Senior MEPs have reiterated the European Parliament’s intention to continue to “do its utmost” to assist Ukraine in its EU integration process.
The pledge came during the first Inter-Committee Meeting between the European Parliament and the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada.
EU president Roberta Metsola said the meeting marked the launch of an in-depth, comprehensive and concrete sectorial cooperation between the two institutions.
Cooperation, said the MEP, “is crucial in view of Ukraine’s European path.”
She added, “This is something that Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk and I have discussed and converged over on several occasions because there is no question that Ukraine’s future is as a member of the European Union.”
She told Stefanchuk: “Rest assured that Ukraine will always find a friend and ally in the European Parliament.”
She hopes accession negotiations will be able to start as soon as this year.
At the meeting, where committee chairs of the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada debated the nature and challenges of the EU accession process, MEPs stated their firm condemnation of the “illegal and unjustified Russian war of aggression.”
The EU as well as the European Parliament, they said, are “strong” allies of Ukraine and will continue to stand with the country and its people “in their fight for freedom.”
Looking at future cooperation between both parliaments, MEPs expressed their willingness to deepen institutional ties and offer more support and expertise to their Ukrainian colleagues for the country’s path towards EU membership.
This, they said, includes the areas of alignment with EU laws and in post-war recovery.
When it comes to the reconstruction of Ukraine, MEPs stressed it is essential to “build back better” and link reconstruction efforts to a reform process that secures Ukraine’s European integration.
MEPs highlighted the need to establish an adequate governance architecture for reconstruction efforts that “ensures Ukrainian ownership”, and is transparent, accountable and inclusive, with the proper involvement of both the European Parliament and the Verkovna Rada.
The meeting on Wednesday was a chance for the two sides to have exchange views on the nature and challenges of Ukraine’s EU accession process as well as to show solidarity with Kyiv, which is still battling the Russian invasion.
The event was held in a hybrid format.
Participants were divided into two panels to discuss “Rebuilding a European Ukraine” and “Building a sustainable future together”.
MEPs and their Ukrainian counterparts addressed a range of issues to do with Ukraine’s EU accession process, notably revolving around economic policy, including the rule of law, the anti-corruption agenda and budgetary control, but also getting Ukrainian law to align with EU law and the implementation of EU legislation.
They also looked at how they can deepen bilateral relations further between the committees of their respective institutions.
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