burian warned not to create privileges for certain groups while implementing systemic changes. In this context, the Slovak diplomat argued, an essential element is the development of civil society and non-governmental organizations, which make a huge contribution to the integration process. The EU accession, he said, is first of all the adoption and recognition of common values​​. According to Burian, Ukraine’s membership in the EU is important not only to Bratislava, but also to all EU member states and the countries of the Eastern Partnership. He also emphasized the importance of economic reforms that ensure economic growth, job creation for young people and consequently allow Ukraine to be competitive in Europe. 

“The authorities in Kiev, he added, need to demonstrate reformist determination. I can assure you of our support for Ukraine; we are ready to share our experience in the hope that this will spare you many mistakes”.

Jaakko Laajava, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in Finland said at the beginning of his statement, that the Forum, its objective and the level of discussion indicated how much had been done in EU-s Ukrainian relations in the last years. 

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“My country is definitely supporting Ukrainian integration with the EU, and Kiev plays very important role both in the European as well as the global aspect,” argued Finnish diplomat. According to Laajava, the basis of cooperation is trust. The most important aims: signing the Association Agreement, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement, and the Agreement on  Liberalization of Visa Regime is possible thanks to the cooperation based on trust.  In his opinion, Ukraine is the most important member of  Eastern Partnership Program and Kiev shall be the one to get a chance to show during the Vilnius summit that profound reforms are possible, and that the Union is open for new members.

Hannes Schreiber, an EU diplomat based in Kiev, representing the European External Action Service said that in recent years a multilateral dialogue has been carried out with Ukraine.

“We note the progress being made in the implementation of reforms in Ukraine, but we are waiting for the next steps to come, such as: the reform of the anti-corruption regulation or the copyright law, which both have not been yet voted down by the Ukrainian Parliament, Schreiber declared. In his opinion, these elements are also of great importance towards visa liberalization procedures being introduced,” Schreiber noted.

Schreiber also spoke about the political problems, related closely with the imprisonment of some leaders of the opposition. In this case, the European Court of Human Rights adopted a resolution stipulating that the rights of Yulia Timoshenko have been breached. Mr Schreiber emphasized firmly, that matters of such nature depreciate the reforms introduced to the Ukrainian judicial system so far.

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