Simplyfying visa free regime with the EU
Ukraine fulfilled all its commitments defined within the frameworks of Phase 2 of Liberalization Action Plan of EU-Ukraine visa regime. The European Commission decided to offer changes to the European law, which would grant access for those Ukrainians possessing biometric passports. I guess the European Commission will submit these changes in April.
It’s regrettable that meeting the necessary criteria took so much time. We spent 5 years on this issue. We want to see the results, and relevant processes are taking place without any tangible results that people should feel above all. For EU, the most important thing is to be sure that Ukrainians are able to reliably control the issue of IDs.
EU internal security
People getting the biometric passports should be scrutinized. The EU and its institutions should make European citizens feel safe. We are well aware what’s going on now in the EU. The main thing people are worried about is that those who come from Ukraine without visas would create extra risks for European internal safety. That’s the key issue.
Referendum in the Netherlands
One of the basic formulae in the EU says everything that lies within political discussions is related. However, the visa free regime is not among provisions of the political and economic association. So formally there is no connection. Just imagine the action plan on liberalization of the visa free regime was completed a year ago. There would be no need to hold the referendum in the Netherlands. I do hope the voting in the Netherlands will be positive for Ukraine.
Course of reforms in Ukraine
Justice and court reform are open questions, and they depend on changes in the Constitution. Ukraine’s political leaders assured us these issues will be considered in spring, so that the reform can move on. A lot of job needs to be done in terms of the environmental protection. It’s an essential part of the EU legal framework and an important component of improving living conditions for every Ukrainian citizen; what do we do with exhausts, how do we give people clean water, air and so on. It has a huge impact on people’s health.