Ukraine And The European Union

Partnership and cooperation agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, and Ukraine

Approved by the Decree of the President of Ukraine N615/98 of June 11, 1998 On Approval the Strategy of Ukraine’s integration to the European Union (with changes according to the Decree of the President of Ukraine N 587/2000 of April 12, 2000 On Changes to some Decrees of the President of Ukraine and the Decree of the President of Ukraine N8/2001 of January 11, 2001 On Changes to the Decree of the President of Ukraine N615/98 of June 11, 1998). This strategy defines principal directions of Ukraine’s cooperation with the European Union (EU) – organization, which in the process of its development has achieved high level of political integration, unification of legislation, economic cooperation, social protection and cultural development. National interests of Ukraine require identification of Ukraine as an influential European country, full-fledged EU member. In the result of the EU enlargement which is expected in the nearest years – through entering the EU of Poland and Hungary – Ukraine will have a common border with the EU, which would create a principally new geopolitical situation. In connection with this a clear and comprehensive definition of the foreign policy strategy concerning Ukraine’s integration to the European political, economic and legal space is necessary.

Strategy of Ukraine’s integration to the EU is based upon:

  • Constitution of Ukraine, which sets the goals of the Ukrainian foreign policy activity at ensuring its national interests and security through maintaining peaceful and mutually advantageous cooperation with the members of international community according to the universal principles and standards of international law;
  • Main Directions of Ukrainian Foreign Policy and Concept (basics of state policy) of the National Security of Ukraine;
  • Partnership And Cooperation Agreement, signed between Ukraine and the European Union (PCA), which defines mechanism of interaction between Ukraine and the EU.
Strategy of Ukraine’s integration to the EU takes into consideration the provisions of EU Strategy on Ukraine of October 4, 1994, EU Common Position on Ukraine of November 28, 1994, EU Common Strategy on Ukraine of December 11, 1999 and appropriate decisions of the EU Council, declarations and other EU documents on Ukraine. Strategy of Ukraine’s integration to the EU sets out main priorities in activities of state executive bodies for the period until year 2007. During this period there should be created preconditions required for getting by Ukraine of an EU full-pledged member status. Strategy of Ukraine’s integration to the European Union shall ensure involvement of Ukraine into the European political (including spheres of foreign and security policy), economic and legal space. The main foreign policy priority of Ukraine in the middle-term perspective is to acquire on this basis a status of the EU associated member and should correlates with the time of acquiring of the EU full-fledged membership status by the countries-candidates which have common borders with Ukraine.

I. Main Guidelines of the Integration Process.

1. Approximation of legislation of Ukraine to the legislation of the EU, guarantee of human rights.

Approximation of Ukraine’s legislation to the EU legislation means its getting closer to the contemporary European legal system, that would ensure development of political, business, social, cultural activities of Ukraine’s nationals, economic growth of the country within the EU framework as well as would facilitate gradual improvement of the well-being, making it closer to the level existing in the EU member-states. Approximation of Ukraine’s legislation stipulates reformation of its legal system and its gradual bringing into line with the requirements of the European standards. It covers private, customs, labour, financial, tax, intellectual property labour protection legislation as well as legislation dealing with protection of life and health, environment, consumer’s rights, technical rules and standards, transport and other industries as defined in the PCA. Participation of Ukraine in conventions of the Council of Europe, which set out common for this organization and the EU standards, should be considered as an important element of reforming the legal system of Ukraine. The stages of the legal approximation process are: implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, signing sectoral agreements, bringing current Ukraine’s legislation into correspondence with the EU standards, creation of a mechanism to adapt the draft legislative acts of Ukraine to the existing standards of the EU.

2. Economical integration and development of trade relations between Ukraine and EU.

Major factors of economic integration and development of trade between Ukraine and the EU are globalization of the world production, unification of national economies on the basis of GATT/WTO, economic tendencies in the EU-member states related with the consolidation of the EU by common monetary unit, potential mutual advantages of the free trade. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement represents the basic document which defines the guidelines of economic integration of Ukraine with the EU and development of bilateral trade. Development of economic integration means liberalization and synchronization in the EU and Ukraine markets opening, achievement of harmonized trade balance, granting on the mutual basis of the favourable regime promoting investments from the EU to Ukraine and Ukrainian producers on the EU markets, introduction of common legal environment and unified standards in the spheres of competition and state support of producers. Economic integration is based on coordination, synchronization and adequacy in decision-making in economies of Ukraine and the EU and foresees abolition of competition limitations and limitation of the instruments of protectionism, formation of the major economic pre-requisites for full-fledged membership of Ukraine in the EU.

