Prominent Western politicians believe in the EU perspective of Ukraine

29 June 2007

Friday June 29 in Livadia palace, Yalta, Crimea plenary sessions of the 4th annual meeting of Yalta European Strategy (YES) started. This year in the work of YES meeting participate some 200 politicians, diplomats, public figures, researchers and journalists from the EU, Russia, US and Ukraine including political figures of such magnitude as William Clinton, 42nd president of the US, Gerhard Schroeder, federal chancellor of Germany in 1998-2005, Alexander Kwasniewski, president of Poland in 1995-2005.

Welcome word to the meeting's participants said Stephen Byers, Head of the Board of YES. After that there started a roundtable plenary session "Agenda 2020 and the Future of the EU-Ukraine Relations" wherein spoke Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Gerhard Schroeder, Alexander Kwasniewski, Marek Siewec, Vice-President of the Parliament of the EU, Victor Chernomyrdin, ex-PM of the Russian federation.

In the course of roundtable session there sparkled a live discussion on the broad range of issues related to the EU integration of Ukraine. Level of involvement as well as heated debates between the meeting's participants signified that problems discussed are being acute for the domestic political elites, and, to no less degree, for the EU politics and researchers.

Among issues discussed during a 2 hour discussion were date of possible accession of Ukraine to the EU, inner problems of the EU compounding its further extension, a need for giving Ukraine clear perspectives of the accession, daily agenda of domestic reforms necessary for rapprochement of Ukraine and the EU, relaxation of the visa regime, entering a common market of goods and services in Europe, complex relations in the "Ukraine-EU-Russia" triangular, problem of Russian language, bilateral relations and partnership between Ukraine and the EU states.

Roundtable session demonstrated a variety of approaches to issues of the EU integration of Ukraine as well as scale of problems on our way to the EU. At the same time it has shown that a majority of prominent politicians of the EU share a view that Ukraine has the EU perspective.

YES is an independent organization, which brings together high-level participants in Ukraine, and internationally: policy-makers, business leaders, thinkers, researchers and journalists. The annual YES summits in Yalta have become the leading informal high-level forum focused on discussing and development of political recommendations. In 2006, the YES experts developed an analytical document "Agenda-2020", representing a step-by-step strategy for Ukraine's accession to the European Union in 2020. YES was created at the initiative of a Ukrainian businessman and public figure, Victor Pinchuk in spring 2004.

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Joschka Fischer
Joschka Fischer
6th YES Annual Meeting, 2009
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