Ukrainian and European Parliaments hold first-ever joint inter-committee meeting

April 12,2023 567
Ukrainian and European Parliaments hold first-ever joint inter-committee meeting

At the first inter-committee meeting between the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Wednesday, leading members of the European Parliament (MEPs) reiterated its intention to continue to do its utmost to assist Ukraine in its EU integration process, according to a press release.

Opening the meeting, EP President Roberta Metsola said: “Today’s meeting marks the launch of an in-depth, comprehensive and concrete sectorial cooperation between our two institutions. Cooperation that is crucial in view of Ukraine’s European path. 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. Rest assured that Ukraine will always find a friend and ally in the European Parliament. My hope is that accession negotiations will be able to start already this year.”

“From the very first day of the large-scale Russian invasion, Ukraine and Ukrainians have felt the strong support of the European Parliament and its President. The European Parliament has shown outstanding leadership among other EU institutions,” VR Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk said in his opening remarks. He also pointed out that the Ukrainian authorities “are working to create conditions for opening the accession negotiations as early as this year. This process consolidates the Ukrainian government, politicians and society just as we are consolidated by our common fight against the aggressor.”

At the meeting, where EP and VR committee chairs 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, including in 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 Verkhovna Rada.