3. Ukraine`s integration to the EU within the context of all-European security.

Security of Ukraine within all-European security shall be based on the fact that development and strengthening of the EU shall deepen the all-European security system in all its dimensions. Principe of indivisibility of the European security is equally important for Ukraine as well as for the EU and its full fledged and associated members. The EU along with other European and transatlantic structures is actively searching for cooperative security which shall be the guarantee of security of Ukraine itself. Recognition by the European Union of considerable importance of Ukraine in creation of a new European security architecture may and shall be utilized as an important tool of realization of Ukrainian interests in the relations with the EU. At the same time strengthening of the security of Ukraine is linked with the achievement of the economic security and political stability in the country. Acknowledging the responsibility of international peace and security maintenance by the UN Security Council based on the provisions of the UN Statute and adhering principles and aims of OSCE European Security Charter, Ukraine and EU cooperates actively with the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, other international organizations in spheres of stability encouragement and maintenance, conflict prevention, emergency situations settlement and postconflict reconstruction. All possible opportunities shall be used for it – either diplomatic activity, rendering of the humanitarian aid and usage of economic sanctions or execution of civil policy functions and fulfillment of military operations for emergency situations settlement on the basis of UN and/or OSCE mandate. One of the major components of the Ukraine`s integration to the EU is the enlargement and deepening of the political dialog and cooperation between Ukraine and Western European Union (WEU), as gives a support to EU in definition of military aspects of Common foreign and security policy and provides access to EU for operational means while execution of humanitarian and rescue missions, peacekeeping missions and tasks of the military forces during emergency situations settlement including operations on peace settlement (Petersberg tasks). In connection with the acceleration of institutional rapprochement and integration of WEU to EU, the development of EU – NATO relations on defense- planning questions (Ukraine takes part in it through participation in the Process of planning and estimation within the framework of Partnership for peace program) is significant for Ukraine. Intensification of the development of Common European security and defense policy, creation of new EU bodies in military sphere and in sphere of foreign and security policy within the framework of Common foreign and security policy and activation of the cooperation between EU member-states in the arms field stipulates for necessity of Ukraine’s fulfillment of appropriate integration steps in this direction. The development of the cooperation with EU within the framework of Common foreign and security policy and Common European security and defense policy promotes strengthening of competitiveness of Ukrainian defense industry, implementation of principles, rules and mechanisms provides openness, transparency of the industry production access to the internal EU market and prevent it’s discrimination, acceleration of Ukrainian goods and services producers appearance and strengthening in the international-specialized fields and sectors of the economy and substantial diversification of military-technical and scientific-technical relations. The development of such cooperation gives the opportunity to preserve the orientation towards the contemporary system of paneuropean production. Basic direction of the Ukrainian export potential realization in the relations with EU member-states should consist of the reconstruction of factories, directly oriented on the scientific and technical achievements, where Ukraine has prominent positions, and priority export-oriented branches.

