European Parliament pledges to vote for visa-free travel for Ukrainians
The European Parliament welcomes the positive conclusions of the European Commission in the issue of the visa-free regime for Ukrainians and pledges to support this decision, Ukrainian online newspaper Europeiska Pravda reported with reference to a statement of Chairperson of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee Andrej Plenkovic.
The provision of a visa-free regime brings real and tangible benefits for the process of European integration, Plenkovich said. It is Europe's recognition of the changes that took place in Ukraine as a result of the Euromaidan Revolution. Visa-free travel will improve contacts between people, promote exchanges in education, culture and science, which is important for further development of Ukraine as part of Europe, according to Plenkovic.
Plenkovic also noted that in early 2016 the European Commission would exercise a legislative initiative of the European Council and the European Parliament to lift visa requirements for Ukraine.
Plenkovic stressed reaching of the unanimous decision of the EU Council is important at this stage. He said the position of the European Parliament remained unchanged. It supports the provision of a visa-free regime for the Ukrainian people. He added he was sure that it [European Parliament] could confirm this by the majority of votes, as soon as the proposal has been included in the agenda.
At this, Plenkovic recalled that the Ukrainian government has not yet fulfilled all the visa liberalization requirements. According to him, the progress made by the Ukrainian government in many areas within a short period of time was obvious, but there is still much work to do. Plenkovic urged the Ukrainian authorities to continue with the progress made and to fully adhere to their commitments, in particular, regarding the fight against corruption.
The decisive factor in this process will be, according to Plenkovic, the launch next year of full-fledged activities of the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, and the National Agency for Stolen Asset Recovery.