The Ukrainian side continues a policy of pursuing European integration reforms to ensure the fastest possible progress toward EU membership. Ukraine’s efforts were commended by the European Commission, stated Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal during a press conference with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen following joint consultations between the Government of Ukraine and the College of the European Commissioners.
“We expect that in the spring the European Commission will provide a documented assessment of our progress. And at the end of 2023, it will provide a recommendation to the European Council on the start of pre-accession negotiations with Ukraine,” the Prime Minister of Ukraine said.
As Denys Shmyhal emphasized, the Ukrainian side also looked forward to further integration into the EU’s Internal Market, as well as the continuation of temporary trade and transport liberalization. According to the Prime Minister, negotiations are also underway to introduce a common market with the EU in areas where Ukraine is close to full transition to EU rules before the start of accession negotiations.
“We are hopeful that Ukraine will join the EU roaming space, further integrate energy markets, introduce the so-called “industrial visa-free regime” for Ukrainian products, increase the export potential of Ukrainian goods by increasing the border management capacity, and join the SEPA network,” the Prime Minister of Ukraine stressed.
Denys Shmyhal said that the joint consultations had resulted in specific decisions. In particular, an agreement was signed on Ukraine’s participation in the EU’s Single Market Programme with a budget of EUR 4.2 billion. According to him, this program is aimed at ensuring green and digital transitions and will help develop the competitiveness of Ukrainian businesses.
Ukraine and the EU have also launched a strategic partnership in the field of renewable gases, thus contributing to the development of a sustainable and innovative energy system in Ukraine. Denys Shmyhal and Ursula von der Leyen signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
“Tomorrow we expect the political approval of the Priority Action Plan for Enhanced Implementation of the EU-Ukraine Free Trade Area for 2023-2024, which we discussed today with Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis. It is the implementation of this plan that should provide Ukraine with further access to the EU Internal Market,” the Prime Minister said.
Denys Shmyhal thanked the European Commission and the European Union for their strong support, as well as for the efforts of each member of the European Commission College dedicated to helping Ukraine and Ukrainians.