4. Political consolidation and strengthening of democracy.

  • safeguarding political stability both in Ukraine and on the whole European continent;
  • securing the peaceful development and fruitful cooperation of all the European nations;
  • strengthening democratic principles in the Ukrainian society.
Political consolidation within the context of the strategy of Ukraine on European integration should be considered in two planes. Foreign policy consolidation shall be aimed first of all at the strengthening of the European security. From one hand, it includes the comprehensive integration of Ukraine into the European political (including foreign and security policy), legal, economical, informational and cultural environment. From another – it shall be aimed at identification of the EU policy towards Ukraine, it’s separation from the EU policy towards Russia and support of the European countries and world community of the strategy of integration of Ukraine with the EU. In this context cooperation with the European Commission, European Parliament and other institutions, as well as deepening of relations with separate EU Member states are of major importance. Gradual involvement of Ukraine into the regional initiatives and appropriate forms of the political dialog, EU partnership and cooperation with EU associated members and other states should be also regarded as an important part of the mentioned foreign policy consolidation. One of the real steps on the road of rapprochement of the political position of Ukraine and the EU may be an agreement on joint positions in the UNO regarding the global international issues and joining of Ukraine to Common EU statements, statements of EU member states within the framework of the Common foreign and security policy and in appropriate international organizations including UNO and OSCE, involvement of Ukraine to the common EU activity, elaboration and adoption of the common positions and fulfillment of Ukraine-EU common actions. Consolidation in domestic policies shall be based upon the choice made by Ukrainian society in favour of integration with the EU. This includes first of all strengthening of democracy and rule of law in the state. European integration helps to create civil society in Ukraine and further formation of Ukrainian political nation as full-fledged member of the family of European nations. Important element of the domestic policies’ consolidation is formation of the devotion in the society to the idea of acquiring in the future the membership in the EU as a real opportunity to ensure decent future for Ukraine and its citizens.

5. Adaptation of the Social Policy of Ukraine to the EU standards.

Adaptation of the Social Policy of Ukraine includes reforming of the systems of insurance, labor protection, public health, pension ensuring, employment policy and other branches of social policy according to the EU standards and gradual achieving of the common European level of social security and protection of population. This direction of the integration process should be implemented within the framework of the general programme of reforms with active involvement of the EU’s and its Member States’ institutions and programmes, and first and foremost directing of the EU technical assistance exactly to the adaptation of the Social Policy. It is of great importance in this context the ratification and further implementation by Ukraine of the European Social Charter, as well as concluding of agreements on the coordination of the systems of social security of workers, which have Ukrainian citizenship and are working on the EU Member States territory.

6. Cultural – educational and scientific and technical integration.

Along with the mentioned directions of the European integration, cultural – educational and scientific and technical integration directions have a special place, that stipulated by the potential possibility to achieve weighty successes in the integration process exactly on these directions. They cover the fields of secondary and higher education, training, science, culture, arts, technical and technological spheres. Integration process in the corresponding directions includes introduction of the European regulations and standards in education, science and technology, distribution of own cultural and scientific and technical achievements in the EU. In the final result such steps will promote upsurge of the European cultural identity in Ukraine and integration to the European intellectual – educational and scientific and technological environment. Realization of this task presumes mutual abandoning of any principal, in contrast to technical, restrictions on contacts and exchanges, distribution of information. Especially important is realization of joint scientific, cultural, educational and other projects, involvement of Ukrainian scientists and specialists in the European programmes of scientific research.

7. Regional integration of Ukraine.

Practical implementation of the integration process is possible only under the condition of complementarity of the common European dimension of cooperation with regional integration and deepening of the sectoral cooperation between Ukraine and the EU. This direction gets special meaning taking into account important for the EU trend expressed in the slogan “EU: from the Union of states to the Union of regions”. The basis for regional integration is PCA, European Local Government Charter, other corresponding EU and Council of Europe legislation. Regional integration foresees launching and deepening of the direct contacts between some regions of Ukraine and Member States and candidate countries, development of these contacts in the directions defined in this Strategy in order to transfer the main weight of the integration process from the central executive bodies to the regions, to the institutions of local government, territorial communities and, finally, to provide as wide as possible involvement of Ukrainian people.

8. Sectoral cooperation.

Sectoral cooperation includes coordination and interaction between Ukraine and EU in certain branches and spheres of economic activity. During forthcoming years priority in sectoral cooperation should be given to the sphere of transeuropean transport including trunk oil and gas pipelines, power industry and information networks, cooperation in the field of justice, prevention and fight against organized crime and drugs distribution, customs cooperation, scientific and research sphere, industrial and agricultural cooperation etc. Cooperation in the sphere of atomic energy usage in peaceful purposes is separate and of great importance direction of sectoral cooperation. The legislation basis for sectoral cooperation is PCA, corresponding legislation acts of the Parties, agreements and protocols concluded between Ukraine and EU and Member States regarding cooperation and interaction in general and in the defined areas. It is worthwhile to elaborate and approve by the corresponding Ministries and other central bodies of the executive power of Ukraine the programmes of development of relations with the EU, which should be based on the general provisions of the Strategy of Integration and gradually (during 1.5-2 years) form the entire package – National Programme of Integration. Sectoral cooperation provides, along with adoption of the sectoral programmes of cooperation with the EU, elaboration of the list of structures and civil servants in the central bodies of executive power, local power institutions, which are responsible for the formation and implementation of the State policy of Ukraine regarding the EU, getting direct contacts between Ministries and other central bodies of executive power of Ukraine and corresponding Directorates of the European Commission. In the short- and midterm context the utmost responsibility for concordance of the sectoral cooperation is put on the Ukrainian Part of the Ukraine – European Communities (European Union) Cooperation Council, and for its implementation – on the Ukrainian Part of the Ukraine – European Communities (European Union) Cooperation Committee and National Agency of Ukraine for Development and European Integration.

