• Українською
  • Olha Stefanishyna: Civil society representatives will be able to join the negotiation process on Ukraine’s accession to the EU
    Service of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, posted 22 May 2024 19:39

    Representatives of civil society will be able to join the negotiation process on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna during her speech at the forum “Through Reforms to the Stars: Parliament, Government, and Civil Society” on Wednesday, 22 April.

    “We had a very strong interaction with civil society after Ukraine applied for EU membership. Now I am very interested to see the positive, important consequences of this interaction. I cannot imagine anything related to the upcoming EU accession negotiations without the participation of civil society, which has become a reliable support for us. Where there was a lack of expertise and knowledge, think tanks and best practices have always helped,” the Deputy Prime Minister said in her speech.

    She also focused on the capacity of ministries and agencies in the country’s European integration process. According to Olha Stefanishyna, one of the key qualities of a negotiator today is the ability to interact with civil society, international partners and donors.

    The Deputy Prime Minister noted the participation of civil society and think tanks in the European Commission’s screening process and urged her colleagues from the public sector to actively engage in it.

    “Another important point is that in our negotiation process, in the negotiation groups, there will be representatives of civil society and the business community. This will be a decision officially approved by the Government. I think this is a very important element not just of European integration, but of reconciliation. In Ukraine, civil society was in some way opposed to the government, and the government to civil society. Today, this process is changing. And for me, the appropriate solution is global reconciliation and a global path. For me, the negotiation process on EU accession is first and foremost a joint effort that gives us confidence in our future,” she added.

    Olha Stefanishyna also spoke about Ukraine’s readiness to start direct accession negotiations with the EU.

    “We are ready and very capable. If the negotiations depended only on Ukraine, I am sure we could have completed them in two years, because even now, when we are approaching certain negotiating positions, I see that we are responding promptly. I am dealing with the issue at the political level, the Government Office team is working at the expert level, and the European Commission is also getting involved very quickly. We have a complete teamwork. We could move even faster. But the biggest challenge I see is that the European institutions are not yet able to move as dynamically. At the same time, they are learning fast,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.