Eastern Partnership was set up to assist EU eastern neighbors in their democratic reform, institutional changes, legal approximation and establishment of free trade area with EU.
The Association Agreements are supposed to become the key instruments of achieving the above objectives. They would transform the domestic systems of Eastern Partnership countries and move them closer to the EU.
Ukraine has achieved noticeable progress in negotiating the Association Agreement. Complicated negotiations that have lasted for almost 5 years brought the EU and Ukraine to the stage when it becomes possible to finalise and initial the Association Agreement. The Association Agreement with Ukraine can serve as a model for the Association Agreement with other Eastern Partnership countries.
Given what has been achieved so far and given the importance of the Association Agreement with Ukraine for the success of the entire Eastern Partnership initiative we call on the EU and Ukraine to make their best to initial the Agreement in the near future.
Civil Society Forum also expresses its concern over the growing democratic deficit in Ukraine (criminal prosecution of the political and civil society leaders) Civil Society Forum stresses the need for the Government and the President of Ukraine to respect democratic values in order to make it possible to continue integration with the European Union.
Civil Society Forum calls on the EU and Ukraine to conclude negotiations on EU – Ukraine Association Agreement and initial the Agreement at technical level to make the text available to the public. It would strengthen the leverage of civil society to deliver key messages to the society of Ukraine and potentially other Eastern Partnership countries on how the Agreement can become an instrument of transformation and reforms in Ukraine. Civil Society Forum also recommends that the Agreement can be signed and ratified by the EU and the Member States only under the condition if further progress of democratic reforms and rule of law in Ukraine is achieved.