Англомовне видання Балтії The Baltic Times публікує думку Посла України в Латвії Євгена Перебийноса щодо ситуації навколо ратифікації в Нідерландах Угоди про асоціацію між Україною та ЄС.
Ambassador of Ukraine to Latvia Yevgen Perebyinis: survival of the Association Agreement with Ukraine is an investment into EU future
As the Ambassador of Ukraine to one of the country of the European Union, I’m very concerned about the uncertainty with the completion of ratification by the Netherlands of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which puts under threat its future. This move would not only threat Ukraine who sacrificed human lives for the sake of its enhanced relations with the EU, but also other members of the EU, who ratified the agreement. Latvia, for instance, was the third country to ratify the agreement and has already felt the advantages of a free trade area with Ukraine, boosting its trade with Ukraine recently.
Nevertheless recent suggestion of the Dutch Prime Minister M.Rutte to take additional efforts to find a solution as well compromise decision on CETA agreement give us some hope for a cautious optimism.
For Ukraine, the association with the EU has a deep emotional meaning: it is a symbol of new, truly independent nation, essential element of the state-building, bright prospect for wealthy and secure future.
It is worth reminding that the refusal of the former leadership of Ukraine to sign the Agreement led to the people’s uprising, the Revolution of Dignity and profound effective democratic transformations.
Today the Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area part has even more weight as an indispensable element of the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty over temporarily occupied Crimea and countering Russian aggression in Donbas.
For the European Union, the survival of the Association Agreement is a litmus test on EU capacities to project its transformation power beyond its borders, which would determine, in particular, the prospects for the Eastern Partnership. If the Agreement fails, it will be the second grave loss of the EU after Brexit in its confrontation with populists, skeptics and isolationists as well as a strong blow to EU credibility as a partner.
In the Netherlands, the Association Agreement has become the test for resilience of domestic political system to both homemade and externally-breed populism.
Ukraine is ready to look at diverse options and instruments to secure a completion of ratification procedure.
We expect the Netherlands to present to the European Council and Ukraine such solution formula, which will secure the essence of the Association Agreement and answer the concerns of the Dutch society.
It would be unfair if 0.6% of EU population who took part in the Dutch referendum decide for the rest 500 million. 27 Member States who ratified the Association Agreement should defend the will of its people.
We need to avoid any option, which is discriminatory vis-à-vis Ukraine, re-opening the Agreement for re-negotiations or implying essential amendments to the Agreement.
The key issue now is full engagement of all parties involved, including EU institutions and EU Member States, in seeking for a solution. This process should be inclusive.
I hope really hope that the EU – Ukraine Summit on 24 November and the European Council meeting on 14-15 December will be a good opportunity to take the stock and find a compromise solution.
Ukraine’s Baltic friends have the best understanding of how much European integration is able to drive the country through reforms and how important the role of the Association Agreement is. After all the Baltics have invested already so much efforts and funds to keep the partners on track. I hope that the strong voice of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will contribute to finding a reasonable solution for all parties at stake.