Archive for May 11th, 2013

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No deadline extension for Ukraine – Fule

May 11, 2013

Yesterday, Stefan Fule EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Nighbourhood Policy, clearly stated that the EU will not extend the time it has given for Ukraine to address the issues of serious concern to the EU when it comes to the signing – or not – of the Association Agreement and DCFTA.

“First of all, we have never postponed the deadline for Kyiv. Foreign ministers of the EU countries in December clearly stated that they would be ready to sign the association agreement at a summit in Vilnius in November. However, they specified three sectors, in which they expect decisions from Ukraine through consistent and obvious efforts,in particular selective justice, the program of reforms and flawed electoral laws.

We see some progress the Ukrainian side made in all the three sectors, including politically motivated proceedings. The release of Lutsenko and Fylypchuk  is a step in the right direction. However, much is to be done, including the guarantee that this phenomenon won’t happen again.”

A statement they may seem rather bullish – but in reality is actually dictated by the electoral timetables of several EU Member States and European Parliament elections due to occur in late 2013, 2014 and 2015, events that naturally divert attention away from issues Ukrainian and concentrate EU attention of “the self” and its component parts.

Simply put, no matter how bullish the statement of Fule may appear,  if the agreement is not signed in November, the European political calendar simply dos not allow for any such signing until 2015 at the earliest.  Any later than November and there will be significant political actors that if not at the end of a legitimate domestic mandate, are just finding their feet under a recently acquired domestic public mandate – issues of legitimacy and all that!

However, all that aside, I am not aware of any serious requests from Ukraine to extend the November deadline anyway – which causes one to ponder the need for such a statement from Fule – other than keeping the pressure for reform momentum on, and forcing the majority and minority in parliament to work together at least over matters EU.

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