9. Cooperation in the environment protection.

Environment protection shall be recognized as a public policy priority and subject of public elevated heightened attention in the European states, one of the main fields of the EU activity and vital issues for Ukraine, determined not only by consequences of the Chernobyl NPP accident but by general environmental conditions in Ukraine. The legal framework of cooperation is the PCA as well as international treaties and agreements on environment safety, parties to which are Ukraine and the EU. As a result, the cooperation in the environmental field should lead to the creation of safe and a man-friendly pan-European ecological space.

II. Internal support of the integration process.

Internal support of the process of integration to the EU shall be the responsibility of the highest, central and local bodies of the executive power of Ukraine in cooperation with the body of legislative power, relevant local authorities. The President of Ukraine shall exercise management of Ukraine’s integration strategy. The Cabinet of Ministers shall provide implementation the Strategy of Ukraine`s Integration to the European Union. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall implement measures in the field of political relations of Ukraine with the EU and coordination of the activities of executive power bodies in the field of foreign and security policy. The Ministry of Economy shall exercise interagency coordination of intersectoral economic and social cooperation between Ukraine and the EU. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice shall exercise interagency coordination between Ukraine and the EU according to the terms of their reference. Other ministries and central bodies of the executive power shall ensure realization of sectoral cooperation between Ukraine and the EU, implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, shall exercise other measures according to their responsibility and tasks defined by the Strategy in order to deepen the support Ukraine’s integration to the EU.

Integration strategy provides the following fields of internal support for Ukraine’s integration to the EU.

1. Organizational support.

1. Approvement by the President of Ukraine according to the proposals of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine the list of the central bodies of the executive power, organizations, institutions, officials responsible for carrying out the tasks defined by the Strategy of integration. 2. Regular holding of the Ukrainian part of the Ukraine – EU Cooperation Council meetings in order to ensure the fulfillment the tasks defined by the Strategy of integration. 3. Providing formation and implementation of sectoral and regional programmes of cooperation with the EU according to the responsibility of Ukrainian party. 4. Creation of new programmes in the education, employees training and professional qualification development for representatives of legislative, executive power and local authorities in accordance with the main directions of Ukraine`s European integration, introduction of specialization on EU issues within the framework of high institutions training programmes. 5. Creation of the programme of linguistic training for government officials and professionals who implement the integration process, elaboration and realization of the complex of measures on expanding and upgrading the quality of learning EU languages in secondary and higher education.

2. Financial support

1. Elaboration of the programme for financing measures on Ukraine`s integration to the EU according to the Strategy of integration. 2. Financing measures aiming Ukraine’s integration to the EU for the expense of budget funds with the wide involvement of off-budget funds, funds of private persons and assistance programmes of the EU for Ukraine.

3. Legal support

1. Providing adaptation of legislation acts approving by executive power bodies as required by the EU. 2. Revision of training programmes for legal education with the purpose of their adaptation to the EU programmes, research of legal principles for EU institutions activities, studying processes in the legislation of the EU member states as well as applicant countries.

4. Informational support

1. Realization of the wide scale of promotional and informational national campaign with the purpose of supporting Ukraine’s integration to the EU. Elaboration and implementation of the programme to inform public concerning situation in the EU, problems and progress of Ukraine’s integration to the EU. 2. Providing the access to the European legal, reference and other informational data bases. 3. Setting-up the National Data Centre (Bank) on the EU.