Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk met with High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell during his visit to Brussels where he is to chair the sixth meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council.
The parties discussed the key goals and priorities of the EU-Ukraine cooperation agenda.
Among the topmost issues was the industrial visa-free regime ACAA (Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products). The Prime Minister of Ukraine emphasized: “Ukraine has fulfilled the homework necessary for the start of negotiations on the conclusion of AСAA. The last point was a law to reduce pressure on business by market surveillance authorities. The Parliament has approved that and it will come into force on March 26. We expect for the preliminary assessment mission be sent by the EU in the near future to assess the readiness of Ukraine's infrastructure and legislation to ensure launch of the negotiations process and further signing of the AСAA."
Moreover, the parties tackled a mechanism for implementing the updated energy Annex XXVII to the Association Agreement. Oleksiy Honcharuk welcomed the EU side accord to provide guidelines for the implementation of the Annex. According to the Prime Minister, that will allow Ukraine to obtain the status of a full-fledged participant in the EU internal energy market with meeting the same requirements that apply to all EU members.
Another topic for the discussion was further integration of Ukraine into the EU Digital Single Market. Oleksiy Honcharuk and Josep Borell tackled steps to be undertaken by Ukraine after the completion of work of the EU Assessment Mission in Ukraine in February 2020. These steps should be included in Annex 17-2 of the Association Agreement. In the future, those should be part of the joint action plan, which will determine additional forms of interaction between Ukraine and the EU within the EU Digital Single Market framework (in addition to the Association Agreement).
Finally, the Head of the Ukrainian Government stated: "We are striving to enhance cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. Primarily, it concerns the implementation of specific projects aimed to entail positive changes for the citizens of Ukraine and provide new opportunities for business. Ukraine, like Georgia and Moldova, is committed to deepening sectoral integration with the EU in the fields of energy, trade, digital economy, customs and security cooperation. The proposed Trio Strategy initiative could become a tool for qualitative updating of the Eastern Partnership format. It singled out from all the countries of this format the associated members - Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova - which have a more ambitious European integration agenda."