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  • Decision on Ukraine's membership in the European Union has a geopolitical dimension: Olha Stefanishyna met with President of the French National Assembly
    Service of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, posted 30 March 2024 13:08

    On Friday, 29 March, the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Olha Stefanishyna, met with the President of the French National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, who is on a visit to Kyiv.

    The meeting was also attended by First Vice-President of the National Assembly Valérie Rabault, President of the Defence Committee Thomas Gassilloud and Chairman of the France-Ukraine Friendship Group Benjamin Haddad.

    During the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine expressed gratitude to France for its leadership and support.

    President of the French National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet stressed that her country attached great importance to Ukraine's future accession to the European Union and commended Ukraine's progress in taking the necessary steps to open membership negotiations and implement the relevant legislation.

    "The European path was laid in the foundation of our transformation 10 years ago with the victory of the Revolution of Dignity. It was the first step towards the irreversibility of our changes and our return to the European family. With the outbreak of a full-scale war, it was the decision to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership, which was supported by France, one of the key leaders of the European Union, that became the main factor in uniting society and politicians around reforms and around the belief in Ukraine's victory in this aggressive war of russia," Olha Stefanishyna stressed.

    According to her, nowadays the context of Ukraine's European integration has a completely different meaning. Certainly, the issue of reforms could have been discussed in peacetime. At the same time, with the outbreak of full-scale aggression, there is a clear understanding at all levels of the legislative and executive branches that transformations related to the European path are absolutely necessary to enhance the country's resilience and prepare Ukraine for victory.

    "We have a moral obligation to our citizens, despite all the discussions and difficulties, we have made all the necessary decisions, and by our progress and efficiency we demonstrate that there will be no delay, we are ready to move fast, these reforms are primarily for the benefit of Ukraine. Now that we are close to the actual opening of the negotiation process, it is important to maintain the momentum, especially in political and sectoral reforms, and this will be impossible without the support of the EU member states. Ukraine is fully prepared for the negotiation process. We hope that the key decisions will be made quickly, and the first important test will be the decision to approve the negotiation framework presented by the European Commission in June this year," the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.

    The President of the French National Assembly, for her part, assured that her country shared Ukraine's vision and supported that the first intergovernmental conference should take place no later than June during Belgium's presidency of the EU Council.

    "The decision to enlarge the EU has returned the European Union to the geopolitical arena. Today it is clear that Europe must take responsibility for its security, its existence and its future. Therefore, the decision on Ukraine's membership in the European Union, as well as that of other countries, has a geopolitical dimension. Ukraine has repeatedly proved its ability to do everything necessary to ensure that decisions at the level of leaders are made. We urge member states to drive the enlargement process with the understanding that you can be trustworthy of Ukraine," Olha Stefanishyna emphasised.

    The parties also touched upon the issue of extending the EU's autonomous trade preferences for Ukraine. The Deputy Prime Minister reminded that the EU ambassadors had recently reached an agreement on the terms of further trade liberalisation.

    "This provides specific safeguard measures and a clear monitoring mechanism. This approach allows countries to monitor imports of certain groups of goods to the European Union on an individual basis. At the same time, we should not forget that the decision on trade liberalisation was made as part of the response to the consequences of russian aggression. For almost 10 years of the Free Trade Area, which provided for substantial liberalisation of access to the EU markets, Ukraine has not created any problems in the market. Any issues that arise now do not stem from Ukraine's dishonest behaviour. They are a direct consequence of russian aggression and the inability of the Ukrainian market to function in the conditions that existed before the war," she stressed, calling for support for the measures necessary for the survival of the Ukrainian economy.

    The parties also discussed the results of the intergovernmental consultations between the Governments of Ukraine and Poland held this week in Warsaw.

    "It was the first visit of the Ukrainian Government in almost full strength to Poland since the beginning of the invasion. It confirmed that any emerging turbulence cannot divide us. It was a manifestation of unity and readiness for dialogue despite the challenges," the Deputy Prime Minister underscored.